Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

The only reason I watched Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie is because it played at Sundance, I have not watched any of their previous work on Funny Or Die or Adult Swim. I wish I’d watched the trailer before making the decision, so I could brace myself for the bullshit. The film begins with the actual Billion Dollar Movie’s screening to execs at Shlaaang Corp, who gave Tim Heideicker and Eric Wareheim a billion dollars and full creative control to make the film. Not a good idea. The film sucks, a lot, and it’s too short to have cost that much. The Schlaaang Corp wants their money back. As the two wonder how they could possibly come up with a billion dollars, they see an ad for the management of a mall, where they’re promised…guess what…a billion dollars to run the mall.

The film is deliberately very silly, with somewhat second-rate, dystopian comic book components, like the wolf. It’s a hard film to judge. Why? Well, when a film looks like it was obviously made to be bad, how do you rate it? If it’s actually bad, they reached their goal, right? They were effective. Do you judge it then for its badness? If it’s bad enough, if they got it right. Weirdly, I can’t really say the performances were bad. Even John C. Reilly’s kind of annoying Taquito was fairly good, within the context of the film.

Something I can say they got right is the kid Eric ‘adopts.’ The point of the film was that he was cute. And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cuter child. The large eyes, curly hair, pale, almost glowing skin…wait, am I describing the beauty of a child?! Anyway, point is, it was more understandable than creepy why Eric would be so taken by the child. If there was ever a classy treatment of behavior that was be considered borderline paedophilia, I’ll say Tim & Eric skirted that line fairly well enough.

The nudity wasn’t as gratuitous as I’d expected it to be. When you’re watching a film that you can clearly see is bad, you go on because you know there might be some skin to pay to reimburse you for your loyalty/mistake.

One thing that might be surprising is the ‘big’ stars that take up the supporting roles. John Galifianakis plays a Hellon-like spiritual leader, Jim Joe Kelly. By that, I mean the kind who insists you live with them. John C. Reilly (one of the coolest actors around, in my opinion) as Taquito, Jeff Goldblum as Chef Goldblum, Will Forte as a super-rude swords salesman and Will Ferrell as, Mr. Weebs, the owner of the mall.

So, was the film funny? I remember laughing about three times. The shooting scene with Mr. Weebs, the initial meeting at the swords shop and maybe bits of the Chef Goldblum ads. Laugh out loud scenes were rare for me, but I’msure there’s a huge market there for this kind of nonesense. I mean, I sat in a cinema hall as people laughed at the jokes as the Jack & Jill trailer played. There are a lot of amusing things about the film, though. Mostly, it’s the kind of businesses found in the mall, the swords salesman, the celebrity balloon shop and the other spiritual leader and his sons. You have to watch it to know why they are funny.

As bad as I think the film was, I still found it watchable. If it set out to be silly, it succeeded. So, I guess it’s a good bad movie.

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