I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tropic Thunder vs. Pineapple Express

Ah, the year was two double aught eight; Michael Phelps' dominance was leading to Americans watching swimming in record numbers; the search for Bobby Fischer was called off when he died; Axel Rose finally released Chinese Democracy; television's hilarious writers continued striking for more of that internet money; and that summer, there was a intense political debate over which movie would be better, Seth Rogen's stoner epic Pineapple Express or Ben Stiller's controversial look at the Vietnam war in Tropic Thunder. 

Fortunately, that debate was finished as soon as they came out as Pineapple Express sucked, and Tropic Thunder turned out so good, it even made Tom Cruise look good.  That's a powerful film right there. 

What's bizarre is both films sit in my DVD/BlueRay/PS3/Wii disc rack, and I probably watch them both equally.  Pineapple Express is appealing for when you're in the mood to take a nap or even go to bed.  You know it's not going to be that good, but at the same time, you know you're going to have fun when "Red" gets on the screen because he's really the only funny character in the movie, well Ed Begley Jr. in his limited role is funny too.  James Franco is a big reason why I stopped smoking pot for awhile many years ago.  When I think of the things I hate in life, be they MTV; pro-life until birthers; Al-Qaeda; and Boston sports fans; the Hollywood Stoner stereotype also makes that list (but most after all of the above).  Though true that I may have met stoners like James Franco's character, or that white dude from Half-Baked who's equally as annoying, those are the stoners I'd typically avoid trying to have conversations with.  Seeing I hate the stereotype, I can't get into the movie.  Rogen isn't a stereotype of a stoner, he's just a stoner.  There's a great difference between the two characters. 

Another thing these two movies have in common is they both are "Action-Comedies" a la Beverly Hills Cop.  I don't like comedies mixing their genres.  I'm basically like a southern dad from the 1980s seeing his daughter come home with an ethnic.  Comedies get ruined when elements of drama are mixed in (see Evan and Seth arguing in Superbad).  They're not ruined with gun shootouts or other action film gimmicks but it's usually awkward and reduces a film's comfortableness when you're trying the mellow out with laughter as you watch it.  Tropic Thunder does a pretty good job with it (aside from casting that kid as the leader of the heroin dealers, it just wasn't funny), but the end of Pineapple Express is nearly as bad as the beginning, well, aside from the big three eating breakfast at the very very end, that was fun. 

Ultimately, what stands out of Tropic Thunder most is Robert Downey Jr. pretending he's black, which will always be funny.  Hell, he was nominated for an Oscar for that performance and probably would've won if he wasn't competing against the posthumous Heath Ledger.  Supporting actors have been great lately, check this out.  I've never seen The Fighter but I imagine it was good as was Christian Bale, who was the winner.  Christoph Waltz won for Inglorious Basterds; Heath Ledger beat Robert Downey Jr. and Philip Seymour Hoffman (who seems to get nominated for either this or lead every year), and Javier Bardem won the year before that for playing Anton Chigurh.  That's a nice little streak.  It even goes back further than that, but if you're interested in that, well, that's why we have the internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment