WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
John is a lonely boy whose stuffed teddy bear-Ted, comes to life thanks to a Christmas wish. Cut to twenty-five years later, John (Mark Wahlberg) is now a thirty-five year old slacker, who spends most of his time smoking weed, and watching FLASH GORDON over and over again with Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane)- much to the chagrin of his ever-patient girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis). Fed up, she gives him an ultimatum- her or the bear. Yeah, if it was anyone but Kunis I'd choose the bear, buuuuuutttt....
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Seth MacFarlane’s big-screen debut, TED is an imperfect film but a pretty damn funny one and I wasn’t a bit surprised when this thing ended up becoming a box-office juggernaut. Months later, does the film hold up to repeat viewings.
I’d say yes, as TED is like the best episodes of MacFarlane’s FAMILY GUY, where you can watch the good ones over and over. Sure- Ted sounds just like Peter Griffin, but who among you doesn’t want to see him come back and get into some more mischief in TED 2? I sure do. Even without the bear though, TED is still a fun movie.
Mark Wahlberg is hilarious as Ted’s human companion, poking fun at himself throughout. Wahlberg’s a natural at comedy, as he’s proven in movies like THE OTHER GUYS, I HEART HUCKABEES, and chunks of BOOGIE NIGHTS. What makes him funny is his absolute sincerity. I mean, just look at his face throughout- and try to find a single scene where Wahlberg doesn’t look like he’s actually conversing with a talking bear. There’s no snide slumming here, or knowing “isn’t this ridiculous?” looks- and he’s just as good as his CGI co-star. The same can be said for Mila Kunis, who- after a decade spent voicing Meg on FAMILY GUY obviously knows exactly how to play MacFarlane’s humor. All in all- it’s a blast.
TED comes on a pretty packed Blu-ray. Not surprisingly, we get an unrated cut of the movie, but I think MacFarlane got most of the stuff he wanted into the theatrical cut, so it’s not all that different from the original. MacFarlane also contributes a commentary track, with his co-writer and star Mark Wahlberg, who ducks out relatively early. It’s a really funny track though. Also funny are the outtakes many of which show MacFarlane actually manipulating a stuffed TED bear while he recites his dialogue. There’s also fifteen minutes of deleted scenes - although there aren’t really any gems, as- again, MacFarlane got all he wanted into the theatrical cut. There’s also an alternate take reel a twenty-five minute making of and a six-minute piece explaining how they shot the Teddy Bear Scuffle .
The only thing that kinda mars TED is the whole kidnapping angle, which stops the laughs for too long and kills the momentum it had built up in the eighty previous minutes. However, it’s far from a fatal flaw. Truth be told, I laughed more during TED (especially in the Sam J. Jones FALSH GORDON scenes) than I did at anything since the first HANGOVER. And, ya know- I was sober this time. This time.