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July 15, 2012


Joel McHale calls Mark Wahlberg “squirt,” Flash Gordon punches through a wall then wrestles a man named Ming and Giovanni Ribisi dances creepily to I Think We’re Alone Now. Ted is a funny blast of fresh air that shows evidence of a first time director yet still manages to provide big laughs.

The main takeaway from this film is that Seth MacFarlane loves crane/jib shots. The sweeping shots seem out-of-place in a world where Mark Wahlberg smokes pot with a magical teddy bear.


Ted begins with a lonely young boy making a wish that his stuffed bear will come to life so they can be best friends forever. The next morning the wish comes true and they become instant best friends. The sweet little bear becomes a worldwide celebrity and eventually falls into the pitfalls that come with being a child star. fifteen years later the bear is unemployed, smokes copious amounts of weed and solicits prostitutes. His pal played by Mark Wahlberg is stuck in arrested development much to the annoyance of his understanding girlfriend played by MacFarlane regular Mila Kunis.


Ted is being praised for the humor that never lets up or diminishes. However, I’m amazed at how realistic Ted looks. The bear is a marvel of motion capture that raises the bar for CGI. MacFarlane was on set doing double duty as director and character. His lines were recorded on set and not in a studio. Thus, the voice work comes across naturally because he was there to guide the actors and riff during the moment. This movie is more accessible than Family Guy too. After twenty minutes of that show my brain is scrambled and I feel dumb. Ted is a dirty freight train of comedy that keeps chugging along.


21 Jump Street and Ted have made 2012 a very good year for comedies. There are moments in Ted that had me laughing out loud. Ted’s interviews with his grocery store boss are highlights of foul language and unexpected pay offs. Also, the wrestling match between Ted and a duck is fantastic. Mark Wahlberg proves he is up for anything and Mila Kunis holds her own as a character who could have been like every other annoyed girlfriend.  She still is stuck with all the familiar notes but you appreciate how hard she works while her boyfriend does nothing. There are plot inconsistencies all over the place. For instance, Ted can beat up Wahlberg yet is no match for fat kids and angry ducks. However, all of these inconsistencies don’t matter because without them the laughs wouldn’t be so big.

What follows is a genuinely funny film that hits comedic highs but falters when it comes to the relationship business. This movie reminds me of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s first film Cemetary Junction. These men all made a name for themselves on television and slowly jumped into movies. The similarities are the heavy-handed messages that are hammered home with all the subtly of a hammer crashing on a tin roof. It hurts when talented directors who have created memorable comedic characters stick to the tropes of the genre.

I laughed loud and often during Ted. The jokes come so fast that you barely have time to absorb the hilarity of the situation. Whether it be the Tom Skerritt references, Patrick Warburton’s odd habits or Lance Armstrong’s bronzed nut sitting in Joel McHale’s museum  you will constantly be entertained.

So, sit back, relax and watch Wahlberg and Ted sit back and relax.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. johnleavengood permalink
    January 11, 2013 12:12 pm

    Wow. Little on this planet is more disturbing than Ribisi swaying his hips while sipping his drink to Tiffany’s mall tour anthem. Likewise, little was more randomly satisfying than Warburton’s relationship with a dialogueless Ryan Reynolds.
    Though I’d like this movie. LOVED THIS MOVIE.


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