Friday, July 6, 2012


Review: TED Forget About It!

Why would Oscar nominee for best supporting actor and producer of the award winning BoardwalkEmpire and hit series, Entourage, Mark Wahlberg agree to star in Ted? The concept of a perverted and predatory Teddy Bear is a funny one, but it doesn't translate to the big adult screen. The jokes are uneven and the pauses between are filled with boredom or cutesy dialogue or fart jokes. If you like fart jokes, you will like Ted, but I see it as one gaseous stream of hot offensive air .
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) stars as the voice of Ted and directs and wrote it along with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. MacFarlane began drawing at two. "I wrote as a nine year old, a cartoon. Political in nature. And it was published. We have 17 writers in the writer's room. If something is offensive it has to be really really funny," he said on the Kelly live show. "There is nothing this bear says that Mel Gibson would not say."
Ted begins at Christmastime when a boy, John Bennett, gets a teddy bear as present. He makes a wish that the bear would come alive and it does. Patrick Stewart narrates with the right degree of distinguished pretension yet warmth and this makes what few laughs there in the opening, work. Ted is filled with raunchy and snarky humor and at times it is beyond vulgar. Which I gather is MacFarlane's intention.
Cut to adult John Bennett. Big-eyed lovely Lori (Mila Kunis) is now the girlfriend of Ted who longs to be engaged to John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) who prefers to engage with Ted, the talking Teddy Bear with whom he's been conversing for 27 years. Lori is a PR executive and spends her time trying to convince John to grow up and to abandon Ted. Due to Lori's insistence Ted gets his own apartment and a job. He gives parties for hookers and leads a life of debauchery. Donny played by the talented Giovanni Ribisi is a creepy teddy bear stalker and his son, Aedin Mincks, as a junior stalker are both over the top in their performances. While the acting is good --though Wahlberg misses in a scene or two which MacFarlane's directing should have caught--, the spotty writing makes for a bumpy ride. MacFarlane needed more editing of his jokes while there are some that fly such as, "Someone had to go Joan Crawford on that kid," said by Ted about Ribisi's cruel, tubby son. "As you see my dance card is full," says Ted. While working at the local supermarket, Ted has sex with a beautiful bagger, Jessica Barth, who tells him, "You weren't so bad for a teddy bear."
The ending is predictable and too cute for a movie of this kind of humor. It feels like after writer- director -producer Mac Farlane has spent the entire film trying to push the envelope in offending the audience, he now wants to win it over with violins serenading in the distance. PLEase!
While Ted drinks, smokes and dances with hookers, he wins your heart as a loose cannon that just can't help his vulgarities. Still Ted's adorable nature can not pull this uneven train wreck into the station.
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