It is almost a year to the day before Columbia Pictures will be releasing THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, but David Green showed a small group of friends the most up-to-date cut yesterday afternoon. I don't want to deliver any spoilers, but I feel that I must write about it. This is the almost exact same cut that the audience will be watching at Tuesday night's test screening, so I'm very interested to read the comments on Ain't It Cool News that will almost certainly begin posting on Wednesday. Here are a handful of reviews from the first test screening, which apparently went really, really well. Now that I've seen it, I know why.
THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS is absolutely fucking h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. David seemed insecure that the only audience for this thing was 20-year-old dudes who smoke pot, but that isn't the case at all. At least if you take yesterday's reaction. I actually think it's somewhat groundbreaking in the way that it riffs on the action genre without parodying it outright. That's because there's a grounded humanity to the characters, even while they are doing completely preposterous, absurd shit. And they are doing some completely preposterous, absurd shit.
Another reason I'm convinced this film will transcend that limited audience and will actually have some major female appeal is James Franco, who's performance is absolutely incredible. I can't remember the last time I watched a movie in which a mere cut to a close-up of a character's reaction elicited laughs the entire time. I doubt the Academy will see fit to nominate his performance, but I'm not kidding when I say that he has my vote for Best Supporting Actor of 2008.
And then there's Danny McBride. I simply cannot believe some of the things that came out of this dude's mouth. Chris Gebert was right in saying that people will be quoting his character for years. It's no wonder that he's the new toast of Hollywood. After watching HOT ROD on Saturday and being disappointed that he never got to let loose even a little bit (well, maybe a very little bit), it was exhilarating to see him in a movie where his genius was allowed to unleash itself. I can't convey just how funny Danny is in this movie.
David Gordon Green has a major hit on his hands. He's the perfect director for this particular job, contrary to what many people might think. It's funny reading the Ain't It Cool News talkbacks where everyone seems to think that David sits around all day watching depressing dramas and has no appreciation for any other genre. Watching THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS will establish just how talented--and funny--he is.
I guess I'll stop writing about this before I give something away. There's also no real need to point out my suggestions for trimming (it's at 1:52 now but they're hoping to get it down to 1:45). We took care of that yesterday. All I can say is that I am so glad that I got to see this thing, and I can confirm that it is funnier than I hoped it would be. I cannot wait to see it with an eager audience. I guarantee there will be applause and standing ovations. THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS rocks!