Pineapple Express (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Gordon Green|
|Produced by||Judd Apatow
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Editing by||Craig Alpert|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||112 minutes
Pineapple Express is a 2008 American stoner action comedy directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Rogen and James Franco. Producer Judd Apatow, who previously worked with Rogen and Goldberg on Knocked Up and Superbad, assisted in developing the story, which was partially inspired by the buddy comedy subgenre. The film was released on August 6, 2008. Franco was nominated for a Golden Globe award for his performance in the film.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2013)|
Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a 25-year-old process server and habitual pot smoker who drives around smoking weed and serving subpoenas. He makes a visit to his high-school girlfriend of 3 months, and goes to the home of his drug dealer, Saul Silver (James Franco), to buy weed. There he hears that Saul may already know the identity of his next service, Ted Jones (Gary Cole). Dale drives to Ted's house and sees a cop, Officer Carol Brazier (Rosie Perez), with her gun drawn entering the house. She goes to the top floor where Ted is waiting and then she and Ted shoot an Asian man to death, which Dale witnesses. Dale panics and leaves his roach at the scene containing a rare strain of marijuana called Pineapple Express. Ted subsequently identifies Dale's roach as the strain that he had sold to only one dealer. Ted sends his two henchmen, Budlofsky and Matheson (Kevin Corrigan and Craig Robinson) to the dealer, Red (Danny McBride), who discloses that he has only sold the pot to Dale's dealer, Saul Silver.
Dale flees to Saul's apartment in a panic and explains what happened. After a brief conversation, Dale learns that Ted is a dangerous drug lord, and realizes he could trace the roach back to Saul. Dale and Saul flee into the nearby woods, while Ted's henchmen persuade Red to arrange a meeting between Saul and Red, but fails because Dale and Saul spend the night in the woods. Both dispose of their cell phones out of fear that they could be triangulated by Brazier. During the night they accidentally fall asleep in Dale's car with the radio on, and 18 hours later they awake to find they missed their meeting with Red. After which they get high and do playful activities together and seemingly become friends. They leave the woods and arrive at Red's house, hoping that talking with Red in person will help them determine whether Ted has linked them with him, and therefore whether he is in pursuit. Instead, Dale decides that Red is lying, and will reveal their whereabouts to Ted. Dale, Saul, and Red proceed to fight each other. Red gets knocked out and when he awakes the two question him and find out that Ted has discovered who they are and is looking for them. In addition, he means to kill them and Red if he does not help him capture them. Convinced that Ted's henchmen are pursuing them, Dale and Saul decide that they must leave the city. Dale visits his girlfriend, Angie (Amber Heard) at her house to warn her and her parents (Nora Dunn and Ed Begley, Jr.), but Angie's father doesn't believe Dale. He becomes enraged, correctly suspecting Dale is high, and tries to scare him out of his house with a gun. Ted's henchmen pursue Dale and Saul to Angie's house, and Angie and her parents go into hiding. Meanwhile, Ted is at his house naming strains of weed and setting prices with another henchman. He and Brazier are discussing Denton and she believes he is connected to a rival gang of Asians. They call Cheung, the leader of the gang, tell him they killed a member of his gang the previous night, and threaten to kill him too. From his enraged ramblings, Cheung believes Ted is weak and plans to kill him first. To leave town, Dale and Saul sell some of Saul's Pineapple Express to raise bus fare. However, a police officer witnesses Dale smoking a joint and arrests him for selling marijuana to middle school kids. Dale is able to convince the arresting officer that Officer Brazier is corrupt, and she says that she can help. Saul then leaps out in front of the car while the officer is writing down his story, and accidentally hits him. When she stops and gets out to investigate, Saul hijacks the squad car and drives away. Officer Brazier hears a police radio call of Dale's arrest and pursues Dale and Saul in a high speed chase, but Dale and Saul successfully evade her.
