Jack Black, Michael Cera, David Cross, Hank Azaria, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Oliver Platt, Bill Hader, Kyle Gass, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde, Juno Temple, June Diane Raphael and Vinnie Jones
Out to buy on Blu-Ray/DVD 02/11/09
"What are these big, round things for?"
Zed (Black) isn’t the best hunter in the village but his best friend Oh (Cera) is an expert gatherer and when Zed fails again in the big hunt he decides to take drastic action. Eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge is strictly forbidden but Zed thinks he needs that edge but all he ends up getting is expelled village. With Oh joining him, the pair set out to discover what is beyond the forest but even Zed’s new found knowledge could have never prepared him for civilisation.
History can provide many a story but can it combine these stories with comedy or will it just end up been in the Stone Age?
Producer Judd Apatow can do no wrong in Hollywood at the moment. With hits like ‘Superbad’, ‘Knocked Up’, ‘Step Brothers’, ‘The 40 Year-Old Virgin’ and ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, the box office loves him. When it was announced that he would be teaming up with comedy legend Harold Ramis, the man behind ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Analyse This’, ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘Caddy Shack’, ‘Stripes’ and ‘Animal House’, to produce a comedy set at the start of civilisation, comedy fans instantly took note but unfortunately neither of these comedy big hitters provide the keep ingredient for any film of this type to work, laughs.
This is the story of Zed and Oh, two men who are banished from their hunter/gather tribe in the north and set out for an adventure in the cradle of civilisation. Here they get caught up in Old Testament, biblical stories like Cain and Abel, Abraham and Isaac and bring about the fall of Sodom, all in the name of comedy but even though the high concept should be conducive to comedy but unfortunately the movie only every manages to raise little more than a smile.
Bringing the prehistoric story to life are two of comedy’s shining lights, Jack Black and Michael Cera. Jack Black’s big screen career is a mixed bag, as his performances can be a joy or just plainly annoying. For every ‘School of Rock’, ‘Be Kind Rewind’ and ‘High Fidelity’, there is a ‘Shallow Hal’, ‘Envy’ and ‘Tropic Thunder’ were he just becomes annoying. As Zed in ‘Year One’ he is a mixture as he plays that overly confident, slightly overweight guy who shouldn’t really get the girl. Michael Cera on the other hand, is quickly becoming the geeky actor of choice for many a director. After getting noticed in the cult TV show ‘Arrested Development’, Cera’s career took off with critically acclaimed performances in ‘Superbad’, ‘Juno’ and ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ and as Oh, he continues to make waves in Hollywood as the charming, insecure geek who you want to succeed. The problem is that the comedic chemistry between the two isn’t as strong as it should be, minimising the laughter.
The supporting cast try their best. Oliver Platt has fun as the High Priest, David Cross is as funny as every playing Cain, Hank Azaria hams it up as Abraham and McLovin himself Christopher Mintz-Plasse is good as Isaac. Throw in love interests Juno Temple and June Diane Raphael and also the beautiful Olivia Wilde as Princess Inanna, and you have a supporting cast that should have brought something to the movie.
‘Year One’ is a comedy that is missing big, belly laughs. Only ever managing to raise a smile, this is a prehistoric movie that doesn’t quite take us back to the Stone Age but because of a good supporting cast, provides some amusement.
Bonus Material Included on All Versions
- Both Theatrical and Uncut Versions of the Film
- 2 Deleted Scenes
- Commentary with Director Harold Ramis, Jack Black and Michael Cera
- 10 Extended and Alternate Scenes
• Gag Reel
- “Year One: The Journey Begins” Featurette
Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Material
- Alternate Ending: Sodom’s Destruction
- “Sodom's Got'em” Featurette
- “Leeroy Jenkins: The Gates of Sodom” Featurette
- Year One Cutting Room: Create your own video and share it via BD-Live! (A Blu-ray first)
- cinechat: Send on-screen instant messages to your friends around the world while you watch the movie together
- movieIQ: Real-time in-movie information about the cast, crew, music and production via BD-Live (Domestic Only)
- A Digital Copy of the film for PC, PSP®, Mac or iPod
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