Tuesday, July 3, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: "Ted"

MOVIE REVIEW
Ted
___________________________

Excessive, over-the-top,
gratuitous, lowbrow,
insensitive, vulgar and
anti-Semitic are just a
few adjectives that first
come to (my) mind when
describing Family Guy
creator Seth Macfarlane's
debut feature film. Oddly,
however, Ted is the
funniest movie of the
year — so far.
___________________________

On the surface, Ted appears merely to be another lowest common denominator summer comedy. But instead of an unlikable foreign journalist, a "flamboyant" fashion guru or a trampish middle-aged school teacher, the perceived "hero" in 2012 is a cantankerous stuffed bear.

I live just south of Cocoa Beach, on Florida's east coast. And if a child's teddy bear came to life in my hood, it most certainly would grow up to be an irresponsible, beer-guzzling, pot-smoking, foul-mouthed, horny, couch potato like Peter Griffin, uh, I mean, Ted. Hence, I wasn't personally shocked or offended by the film's rather repulsive main character or its overall trash-type content — however, I probably should have been. Shame on me.

Ted boldly offers two hours worth of non-stop filth and envelope-pushing, but it is very clever and well-written filth and envelope-pushing. And I nearly was rolling in the aisle from start to finish — an endorsement that I'm not all together proud to offer. You see, in the spirit of full disclosure I must admit that in spite of my spiritual awareness, I occasionally still can be a bit of a moronic, juvenile bonehead.

However, Ted doesn't offer trash merely for trash sake — entirely. There actually are two very compelling stories playing out here, which is why I'm (kinda) glad that I didn't walk out of the theater immediately following the initial Jew and Christian bashings.

Mila Kunis is the seventh
hottest chick ever!
1) Ted is a lighthearted coming-of-age story. The odd (and very funny) thing is, the "age" that the two lead male buddies (Ted and John) are "coming of" is 35 and one of them is an animated teddy bear, played convincingly by Seth Macfarlane.

2) Ted is also an engaging love story between John Bennett, played by the ever-hunky Mark Wahlberg and his girlfriend  Lori Collins, played by the always-steamy Mila Kunis. Wahlberg and Kunis are süper-hotties and have powerful chemistry. And despite John's constant irresponsible behavior and Lori's justifiable reasons for leaving him, she pretty much remains a cool chick throughout the film and ultimately saves the day. In short, John and Lori are both beautiful and quite likable characters.

Overall, Ted makes for a lively refuse receptacle. In one scene a coke-junkie prostitute defecates on the living room floor during one of Ted's parties. In another scene, Ted attempts to seduce a co-worker by squirting a milky white, creamy lotion-like substance on his face. And then there's the obligatory pro-gay message, which as usual, is jammed awkwardly into the story for no apparent rhyme or reason. But it's Ryan Reynolds kissing a dude, so I guess it must be "relevant."

A boy and his bear!
Look, even some of us right-wing Jesus-believing wackos have a sense of humor, but c'mon! Sometimes less IS more. I mean, where can we go after witnessing an animated toy teddy bear boasting about "effing" his human girlfriend with a vegetable? 

So, was there anything really that wrong with Ted? After all, it was rated "R" — no kiddies allowed. Well, uh, in that context, I guess not. But Seth Macfarlane is a modern-day comedic genius and as a fan, I believe that he's capable of creating higher quality content. Perhaps his next film will be truly epic.

-Christopher Long
(July 2012)

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2 comments:

  1. Good honest review. I probably will watch this when Margo has time off to watch it with me. Seems like our kind of movie saying that sometimes we watch those kinda movies. Thank you for the review.

    -Bill Munsey

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    1. I'm honored to have the legendary "Snuggle Munsey" comment on my blog.

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