The normally brilliant Harry Shearer stumbles with Teddy Bears' Picnic. All the components are present for a potentially hilarious and telling mockumentary-style satire on the famous Bohemian Grove, where an odd mix of New World Order power mongers, artists, pseudo intellectuals, and quasi-celebrity mix in a state of misogynistic, sophomoric, and fraternal abandon. An inspired and willing all-star cast combined with dozens of hilarious inside-joke instants, give the piece great scene-by-scene potential. But sadly, the work as a whole simply disintegrates into a surprising state of comic mistiming and sloppy direction. "Surprising" because of the intrinsic talent involved in the project. It seemed to me that this made-for-TV piece was conceived at breakfast and filmed by dinnertime, cobbled together and performed in one take. It is as if we are looking at the "dailies" rather than the final piece. With basically strong comic material, just a little TLC with the plot flow and a more careful tuning of the comic timing (in direction, acting, and editing) could have made this into a real cult classic. Should be remade to pack the real comic punch the material contains.
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