I'd be doing myself a disservice, and every member of this band, if I saw Pineapple Express.
So as of now, it seems like there are going to be three big comedies this summer. Tropic Thunder
comes out soon, and I have high hopes for that. The two that are already out would be Pineapple Express
and Step Brothers
. I’ve heard a lot of debating about which of the two is a better comedy, and I have to say, how is this even a question? PE
was OK at best, and SB
was as good as Talladega Nights
though not as funny as Anchorman
. Few movies are Anchorman
funny though so it’s not fair to make that a knock on Step Brothers
. People didn’t rip on Knocked Up
for not being as funny as 40 Year-Old Virgin
, so I don’t see why Ferrell movies get that treatment but the Apatow movies don’t. Anyway, I’m going to just go ahead and review these two side by side for your reading pleasure so you don’t make the same mistake I did and pay money to see Pineapple Express.
It should be abundantly clear to you at this point that I didn’t really like this movie. It wasn’t unwatchable or anything, but I only laughed out loud about 3 or 4 times, which was definitely disappointing. Now, there are two things I need to get off my chest. First, in official interviews for the movie, James Franco claimed that he didn’t smoke pot. Consider that. Then watch this video. After watching what may be the most unintentionally hilarious interview in MTV history, you might not believe that Franco doesn’t partake in some ganja every once in a while. Second, there are certain things that I really hate only because of their fan bases. Like the Yankees, because Yanks fans are 80% retarded front-runners posing as actual baseball fans. Like Dave Matthews Band, because his fans are all dudes from places like Nantucket and Park Avenue who wear popped-collared pastel-colored polos, talk about how much money mommy and daddy have, and say “brah” without a hint of irony. Dave’s voice, though, does sound like he’s groaning with his mouth full of food, and that’s annoying and makes his lyrics unintelligible. In a similar vein to DMB, Phish is annoying because people who enjoy it are generally too high to have ever actually listened to how boring it is and how shitty the songs and lyrics are, but still say it’s their favorite band because people who smoke weed like it because the band smokes weed, and weed automatically makes things cooler to idiots. I don’t mind people who smoke weed and are relaxed about it. If someone smokes but is still a normal dude, I’m cool with it. But if someone is a militant stoner (Fav. movie: Half Baked, fav. band: Phish, wears Birkenstocks and hemp bracelets, this is what I mean by militant.), I would fully support their legally sanctioned castration, because no one is more dull or stupid to listen to or just to be around, and pothead culture bothers me enough that I pray for a meteor to hit the Burning Man Festival every year. When potheads try to get philosophical, it’s generally as stupid and vague as a question asked by a 9/11 truther, and makes equally as upset that those people are viewed by the law as my equal.
Which brings me to Pineapple Express. If you go to the IMDb page for the movie and look at the message boards, you’ll find threads that start with the title “If Everyone in the World Smoked Weed…”, then has a body that reads “The world would be a much more peaceful place.” Really? That’s your post? People like that guy should be euthanized, or at least sterilized. I’m not kidding. Oh, and the movie itself was pretty boring, a few good laughs, the best of which were ruined by the previews for the most part. James Franco (plays Saul) is pretty funny, and Danny McBride (plays Red) has some pretty hilarious moments. Seth Rogen was alright, but he is kind of wearing on me though. He was priceless in 40 YOV, pretty good in Knocked Up, and had a couple great lines in Superbad. But I’m getting to the point where I find his mannerisms and way of speaking and (you guessed it) aggressive pot-headed-ness to be sort of annoying. And regardless the whole movie is basically just one joke played out in several scenarios and a few throw away one-liners. That joke being, “Hey, people are slower and stupider but sometimes in a kind of charming way when they’re high!” Using one joke didn’t work when they tried it in Chuck and Larry, and it didn’t really work here either.
