Pineapple Express hits DVD and Blu-ray today, in both rated and unrated versions–heaven help us if we decide to watch the extended edition of an already arduously long film. That, combined with the David Gordon Green film’s recent appearance on Trailer Addict’s top-ten list of trailers from 2008, got us thinking about the movie for the first time since the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Golden Globe nominee James Franco aside, it might be that Pineapple Express was our biggest disappointment of the year. We liked it, but here are three reasons why it failed to reach our lofty expectations:
We’re not saying that we actually wanted Christopher Mintz-Plasse to co-star in Pineapple Express–besides we got our McLovin fix from the superior Role Models–but the hallmark of the Judd Apatow comedy revolution has been in making great use of the supporting cast. In 40-Year-Old Virgin there was Romany Malco and Seth Rogen; Knocked Up had the crew of housemates (Jason Segal, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr, Jay Baruchel); and in Superbad, there was obviously McLovin, but also Mr. Rogen and Bill Hader. With Pineapple Express that breakout character should have been Danny McBride. But the fact is, the guy isn’t all that funny. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast is amazing–Craig Robinson, Ed Begley, Kevin Corrigan, Gary Cole–but they are wasted in the background.
Let’s put on our Producers 101 hat, shall we? Comedies need constant forward progress. Without it, they die. Pineapple Express ambles along like a stoner, barely making it from point A to point B. That’s all well and good in reality, but this is a movie that needed a jolt of energy. The last twenty minutes moved so slowly, we thought it might grow roots.
No “Paper Planes”!
We’re used to seeing trailers and soundtracks feature songs that never appear within fifty yards of the actual film, but we can’t for the life of us figure out why M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” didn’t make it into the final cut of Pineapple Express. On the Trailer Addict list, Pineapple Express checks in at number three almost solely based on the music cue from the trailer. We can’t really disagree. The song is infectious! As much as we liked hearing “Electric Avenue” over the opening credits, chances are the entire movie could have been different if “Paper Planes” made an appearance there instead. No offense Eddy Grant, but you’re no M.I.A.