Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie-attachment0

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

Movie Information

The Story: Two talentless bozos make a movie about two talentless bozos making a movie, losing a fortune and trying to recoup that money by reviving a rundown mall before the gangsterish producers of their movie catch up with them. The Lowdown: Quite possibly the worst movie ever made, which, I suspect, will be taken as praise by the Tim and Eric contingent.
Score:

Genre: Unfunny Terminally Hip Comedy
Director: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
Starring: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, John C. Reilly, Twink Caplan, Robert Loggia
Rated: R

I am starting this review with what might be termed a spoiler, so read on at your peril. There’s a scene late in Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie where Eric (Eric Wareheim) pays a visit to the Shrim Institute in order to benefit from the healing power of “shrim.” It turns out that the therapy involves putting the underwear-clad Wareheim (not a pretty sight in itself) in a bathtub, whereupon four robed boys back up to the tub and release their “shrim” (the “movie’s” quaint term for explosive diarrhea) on him till the tub is filled. As far as I’m concerned the whole movie is “shrim.” The Human Centipede movies look good by comparison.

Now, I know that those who are all hip and “in the know” will say that this is absurdist humor, steeped in irony of the finest kind, that Messrs. Heidecker and Wareheim are so post-modern that they’re post-post-modern—maybe post-post-post-modern—and that this sort of anti-comedy is the ne plus ultra of cutting-edge humor: Comedy with no laughs. I suppose that 40 years ago when John Waters—before he realized that the real path to subversion lay elsewhere—was first perpetrating far cleverer outrages on his own dime and without the help of a posse of celebrity buddies, there was something at least a little bit dangerous about it. But today this is simply infantile, and defending it with a lot of pseudo-intellectual hooey reminds of Edward G. Robinson proving that he’s “crawlin’ with culture” in The Little Giant (1933) by explaining a modern painting to his sidekick—“It’s got dynamic rhythm and tone color, but it ain’t got a nickel’s worth of perspective. Go on, point out some perspective in there—I dare you! You know, that’s the last word in art—pictures without any perspective.”

The idea behind all this is that Tim and Eric are funny because, you see, they aren’t funny. More, they are deliberately trying to not be funny. I will say that in this capacity these boys are certainly geniuses. (I can see that now being used as a breakout quote. Now, that would be funny.) Not once in the entire 93 minutes of Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie did anything provoke so much as a chuckle out of me. This doubtless proves that I just don’t “get it.” Maybe I just don’t want it.

The film has a sort of story that involves Tim and Eric squandering a billion dollars on a bad movie that runs about three minutes because they blew the budget on other things. Not unreasonably, the producer, Tommy Schlaang (Robert Loggia, who ought to know better), wants his money back. Their big idea to recoup this money is to rebuild the S’wallow Valley Mall, because an advert by mall owner Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell at his worst) promises whoever can make the mall succeed will make a billion dollars.

Of course, the mall is a disaster. It has shops no one would frequent (like a used toilet paper store), is filled with homeless people, has a moronic slob (John C. Reilly) for a security guard (I guess), and a wolf. It also has a 65-year-old woman (Twink Caplan) for Eric to fall in love with (complete with masturbation gag) and a 10-year-old boy (Noah Spencer) for Tim to become too attracted to. I think I’m meant to be shocked by all this—much like the “shrim” scene. The truth is it tries so hard to shock that it’s just tedious. And, oh, yes, it’s bad. In fact, I’ll be greatly surprised if anything this bad comes along again this year—or any other year, come to that. Rated R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, comic violence and drug use.

 

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

63 thoughts on “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

  1. Me

    I was kind of disappointed that some of there talent for bad video editing and home movie aspects wasn’t used more.

  2. Ken Hanke

    I couldn’t even make it through the trailer. At least Justin didn’t have to suffer through this.

    Oh, but it’s okay for me to…

  3. Ken Hanke

    I also find them hilarious.

    Well, we part company there.

    I haven’t seen this movie yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

    You could have my viewing if I could figure out how to give it back.

