Hello, everybody! Before I get into my review of the movie Year One, I just want to let you know where I’ve been for the last couple months. I found my way into the World of Warcraft and have been battling the forces of the Scourge and the Bich King to save Azeroth. I’ve managed to get my main character, a Night Elf Druid named Nagaira to level 59 and my Death Knight named DameNagaira to level 62, but I’ve gotten a bit burned out on it… Azeroth will have to find another hero to save them for a while… lol. Mags has even gotten into it, but she plays like a girl. Her idea of playing WoW is to ride boats, trams and flights and to camp out in the inns. She cries about having to kill the tigers, lions, wolves, killer bunnies… and she doesn’t like to read the quest info, so basically, she never levels and everything can kill her. So, I made a Death Knight for her that we can share. I’ll level her, and she can run around where she wants without worry of death and resurrection… and finding her body, which can be a long, painstaking process because she likes to jump off cliffs, boats and buildings I couldn’t figure out how to res with the spirit healer until a couple weeks ago.
But… I’m back to reading and trying to make up for lost time. I’ve finished 3 books and am almost done with two more while away. I’ll get the reviews written up for them soon. :-)
So, now for Year One…
Year One is the result of a question posed by writer and director Harold Ramis: How would a person with modern-day sensibilities and consciousness get along in a biblical-times society? Particularly with the post-Christianity questioning and shifting ethics that is prevalent in many urbanites today. The resulting cultural shock of the “enlightened chosen one,” Zed (played by Jack Black), and his side-kick friend, Oh (played by Michael Cera), as they find themselves thrust out of their caveman-village after Zed eats the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is hilarious. In the span of 30 minutes or so, Zed and Oh witness the first fratricide when the meet Cain and Abel returning from their sacrifice, meet Lillith, the first lesbian, get sold into slavery, happen upon Abraham (played by Hank Azaria) as he’s about to sacrifice Isaac, get circumcised, travel to Sodom, join the city’s guard… only to end up as slaves, again. Yet through it all, Zed continues to insist he’s been chosen by God or “the gods” (he’s not sure which, just sure He or they aren’t female,) and Oh rolls his eyes and plays “Sancho Panza” to Zed’s “Don Quixote.”
This movie has a good mix of a fabulous cast who have great chemistry together, irreverent and iconoclastic humor, smart writing and pop-culture references (at one point, Oh chants, “Yes, we can!” and I nearly fell off my chair with laughter.)
There were several surprises when I watched the behind-the-scenes segment on the DVD. I was shocked when I found out that Oliver Platt had played the effeminent, pedophiliac high priest. I never even recognized him! I also hadn’t recognized Harold Ramis in the role of Adam, nor had I realized Isaac was played by the same actor who played McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). In Year One, Mintz-Plasse has long head-banger-like hair and is sans glasses, and Isaac, his character, is a kinda Heeb-wigger gangsta-wannabe (“I can see why his dad wanted to kill him,” Zed says at one point.) Also a cast surprise was David Cross as Cain. The whole time I watched the movie I kept trying to place the actor, and was convinced he was one of the Geico Cavemen, only to find out he played the only part of the Chipmunk movie I liked: Uncle Ian. I am still not completely convinced he didn’t play a Caveman.
One of my FAVORITE parts of Year One wasn’t even in the movie. In the special features section of the DVD is a fantastic little 2 minute video called “Leeroy Jenkins: The Gates of Sodom.” It’s a Year One‘s take on the now immortalized WoW raid. They even address the two raging factions (seriously, there ARE people bitter and angry at each other over this!): At the end of the clip, did Leeroy Jenkins huff “At least I AIN’T chicken” or did he brag “At least I HAVE chicken?” (Of course Isaac plays Leeroy… he did a Leeroy move in the movie, too, that got Zed and Oh in trouble while he ran off yelling, “Peace out, SUCKAS!”)
Things I could’ve lived without… they do go a bit far with the poop and pee jokes, but those are the same scenes that my 15 and 17 year olds repeat again and again… and again. Also, there are sexual references and innuendos throughout the movie (they spend half of it in Sodom, you know, so you might find yourself barraged with uncomfortable questions by younger children… “Why is that girl eating a banana like that? Why does that boy like watching her? What does she mean, she likes to have sex with girls? What is sodomy and why is it the best thing?”) and, at one point, Cain cajoles Oh’s desire to save himself for the girl he loves by saying, “What transpires within the confines of the walls of Sodom, stays within the confines of the walls of Sodom.”
Oh, a little funny side thought here… Michael Cera played Paulie Bleeker, the hapless, accidental father-to-be to Ellen Page‘s Juno in the award-winning 2007 film Juno, and in Year One, his character Oh’s love interest, Eema, is played by British actress Juno Temple. Just thought that was neat. ;-)
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