Ted 2 (Blu-ray) (2015)
Featurette-A Giant Opening Dance Number
Featurette-Thunder Buddies 4 Lyfe
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Seth MacFarlane|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes, Weed is smoked|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Comic-Con scene full of brands|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Scene end of credits|
†††† Even the most optimistic movie-goers could not have predicted the success of 2012ís Ted, and although opinions on Seth MacFarlaneís live-action directorial debut do vary, its $500 million worldwide box office take exceeded all expectations. With the feature having desensitised us to the idea of a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear, itís business-as-usual for 2015ís Ted 2, a follow-up which retains the proclivity for infantile humour and pop culture shout-outs within a narrative that provides a degree of dramatic heft. Although not as instantly iconic as its forerunner, Ted 2 is a worthwhile companion piece, and itís enormously funny and enjoyable as long as youíre not easily offended. MacFarlane and his co-writers havenít exactly grown up, but thatís fine.
†††† The story picks up a couple of years after the first movie, with Ted (performed by MacFarlane) and his girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) tying the knot, while Tedís best buddy John (Mark Wahlberg) is still recovering from his recent divorce. Twelve months on, and Tedís marriage is on the fritz, as the pair constantly argue and can barely tolerate each other. Deciding that a baby may help to repair their union, the duo begins exploring their options, but Tedís civil rights are soon called into question by the government. Officially branded as ďproperty,Ē Ted is forced to leave his job and his marriage is nullified. Deciding to fight the ruling, Ted and John call upon junior attorney Samantha Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) to prove that Ted is a person in the eyes of the law.
†††† Although MacFarlaneís last movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West, did satisfy this reviewer, it was undeniably long and self-indulgent, not to mention there wasnít much substance beneath the movieís surface. Ted was grounded due to the relationship of John and his beloved teddy bear which was easy to relate to, and Ted 2 traverses new thematic territory, with Tami-Lynn unable to have a child and with Ted receiving harsh treatment from the government. Moreover, Ted 2 actually provides a balanced discussion of race and gender issues which is somewhat thought-provoking despite all of the crude humour and profane language. A subplot involving the eternally creepy Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) - whoís now a janitor at Hasbro - does threaten to spoil the fun, but thankfully itís handled briskly and tactfully. Likewise, the courtroom scenes could have been tedious, but the furious pacing never falters, and the gags keep on coming.
†††† As to be expected from MacFarlane, Ted 2ís humour is mostly derived from obscure pop culture references, creative uses of the f-bomb, prolonged comedic set-pieces (a battle royal at New York Comic Con is an instant classic), and hilarious non-sequiturs, including a completely random scene involving the leads tossing apples at joggers. A scene involving Ted and a surprise celebrity guest discussing Trix is side-splitting, and thereís a pitch-black scene at an improv comedy club that probably shouldnít be as funny as it is. MacFarlane even plays around with cinematography for extra laughs - a heated argument between Ted and his wife is lensed using hilariously exaggerated vťritť-style photography for heightened effect. There are other fun ideas here as well, including references to John Hughes movies (most notably Planes, Trains & Automobiles) and a brief parody of Jurassic Park that had this reviewer sobbing with laughter. While there are a lot of dumb jokes, Ted 2 lands more than it misses, with MacFarlane maintaining a constant stream of woofers and never dwelling on one punch-line for too long.
†††† The original Ted was bolstered by superb digital effects, and the CGI is actually improved here - the titular teddy bear looks photorealistic. Itís possible to forget we are looking at a computer-generated character, which is a huge plus since neither the comedy nor the story would resonate if Ted didnít look convincing. Ted 2 is a fantasy, of course, yet we can believe that this toy is a living, breathing character...who does drugs and is a deviant in the bedroom. MacFarlane again does well in the role, displaying spot-on comedic timing and selling the one-liners with gusto. Beside him, Wahlberg again performs admirably, scoring ample laughs whilst somehow remaining fairly restrained. Mila Kunis was unable to return here due to her pregnancy, and itís definitely hard to swallow that John and Lori broke up, especially since it makes the events of the original movie feel utterly pointless in the long run. Nevertheless, in her place, Seyfried is a worthy love interest. They have great chemistry, and itís a credit to MacFarlane for choosing an actress who works well with Wahlberg. Meanwhile, the supporting cast is filled out with other great names - even Morgan Freeman plays a small but critical role. Sam Jones plays himself yet again, and Ribisiís minor appearance as Donny is mightily amusing.
†††† The internet community sharpened their knives for Ted 2, ostensibly due to the underwhelming nature of A Million Ways to Die in the West, the mysterious dislike for Family Guy, and the fact that it has become hip to retroactively hate on the surprise hit that was the original Ted. Yet, the sequel worked for this reviewer - even though it runs a bit long at close to two hours, I enjoyed every minute of it, as itís frequently amusing and has a solid story at its core. Itís hard to imagine any fans of the first film being disappointed. And be sure to stay until the end of the credits.