Dale and Saul argue with each other about the mess they have found themselves in, resulting in Dale telling Saul that they are not friends and never were. Dale and Saul go their separate ways, angry and upset. Brazier goes back to Ted and they vow to kill Dale and Saul and the Asian gang. Dale calls his girlfriend Angie, they reveal their secret thoughts of each other, and say they should break up. Saul visits his grandmother in an assisted living home and finds Ted's henchmen, who kidnap him and hold him hostage in Ted's lair, a barn built above an underground silo. Dale enlists Red to help him to rescue Saul from Ted and Officer Brazier, but Red unexpectedly backs out at the last minute and Dale is captured. While Dale and Saul are held hostage, they reconcile with each other and make plans to escape. Meanwhile, the Asian drug gang attacks the barn to avenge a member's death at the hands of Ted and Officer Brazier, the same murder that Dale had witnessed. Dale and Saul finally free themselves, but are caught by Matheson. Matheson grazes Dale in the ear with a gunshot, but is disarmed and shot by Saul. Dale and Saul carry on and join the fight, but are separated after Ted intervenes. Dale and Ted endure a brawl that results in Ted's death when one of the Asians (Ken Jeong) sets off a bomb that sets fire to the barn. Meanwhile, Matheson kills Budlofsky for refusing to kill Saul when he had the chance. Before Matheson can kill Saul, Red breaks through the wall with his car, running over Matheson and kills him. While Saul thanks Red, Officer Brazier reaches for a gun and shoots Red, which seemingly kills him. The bomb goes off, exploding under Red's car and launching it into the air. In flames, it falls on top of Officer Brazier and finally kills her. Dale carries Saul out of the burning barn. Just as Saul awakens, Red crawls from the wreckage of the barn. The film ends with Dale, Saul, and Red at a diner eating breakfast and celebrating their friendship as Saul's grandmother picks them up and takes them to the hospital for treatment.
- Seth Rogen as Dale Denton
- James Franco as Saul Silver
- Danny McBride as Red
- Kevin Corrigan as Budlofsky
- Craig Robinson as Matheson
- Gary Cole as Ted Jones
- Rosie Perez as Officer Carol Brazier
- Ed Begley, Jr. as Robert
- Nora Dunn as Shannon
- Amber Heard as Angie Anderson
- Joe Lo Truglio as Mr. Edwards
- Bobby Lee as Bobby
- Arthur Napiontek as Clark
- Adam Crosby as Ack
- Cleo King as Police Liaison Officer
- Bill Hader as Private Miller
- James Remar as General Bratt
- David C. Cook as Chris Gebert
- Mae LaBorde as Mrs. Mendelson
- Jonathan Walker Spencer as Scientist
- Jeffrey Ng as Computer Programmer
- Jack Kehler as Walter
- Steve Bannos as Jared
- Ken Jeong as Ken
- Justin Long as Justin (deleted scenes)
- Troy Gentile (deleted scenes)
- Brad Pitt (deleted scenes)
The inspiration for making Pineapple Express, according to producer Judd Apatow, was Brad Pitt's character in True Romance, a stoner named Floyd. Apatow "thought it would be funny to make a movie in which you follow that character out of his apartment and watch him get chased by bad guys". According to Rogen, the ideal production budget was $40 million, but due to the subject matter—"because it's a weed movie", as he described it—Sony Pictures allotted $25 million. The movie is named after a wind pattern that brings rainstorms from Hawaii to Vancouver, Rogen's hometown.
Release and reception
The film has received generally positive reviews from critics with a rating of 68% on the review website Rotten Tomatoes. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune praised the film's script, noting that it "recalls what made Superbad worth seeing: the sidewinding conversational riffs, the why-am-I-laughing? wordplay." However, he was critical of the second half of the film, and felt that the violence in contrast to the comedy of the first half was jarring and gratuitous. Sonny Bunch of the Washington Times agreed with Phillips, opining that "It’s a shame so much attention was paid to the gun battles and so little to character development." Kelly Vance of East Bay Express enjoyed Franco's performance, stating that he "steals the movie easily", as well as the authenticity of the film's sets.
A "red-band" trailer for the film, featuring the song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A., leaked in February 2008. Sony Pictures had the video removed from YouTube within a few days of its posting. Patrick Goldstein's Summer Movie Posse of the Los Angeles Times described its incorporation as "the most impressive use of M.I.A.'s 'Paper Planes' ever". The film's makers had been keen on including the song in the film's main trailer and approached M.I.A.'s U.S. label Interscope Records for permission. She added "Interscope asked me and I was, like, well, since it’s just the trailer, that’s cool. I didn’t really think twice about it" stating she would have thought more carefully about permitting the song's use if it was in the main film, "scrutinizing what scene they were using it in and stuff like that". Pineapple Express had an advance screening at the Just for Laughs Film Festival on July 19, 2008. The film was released on August 6, 2008. Cable network FX pre-bought exclusive rights to air the film after its theatrical run. One particular aspect of the film that has been almost universally praised is the cinematography; Seth Rogen even joked on the commentary that "even people who hate the movie admit that it's shot well".
David Gordon Green met with Apatow, Rogen and Goldberg on the set of Knocked Up, and later on the set of Superbad to discuss the project. Green cited The Blues Brothers, Midnight Run, Running Scared, the Terrence Malick written The Gravy Train and Stir Crazy as sources of inspiration and influence on directing the film.
