Tuesday, January 23, 2018

He looks for the good in all of us, and somehow, he finds it.

These are very divisive times. There is so little in this world that can easily be agreed upon, even a simple decision can seem insurmountable. Where facts used to be something you couldn't argue with, something that could guide you, now everything is up for debate.

Perhaps making this situation even more troubling, is the fact that everybody has something to say. And with the proliferation of countless electronic platforms, it's easier than ever for them to say it.

But, who should you really listen to? Your friends? Your family? Some blogger you've never met? How about that guy at work who starts every sentence with, you know what you should do...? 

No. They're all morons. If you really want to know how to live your life right...

...listen to the talking bear. 

That dude knows everything.

I read somewhere that Paddington 2 was 'the sequel that no one asked for' and I'd quite honestly like to track down whoever wrote such nonsense and...and...give them a hard stare. Just three years after the original's 2014 release, this latest sequel is nothing short of fantastic, and should be prescribed by medical professionals to cure, well, just about everything that's wrong. In the world.

Paddington has settled into his life in London, and become a beloved member of the community. He's an incredibly positive little bear, and seemingly makes the lives of everyone around him that much better. Well, except for Mr. Curry. He's not really a fan.

Anyway, Paddington comes across what is possibly the most beautiful pop-up book in the world, and wants to buy it for his dear Aunt Lucy. She had always dreamed of visiting London, but the arrival of Paddington as a cub changed her plans forever. This book, featuring all the sights of The Old Smoke, would make for the perfect present. All Paddington has to do is earn a little money and the book is his. I mean, it's not like anyone else wants it. Nope.

Not even that wonderful/creepy guy from the steam fair. The one that used that used to be a real actor but now is in all those dog-food commercials.

How can something so disgusting, make me so incredibly happy?
Few things in the world have utterly delighted me more than the first Paddington [review] film. It's wit and charm were boundless, and even just catching a scene or two since then infinitely brightened my day. Paddington 2 is just as magical as the first film, but in a different and surprising way. Where the original was about family and fitting in, Paddington 2 is an incredibly joyous (and meticulously crafted) ode to kindness. And manners. And, well, yeah...obviously. Marmalade.

Speaking of things you haven't had in a while, here are the Yays and Boos. We know we haven't been around as much as we used to, but in this frigid winter, instead of watching movies? We've been hibernating. Turns out, you can't hate your job...while you're sleeping.

Prison riots have never been so adorable.
  • Sure, it was all too brief an encounter, but even just one minute with Michael Gambon's Uncle Pastuzo is like, the best minute.
  • The initial setup/refresher is so charming I almost suffocated due to elation. 
  • You know how Jim Broadbent is basically the best person alive? Yeah, well you should check him out as Mr. Gruber, the effervescent owner of the oddities shop Paddington loves to frequent. I think he can only communicate via delighted gasps. Which is great, because that's all I can muster when he's on screen.
  • Without the slightest bit of exaggeration, I think the pop-up book scene may have been one of the most wonderful things I have ever gazed at in my life. Ever. It's two minutes of film that somehow encapsulates all the joy of an entire childhood.
  • The constant (and incredibly staged) calamities that Paddington finds himself are even better than in the first film (though the bathtub scene is still legendary). I'm not sure who laughed louder, me or my kids, when Paddington reluctantly decided to give that dude a haircut.
  • I'm not sure what Richard Ayoade is doing in this movie for fifteen seconds, but I'm entirely positive I love this man nonetheless.
  • Uh, the Flying Swan was pretty hot, right? Well, at least she was before she became the Dying Swan.
  • Brendan Gleeson is always incredible, and the streak continutes with his portrayal of hardened criminal, Knuckles McGinty. The initial introduction of Mr. McGinty was so genuinely funny, I couldn't stop laughing. Send a medic to the canteen. Hysterical.
  • Simon Farnaby's character, Barry the Security Guard represents, to me, all the things right in the world. How this guy has ended up creating such an insanely cheeky character in a movie about a talking bear is beyond me. His face alone is almost enough to make me start laughing, but this goofball is quite the 'ladies man'. I think.
  • And finally, Hugh Grant almost steals the show as the nefarious goofball, Phoenix Buchanan. If you're too cool for a little kid's flick, whatever, that's fine...I guess. But, if you're even the slightest fan of Grant, stop what you're doing immediately and see Paddington 2. You know that life that Jeff Goldblum appears to be living? The one where you just look at him and you realize the world isn't that terrible? That's Hugh Grant in this film. And had he been nominated for every single award this year, even ones having nothing to do with acting (and won them all, in a landslide), I would have had no problem with it.

