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MAGNOLIA

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
Cast:
Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Loggia, Jeff Goldblum, John C. Reilly , Zach Galifianakis, Will Forte, William Atherton
Writing Credits:
Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Jonathan Krisel, Doug Lussenhop, Jon Mugar

Synopsis:
Provided with a billion dollars for film production, Tim and Eric squander every dime and elicit the wrath of the sinister Schlaaang Corporation. With their lives in danger, they answer an ad promising a billion dollars for rehabilitating a bankrupt mall. Arriving with dollar signs in their eyes, they discover the job requirements include dealing with vagrants, bizarre stores of wacky owners, and a man-eating wolf. An all new feature film from the twisted minds of cult comedy heroes Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim ("Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job") featuring cameos from "Awesome Show" regulars and some of the biggest names in comedy today!

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$87.475 thousand on 25 screens.
Domestic Gross
$200.803 thousand.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 5/8/2012

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Writers/Directors/Actors Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• “Good Evening S’wallow Valley” Featurette
• “Interview with Tim and Eric” Featurette
• “HDNet: A Look at Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” Featurette
• Shrim Dance Screensaver
• Promo Videos
• Posters
• Photo Gallery
• Trailers and Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Tim And Eric's Billion Dollar Movie [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 4, 2012)

Although I’d heard of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! - a sketch series that ran on the Cartoon Network for about three years – I never saw it. (When one doesn’t have cable, one doesn’t see many cable programs.) With the arrival of Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie on my door, however, I decided I’d give the comedic stylings of Tim (Heidecker) and Eric (Wareheim) a look.

Mega-corporation Schlaaaang gives filmmakers Tim and Eric one billion dollars to make a movie called Diamond Jim. They squander all the money and end up with only a few minutes of usable footage, which gets them in serious trouble with corporate bigwig Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia).

Rather than go to jail, Tim and Eric determine to find a way to pay back the billion dollars. They see an ad that says they’ll make that much money if they run the S’wallow Valley Mall for Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell). This leads them on a quest to rehabilitate the bankrupt shopping center and raise the needed funds.

Should one expect a movie from guys who made their names in TV sketch comedy to create a coherent feature film? Probably not, but even with expectations for a loosely-constructed effort, Billion Dollar seems awfully disjointed. The narrative acts as nothing more than an excuse for a lot of random comedy bits, and it rarely comes together to create anything better integrated.

This works acceptably well for a little while, as Billion Dollar offers a few laughs in its early moments. It helps that Heidecker and Wareheim open up their Rolodex to lure in big names like Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Zach Galifianakis and Will Forte.

They – and pros like Loggia, William Atherton and Jeff Goldblum – aren’t enough to make this an entertaining effort. It just stretches the boundaries of what constitutes a feature film narrative too far. Of course, we’ve seen many comedies with vague story structures, so Billion Dollar treads no new ground in that realm.

However, I find it tough to think of another presumably narrative-based film that offers such a lackluster, random plot progression. Billion Dollar almost literally screeches to a halt on many occasions so it can throw out vaguely-relevant comedy bits.

A couple of these are amusing, but eventually the film’s construction becomes tiresome. Material like this might work fine within the structure of a sketch TV show, but the attempts to tie the gags into a real story flop. It feels like Heidecker and Wareheim want to have it both ways: they want to serve their core TV series fans but they also want to create a real big-screen movie.

I can’t say how happy those fans will be with Billion Dollar; since I never saw the Tim and Eric series, I don’t know how the film compares, though I suspect it’s roughly 10,000 times more disgusting. Oh, Heidecker and Wareheim love their gross-out humor; some of the footage got so nasty I couldn’t stand to look at it.

Is it funny? Not really. Billion Dollar throws enough at the wall – and has enough talent involved – that some of its sticks. Unfortunately, the movie’s too long, too disjointed and too uninspired to turn into an enjoyable comedic experience.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The image consistently looked terrific.

At all times, the film offered good definition. Virtually no unintentional instances of softness materialized, so we got a concise presentation from start to finish. I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement failed to appear. The presentation lacked print flaws and always remained clean.

Colors were another highlight. The movie opted for a bright, bold palette, and the hues always seemed vivid and lively. Blacks were deep and dark, and I thought low-light shots seemed clear and smooth. Everything here satisfied.

