- May 9, 2003
ted 2 thunders onto Blu-ray with a good transfer and a bit of heart in between the below-the-belt jokes. The movie is actually a better ride than its predecessor, providing a bit more of a plot on which to hang the usual jokes from Seth MacFarlane and company. Granted, this is still a movie about Mark Wahlberg and a talking teddy bear (I should say an obscenely talking teddy bear), but there are plenty of gems to be found this time around. The Blu-ray offers solid high definition picture and sound, and some of the extras are fun. I can’t quite Recommend the movie, but I’m sure that fans of Seth MacFarlane will still be grabbing this as quickly as they can.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English DVS 2.0, Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 1 Hr. 57 Min. (Theatrical Cut) 2 Hr. 6 Min. (Unrated Cut)
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 12/15/2015
The Production Rating: 3/5
ted 2 continues the story of John (Mark Wahlberg) and his best friend/teddy bear Ted (Seth MacFarlane), and also continues all the silly humor from the first movie. This one actually runs a little better, thanks to a plot lift from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and to a few genuinely inspired gags along the way. The story this time follows what happens when Ted is declared property and must defend his rights in court. That may not sound like much, but it sets up a series of courtroom hijinks and a road trip that work together to keep the movie fairly amusing for much of its still-bloated 2 hour running time. Joining the group this time is Amanda Seyfried as attorney Samantha L. Jackson, and yes, the movie immediately pounces on that name as a gag. There are still issues of some of the gags going way below the belt – one sequence in a sperm donor lab is truly nauseating to watch. But overall, the funny bits are better than the first movie, and there’s a genuine warmth throughout that goes a long way.
SPOILERS HERE: DO NOT READ THIS PARAGRAPH UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE. The movie picks up with the wedding of Ted to his girlfriend Tami-Lynn, thus setting up a series of intermittently funny gags at the wedding party. (One Family Guy-style cutaway about someone on cocaine is actually good for a stupid laugh right there.) Then we move forward a year to play the gag of Ted and Tami-Lynn as typically unhappy couple, complete with Ted in a greasy tank top complaining about dinner. This carries us to the notion of Ted and Tami-Lynn wanting to have a baby, something that probably won’t work due to Ted being, well, a teddy bear. However, they try the idea of using a sperm donor (leading to a fun sequence with Tom Brady and then the above-referenced mess at the clinic), and then move on to adoption. Which is where the real plot of the movie starts. Since Massachusetts doesn’t see Ted as a person but rather as property, he can’t adopt. Or have a job, or really do much of anything. And there we have just enough plot to keep the rest of the movie going for a while – albeit not for two full hours.
MORE SPOILERS: The “Ted as Property” idea is of course taken from a famous episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, wherein Data must be defended in court from the same situation. The difference here is that Ted doesn’t have Patrick Stewart representing him. Instead, Stewart just provides a little narration at the edges of the movie. (There are a couple of key Star Trek TNG-era cameos along the way, just to make sure the viewer is paying attention – including Michael Dorn working in deliberately bad Worf makeup and Nana Visitor as a social worker. I’m frankly confused why the production chose to cast John Slattery as the attorney opposing Ted – I was expecting that to be a cameo by Brent Spiner.) The courtroom setup is what connects our heroes to Sam Jackson, and thus we get both a lawyer and a new love interest for John, since Mila Kunis is nowhere to be found in this movie. When the first court case fails, Sam and the guys go on the road to recruit a famous civil rights attorney, thus triggering a series of road trip gags and some of the funniest material in the movie. After Sam foolishly lets Ted drive, we get a lovingly shameless reprise of a great bit from Planes, Trains and Automobiles. After that idea ends badly and we wind up stranded on a farm for a night, our heroes realize they’ve come across a mother load of marijuana – which sets us up for a gag that hits both Jurassic Park and Contact at the same time. Sadly, this also sets us up for more below-the-belt humor, this time about the shape of Sam’s bong. But we then get a lovely performance of “Mean Old Moon” by Seyfried that MacFarlane happily audiences with pretty much every animal, fish and bird he can think of. (Where the heck the penguin came from, I don’t want to know)
EVEN MORE SPOILERS: Of course, the point of the road trip is to get the guys to New York to recruit famous civil rights icon and lawyer Patrick Meighan (played drolly by Morgan Freeman). There’s a major inside joke there – Patrick Meaghan is a writer on Family Guy, and he’s known for his stridency when it comes to politics. Something tells me there’s a little bit of a jab in the ribs there from MacFarlane, but I could be wrong. It’s at this point that the movie comes a little off the track, as we wind up at Comic Con in New York, where Ted is menaced by Donny (Giovanni Ribisi, reprising his stalker role from the first movie) and things generally build to a fairly odd stunt climax. Again, this is all still too long for a simple comedy about a teddy bear, but we do at least get a few funny gags along the way, and things hang together better than they did in the first movie.