Asians get made fun of a little in the movie, which is fine with me because good stereotype jokes are comfortable and funny. The plot of the movie makes sense, it’s basically just a comedy set within the plot of a standard action movie. I was a little confused by what they were trying to do with the action though. Sometimes the action scenes would be kind of over the top funny action, sometimes they would be really intense and kind of brutal, and sometimes they were painfully stupid and cliched. I feel like the director couldn’t make up his mind on what direction to take it in. Probably because he was high.
It wasn’t bad, but it definitely wasn’t good enough to pay to see. I didn’t go high, because that’s fucking stupid. “But everyone says it was funny high!” Everything is dipshit, why would this be different?
When the movie itself finished, the friend I was with just frowned, shrugged his shoulders, and disappointedly stated, “I mean, OK.” It wasn’t as bad as Wanted, which is surely the sign of the Judgment Day’s arrival. The movie’s annoying fans have managed to ruin some of the movie for me too, which is tough because I already left the theater disappointed. Final Grade: a generous C.
Seeing as I enjoy laughing when I go to comedies, I found Step Brothers to be miles better than Express. One of the big knocks on the movie is that the plot is stupid, and all it does is just look for laughs. It’s a comedy, who gives a shit if the premise is that two 40 year old dudes still act like kids then basically just fuck around for an hour and a half? Comedy is kind of like porn in the sense that plot really doesn’t matter that much. People watch each of the two genres for one reason only. They watch comedy to laugh, and porn because this is America and if you don’t like it you can just get out. I’ll reference The Big Lebowski, when the Dude says, “He fixes the cable?” The plot means nothing, no one’s trying to win an award when they’re making a pure comedy. They do have porn awards though. Anyway, I don’t see the point of fucking around, and I like it when comedies make the jokes their priority.
And secondly, Airplane, one of the greatest comedies ever, had a massively retarded plot, and spent the entire time doing anything to get a laugh. If the plot being stupid bothers you, but enough that you don’t find this or this or this funny, then I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends. So honestly, when did lack of intricate plot turn into a bad thing for comedies? Does that really annoy people more than when Adam Sandler movies spend their last 15 minutes attempting to show you that the movie has an extremely generic message? (Examples of Sandler movie morals: “Being yourself is the only way to be truly happy” or “Being yourself is the only way to be truly happy.”)
Basically from start to finish, every scene with Brennan (Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly) on screen together is absolutely hilarious. It starts at the first family dinner, with Dale coming back to a Brennan insult by saying, “Oh yeah. That joke is so funny, the last time I heard it I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur,” followed by Dale on the verge of tears for the next 15 seconds. After that, it never really looks back, except a slight lull towards the end of the movie which I won’t spoil for you. Honestly, the non-sports Ferrell comedies are all known quantities. (NASCAR isn’t a sport, so Ricky Bobby counts in the good Ferrell category.) You know what you’re getting when you go into them. There are always some side-splitting moments, and they are almost guaranteed to be as dumb as shit. Like the things they say immediately after waking up, or when they make the music video for their song “Boats N Hoes.”
Part of the fun of the movies though is a bit of a carry-over from Ferrell’s SNL days, when he would routinely crack up his co-stars on live TV. Since a lot of the lines in Step Brothers were improv, you can see that Ferrell and Reilly come dangerously close to making each other break out in laughter in pretty much every scene. I hadn’t laughed this hard at a movie since Superbad, and though Step Brothers was not quite as funny as that, it was still worth the money and had some moments that were among the funniest I’ve ever seen. The lines that sum up the movie for me are these two: “Oh God, it’s so slippery!” and “Oh my God that is so beautiful. What poem is that from, is that James Joyce?” Watch the movie with these in mind, and you’ll see that they basically sum up the movie’s essence. Incredibly stupid, and much much funnier for it.
Not the best comedy I’ve ever seen, but it was a lot of fun to watch. Highly recommended if you need a laugh: A-.
One of America's heroes, ridding the world of annoying hippies.