It looks as though a few Hollywood types are about to step out of their comfort zones and into genres not normally associated with them. Get your head out of the gutter, dude, I meant horror movies. Rumor has it that Natalie Portman and her production company Handsome Charlie Films are teaming up with The Pineapple Express and Superbad director David Gordon Green for a remake of the 1977 horror classic Suspiria.
The recently released Pineapple Express DVD is all it's cracked up to be and more, folks. It's funny, packed with goodies, and so very educational. Here, we share the knowledge, with five things the DVD taught us (we're talking about the two-disc set or the Blu-ray, by the way; you won't learn nearly as much from the cheap, lame edition).
It seems that I owe MWoP blogger Odie Henderson a dollar. Odie swore to me that Pineapple Express would not beat The Dark Knight at the box office this weekend, that in fact Batman would stay perched on his high gargoyle until Tropic Thunder came along. While that latter part remains to be seen, it does seem like my estimation of Seth Rogen and James Franco as Bat-breakers on a par with any of Arkham Asylum's inmates was incorrect.
If you look closely at James Franco's T-shirt in Pineapple Express, you'll see that it's one of the most awesome T-shirt designs ever: a shark devouring a kitten. When asked about it in interviews, Franco always credits the design to Pineapple director David Gordon Green, but that apparently isn't the case. T-shirt designers WOWCH created an astoundingly similar design for Urban Outfitters back in 2005, which was apparently tweaked and flipped to create Franco's movie getup. Unless Franco's drug dealer character traded merchandise with the knock-off clothing manufacturer next door, there better be a good explanation for this.
Seth Rogen just got a few inches closer to donning the Green Hornet costume. No, I'm not talking about his dramatic weight loss, I'm talking about the fact that they've lined up a director for his millionaire-superhero movie and a guy to play his chauffeur/sidekick, Kato! And, in a twist that perhaps nobody saw coming, they're the same dude. Stephen Chow, director/star of Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle is going to step into the role made famous by Bruce Lee and direct his first English-language film, both at the same time. Speaking of kung-fu hustles...
If this were a movie, we could call it Ballistic: Zach vs. Odie. Last week, I successfully challenged Zach about Pineapple Express not unseating The Dark Knight at the top of the box office chart, but he refuses to pay off our bet based on some fuzzy math he borrowed from a Hollywood studio. [The movie opened on a Wednesday! Obviously, the film would require opening-night revenue to pull off the victory. - Z] Today, the movie I predict will unseat the Batman opens, and if I am right, I should get my dollar bet with interest. Our female contributors here at Movies Without Pity are probably shaking their heads at the typical exploits of male one-upmanship, but at least we're not doing mixed martial arts fighting in the lobby. Score one for us guys for restraint!
Pineapple Express sets you up to think of it as nothing more than a stoner comedy, from the trailer to the posters all the way to the movie's opening sequence -- in which Seth Rogen's character, Dale, calls in to a talk radio show and tells them that pot needs to be legal because it makes everything better, even "shitty movies." This early in the movie, it hasn't gotten funny yet, so your thought then might be, "Hey, at least they're honest enough to tell us we should be high to enjoy this."
Pineapple Express underachieved on its opening weekend, causing the Watchmen-addicted Zach to incorrectly predict it would unseat The Dark Knight. I challenged him, stating that Tropic Thunder would be Batman's nemesis. He said I was crazy, and I was -- like a fox! Let's look at this logically: On one hand, you have a stoner movie. They're having a resurgence thanks to Judd Apatow and company. On the other hand, you have a movie that, in the name of satire, makes fun of Blacks, Asians, and the mentally challenged. It also has a Scientologist using more Jewish stereotypes in his performance than a Mel Brooks movie on crack. And let's not forget the gory war violence and farts! How could anybody predict that Middle America would resist this movie?! You don't need to be Miss Cleo to get this one. While I wrestle Zach for the one measly dollar I've won, which he refuses to pony up, here are this weekend's box office numbers.
Okay, so, thanks to the movies we all know how to kill vampires, right? You spear them with a wooden stake through the heart, or chop their heads off, or send them off to the beach at noon without a drop of sunblock. There's a veritable smorgasbord of kill-em-up choices! We also know how to kill werewolves: Plug those bad puppies with a silver bullet and then avert your eyes (while peeking through your fingers) as the fresh corpses inevitably morph back into buck-naked human beings. Traditional monster movies are full of ways to kill those baddies, but what do they say about mummy nullification? Seriously, I really need to know how to kill one, because according to the MTV Movies Blog, director Rob Cohen wants to follow up The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with a fourth installment. And wait till you see who he wants for his next mummy.
How do you follow up a broad, slapsticky stoner action-comedy like Pineapple Express? Well, if you're director David Gordon Green, and your previous film was the intensely depressing small-town drama Snow Angels, you choose to adapt a somber, suspenseful comic-book tale of mutant freaks fleeing their murderous parents in the midwest. The comic book is Freaks of the Heartland, by 30 Days of Night writer Steve Niles and Conan and Matrix artist Greg Ruth, and you can think of it as a less-cheerful Goonies, although that's as bad a simile as anything, really.