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June 10, 2012

Movie Review: Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie (2012)

I can't wait for all of the hate mail and complaints I get for this one. I know, I know, alternative comedians can do no wrong. If I don't like something they do, I'm just stupid and I don't get it. They are the geniuses of all genius and should be revered as such. I should immediately bow down before I go get some skinny jeans, an ironic ALF t-shirt and Buddy Holly eyeglass frames. Sure, that could be the reality of the situation, but it's not. I do get it, and it just isn't funny. Here's the thing. I like "alternative" comedians. I like David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Sarah Silverman as stand-up comedians. I like Mr. Show, The Benson Interruption and Todd Margaret. I even liked King of Queens and Just Shoot Me, which featured some of the pillars of alt comedy. Sometimes, though, the comedians you love so much will do some shitty things. Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie was definitely one of those shitty things.

George Carlin was in a movie that starred Bette Midler and Shelley Long. Bill Cosby was both Leonard and Ghost Dad. I don't even want to get into Richard Pryor's film career. Genius comedians can make bad movies. While I've never seen Tim and Eric's television show, I've heard the hype. If their movie is any indication, I'll let it stay in the hype stage in my brain, and I'll never fulfill the curiosity that I once had.

The movie sets Tim and Eric in a film studio where they show the fruits of their labor to the executives that gave them a billion dollars to make a movie. When the result is a disastrous short film, the execs exercise a clause in the contract that states they can recover the billion dollars. Tim and Eric try to find a way to make the billion back and seem to find their chance by running a nearly abandoned shopping mall. The mall is run by a madman whose sickly nephew lives in the basement. The mall has stores run by crazy characters. Things happen. Kevin gets bored.

I had a few little laughs in the movie, but that was about it. There was stuff that I'd seen before, and as haphazard as the story was, one action led me to predict the next five. I've already seen the over-the-top love scene between a young guy and an old lady in Grandma's Boy. I've seen a guy that wouldn't die no matter how many times he was shot in several movies. Poo is not funny unless you make it funny. Poo for the sake of poo is just that. While cameos and a star-studded cast are nice (Jeff Goldblum, Robert Loggia, William Atherton, Zach Galifianakis, John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, Will Forte), they can't save a bad movie (See Mars Attacks. Actually, don't see it. For the love of God, NEVER see it!). Maybe this works in fifteen minute increments, but it doesn't work in long form, Shrim or no Shrim.

Unless you're already a Tim and Eric fan, skip this. It's bad, and it's too long, even at just over ninety minutes. Go ahead, call me an asshole. Write about what an asshole I am on Facebook. Tell me I don't get it. It's a shame that the alternative world is full of people who are so afraid of criticism that they can't even be honest enough with each other to say that something they did is bad. Sadly, they draw fans of the same ilk. The same people are happy to shit on Jeff Dunham or Carrot Top, but not the precious alternative comics, who mostly are just the same as traditional comics, except with nerdy references. Put that in your screed and smoke it.

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