His character from Music and Lyrics used to be my favorite.
  • As much as I love Uncle Pastuzo (especially just saying his name aloud), I wasn't exactly thrilled when I realized that was a flashback.
  • 10 years for barberly harm? Man, that judge is a real wanker.
  • Way to go, Paddington. You somehow managed to make prison look like...heaven?
  • This movie seems to be dying a slow death at the U.S. box office. I know that shouldn't surprise me...with Paddington not being full of emojis...
  • And finally, as much as I love all the people in this film (the cast is uniformly excellent), it kinda feels a little light on the Paddington, you know? Like, I want to hang with Hugh. And Gleeson. And the Browns. And all the wonderful neighbors, too. But, uh...I really like that bear. A lot.

Bottom line? I beg you to give this movie a chance. I promise, you don't even have to have kids to enjoy the Paddington films. You could go alone and have just as much fun, I'm sure of it. And if you don't like going to the movies alone?

Take your friends. Invite someone in your family. Heck, take that guy at work who's always starting every sentence with you know what you should do? And if none of them will go?

Ask that blogger you've never met.

He'll totally go with you.


  1. I just don't think the Paddington films look interesting but I'll try because you said so. lol

    1. I can see how they could look uninteresting, but give them a few minutes and I'm guessing they'll win you over.

      Assuming, you know, you actually like...stuff.

  2. I loved everything about this movie. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw such a delightful film. I was wondering what you were going to put in the Boo! section, because everything about this movie is great! But yes, what a shame this isn't making more money. And: "10 years for barberly harm? Man, that judge is a real wanker." Bahahha so true.

    1. That's fantastic that you liked this one, AW. And it was all I could do myself not to just type ADORABLE, DELIGHTFUL and WHIMSICAL 1500 times to create this post.

      I almost omitted the Boos for the first time ever, as outside of missing Paddington for a stretch here and there, there was nothing I didn't adore about this film.

      Hell, I even liked the judge by the end of it!

  3. I liked this more than the first movie. It did have the same charm and delight but this was just lovelier. Hugh Grant was hilarious in this one.

    1. Agreed, agreed annnnnd agreed.

      The first one still kills me, as the initial meeting between the Browns and Paddington is one of my favorite scenes ever.

      So glad you (and other wonderful people here) enjoyed this one!

  4. Well then go with me :)

    I really wanna see this. I actually never saw the first part so maybe I will put it in between Moon and rewatch of Choke tonight...yeah that will work :P

    1. Let's go!

      It's not mandatory to see the first one, but it's equally as wonderful. The second one has a WAY better villain (Kidman was odd in the first one (though her boobs were not)) in Grant, but the first one has more Paddington.

      Basically, flip a coin. BUT SEE ONE OF THEM!

      (by the way, I read Choke....never watched it [and when I originally heard that Rockwell was going to be in it, I thought he'd be perfect)

    2. Yeah he really....unleashed the power of the rooster in that one. You should see it if only to realize me and Mettel are clearly immortal because we saw it and are still around :) Also I went through your movie reviews and it seems you only reviewed The Way Way Back with him, what on Earth?

      I definitely will see the first one this week, I need something I cannot perv during

    3. Are you trying to sell me on this movie, or not? I'm not sure all this talk of unleashing has me curious or...afraid.

      I hope I mentioned my love for Sam in that review of TWWB, because he's always been one of my favorites. He had me as Guy in Galaxy Quest. And I never looked back (he was awesome in Charlie's Angels, too).

      If you watch it, and hate it, LIE TO ME. Please.

    4. I rewatched GQ recently, had you read RF you'd know :P I thought the film was OK but he was hilarious as was Alan Rickman

      Just watch Choke, man :P I need you to review it. Or anything. Moon. Three Billboards. Jesse James. Any of the ones me and Mettel tweet like perverts about.

      I'll watch the cute bear. I won't hate it, I'm not a monster! :P

  5. You know, not really interested in this bear but I mean, maybe. Maybe when I'm feeling really shit and sad and there are no Sam Rockwell movies to watch (which will never happen though), I might watch this one.

    1. Well, you better get interested dammit!!!

      Look, I know these flicks might seem...unnecessary...but they are nothing short of fantastic! If you need to tape a picture of Sam Rockwell near the screen, do it. It'll be worth it! (the first one is/was? on Netflix) Go! Do it!!!

  6. Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more. About as lovely as anything I've ever seen.