If you like Family Guy, you’ll like Ted. If not, you may want to think about it…

Ted is not for everyone. For me? I laughed at about 50% of the jokes and shook my head at remaining 50%. I do the same with Family Guy, so it was not a surprise. What I really did like, was the fact that Seth MacFarlane created a narrative that had some heart. Ted is actually a romantic comedy with a side of bromance thrown in.

Be warned. MacFarlane is rude, crude and offensive and an equal opportunity offender. That does not mean you will not find yourself laughing. Despite yourself at times. The jokes range from juvenile to hilarious and cover plenty of pop culture–à la Family Guy style.  This is pretty much an uncensored, bigger version of a FG episode.  (Even the music seemed to be similar to the TV show–weird.)

What is different is the narrative. I am going to give MacFarlane some credit here. He has created an original story and I appreciated how he made a universe where a walking–talking teddy bear was normal. It is claimed as a “miracle” but the world accepts this concept and it helps to ground the story, so you can just go with it.

The best part though is the unexpected tenderness, depth and heart that goes with all the raunchy shenanigans.  Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and MacFarlane, all have great chemistry and you believe that they have a history together. They keep this film from turning into a mess. I found myself cheering for them and hoping they can work things out. There are also a bunch of cool cameos, the best being a truly creepy villain by Giovanni Ribisi.

That’s it. If you know what to expect and go in willingly, you will enjoy yourself. If you are unsure–don’t do it. Ted is not everyone’s wish come true, but I think that is exactly the way Seth MacFarlane wanted it to be.

 

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Contraband is a lazy, predictable, cliche mess!

Hey, audience–are you confused or not sure what is happening? No worries–we will tell you what is going to happen, drop hints all throughout and spoon feed you all the plot points.  And you will love it!  Wink…Wink!  Contraband is that in a nutshell.  This a movie that spells it out.  Walks you through each scene and leaves nothing to your imagination.  It is full of stereotypes and clichés.  And it is a shame really–a waste of some serious talent.

Mark Wahlberg is on autopilot for this one and although he is surrounded by strong actors–Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster (one of my favorites), J.K. Simmons–they all come across flat. 

One the surface you can say it is a simple, effective heist thriller, but for me it was a bland and predictable.  If you’re really interested, you can go see for yourself–who knows? You may disagree with me.