Daily Archives: June 27, 2015

Ted 2 – movie review

We were not expecting Ted 2 to be very good. After all, it is a sequel and one of the leads from the first movie (Mila Kunas) is not in the film. It turns out that Ted 2 is great! In fact, we liked it better than the original. It has the same raunchy comedy as Ted, but with a new twist and new jokes. It is not simply a re-hash of the first movie. It even had a a beautiful original song.

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The movie takes place a few years after the original and starts with Ted marrying his girlfriend Tami-Lynn (played to perfection by Jessica Barth). They then find their marriage is deemed  invalid since Ted in not legally considered a person.

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The real surprise in the movie is Amanda Seyfried.  She plays a young lawyer (Samatha) who takes up Ted’s case to prove he is a person. She is beautiful and funny. Amanda even gets a chance to demonstrate her amazing singing voice.  At one point, she sings Mean Old Moon, an original song composed for the movie by Seth MacFarlane and Walter Murphy. It could very well win Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars. That is something we certainly did not expect from this type of comedy.

Amenda Seyfried is s even a good sport about having the movie tease her about her astoundingly large eyes. Ted keeps referring to her as Gollum. For the record, we find Amanda Seyfried’s eyes to be beautiful.

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There are a lot of funny celebrity appearances in the movie as well. The best is that of the Boston Patriot’s quarterback, Tom Brady. Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby. However, since a Teddy Bear has no male appendage, that leaves a problem.

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To solve the issue,  Ted and John  (Mark Wahlberg) decide to sneak into Tom Brady’s house while he is sleeping to try to “extract” some of his sperm.  Tom Brady plays himself in the movie and is great.

Who knew Tom Brady could act? Apparently he got a lot of acting experience when he was repeatedly telling the NFL investigators he knew nothing about those deflated footballs.

Even the side jokes in the film are good. There is a running joke abut how no matter what innocent question you try to Google, you get directed to a porn site. There is even a cameo by  Liam Neeson as a man petrified of what will happen to him if he buys Trix cereal. (He is paranoid since he is an adult and “Trix are for Kids.”)

This movie is raunchy and fun. Do NOT bring your kids to it, no matter how mature you think they are. If you see the film, be sure to wait through all the credits at the end, since there is a short scene after all of them that is worth seeing.

We give this movie Four Stars ****

Ray Donovan on Showtime – a Parade of Stereotypes

The Showtime series Ray Donovan should win a special Emmy award for having the largest number of offensive ethnic and racial stereotypes. That, combined with the wooden acting of the lead character (played by Liev Schreiber) makes the show almost unwatchable. Of course, the show is about to enter its fifth season, so a lot of people must actually like it.

The best thing that can be said of this show is that it is an equal opportunity offender. It is insulting not only to Irish-Americans, but also to Jews and  African-Americans. This show has so many stereotypes, it actually becomes fun to start counting them up as you go along. Let’s see how many we can find.

  • The family comes from Boston. Ray Donovan is the story of an extended Irish-American family in Los Angeles. But of course, like all other Irish-American’s in the United States they actually originally lived in Boston. In fact, in  the series, there don’t seem to be any Irish-American’s who were actually born on the West Coast

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  • The entire family speaks with Boston accents, or at least what the actors think are Boston accents. This is one of the weirdest parts of the show since the some of the actors do a good job with the accents and some don’t. Perhaps the strangest accent is that of Paula Malcomson who plays Abby Donovan. This actress is actually from Northern Ireland, but for some reason seems to be doing some sort of exaggerated New Jersey accent.

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  • One or more of the brothers were sexually abused by priests. The sexual abuse problems in the Catholic Church are a real problem that should not be taken lightly. That’s why it is particularly offensive to have them used as a plot device for a T.V show.

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  • Mickey Donovan is a cheap imitation of Whitey Bulger.  Jon Voight plays the grandfather Mickey Donovan. He is a Boston mobster who is allowed to get away with a lot of illegal activities, including murder, since he is being protected by the FBI. Of course, this is exactly a copy of the real-life Boston mobster Whitey Bulger.

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  • The African-American who lives next door to Ray Donovan is a rap singer.
    This neighbor wears gold chains, speaks with an exaggerated “ghetto” accent, and of course plays loud thumping music day and night.
  • The African-American neighbor is adopting a boy whose real mother is an African-American crack addict.  This boy is also a rap singer and calls himself “Marvin Gaye Washington.” The crack addicted mother is convinced to give her son up for adoption in return for enough money to allow her to buy more drugs.
  • African American prostitutes are in abundance in the show. That’s right, Showtime has chosen not to show any of the wealthy African-American doctors, lawyers, or businesspeople in L.A. Instead the African-American community is portrayed as consisting of rap singers and crack-whores.
  • Ray Donovan’s Jewish business partner is a tiny cowardly man who is only interested in money.  Peter Jacobson plays Ray’s business partner Lee Drexler. While Ray is out kicking ass, threatening people and solving problem’s, Lee’s main function seems to be whining about the firm not making enough money.  This is the age-old stereotype of the Jew as a money grubbing wimp. Not tough  enough to handle his own problems, he needs to rely on the tough Irish guy when the going gets rough.

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  • Ray’s Jewish boss is a neurotic hypocritical millionaire who uses a lot of Yiddish and Hebrew phrases. Elliott Gould plays Ezra Goldman, a man who worships the memory of his deceased wife even though he kept a mistress while the wife was alive. This, of course, is the personification of the stereotype of “Jewish guilt”.

We could go on and on, but you get the idea. There is not a single character in this show who comes across as someone you might actually meet in real life.  Real people are complex, multifaceted individuals. You cannot predict how they will act simply based on their religion or ethnic background.

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The so called “mystery” of the series is why Ray Donovan wants nothing to do with his own father Mickey (Played by Jon Voight). Even this plot line is not original.  A much more interesting mystery is why Jon Voight’s real daughter Angelina Jolie refuses to have anything  to do with him and even changed her name to avoid all association.

We rate this show two Stars **