†††† This Blu-ray contains both the Theatrical Version (115:34) and the Unrated Version (125:50). Personally, I preferred the extended cut, which adds a few extra scenes and lines that made me laugh.
†††† Universal brings Ted 2 to Blu-ray with an AVC-encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 2.40:1, and the results look absolutely breathtaking on my 42Ē LG screen. Placed on a BD-50 with a very reasonable bitrate, there is nothing to complain about here, and thatís coming from someone who almost always finds digital photography to look too smooth on Blu-ray.
†††† I viewed Ted 2 on more than one occasion at the cinema, and can confidently say that this disc faithfully replicates the theatrical viewing experience at home. Colours are strong, looking exactly the same as they did at the cinema. Skin-tones look natural, while outdoor environments are lush and vibrant. Even in darkness, the palette remains incredibly rich and well-delineated.
†††† Detail is staggering. Close-ups reveal every minutiae on each respective actorís face, while clothing is astonishingly rich and textured. Being a digitally-shot movie, no grain or noise is visible here, and yet the image still looks highly detailed and razor-sharp. Indeed, the sharpness really is something to behold.
†††† Luckily, the encode yields no flaws or anomalies to speak of. Scenes at night do not suffer from crush, with the image consistently looking beautiful and stable. No banding or aliasing crops up, either. Itís smooth sailing, emerging as unexpected demo material. This may be a comedy, but it really does benefit from the HD boost. I cannot say enough positive things about this transfer.
†††† Only English subtitles are available on the release, and they pose no issues.
†††† Only one audio option is available on this Blu-ray: a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. There is also an audio commentary and a descriptive audio track, for those interested. Ted 2 is not a big-budget blockbuster and thus did not need a 7.1 or an Atmos track, therefore the 5.1 audio mix does its job extraordinarily well.
†††† Being a comedy, dialogue is the main concern, and itís good news all-round. As to be expected, the dialogue mostly comes through the front channels, and itís mixed effectively and clearly. Itís always easy to hear what is being said, with no muffled lines. Thereís plenty of music and other subtle ambience which occupies the rear channels, making for an all-round impressive and immersive listen.
†††† Ted 2 does feature some notable set-pieces, with the Comic-Con brawl and a car chase, and the mix always sounds professional and crisp. There is some noticeable separation, particularly with lines of dialogue coming from only one side. The subwoofer activity is not overwhelming, but thatís entirely by design.
†††† Any fans of the movie will not be disappointed. Ted 2 looks and sounds sensational on Blu-ray.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† A standard set of extras.
†††† A tiny selection of deleted exchanges and moments. The majority of these scenes have finished digital effects, thus were likely cut late into the editing process. All are in HD, and they can be watched either individually or via a ďPlay AllĒ function.
†††† A mildly amusing selection of bloopers, stuff-ups and on-set gags.
†††† A light, breezy behind-the-scenes featurette which looks at John and Tedís relationship and covers the shooting of a few scenes, with some of the cast also talking about what itís like acting opposite a digital teddy bear.
†††† Four behind-the-scenes segments focusing on different aspects of making the Comic-Con sequence. There is no ďPlay AllĒ function, leaving you to select these individually.
†††† Four short behind-the-scenes featurettes about the familiar faces who agreed to cameo in the movie. These can only be viewed individually.
†††† MacFarlane has always had an interest in musicals, hence the idea of doing a huge dance number for the opening sequence is hardly surprising. This insightful behind-the-scenes featurette traces the rehearsal and filming process, with the sequence being filmed on an old soundstage that possesses historical significance.
†††† This final behind-the-scenes featurette is concerned with the key sequences during the road trip, including the ďMess AroundĒ scene, the car crashing into the barn, and the chase with the drug dealers. Insightful and interesting.
†††† Only available on the Unrated Version (MacFarlane constantly points out moments which did not make it into the theatrical cut), this audio commentary is heaps of fun, which is to be expected. The commentators are all upbeat and friendly, sharing numerous scene-specific anecdotes to provide insight into the filming process. They speak about the actors, the crew, the locations, the little cameos, snack foods, and many more topics. Itís definitely one of the livelier tracks Iíve heard for a while, even though itís not sophisticated in any way. Oddly, the commentary mentions a lot of additional material which is not part of the extended cut and is not on the Blu-ray. One must wonder why there isnít a meaty line-o-rama on this disc - there was one for the first movie.
†††† Note that the back cover does not list the commentary in the special features, which gave me a mini heart attack before I loaded up the Blu-ray, but it most certainly is on this disc.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
† † The American Blu-ray edition seems identical to our local release. Buy local.
|DVD||PlayStation 4, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||LG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W|