Movie Review (1/5): Pineapple Express


Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Judd Apatow– the same threesome that have written or produced comedies like Knocked Up, Superbad, and The 40 Year Old Virgin— wrote the action/comedy Pineapple Express. Riddled with comedic elements, Pineapple Express isn’t too far a stray from the material we have come to expect from that group. However, this film certainly had a different feel than that of Superbad or Knocked Up, due largely to the presence of gore and action. Seth Rogen has esatblished himself very well in the film world as a comedic writer/actor. And while he does have some very humorous lines in Pineapple Express it’s clear that this is more of an action film disguised as a comedy, not the other way around. Not surprisingly, the trailer plays the movie off primarily as a comedy, and doesn’t indicate the level of gore and action that actually exists in the film. Those expecting a chill “stoner” movie are in for a surprise.
Aesthetically, the movie lines up with that of most comedies: even lighting, mostly medium shots (or at least no extreme close ups or wides), still/mounted camera (during chaotic/chase scenes they switch to a steady cam), and generally simple shots (no crane, bird’s eye, or long shots). This allows no distractions for the audience while Seth Rogen and James Franco deliver hilarious back-and-forths and develop their respective characters. The most risk taking was done in the editing room where nontraditional transitions (such as multiple types of wipes) were used between scenes. There were also a few uses of still frames and slow-motion. This may have been an extension of the efforts of the film makers to keep a detachment from reality. Because in action films, the audience expects a level of the unrealistic. But in comedies, the plot lines are usually realistic and believable. Since I’m not entirely sure what this film was trying to be, I’m not sure if two good-for-nothing stoners getting in a bloody battle-royale with dangerous drug-dealers and prevailing is believable or not. At the very least it was highly entertaining.

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~ by Peyton Lea on October 14, 2009.

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