Thursday, October 1, 2009

Year One DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Jack Black’s Raunchy Road Comedy Released on DVD

This sleazy Harold Ramis-directed Judd Apatow production is unfunny from beginning to end, starting with the moment when Jack Black’s character informs us that he’s slept with his own mother. But such behavior is ostensibly okay since he-man Zed (Black) is a Neanderthal, and the same can be said of his sidekick, Oh (Michael Cera), who conks a woman on the head with a club in order to have his way with her. How charming.
This is how we’re introduced to the crude cavemen at the point of departure, shortly before they are run out of their hometown, population 60, not for these crimes but because Zed takes a bite out of a piece of forbidden fruit dangling from an apple tree. In case you missed the allusion to Adam (Harold Ramis) and Eve (Rhoda Griffis), a snake soon materializes and slithers around Oh’s neck, choking him to death, at least until the next scene when he’s inexplicably alive again.
Not to worry, that’s neither the only time Oh dies (he’s also killed by a cougar) nor the only Biblical tale this mess of a movie takes poetic license with. Next, we find the pair in the midst of the sibling rivalry, as they fail to intervene as Cain (David Cross) bashes his brother Abel’s (Paul Rudd) brains in.
Zed and Oh’s lighthearted look at the Old Testament has them also crossing paths with such religious figures as Abraham, Isaac and Lilith on their testosterone-sodden sojourn to the city of Sodom. There, the plot thickens when the horny boys hatch a cockamamie scheme to free the enslaved objects of their affection (June Diane Raphael and Juno Temple).
What ensues is a cinematically-tragic blend of slapstick and bodily function fare, amounting to a horrifying insult to the intelligence, given all the talent squandered, including Bill Hader, Horatio Sanz, Hank Azaria, Vinnie Jones, Oliver Platt and that kid who played McLovin’ in Superbad.
Might not be Jack Black’s best film, but it’s definitely his worst.

Poor (0 stars)
Rated PG-13 for crude humor, slapstick violence, brief profanity and sexuality.
Running time: 97 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: 2 deleted scenes, 10 extended and alternate scenes, commentary by director Harold Ramis, Jack Black and Michael Cera, gag reel and a couple of featurettes.

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