Movie Review: "Year One"

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Columbia Pictures and Apatow Productions (founder Judd Apatow) should have thought about it very thoroughly to change the name to “Year None,” since the movie had nothing to provide to the audience, not one bit of satisfaction. The movie was disappointing to say the least. You have two main characters an awful hunter, Zed (Jack Black) and an awful gatherer, Oh (Michael Cera) who are smitten by two of the women in their tribe Maya (June Raphael) and Eema (Juno Temple). Zed wants to desperately impress Maya that he can be a useful man to the tribe, so he decides to eat a golden apple from the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil. Zed begins to believe that he is becoming a genius but the tribe finds out what he did, so he is forced to leave the tribe. He decides to start his own tribe and as he leaves to explore the other parts of earth he accidentally sets fire to Oh’s house forcing Oh to join his quest. During their exploration, Zed and Oh encounter many biblical people. The first are Cain and Abel, and they witness Cain killing Abel thus forcing Cain to flee with them on their quest. They encounter another civilization where they find out that Maya and Eema have been enslaved and they ploy a plot to release them.

The film had too much potty humor that was childish. It took away from the clever humor that these comic genus’s could have provided. The film had wasted talent riding on this film. Paul Rudd and Bill Hader, two brilliant comic actors, wasted their talents on their cameo parts. Bill hader as the shaman was probably the only one that outshined the entire cast, which is sad to say. The ending credits were probably the funniest part of the movie because you got the chance to see the bloopers where the actors were honest in their comedy. The person to blame was Harold Ramis for not having a well-written script and no sense of direction. Ramis’ actors were all over the place without any clear direction to go. In the Abel and Cain scene, Cain (David Cross) did not know what he was doing. Cross is an amazing comic actor, yet he did not have a clear intention in the scene. Cross was just simply trying too hard because he was focused on being funny than being honest. The difference is that being funny is trying to make unfunny jokes funny, which can be Inevitable. Honesty is the key to funny which is as simple as playing your intention with action. At times, Jack Black and Michael Cera had the same problems. The blame really falls on the horrible script that didn’t provide clear intentions. It basically went for the potty humor, which is a cheap shot of making comedy films. Films that do this type of humor is not challenging, it would be understanable if it was half potty and half clever, yet it did not provide that.

Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Isaac) have a common acting ground, they tend to play the same character in every movie. They are one-dimensional actors that have no level of range. It is working for Cera because he does have a unique type of humor. His improvisational skills are very strong and at times can be limitless. Cera does need to take an acting class, which would make him unstoppable. On the other hand, Christopher Mintz-Plasse definitely needs to take an acting class. He is becoming annoying and if he keeps this up his fifteen minutes of fame will be up. He does deserve some credit with Role Models because he did play a role a little different from his Mclovin role from Superbad. In Year One, it seems that he reprised the role of Mclovin, which did not surprisingly fit in this type of film.

The costumes and make-up in the film was very valued for a comedy. The production value was up to par. It should be up to par if you have a budget of 60 million dollars. The gold make-up on Cera was priceless. The amazing make-up on Bill Hader was also priceless. Bill hader was completely unrecognizable. His impressions in the ending credits were great; one in particular was Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood.” His impression alone helped the film get a rating of 5 out of 10. Here is some advice; Judd Apatow is a genus when it comes to directing comedies. Everything he touches becomes gold. He should have directed this one when he read the script because he could have possibly salvaged some things from the awful script. Never mind, when you have a bad script it is Inevitable.

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