Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Could have been worse. Kid could have had a Curious George doll: "Ted"

I mean, have you seen monkeys go at it at the zoo? Imagine if they were talking, too ...

Fitting that I'm covering Seth MacFarlane's comedy hit after his turn as Oscars host. My, was THAT polarizing. Seriously ... check the reviews. Men generally were OK with it or liked the fresh sass. But women? Hoo boy. The less said about boobs and bulimia on national TV, the better.

I actually saw "Ted" before the Oscars but well after it broke out in theaters. And why wouldn't it? Our story starts with a sad, friendless little boy named John so desperate for a true friend that he wishes his teddy bear was real. Shazaam! It shall be done, to the amazement of the kid's family and the entire world. But what happens when the novelty wears off, and these two best buds grow up?

That's the premise of "Ted," and you have to admit it's unique. Post-title sequence, we see John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) still living together but not exactly setting the world on fire.True, John has a longtime girlfriend (Mila Kunis). But he's a slacker on the job and perfectly happy to smoke pot and goof off with Fozzie's cousin. As you might guess, this comes to a head when the girlfriend wants more out of the relationship, and John and Ted both have to start shaping up.

This is all pretty much an excuse to have a vulgar CGI bear mess with a bunch of different people. And mess he does. And it most definitely is not for all tastes. Feces on the floor. Mock bukkake. A Teddy Ruxpin reference. It gets pretty far out there, even for the brain behind "Family Guy." But there's also some genuinely hilarious stuff, like Wahlberg rambling off white trash women's names, Ted's failure to get fired despite his potty mouth, the bear's connection to Norah Jones. ("Thanks for 9/11.") Then there's the whole "Flash Gordon" theme running throughout the movie, which you *know* resonates with this guy. I mean, check out the thumbnail to the right!

In the end, I did find myself laughing more than cringing, although sometimes both. And again, the concept, stupid as it might be, worked out well. I know I never thought of what would happen if a teddy bear came to life ... and *then* grew up to be a pothead loser. Sure as hell beat watching Paul Rudd schlep around in "Our Idiot Brother." And Ted was a heck of a lot more fun than this guy. I still wince when I think of him telling the "Sixth Sense" kid, "You will break." Shiver.


At 3:05 PM, Anonymous slumus lordicus said...

unfortunately I watched 21 jumpstreet before this movie. It was pretty humorous at times but couldn't top Tatum and Hill.

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