  4. Bert

    “Messrs. Heidecker and Wareheim are so post-modern that they’re post-post-modern — maybe post-post-post-modern”

    Any work of art which places more than one “post” in front of “modern” is no longer a work of art. I have no idea how this film got made. Maybe an elaborate practical joke to convince everyone of the meaninglessness of existence? Even watching a preview is torture. Thankfully Burton’s Dark Shadows trailer is finally about to drop. We can focus on an artist with a sense of integrity and self worth and push these bozos from our minds.

  5. Andy

    [b]Oh, but it’s okay for me to…[/b]
    Now, now.. Justin had to endure [i]Project X[/i] and that new Eddie Murphy.. thing.

  6. Ken Hanke

    Justin had to endure Project X and that new Eddie Murphy.. thing.

    I dunno. This strikes me as equal to four Eddie Murphies, three Adam Sandlers, two Rob Schneiders, and one faith-based drama.

  7. Me

    How is it not art just because of some label somebody has put on it?

    I liked Nathan Rabins comment on the film.

    “Tim & Eric

  8. brebro

    Well, now I’m confused. According to Entertainment Weekly, this movie “mercilessly lampoons an idiot America drowning in corporate flim-flam” which is revealed in “everything from the inanities of big screen story-telling (which Tim and Eric tweak by mocking their own film) to a gluten-nightmare chain restaurant..” but I never felt I ever “got” their TV show (despite it being titled both “Awesome” and “Great Job”) and am afraid I might be one of the “miss” people who is immune to what Mr. Gleiberman describes as “vicious mirth” that is “hit-or-miss but contagious” and rates a B+ as opposed to Mr. Hanke’s half-star rating and pronouncement of it possibly being the worst movie ever made. I think, to be safe, I will go with the latter opinion and wait for the verdict of history.

  9. Ken Hanke

    I never felt I ever “got” their TV show

    From the 20 or so bits from their TV show on Youtube (I gave up after that), I kind of doubt you’d “get” the movie any more so.

  10. Orbit DVD

    I make tons of money off of these guys, but I have to admit that I don’t get it.

    We went to see them at the Grey Eagle and was treated to them dressed as Papa Johns employees and they did a Papa Johns chant that seemed to last 10 minutes.

    Their defenders always have the same excuse, “it’s not supposed to be funny.” In my mind that means that they are not funny.

  11. Ken Hanke

    Their defenders always have the same excuse, “it’s not supposed to be funny.” In my mind that means that they are not funny.

    But if you were really cool you’d see how funny that is.

    I have a friend who took his girlfriend to see them. She wanted to leave after five minutes. He insisted they stay to see if it got better. It didn’t, but the upshot was that his girlfriend wouldn’t even speak to him for two months.

  12. Ken Hanke

    Oh, and, Barry, much as I abominate Tim and Eric (with whom I see no connection to Firesign Theater), I not only marked the passing of Peter Bergman, but tracked down a copy of The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra.

  13. Barry Summers

    Oh My Gods!! I’ve been looking for a vinyl copy of that for years, after mine was stolen. It’s not only the most brilliant Holmes parody ever, it’s surreal, smutty, drug infested, and sci-i too.

    “Pickles down the rat hole!!!”

  14. Ken Hanke

    Dark Shadows. Hell no.

    It’s not like the TV show was actually good. Anything he does is likely to improve it.

  15. Me

    On the flip side of the coin you have people that say “you have to be cool to get it” rather than just have a sense of humor.

  16. Ken Hanke

    Looks like Burton Lite, fun as it may be.

    Juxtaposed with crap like Tim and Eric it looks like genius. What intrigues me is how much anger it’s apt to generate from people who insist on taking the TV show seriously. (Really, the show was a soap opera — or daytime drama — with all the writing and production value that suggests.) This looks like Burton in something like Mars Attacks! mode.

  17. Xanadon't

    This looks like Burton in something like Mars Attacks! mode.

    Yep, down to the music choices. I’m okay with that.

