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This week:
Pineapple Express

Filthy says:
"It's fucking funny... til it's not!"

Sorry, folks, but I'm not reviewing Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 this week. I realize it's a subject we're all fascinated by. Hell, just yesterday I had my own pair of traveling underpants; these tighty-whiteys rode up my ass, right into my crack and then straight on up into my colon. I can't go into any more detail here, because I'd lose my chance to option this baby for Traveling Pants 3. Granted, my story of loose bowels and tight pants doesn't have the cache of tight, riding trousers on a cute, young lady. But I think the twist of just what I found on my Big Lots Value Choice underwear will delight moviegoers.

Instead, I saw the second-most interesting movie of the week, Pineapple Express, which claims to be a stoner/action/buddy movie. I guess it is all of those, but each in a pretty damn generic sense. That probably works great for the types of dipshits that read High Times and who lower their standards whenever pot is involved. I'm not in that camp, though. My standards are too high, and I don't lower them unless there's free beer.

Pineapple Express is the latest from Judd Apatow, who is making a serious effort to reduce the quality of his product as he increases the output. What comedy hasn't had his name attached to it in the last year? Not that that's entirely his fault. It's partially the herd mentality of the grassfuckers who have no idea what's actually funny. They just do whatever worked the last time. And right now, that's hire Apatow. The only part of this I blame Apatow for is for making some pretty fucking shitty and unnecessary movies. Hey, Judd, slow the fuck down. Have a little discretion so you aren't a punchline in a couple more years and all those pigs that are grazing from your trough haven't moved on to the next big thing.

Pineapple Express is a lazy, shitty excuse for a comedy. It's a lame-ass 100 minute cliche as an action movie. It's already worn out as a "bro-mance". Maybe it's great as a stoner movie, but I really fucking hate people who think that some drug defines their coolness, or that it's some really sophisticated choice to smoke weed. I bet really good movies are, well, really good when you're stoned, and don't exploit people's desperate need to be part of a subculture. So, fuck the whole "stoner" thing. It's not a genre; it's an excuse.

The normally likable Seth Rogen plays Dale Denton, a pot-smoking process server with a high-school girlfriend and a kinda cool mid-80s Cadillac. He's the same slacker, everyman, underachiever fuckup that Apatow and company have been mining a bit too much lately. The sort of guy who's likable at first because you can feel superior, but who gets to be a drag after a while because he has no plans beyond the next five minutes. Or so I've been told. In a plot contrivance directly from a bad Steven Seagal movie, he witnesses a cop and a drug lord (Gary Cole) kill a rival. In a panic, he tosses the joint he was smoking, which, through another contrivance, the drug dealer identifies as his own secret recipe.

What follows is a pretty fucking lame chase movie. Cole hires some hitmen who, I think, are supposed to be funny, but don't get enough screen time for the jokes to sink in. One may be gay and sensitive. The other may be a Mark Ruffalo impersonator. Actually, there are a lot of characters in this movie who get almost no screen time, have little to do with the plot, yet are meant to be some sort of comic relief. Ed Begley, Jr. plays a gun-toting father. A subplot about a Chinese drug gang goes nowhere and feels totally pointless. Cole and Rosie Perez (as a cop???) may have a romantic relationship, but only the moviemakers know for sure.

James Franco plays Rogen's dealer, a pajama-clad slacker who never leaves his apartment and is the link between Cole and Rogen. Once Cole is onto hem, Rogen and Franco go on the lam and have a few mild adventures. Mostly, though, the movie focuses on slow-motion shots of them inhaling smoke, or talking about their feelings and emphasizing how this movie is really about male-bonding. Good fucking God, the last time I saw this much male-bonding is when a tanker full of Crazy Glue overturned on a PromiseKeepers revival.

It gets pretty damn thick in Pineapple Express. There is simply too much talk from guys about how important their friendships are. Show it, assholes, don't keep saying it. I guess all the bonding shit is director David Gordon Green trying to make the movie more profound, or at least to let us know people smoking a lot of weed act like saps. Which is what Rogen and Franco are. That problem is compounded when, two-thirds of the way through the movie, Rogen swears off pot and his teenage girlfriend. In one fell swoop, and conveniently timed as a plot point, he grows up. It's cornball and forced. It doesn't make him more likable, just more of a tool.

There aren't a whole lot of laughs in Pineapple Express. Well, there was some forced laughter in the theater where I saw it, and it mostly came from people there to show solidarity with their drug of choice. The few amusing gags get worn down from overuse. Folks, a good gag is not a teenage boy's dick; it can't take nonstop use.

The biggest problem in Pineapple Express is the fucking action sequences. I got the sense that someone thought they were either parodying or paying homage to bad action movies. If so, they did a terrible fucking job of it. All they did was reshoot the worst of Cannon Films. They even look as cheap, with stunt doubles who don't have the shape or size of the stars, and bad staging. A car chase scene has one gag (a foot stuck through the windshield) and a whole lot of the same old. The finale is a massive shootout with untold death and gore. Ha ha, hoo boy, a foot blown off, or people on fire is almost always good for laugh. Especially when the scene is interchangeable with anything from the Jean Claude Van Damme oeuvre, except with fatter fighters. Rather than paying homage, these scenes look like the work of people who don't have any fresh ideas.

Pineapple Express is sloppy and weak. Sure, it's three themes in one, but it's like when Rice-a-Roni marketed a side dish that also stopped radiator leaks and cured athlete's foot. Sure, it did all that shit, but it did it badly. Two Fingers.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Pete Hammond of Hollywood.com

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Filthy's Reading
Irvine Welsh - Porno

Listening to
Galaxie 500 - On Fire


The Simpsons - Season 4