Rogen was originally going to play Saul, but Apatow suggested that Franco should play the role instead. After a table read, Rogen agreed, thus casting himself in the role of Dale Denton.
Sony released the film on Wednesday August 6, 2008 with $12,085,679 in ticket sales. Over the weekend it opened at number two behind The Dark Knight with $23,245,025 for a five day total of $41,318,736. The film went on to gross $87,341,380 domestically with a worldwide total of $101,549,277.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 6, 2009. Both rated and unrated versions of the film are available. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Australia on December 31, 2008. Both the Blu-ray and 2-disc DVD versions of the film come with a digital copy of the unrated film. As of November 1, 2009 the DVD has sold 2,510,321 copies and generated $43,033,863 in sales revenue.
The original motion picture soundtrack to the film was released on August 5, 2008. Although featured in the trailer for the film, the song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. is not used in the film or on its soundtrack. Following the trailer's release, "Paper Planes" gained massive airplay, entering the Top 5 on Billboard Hot 100. Also featured in the film but absent from the soundtrack album are Grace Jones' Sly and Robbie produced cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire", the former of which can be found on her 1998 compilation Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions.
- "Pineapple Express" by Huey Lewis and the News (4:27)
- "Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant (3:48)
- "Dr. Greenthumb" by Cypress Hill (3:08)
- "Lost at Birth" by Public Enemy (3:33)
- "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe (4:20)
- "Wanted Dread and Alive" by Peter Tosh (4:22)
- "Don't Look Around" by Mountain (3:44)
- "Pineapple Chase (aka The Reprise of the Phoenix)" by Graeme Revell (3:03)
- "Bird's Lament" by Moondog & The London Saxophonic (2:02)
- "Coconut Girl" by Brother Noland (3:36)
- "Hi'ilawe" by Arthur Lyman (1:09)
- "Time Will Tell" by Bob Marley (3:31)
- "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (3:45)
- "Pineapple Fight (aka The Nemesis Proclaimed)" by Graeme Revell (3:08)
- "I Didn't Mean to Hurt You" by Spiritualized (5:12)
- "Woke Up Laughing" by Robert Palmer (3:35)
Judd Apatow stated that there's a strong possibility for a sequel, but nothing is officially announced yet. A supposed trailer for the sequel was released on April 1, 2013 with Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson reprising their roles, and Jonah Hill appearing as Woody Harrelson, but this was revealed later to be an April Fools Prank, promoting their upcoming movie This Is the End.
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- Halperin, Shirley (April 11, 2008). "Marijuana Movies: Riding High In Hollywood?". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- Phillips, Michael (August 5, 2008). "'Pineapple Express' stars James Franco, Seth Rogen". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Bunch, Sonny (August 6, 2008). "New Apatow comedy goes up in smoke". Washington Times. News World Media Development. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Vance, Kelly (August 6, 2008). "Nice Dreams". East Bay Express. Jody Colley. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
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- Sperling, Nicole (February 14, 2008). "Smoke up, Seth Rogen: 'Pineapple Express' red-band trailer is finally online". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- Goldstein, Patrick (April 29, 2008). "Summer Movie Posse gives its thumbs up....and down". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved July 22, 2008.
- "M.I.A., 'Paper Planes,' and coasting to fame on 'Pineapple Express'". Entertainment Weekly. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
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- Mohr, Ian (June 5, 2007). "Apatow, Rogen set 'Pineapple' date". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- Dempsey, John (June 24, 2008). "FX to 'Mess With the Zohan'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved September 3, 2008.
- Douglas, Edward (August 4, 2008). "Exclusive: Pineapple Express' David Gordon Green". comingsoon.net. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Goldman, Eric (March 18, 2008). "Judd Apatow: From Freaks and Geeks to Sarah Marshall and Beyond". IGN. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Halperin, Shirley (November 26, 2007). "Seth Rogen inviting Huey Lewis aboard 'Pineapple Express'?". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- "Top Selling DVDs of 2009". The-Numbers.com. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
- "Pineapple Express Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
- Williams, Leslie (May 14, 2008). "Leslie Williams: Selecting summer music, films". The Orion Online. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2008.
- "Judd Apatow talks possible PINEAPPLE EXPRESS sequel". GordonandtheWhale.com. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
- "Judd Apatow Says ‘Pineapple Express 2′ Likely, ‘Superbad 2′ Not So Much » MTV Movies Blog". MoviesBlog.MTV.com. 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
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