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Laramie Movie Scope:
Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

One of the worst movies I've ever seen

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 26, 2012 -- This astonishingly unfunny comedy is apparently based on characters seen in “Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Good Job” TV series, “Tim & Eric Nite Live” TV series and a Tim & Eric Podcast, which together ran from approximately 2006 through 2010. If you happen to be a fan of Tim & Eric, then you may find this movie funny. I have not seen any of their previous material, but it can't be too bad because they got the money to make this movie and they got some major acting talent to appear in it too (including Jeff Goldblum as “Chef Goldblum” in a fake commercial).

In this film, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, who wrote and directed this film, play themselves, or rather caricatures of themselves. They are given a billion dollars to make a movie, but waste most of it on makeovers, diamonds, and a spiritual guru, Jim Joe Kelly (played by Zach Galifianakis of “It's Kind of a Funny Story”).

Tim and Eric show their three-minute film to the studio executives and their financial backers, who are not impressed. It consists of a Johnny Depp look-alike (Ronnie Rodriguez) walking down a Paris street to a cafe, where he presents a ridiculously large diamond ring to the pretty waitress (Erica Durance “The Butterfly Effect 2”). The money men, headed by Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia of “Independence Day”) and Earle Swinter (William Atherton of “Ghostbusters”) want their money back.

Tim and Eric fear they are ruined in Hollywood, as they were facing a lawsuit from their financial backers. Out of money (not really, but they act like they are), they have to fire Jim Joe Kelly, who then tries to kill himself in a swimming pool. He is saved by Tim and Eric, twice, because they threw him back in the pool. This sequence goes on for a while, until Jim Joe Kelly turns himself into a spirit and flies away, to appear again as an apparition in later parts of the movie.

Tim and Eric respond to their financial crisis in odd ways, having studs and piercings in private parts, having an arm partly sawed off then sewed back on. I know, it didn't seem funny to me, either. Then they see an advertisement on TV by Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell of “The Other Guys”) offering a billion dollars to anyone who can revitalize his run-down shopping mall. Tim and Eric head towards Weebs' S'Wallow Valley Mall, which is hundreds of miles away, walking the whole way with a funny walk (which would not get high marks from Monty Python's “Ministry of Silly Walks”), interspersed with images of horses for some reason.

When they get to the S'Wallow Valley Mall they find it is lined with homeless people and strange shops, like Reggie's Used Toilet Paper Discount Warehouse. There is a sword shop where the owner is paid not to sell swords. He is opposed to Tim and Eric's plans to make the mall profitable. About the only thing that makes sense in the movie is Tim and Eric's plans to clean up the mall, get rid of the stray wolf, clear out the vagrants and bring in shops that can actually make a profit. Among those at the mall is yet another good actor, John C. Reilly, who plays the perpetually coughing mall fixit man, Taquito.

When the financial backers learn that Tim and Eric have skipped town, they kidnap Tim and Eric's mothers and torture them to find out where they have gone. The torture includes cutting off one of the women's fingers. That is not the end of the blood. Several people are shot to death for laughs in the movie, including a child used for target practice. There are also some stabbings, throat-cuttings and decapitations. The wolf gets it, too. Most of the cast ends up dead at the end, but not really, because this is a movie within a movie. It is also kind of like a TV show because it has commercials, too, only not as entertaining as real commercials.

In another scene, children defecate on a man in a bathtub for laughs, and as part of a bizarre New Age therapy, until the bathtub is full and the man is completely submerged in runny excrement. This is not a normal sort of comedy. There are no half-measures here. It goes all the way beyond what most people would call good taste.

There are probably people who think this movie is funny. Somebody, somewhere must. I'm not saying it isn't funny. What I am saying is that if I happened to see this film in a movie theater, I would get up and walk out long before the end, something I very rarely do. We live in an age where it seems to be a race to the bottom, to see who can care the least about others. This film, to me, exemplifies that sentiment. It rates an F.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)