Friday, June 19, 2009

Things to spend your money on that are not 'Year One'

So Harold Ramis' new comedy, Year One, opens today.

I went to see it, specifically to review it for this blog. As expected, as every critic has said, it was terrible. I did not laugh once. In fact, I spent most of the film thinking about leaving early.

Now, sometimes it's fun to write a bad review, especially when the bile flows easily. But Year One drained me. I have nothing to say about it except to tell you not to see it. It isn't worse than The Love Guru, but I'd sooner swallow a cyanide capsule than watch either film ever again, so I guess it doesn't matter in the end.

So, instead of going on and on about the utter failure of Year One, instead I will list the other, better things you can spend your time and money on this weekend.

1. The excellent Comedy and Everything Else podcast has not one but two shows out this week: an hour with Chris Hardwick, and then 2 hours with Patton Oswalt. Combined, these shows last a full 90 minutes longer than Year One, and contain approximately 200x the laughs.

2. And speaking of Patton, if you're in Los Angeles, The Silent Movie Theater is having Comedy Death Ray night tonight; Oswalt will be presenting God Told Me To, an exploitation flick from the 70's with Andy Kaufman. There will be beer and hot dogs, and the whole shebang starts at 8pm. Tickets are $14, which is about what you would pay to see Year One, except the odds that you will laugh at this event are astronomically higher than the odds that you will not want to kill yourself and everyone in your vicinity during a screening of Year One.

2. And speaking of Comedy and Everything Else, host Jimmy Dore's Comedy Central special, Citizen Jimmy, just popped up on Netflix's streaming service. So if you're a fan of the show and missed it, now's your chance to watch it from the comfort of your Xbox. Todd Glass makes a cameo appearance, too. Notably, the special is a bit old - it's from Summer 2008, so there's a ton of Bush material and some election stuff, which is incredibly dated, but still much, much funnier than anything in Year One.

3. And if you have Netflix Streaming, you can watch the entirety of the 10-episode borderline-brilliant, utterly hilarious original Starz series Party Down, a single-camera comedy which you will wind up watching in a single marathon session. It is good enough to alter your brain chemistry to where you will no longer be able to perceive the existence of Year One, meaning you will be able to go to the movie theater and you will not see it on the marquee. Which will be a blessed event.

4. Finally, a twist ending: you can take the $13.50 you would have spent on Year One, a comedy written and directed by Harold Ramis, and instead apply it to the purchase of his other mega-hyped project out this week, the Ghostbusters video game, which is a whole lot of fun and surprisingly funny for a video game. Ramis admitted recently in an interview that he and Dan Aykroyd didn't have much to do with the script, which might explain why it's actually funny and clever.

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