I also felt pleased with the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. The film featured a surprisingly active soundscape meant to accentuate the flick’s brash cartooniness. Music became a prominent element, as the flick’s score and songs blasted out of all five channels. Effects weren’t quite as active, but they still used the different speakers in a wide, engaging manner. None of this was especially naturalistic, but it wasn’t intended to be; instead, we got a loud, aggressive mix for a wild comedy.

Audio quality always seemed fine. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other problems. Music sounded vivid and dynamic, while effects showed good clarity, accuracy and range. The track worked quite well for the material.

We get a broad set of supplements here, and these start with an audio commentary from writers/directors/actors Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. They provide a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, sets and locations, music and editing, some story/script topics, and a few other areas.

Tracks like this often follow a joke-laden path, and that’s occasionally the case here. However, mostly the commentary meanders and lacks much to make it go. The guys kid around a little and provide some fairly banal production notes. We don’t learn much – or laugh much – in this dull discussion, though the piece does improve as it progresses, so expect most of the good facts to pop up toward the end.

Next we find eight Deleted Scenes (8:53) and three Extended Scenes (18:26). Given that the final film feels too long and slow, I can’t fathom the notion that added footage would’ve made it better, and nothing I see here changes that belief. Like the rest of the flick, these tend to be unfunny and rambling, so don’t expect much from them. They don’t deliver any extra character or story information; they’re just more lousy attempts at humor that fail.

Good Evening S’wallow Valley lasts eight minutes, 25 seconds and provides a wacky attempt at a behind the scenes piece. It gives us comments with Wareheim, Heidecker, personal assistant Ben Berman, and actors Doug Foster, Twink Caplan, Noah Spencer, and James Quall. The remarks all exist for (alleged) comedic purposes, so you won’t learn anything about the shoot. However, “Evening” comes with a fair amount of footage from the set, so that adds some merit to the program.

After this we locate an Interview with Tim and Eric. It fills 22 minutes, 26 seconds with their thoughts about the film. Like much of the other material, it’s not serious; Heidecker and Wareheim provide joke comments throughout the featurette. On its own, this might actually be a decent piece of humor, but I must admit that I’m so tired of all the Blu-ray’s nonsense that I can’t view “Interview” objectively; it does little to amuse me.

HDNet: A Look at Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie runs four minutes, six seconds and includes notes from Wareheim and Heidecker. This is essentially just an abbreviated version of the prior interview, so it’s a waste of time if you’ve already seen that piece.

With the Shrim Dance Screensaver, we locate a running loop that shows the incredibly annoying Shrim video from the movie. It’ll run forever if you allow it to do so, as the same 28-second snippet repeats indefinitely. Someone send this sucker to Guantanamo; it’d crack interrogation subjects in record time!

Under Promo Videos, we discover five clips with a collective running time of 17 minutes, 15 seconds. The first (4:34) features Heidecker, Wareheim, and“National Association of Cinematic Arts president Geoffrey Kelly” as the “NACA Challenge” award. It’s a lame attempt at humor.

More wacky shenanigans pop up during the “In the Can Sundance Interview” (11:08), as Wareheim and Heidecker chat with the Park City TV host about the flick. The joke here is that their movie has been mixed with clips from Rango to further its financial prospects. This is a better gag than the annoying “NACA” but still not especially funny. Three short Internet promos (1:33) that highlight more of Tim and Eric’s comedy. They’re not good, but at least they’re brief.

Some stills appear after this. We see four Posters and a Photo Gallery. The latter shows 24 shots from the set. Nothing great appears, but it’s a decent set.

The disc opens with ads for Goon, God Bless America, The Hunter and Playback. These pop under Also from Magnolia Entertainment as well, and we also get two trailers for Billion Dollar Movie.

Perhaps fans of the film’s creators will like Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, but as a new viewer, I can’t say it does anything for me. Although it throws out a couple of laughs, it doesn’t sustain our attention and it lacks even the vaguest sense of coherence. The Blu-ray provides excellent picture, strong audio and a long roster of inconsistent – and often obnoxious – supplements. Overall, this is a pretty positive release, but the movie itself is a dud.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8571 Stars Number of Votes: 7
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main