Saturday, July 07, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (2012) ½*

R, 93 min.
Directors/Writers: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
Starring: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Robert Loggia, William Atherton, Twink Caplan, John C. Reilly, Jeff Goldblum, Jon Baggio, Will Ferrell, Will Forte, Zach Galifianakis, Ray Wise, Matt O’Toole

There is this trend in comedy filmmaking that I think was originally birthed in the spoofs of Mel Brooks and the Zucker brothers. I refer to it as moron comedy. Those masters never depended solely on moron comedy, but it consists of allowing your main characters to be so moronic you build comedic moments around it. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, who became popular on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming, deal in a comedy style that seems to consist of nothing but moron comedy. Tim and Eric are the morons.

It should be no surprise then that “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” is totally moronic. I’ve never seen any of their Adult Swim work, but it must work better in a short sketch format than it does in a feature-length movie, otherwise they never could’ve gotten this movie financed. Luckily for its producers, it only cost a little over $200,000 to make, rather than the exaggerated one billion of its title. Still, there must’ve been a better way to use $200,000 dollars. Since it was unable to make its meager production budget back, burning the money would most certainly have been a better use of it.

What’s really shocking is that these morons were able to get A-list help in the forms of Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Robert Loggia, John C. Reilly, and Will Forte. They even suckered the incredibly underrated Ray Wise into a thanklessly disgusting scene. Why would these stars want to contribute to such a terribly conceived movie? Ferrell even produced the movie through his new Funny Or Die feature studio. Please Will, pick your projects more carefully. It is unfair for such a talented comedian to force such inanity upon an unsuspecting public.

There is almost no value to be found in “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie”. I think I can see the appeal of Tim and Eric’s style. They have a fearlessness in their comedy. Their clueless characters could produce some funny awkwardness with the right material, but the writing is so poorly done here it is almost painful to watch. Plus, there’s the fact that the moronic comedy hero thing has been done and done again so many times since Brooks and the Zuckers mastered the practice. We get it. These guys are so stupid; they’ll survive no matter what. I’m pretty positive I couldn’t survive another Tim and Eric movie, though.

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