Featured DVD / Blu-ray Review: Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie is the second feature-length film based on an Adult Swim TV series. The first was Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. I liked that movie, certainly more than the average critic, but it is rare for a sketch comedy show to make the leap to theaters successfully. Will Billion Dollar Movie be one of the rare exceptions? Or should they have stuck with the TV show?
The film begins with a fake ad for the Schlaaang Chair and then a calibration for said chair before we get to the movie. That movie is, Bonjour, Diamond Jim, a short film starring Johnny Depp that the movie character Tim and Eric made. When they show it to the executives at Schlaaang, they are not impressed. The film is too short, even for a short film, it is poorly made, and it cost $1 billion. Oh, and their Johnny Depp was an impersonator. Now, Tommy Schlaaang, head of the Schlaaang corporation, is demanding the $1 billion back.
Now Tim and Eric have to think of a way to raise $1 billion. But first they decide to get really drunk. While peeing in the bathroom, one of them... Eric? Sees a commercial for a struggling mall that is in need of new management and the owner is willing to pay $1 billion to anyone who can save it. It's the opportunity they needed and they are off to S'wallow Valley to run the mall. It's a harder job than the commercial made it out to be.
Meanwhile, Tommy Schlaaang thinks the pair have skipped town and are running away from their billion dollar debt. He no longer wants the money, he wants bloody revenge.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is only an 11-minute show, even then it tends to be hit and miss. I believe even most fans of the show would agree with that. However, the show is so short and each bit goes by so fast, that you can forget the misses and concentrate on the hits. When it is stretched out into a movie, this doesn't work. Sketch comedy is rarely made into a feature-length movie. Brain Candy, UHF, The Meaning of Life, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Amazon Women on the Moon, and The Ten spring to mind. Including this movie, that's just seven films over a 35-year period, and of those, none of them were mainstream hits. All of them were hit and miss; it's not a question of whether or not some of the bits will fail to connect, it's whether or not the funny ones will be enough to compensate for the ones that are not funny. All of the films I mentioned above were funnier than Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. It's not even close.
The key to comedy is timing. Knowing when to end a joke to maximize the impact of the punchline is very important. I don't think there's a single instance in this movie where Tim and Eric actually manage to get this right. Jokes that might have been funny, if they were told succinctly, are stretched out well beyond recognition. And the jokes that had the potential to be funny were in the minority. Most of the time, I was unable to even recognize where the joke was supposed to be. Jokes that could have been funny the first time are repeated over and over again, which further hammers home how unfunny they are. Even the endless cameos become tiresome well before the movie is even halfway done.
The extras begin with an audio commentary track with Tim and Eric, but it is a rather lifeless track. There are seven deleted / extended scenes. Two interview featurettes, and the standard HDNet: A Look At. I don't have the Blu-ray to compare.
My expectations for Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie were a little on the low side, given its reviews and its box office numbers. However, I wasn't prepared for this. I literally did not laugh once at this movie. I spend more time impatiently waiting for scenes to end. No amount of extras would make the DVD or the Blu-ray worth renting. Skip it.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2012-05-07