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MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington Wilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on DVDs: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

TIM & ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE (Also Blu-ray/DVD Combo, with Digital Copy) (One Half Star)
U.S.: Tim Heidecker-Eric Wareheim, 2012 (Magnolia)

I have just one thing to say about this sorry excuse for a movie — this nauseatingly taste-challenged, almost putrefyingly preposterous goulash of scatological gags, failed nonsense, barf jokes, poop jokes, piddle jokes, and jokes that make you want to barf, poop and piddle — one thing to say about this inanely unfunny, deliberately misdirected or undirected farce about two nincompoops named Tim and Eric (played with zero zest by the cult comedy writer-directors Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, of the prize-winning, well-regarded web series “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”), who blow a billion dollars of mob money (the Schlaaang Mob, run by Robert Loggia as demented gangster Tommy Schlaaang and William Atherton as right-hand crook Earle Swinter) spending it all on a moronic movie, starring an inept Johnny Depp impersonator (Ronnie Rodriguez), and are consequently marked for either full psyment of the squandered billion or a double-whack by the Schlaaang gang… but who manage to escape to the heartland and the sleazily ramshackle and falling-apart-at-the-seams Swallow Valley Shopping Mall –a bankrupt commercial “mecca” whose gallery of failing schlock shops are a sure cure for shopaholics — a hellhole inhabited by more idiots and a wolf or two, including the uncredited John C. Reilly as the affably deranged halfwit Taquito, the uncredited Will Ferrell as the stomach-churning con guy Damien Weebs, the uncredited Zach Galifianakis as the rustic simpleton Jim Joe Kelly (at least I think he was a rustic simpleton), Jeff Goldblum as “Chef” Goldblum, Twink Caplan as the strong-stomached love interest Katie, some poor shmo who owns a boutique that sells used toilet paper (this is not a joke), and the uncredited Bozo McWhizzy, in a cameo appearance as a talking hemorrhoid (this is) — all of whom should have refused credit but all of whom nonetheless take part courageously in this less than socko if mind-bogglingly daring entertainment in a series of quasi-comedy scenes so lacking in comedy that they seemed to have been dreamed up by the Society for the Prevention of Laughter for a semi-annual telethon on stamping out humor — a mind-boggling fiasco that sometimes made me feel as I’d been shrunk to the size of The Incredible Shrinking Man and dropped into a spittoon… in any case, I have zero stars and, as I said a while back, one word for the flabbergasting dreck that is Bill & Ted’s Billion Dollar Movie (excuse me, Tim and Eric’s Excellent Adventure, er Billion Dollar Movie).

Awful.

One Response to “Wilmington on DVDs: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie”

  1. Kevin says:

    At some point you just need to realize that all the stuff you actually DO like, the same stuff everyone else agrees with you on, is just a thick protean slop keeping you sedated.

    Your hostile reaction to the ridiculous and your sense entitlement as the “audience” is exactly why they do what they do… it’s good for you.

    “*BOOM* Laugh” Watch that scene again. The explanation was for you.

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Wilmington

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MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

INTERVIEWER
Do you outline plays before you start to write them?

PINTER
Not at all. I don’t know what kind of characters my plays will have until they…well, until they are. Until they indicate to me what they are. I don’t conceptualize in any way. Once I’ve got the clues I follow them—that’s my job, really, to follow the clues.

INTERVIEWER
What do you mean by clues? Can you remember how one of your plays developed in your mind—or was it a line-by-line progression?

PINTER
Of course I can’t remember exactly how a given play developed in my mind. I think what happens is that I write in a very high state of excitement and frustration. I follow what I see on the paper in front of me—one sentence after another. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a dim, possible overall idea—the image that starts off doesn’t just engender what happens immediately, it engenders the possibility of an overall happening, which carries me through. I’ve got an idea of what might happen—sometimes I’m absolutely right, but on many occasions I’ve been proved wrong by what does actually happen. Sometimes I’m going along and I find myself writing “C. comes in” when I didn’t know that he was going to come in; he had to come in at that point, that’s all.
~ Harold Pinter

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