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DVD Review: Pineapple Express 2-Disc Unrated Special Edition

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Packed with more special features then should be deemed legal, the Pineapple Express 2-Disc is another excuse to sit your ass in front of the television on a Friday night and into Saturday morning. This is the good stuff. I drool with anticipation when a movie produced by Judd Apatow comes out. His DVDs aren’t just home videos, they’re events. Pineapple Express continues the tradition with a truckload of “making of” material, skits, and commentary tracks. A few featurettes taste like milk duds, but not enough to ruin the special edition’s value. Pineapple Express is worth more that what you paid your favorite video dealer.

The movie stars Seth Rogen as a process server named Dale Denton who witnesses a murder while attempting to deliver a subpoena. Dale flees, dropping his joint filled with Pineapple Express, an extremely rare strain of marijuana. The killer, Ted Jones (Gary Cole), was the man he was supposed to serve with the subpoena. Unfortunately, he also happens to be the supplier for Dale’s drug dealer, Saul Silver (James Franco). Ted assumes the two work for his competitors, the Asians, and sends henchmen to kill them. These include Rosie Perez as a corrupt cop and two assassins played by Kevin Corrigan (Superbad, Undeclared) and Chris Robinson (Knocked Up, The Office)

What I liked most about Pineapple Express was its stoner take on action movies by directors like John McTiernan and Quentin Tarantino. On the other hand, it has noticeably fewer one-liners than Knocked Up and Superbad. A somewhat hastily written screenplay makes certain scenes silly and confusing. Plus, the character Ted is hardly a menacing lead villain. Sure he’s merciless in the opening act. But then he inexplicably devolves into a non-functioning alcoholic during the film’s midsection. By the finale, Ted’s turned back into a killer. It’s unclear what the writers were smoking.

The extended cut tacks five minutes onto the theatrical release. The hit men interrogate Saul’s drug dealer friend, Red, who frets about lying to his friends. Adding this shot makes Red looks less sleazy and more like the buddy who always wimps out. The filmmakers include a nice joke where Ted nicknames more pot varieties. When Ted threatens the Asians, his son (Troy Gentile, Drillbit Taylor) interrupts him on another phone. We also see one more scene with Dale’s girlfriend, Angie (Amber Heard) and her parents.

The Extras

Disc one includes the theatrical and extended cuts, commentary, and a few featurettes. You’re missing out if you want to save a few bones, as Saul would say, buying the regular edition. If I were to critique every feature on this Special 2-Disc Edition you’d be reading my review for a week. Definitely check these out:

If Judd Apatow’s name is on the box, expect the cast and crew commentaries to sound like a party. The Pineapple Express DVD assembles the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen. On this track we have actor/writer/executive producer Seth Rogen, actors Danny McBride, James Franco, Craig Robinson, and Rosie Perez, producer Judd Apatow, writer/executive producer Evan Goldberg, and director David Green. I’m not done yet. Actors Ed Begley Jr., Kevin Corrigan and producer Shauna Robertson are on board for part of the time. Quite a feat of scheduling, though Kevin Corrigan has to call in to the studio from his dentist’s chair. When the group gets to talking about the movie, it’s unusual that they point out the flaws along with the usual trivia. Rogen teases critics who thought the story made sense.

The “Direct-O-Rama” featurette shows off David Gordon Green’s unique directing style. He might tell an actor to do karate while reciting lines, or to talk like a robot. Green’s instructions get even weirder and, dare I say, obscene. Play the film again after viewing this and the “Raw Footage” section, and Pineapple Express will be funnier now that you know the inspiration behind the acting.

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