I should note that there are two versions of ted 2 available on this release – both are about 2 hours long. The theatrical release comes in just under 2 hours, and the new unrated cut runs about 9 mins longer. For purposes of this review, I watched the longer cut, which includes several additional gags overall, particularly extending the early wedding party by throwing in a song performance by the two Thunder Buddies. Under the thought that less is more, I’d recommend watching the shorter version, which is still about 20 minutes too long.
ted 2 was released simultaneously on Blu-ray and standard definition on December 15th. Both the Blu-ray and DVD contain the two versions of the movie along with a director’s commentary and a few bonus features. The Blu-ray has everything from the standard DVD, and adds high definition picture and sound, along with some additional bonus material.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
ted 2 is presented in a 1080p AVC 2.40:1 transfer (@ an average 30 mbps) that shows off better CGI for Ted than was available the first time. As with the first movie, the picture shows plenty of detail and a healthy variety of flesh tones, environments and light levels.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5
ted 2 is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix (@ an average 3.4 mbps, going up to 4.6 mbps in the bigger scenes), as well as standard DTS 5.1 mixes in Spanish and French, and an English DVS track for the theatrical cut. Much of the sound lives in the front channels, but the mix does spring to life whenever there’s an action beat or a good musical moment. I confess being a bit curious as to how the DVS mix handles some of the raunchier moments. But not that curious…
Special Features Rating: 3/5
The Blu-Ray presentation of ted 2 comes with a fair amount of bonus material, including a commentary and just under an hour of collected featurettes and deleted scenes. (The DVD shares some of this material, but not all of it.)
The following materials are presented in high definition on the Blu-ray. If they are also available on the DVD, they would obviously be presented in standard definition there:
Feature Commentary with Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild and Jessica Barth (AVAILABLE BOTH ON DVD & BLU-RAY) (AVAILABLE ON BOTH VERSIONS OF THE MOVIE) – This scene-specific commentary finds the gang watching the movie following its opening, and there are more than a few shots at Jurassic World along the way. (The guys are aware that their movie was practically ignored at the box office in favor of Jurassic World – although they’re not mentioning that they actually wound up doing okay in the end.) It’s clear that the commentary is actually for the unrated cut, but edited down as necessary for the theatrical cut. Some interesting comments are thrown in about how the production was shot, including the admission that the wedding party scenes were problematic to shoot, something that did not please MacFarlane while he was dealing with it.
Deleted Scenes (4:24 Total, 7 Scenes Total, 1080p) (EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY) – Seven scene extensions are presented here, usually adding an additional gag line or two.
Gag Reel (2:39, 1080p) (EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY) – This is a short gag reel, mostly showing bits with the teddy bear stand-in on the set. There’s one moment where Jessica Barth throws a frypan and accidentally clocks the camera. And there’s an unhappy payoff to the Liam Neeson bit about what happens to adults who purchase boxes of Trix…
Thunder Buddies 4 Lyfe (7:28, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON DVD & BLU-RAY) – This is a short making-of featurette with all the usual soundbites from the stars, on-set video and clips from the movie.
Creating Comic Con (4 Parts, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON DVD & BLU-RAY) – Four separate short featurettes are included here, which you would think could simply have been combined into a single featurette, given that the whole thing totals about fifteen minutes.
