Ted

A dirty three-way…injunction against un-permitted roof extensions!


Love is the subversive quality now, and Ted wins.
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Reported on 2nd of July, 2013

It may seem that it’s not fun to write about films you like, that the schadenfreude is too freude. It may seem that way, and if Ratatouille said it’s true than it probably is, but we’re talking about movies here, and the sad reality is this: most films suck. This is why I’ll never be a film critic, since the job requirement involves lying about this. A percentage of films have the decency to be insane (‘Thanks, Scott, and thanks for contributing 13% to my overall box office!’ – ‘You’re welcome, The Raven!’) , and I’ll take what I can get.

Ted

5 September 2012 @ The Brighton Odeon


$35.99 or, if one must be quotidian, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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In fact, it is fun to write about good films, though harder to make jokes. This is especially true when talking about Ted, where one feels like David Foster Wallace in the presence of Shakespeare. Right, you didn’t know that David Foster Wallace is not only a terrible writer, but the go to guy when you need an example of a terrible writer. This is because the only things stupider than film critics is a bag of hammers. Dropping on literary critics.

I have no idea what I'm talking about, so I'm going to stop.




Anyway,

It should be fun, but it turns out I am a film critic (I did say that film critics lie), and as such, my notes for good films tend to be short, meaning that I’m actually involved in watching it, instead of figuring out why I’m not. This is especially true in the case of Ted, which I saw twice in the theater (a rare thing indeed). Even so, still don’t have a lot of notes, other than all the great jokes that you probably know by heart by now. It’s surprising that Mr. Seth MacFarlane, a guy who’s been doing this for a long time, not only has that many bits left in him, but that he succeeds in a new medium and in long format to boot.

There’s also a sense that this is about a real relationship with some stoner buddy of Mr. MacFarlane’s, jokes which don’t need a giant teddy bear to tell, but which somehow help when told by a giant teddy bear. It’s a lot like Flight in this sense, that instead of just telling a story of buddydom (or drug-abuse, which this film is apparently also about), it tells it within a hyper-real environment. I’m sticking with the name I came up with for the Flight piece, which is Concept comma High (you’re not allowed to use real commas in tags, which for someone who will use them one time, or ten times in reference to something that I’ve forgotten, in other words to confuse search engines, is very annoying. I want to annoy people! With my commas!), that much like the bland This is the End, seeing a bunch of guys and no teddy bear, crap, that’s about the end of the world isn’t it, and they get high. So that’s a movie with a big idea that utterly fails. I have no idea what I’m talking about, so I’m going to stop.

Anyway, the idea is that the hyper real is more real than the real, that Ted the living teddy bear sells the trapped-in-adolescence feeling just a bit more, and allows us to forgive the behavior as well. I’m fairly sure a human could not have sold the line: ‘And that’s where we’ll draw the line‘.

Told you: by heart.

And it’s this strange coincidence that elevates Ted beyond ordinary comedy (I would say ordinary film, but comedy is the highest form, and you should know that by now, or know that I do), besides being funny (which is This is the End proves that not everyone could do…is this now a piece about a film I saw yesterday even though I saw Ted a year ago? No, because Mr. Mark Kermode already wrote one. And it’s perfect critique. Being perfect, I would only add to it that This is the End is like watching a film made by a friend of a friend ‘who’s really funny’ (also that Mr. Michael Cera is funny evil, and Mr. Danny McBride is evil evil. Which one do you think is in the film longer?)) so it seems what makes something good is that it’s good for no conceivable reason, and not about theories like…) because it’s both about a friendship and about friendship. This is a bit of a bugaboo for me since it’s a topic that gets a surprising dearth of shrift these days, over the ‘love’ of romance and family. This is where the unfortunate, and passive-aggressively homophobic, ‘bromance’ comes to the fore. Men can’t like each other. They must be gay, so let’s have a term for it. And we’ll have our little giggle, like when they get ‘manflu’. Men can’t be weak! Then they might stop protecting us! You know, by killing everybody.

Which leads to the final reason Ted gets the all-important Leonard (I just made that up, and I’m using it like it’s a real word like ‘democracy’ or ‘elbow’ or ‘mis-underestimate’. Man, I wish I had thought of that last one): the friendship doesn’t get spoiled. Going in, there’s this sense that this is another Nag movie, where the boy is immature, and the girl is going to civilize him and doesn’t aping all the values of patriarchal civilization make her a feminist and so forth. I detest these characters, just in movies of course, and was waiting to write ‘funny, but…’

I obviously wish I had two tickets. Especially because the snacks were better at the first one.

I obviously wish I had two tickets. Especially because the snacks were better at the first one.

Instead, the film finds a way to redeem everyone. The girl is set up as a nag, but she saves Ted and in the end joins the love circle (see, this is what I’m talking about, say something like ‘love circle’ or ‘three-way’ or ‘penis’ or ‘easement for greenfield sub-division’, and your mind immediately goes to sex.

It’s fantastic, isn’t it?).

Anyway, post-marriage-and-babies-equals-feminism, it emerges that love is the subversive quality now, and I’m not talking about the contentious argument fest of fix-me-stop-fixing-me-romance-love. If we think about the Oscar winners, it’s bad enough that it’s largely hyperbolic crap, but worse still, when the envelope opens, what we’re really hearing is that the award goes to…Nihilism, or, in this last year…Vengeance. Hence we need the Leonards, for all mankind. The award goes to…love.

Fuck you, thunder.

Fuck you, thunder, indeed.

The Take

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Profits!
The delivery on ‘I might be gay. I don’t know.’ Wait, Mr. Patrick Warburton got the Oscar, right?
$3.00
Destroying a hostage whiner split, and being the only film that ever has.
$4.00
The names for marijuana pot, @ $8.00 a name. That’s right, eight bucks.
$24.00
I saw it twice in the theater, so…
$5.00
Total Profits
$36.00
Losses!
The trailers for the Cineworld showing were terrible. That’s all I got.
$0.01
Total Losses
$0.01

$35.99

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