Mea Culpa! I would never have gone to see Mark Wahlburg's new comedy Ted if NBC had not been so shoddy in its delayed coverage, its dippy heart-breaking stories, its lack of coverage of anything but the main sports (swimming, diving, gymnastics, Michael Phelps), and ace commentators like John McEnroe on beach volleyball (!). As for host Bob Costas, he seems as fresh-faced as he did 20 years ago at his first time as host. Hmmm, Dorian Gray? So, in a fit of ennui, my friend and I took in one of the worst of the inane sophomoric comedies from the Judd Apatow school of grossness. Directed and co-written by Seth MacFarland of "Family Guy," this is a bromance (a 36 year old man-child and his beloved teddy bear who's had a Pinnochio experience and romance with Mila Kunis. Unfortunately, the adult bear is a doped out, crude, totally unfunny bear, and so goes the movie goes from bad to worst. There is one funny bit, but good tastes forbids describing it.
On to better things, in another night of relief from the Olympics, my wife and I watched the BBC's Masterpiece Contemporary Page Eight, a 2011 film in the John LeCarre tradition. Filled with moles, plots and counterplots, betrayals, and references to actual Brit politics, this drama focuses on MIS agent Johnny Worricker, played impeccably by suave Bill Nighy, whose spotty personal life interferes with his shaky standing as a top spy. The cast is full of some of Britain's best actors Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, and Judy Davis. All of them give fierce, committed performances, but it is Nighy's superb interpretation of a man who finally has to decide whether to go along with national policy lies or reveal the truth and lose everything that makes this one THE ONE TO WATCH.
Well, time to get back to the Olympics. The tension in men's basketball is overwhelming, so much so that LeBron sat out the second half, an American cutie has bested the Ruskies, and Michael Phelps has, well, you know....medaled out.