The Exhibitors (2:56) – This quick look centers on the various booths visible on the set for the movie. The idea is that the filmmakers constructed a set to look like Comic Con and then invited various exhibitors to set up shop on the fake set.
The Costumes (3:21) – This quick look focuses on over 500 extras hired to be Comic Con attendees, most of whom were bringing their own homemade costumes. Of course, a bunch were also put through makeup and hair to get that alien look…
The Stunts (4:15) – This quick look centers on the stunts done throughout the Comic Con sequence, including the gratuitous bits where Michael Dorn and Patrick Warburton viciously shove multiple fans around.
The Showdown (4:12) – This one centers on the climactic fight and crash that ends the stunt sequence, including a no-holds-barred nerd brawl in the middle of the floor. Some of the pre-viz for the fight is shown, as well as the rigging that allowed the TNG Enterprise to fly into the middle of the scene.
Cameo Buddies (4 Parts, 1080p) (EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY) – Four more separate short featurettes are included here, this time totaling just over 7 minutes. Once again, I have to ask why these were separated out.
Morgan Freeman (1:22) – Freeman’s participation in the movie is celebrated here, with everyone offering their admiration.
Tom Brady (1:12) – The production had a single day to work with Brady, who agreed to go with the fairly raunchy story idea the producers were pushing.
Liam Neeson (1:07) – Neeson’s supermarket cameo is shown and discussed here, along with everyone discussing how much they enjoyed it. Of course, the punchline seen in the gag reel is not mentioned here.
David Hasselhoff (3:26) – This featurette covers one side bit at Comic Con where Ted challenges both Hasselhoff and K.I.T.T. (voiced of course by Seth MacFarlane, channeling William Daniels at his most nasal). Hasselhoff appears to have been having a lot of fun entertaining a room of extras and watching MacFarlane at his silliest. And Hasselhoff is a pretty good sport, considering that the jokes in this scene are mostly at his expense.
Roadtripping (8:51, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON DVD & BLU-RAY) – This featurette covers the road trip section of the movie, including an admission that the nighttime joy-ride is a direct lift from Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The launch of the car into the air is dissected, as is the stunt chase with the farmers. The footage actually being shot with Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried looks like it was all done either on a greenscreen stage or on an insert car trailer.
A Giant Opening Dance Number (8:48, 1080p) (EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY) – This is easily the best of the featurettes. It covers the large scale opening dance number, which includes 100 dancers on a giant cake, and various short dancers filling in for Ted’s part of the number. The number is choreographed by Rob Ashford, who MacFarlane met while hosting the Oscars a couple of years ago, and feels like a live-action version of the big number that winds up the regular opening credits for Family Guy. The number looks like it took some time to assemble and required a considerable budget – both items being things that MacFarlane had to fight to keep.
DVD Copy – A second disc is included in the package, holding the standard DVD of the movie. It contains both versions of the movie presented in standard definition in an anamorphic 2.40:1 picture with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound in English, Spanish and French (448 kbps) as well as the English DVS track on the theatrical cut. Only a few of the special features are included. You get the commentary for both versions, as well as the Creating Comic Con collection and the Thunder Buddies 4 Lyfe and Roadtripping featurettes.
Digital Copy – Instructions are included in the packaging for downloading a digital copy of the movie to your laptop or portable device.
Subtitles are available for the film and the special features, in English, Spanish and French. A full chapter menu is available for the film.
Overall Rating: 3/5
ted 2 really is a better movie than the first one, but your enjoyment of it will depend on your enjoyment of Seth MacFarlane’s humor and some fairly raunchy gags. As a Blu-ray, the movie is presented well in high definition, and there are some good bonus features here. There’s also two versions of the movie, although both run too long by at least 20 minutes. To be fair, some of this is laugh-out-loud funny. And some of it is cringeworthy. I would say that if you’re already a MacFarlane fan, you’ll want to pick this up. If you’re not, this will not make you a fan.
Reviewed By: Kevin EK
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