Friday, November 11, 2016

Ted 2

Year 8, Day 315 - 11/10/16 - Movie #2,485

BEFORE: I probably could have addressed this yesterday, but I thought this election remorse might have ebbed or at least lessened, but it just hasn't.  Living in a liberal enclave like New York City, everyone I deal with is still shocked and stunned, because we were all obsessively checking polling sites and calculating how many electoral votes Hillary had in the bag, so it seemed to us that enough like-minded people were on our side, and all we had to do was go to the polls, and then it would be a fait accompli.  For once, I'm one of the people who DID vote, so whatever happens next, it's not my fault.  

But it's coloring everything, even though I'm trying to watch silly comedies to get my mind off things.  "Get Hard" emphasized the great racial and class divides we have in this country, and "Daddy's Home" had two fathers vying for the love of two children, much like two candidates vying for the Presidency.  It's not just me, you see it too, right?  

I'm trying to find the silver lining in the election results, but it's not easy, especially when everything I've heard over the last few months led me to believe that this guy would be the American Hitler - don't forget that Hitler was elected, too, back in 1933, and a majority of people in Germany was behind him, at least at first.  I'm reminding myself that Trump used to be a Democrat, as little as two years ago, and in some ways may even be more liberal than Hillary Clinton, but it's small solace.  Unless he decides to accomplish very little once he gets into the White House, which is definitely possible, I feel we're about to watch the Constitution get gutted, and human rights taken away.  But hey, if you enjoy schadenfreude, things are looking up.  

Mark Wahlberg carries over from "Daddy's Home", and I'm back on sequels, after watching "Pink Panther 2" and "Zoolander 2" earlier this week. 

FOLLOW-UP TO:  "Ted" (Movie #1,626), "Paddington" (Movie #2,448)

THE PLOT: Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he's a person in a court of law.

AFTER: I wanted to make sure to get to the OTHER talking bear film that was released last year, because watching this and "Paddington" close to each other, for comparative purposes, seems to make sense.  Man, American films about talking bears are VERY different from British ones.  

But the Election logic is creeping in yet again -  Ted finds out here that as a talking teddy bear, legally, he is not a person, so his marriage is annulled, he loses his job and his bank account.  Symbolically, this is what could happen to the rights of immigrants and gay people over the next few years - legislation could be passed in the GOP-controlled Senate, signed by Trump, that marginalizes various groups of people.  What does it mean to be an American?  What does it mean to be married?  What constitutes a person?  These are all legal questions with potentially changing answers.

Maybe if I bury myself in minutia, I can stop thinking about the election for a bit - this is the second film in a row to have part of its action set at a fertility clinic, where slapstick humor about the process of a man leaving a sample ensues.  Also, like "Pink Panther 2", it's a sequel where one actor was unavailable to reprise their role, so they had to be replaced.  Here, Mila Kunis was not available for the sequel, so her character was written out via a break-up, and John, the main human character, is in the market for a new girlfriend.  

Conveniently, that turns out to be Ted's lawyer, who happens to be young, female and attractive, and also very down to smoke pot with John + Ted.  A stoner's dream, right?  But speaking as a nerd, I don't think I could ever date someone who knew NOTHING about nerd culture - not "Star Trek" or "Lord of the Rings", what gives?  These things are so ingrained in our pop culture that for someone to not get references to those things, they much be either a snob or incredibly stupid.  

Let's get to the NITPICK POINTS, because the climax of this film is set at New York Comic-Con, a place I know very well.  They shot the exteriors there, but clearly not the interiors, because I didn't recognize what I know about the Javits Center at all.  They re-created the look of NYCC, right down to the bright red carpet, on a soundstage somewhere - makes sense, a Comic-Con is much too crowded of a place to film scenes for a Hollywood movie, especially if you're going to have an epic nerd fight and break a lot of stuff.  I started to realize that something was up when the food court seen here looked NOTHING like it does at any Comic-Con - there was a Subway and a Johnny Rockets, but they looked like they were serving from regular vendor booths, when a real Comic-Con would have food vendors separated away from other vendors, to keep food away from the merchandise.

But I also think I heard the characters say they were driving to New York for a Monday morning consultation with a lawyer, and then later that day, Ted goes to New York Comic-Con.  Well, everyone knows that NYCC takes place Thursday through Sunday, so attending on a Monday would be impossible.  (The goofs section on IMDB also points out that this film is set in August, and NYCC happens in October, so fail all the way around...)  Plus, Ted buys a ticket right before entering, and as anyone who's been there would also know, same-day tickets are usually not available (except maybe for Thursday), because the event is usually sold out, months in advance.  Plus, NO ONE is seen wearing their convention badges, which 99% of attendees wear on a lanyard around their necks.  

Also starring Amanda Seyfried (last seen in "A Million Ways to Die in the West"), the voice of Seth MacFarlane (last seen in "Starring Adam West"), Jessica Barth (last seen in "Ted"), Giovanni Ribisi (last seen in "Flight of the Phoenix"), Morgan Freeman (last seen in "Under Suspicion"), John Slattery (last seen in "Captain America: Civil War"), Sam Jones (also last seen in "Ted"), John Carroll Lynch (last seen in "Grumpy Old Men"), Patrick Warburton (last heard in "Planes: Fire & Rescue"), Michael Dorn, Dennis Haysbert (last seen in "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For"), Ron Canada, with cameos from Liam Neeson (last seen in "Taken 3"), Tom Brady (last seen in "Stuck on You"), Jay Leno (last seen in "Calendar Girls"), Jimmy Kimmel (last seen in "The Smurfs 2"), Jimmy Fallon (last seen in "Get Hard"), Bill Maher (last seen in "EdTV"), Kate McKinnon (last seen in "Ghostbusters"), Bobby Moynihan (last heard in "Inside Out"), Taran Killam (last seen in "12 Years a Slave"), Nana Visitor, Ralph Garman (also last seen in "Starring Adam West"), Alec Sulkin, Lenny Clarke (last seen in "The Judge"), Dustin Ybarra, Tiffany, and the voice of Patrick Stewart (last heard in "A Million Ways to Die in the West").

RATING: 5 out of 10 improv comics

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