  18. Ken Hanke

    I’m good with the music choices, too, though what of that’s in the film remains to be heard. A little T Rex always gets bonus points with me.

  19. Barry Summers

    Hey Orbit – in the immortal words of (uh)Clem, from I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus,

    “Are you a machine that only answers no?”

  20. bill smith

    These guys are part of the ‘not funny’ comedy category. Just stupid, ‘shocking’ things meant to be unfunny funny, or something. Yawn. I’d rather watch an Adam Sandler marathon.

  21. Me

    I laughed a couple of times at the Dark Shadows trailer but it was otherwise recycled “fish out of water” jokes. Burton needs to get uncomfortable for once, maybe something that’s not a complete alternate of anything Edward Gorey ever did.

  22. Barry Summers

    Oh, and, Barry, much as I abominate Tim and Eric (with whom I see no connection to Firesign Theater)…

    Except they both use criticism or parody of the medium they use (cable TV for T&E, radio for FS) as a vehicle to base their mocking of the general society on. Watch “Numbers Just For Men” and tell me it isn’t reminiscent of a Firesign Theatre commercial:

    http://video.adultswim.com/tim-and-eric-awesome-show-great-job/numbers-just-for-men.html

    Or this one, “Prices”. Tell me you couldn’t see Ralph Spoilsport himself doing this ad, bless his heart:

    http://video.tvguide.com/ID/1788110

  23. Ken Hanke

    Except they both use criticism or parody of the medium they use (cable TV for T&E, radio for FS) as a vehicle to base their mocking of the general society on. Watch “Numbers Just For Men” and tell me it isn’t reminiscent of a Firesign Theatre commercial

    Except that it’s not in the least bit funny.

  24. Barry Summers

    Except that it’s not in the least bit funny.

    …to you.

    Some years ago, I took my favorite uncle to see my favorite movie at the time – Raising Arizona. I was sure he would love it – he’s smart as a whip, has a sharp and deep sense of humor, and we generally laugh at the same things.

    But when we came out, he was pissed at me – why had I had I got him all jazzed up about seeing some really funny movie, but then wasted his time on one without a single funny thing in it?

  25. Ken Hanke

    …to you.

    Yes, of course. I can’t pretend to speak for anyone else, though I don’t actually know anyone personally who finds them funny.

    I doubt it’s related, but Raising Arizona is close to being my least favorite Coen Bros. movie.

  26. Barry Summers

    I doubt it’s related, but Raising Arizona is close to being my least favorite Coen Bros. movie.

    Wow. Is there an setting on the website somewhere that I can’t find, that adjusts the amount of ‘cranky’?

  27. Ken Hanke

    I don’t think so, but you might use this as a barometer of whether or not you should take your uncle to see Tim and Eric.

  28. brebro

    Raising Arizona is one of my top funniest movies of all time and definitely one of the few Coen Bros. movies I would watch over and over again.

  29. Ken Hanke

    I should perhaps note that Tim & Eric will be but a memory on local screens come Friday. Considering their “billion dollar” movie actually cost three million, but has grossed about $156,000 (nationally), I think we may conclude that it tanked.

    • Barry Summers

      Obviously, it’s the video sales they’re counting on.

      And the merchandising. And that all-important Indonesian market. They love all things T & E…

      I have no idea. Somebody’s probably gonna lose their shirt on this one.

      If only they had cast Jude Law and Bruce Willis in the title roles!!

    • Barry Summers

      Hey, I’d buy a set in a heartbeat! Orbit? Are you there? Are you stocking up on Tim & Eric crap?

      Meanwhile, The Artist bobbleheads are gathering dust…

  30. brebro

    Hey, this movie is FREE if you have Amazon Prime (which I do) so I’m watching it right now and not only am I unenthralled enough to be typing and looking up old reviews on my iPad during it, but I also want my money back.

  31. bsummers

    OK, after digesting this movie for a few months now, I’d like to apologize to anyone who saw it because I recommended Tim & Eric. I love their show, but hated this movie…

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