94 min. (plus extras)
$26.98 (DVD)/$29.98 (Blu-ray)/$34.98 (DVD and Blu-Ray Combo)
Available May 8
Grade: 3 stars (out of 4)
After more than 50 episodes of their awesome television show, where could Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim go? The answer is Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. Fans of the beloved cult TV show will find plenty to smile about in this often genius, consistently deadpan, and absurdly humorous movie about two guys who are given $1 billion to make a movie, and then go on the run when the money’s gone and the end result is less than desired by studio head/mob boss Robert Loggia. How did they get a billion dollars? It’s not necessary to know and the movie doesn’t explain. You find out all the above within the first few minutes of the movie.
They leave behind their $500,000-a-week guru, played by an uncredited Zach Galifianakis, who has apparently made it his admirable mission to appear in every major-studio movie made in the last couple years. OK, that’s hyperbole, but he’s been giving Samuel L. Jackson a run for his money. To be fair, Galifianakis (yes, I’m cut-and-pasting his name), appeared on the original Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show several times, so his presence here makes sense.
The plot thickens when they take over managing a bankrupt mall at the behest of a beleaguered and insane Will Ferrell. The mall is a demilitarized zone full of zany characters and, in turn, the perfect challenge for our heroes. And that’s the opening part of the movie. To say more would be to spoil. But it does have Saturday Night Live veteran Will Forte and the always impressive John C. Reilly.
Heidecker and Wareheim, who wrote and directed, possess an incredible talent for using dark, absurd humor to make people — as in viewers — uncomfortable. If you don’t go for that sort of chuckles, then stay away from this movie. For those who do, then the movie is a definite treat.
Besides an emphasis on silliness and bizarre personality traits, the movie also follows the Muppet movie formula in another key way: cameos, cameos, cameos. To name a few: Jeff Goldblum, Ray Wise, William Atherton, not Johnny Depp, Michael Gross, and the aforementioned Loggia. All are in fine form as stereotypes of characters they’ve made famous and that made them famous.
It also helps that this movie was released as part of Magnolia’s Magnet line, which has produced a ridiculous amount of solid and amazing films over the last several years. It is now what Lionsgate was for the first several years of its existence. In turn, many people will watch this movie simply because of the Magnet logo.
On the downside, the movie doesn’t finish as strongly as it starts. Sure, there are laughs throughout, but this would’ve been a more effective and entertaining work with about 10-15 minutes edited out.
The extras are bountiful and will keep viewers watching for hours. It’s a delight for Tim & Eric fans, to be sure.
For those unfamiliar with Tim & Eric, take the time to get to know them. Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie is the perfect place to start. For those familiar with the comedy duo, you’ve probably already picked up a copy of the film, so great job.
Ray Sidman is a former associate editor and longtime reviewer for Comics Buyer’s Guide. Read his reviews in CBG each month. You can read more Ray’s Reviews here.
(Image (c)2012 Magnolia Home Entertainment)