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‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’ isn’t like watching paint dry; paint drying is funnier

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

Directed by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

United States, 2012

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie isn’t like watching paint dry. Paint drying is funnier.

Tim and Eric (comedians Tim Heidecker Eric Wareheim), are wannabe actors/directors who carelessly spend a Hollywood investor’s (Robert Loggia) billion dollars on a three minute flop-of-a-film. To recoup and save their own lives, they head to a rundown shopping mall on owner Damien Weebs’ (Will Ferrell) promise that if they can clean it up, they’ll make a billion dollars.

Boasting a number of wasted cameos, infomercial and instructional video parodies that are less funny than their source material, and gags recycled directly from the likes of Austin Powers and Monty Python, Tim and Eric’s is an excruciating 93 minute exercise in unfunny potty humor, not-so-subtle homophobia, and overplayed reaction shots and awkward pauses that fall short of the worst episode of Family Guy.

Tim and Eric’s sense of humor is akin to the amateur editor who just discovered the star wipe and thinks it hilarious to overuse. The problem is that it’s impossible to discern whether Tim and Eric actually think that poor editing, slowed down sounds, and body-fluid sound effects are funny, or if they just think they’re appropriate given the context.

Richard Ayoade made visible equipment, sloppy editing and fourth wall breaks very funny in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace because he had a very real handle on the medium, making those strategically placed moments act as an offset to the times when the production was fluidly handled.

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The irony in Tim and Eric’s is that the three minute film-within-a-film flop, featuring a Johnny Depp impersonator and a lot of Final Cut “dazzle” effects, is actually better than the subsequent 90 minutes.

Neal Dhand