Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Warburton, Giovanni Ribisi, Sam Jones
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
Written by: Seth MacFarlane (screenplay), Seth MacFarlane (story)
Studio: Universal Studios
Runtime: 114 min
Blu-ray Release Date: December 11 2012
HTS Overall Score: 65.5
It seems like anything Seth MacFarlane touches turns to gold. He is the force behind the hugely successful animated TV series Family Guy (the highest grossing animated show currently on TV), American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. He released an audio CD in 2011 titled "Music is Better Than Words" of American standards from the 1940s and 1950s and just recently his first theatrical release Ted surpassed The Hangover (2009) to become the highest grossing R-rated comedy internationally. That is one impressive resume not to mention his involvement in Ted, starring in it (motion captured), directing it, writing the screenplay and story and even producing the thing! But is his first foray onto the big screen something different than his TV shows? Yes and no, but in either case it is funny.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10285[/img]As a young boy John (Wahlberg) made a Christmas wish to bring his newly gifted teddy bear to life so he could have a friend to play with. The power of a child’s wish works its magic and in the morning John is met with a walking talking teddy bear who he names Ted (MacFarlane provides both the voice and motion capture performance). Ted is treated in the same manner as Brian the dog from Family Guy, a point that’s referenced and explained early on. The timeline jumps to John at age 35 living with Ted and his girlfriend Lori (Kunis) and working at a car rental place. Ted and John are inseparable buddies who love to spend time on the couch drinking, eating snacks and re-watching the 1980 film Flash Gordon. Their obsession with the campy movie results in a few Family Guy-esque weird scenes that completely stray from the main storyline. Their antics are consistently funny and you believe their appetite for getting high, lounging around and swooning over the sight of the star of Flash Gordon, Sam Jones.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10290[/img]It doesn’t take long for you to believe in this relationship and that they are best friends and soon you become invested in the storyline. There’s enough of an emotional connection where you buy this totally implausible scenario and start to sympathize and empathize with certain circumstances and the characters.
The funny never stops, even when Lori has had enough of the constant joking around and misbehaving and wants to have a mature relationship with John. The struggle to find a balance results in tension that escalates into some serious-ish drama. I liked the chemistry between Lori and John and their relationship case across as pretty believable, especially since they are both so amiable and great to watch on screen.
Ted at times, actually many times plays out like a live-action Family Guy episode. The jokes come fast and furious and don’t linger too long. Scenes tangent off into strange sometimes unrelated scenes, the pace is good, the movie gives off a sense of substance, and there are plenty of memorable and truly hilariously and cleverly written scenes along with fantastic overall real world dialogue.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10289[/img]Being R-rated much of the humor in Ted is expectedly obscene, very vulgar, and touches on sensitive matters like homosexuality, September 11, sex and drugs. Akin to Family Guy the jokes often times approach societal boundaries of what is acceptable or not to make fun of and sometimes stomp right across them with big boots. The shock and awe factor plays an integral part in the humor and cultural references are cleverly interwoven into the dialogue. Despite the crudeness Ted is also witty, smart, cute, and full of genuine endearing moments that pull at your heartstrings.
R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10288[/img]Being a dialogue driven comedy every raunchy line Ted utters and the rest of the cast speaks sounds crisp and melds very well with the mild orchestral score. The score pops up here and there accentuating the mood. Ambient noises are front and center channel heavy. Things perk up a little bit during Flash Gordon references. A sonic atmosphere of people partying at Ted`s apartment sounds realistic with glasses clinking in the background and people conversing also sounding realistic and lively, especially when thing get raucous. One of the most iconic scenes in the movie involves Ted and John in a pretty elaborate and serious fight and even though there is no accompanying music or score during the battle, it is still impactful and packs a punch. Maybe because it was filmed in such a raw way that it leaves such an impression. The soundtrack for Ted does exactly what it is supposed to do for this genre, and that is to provide an all-around enjoyable experience where every note and minor noise comes through naturally.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10287[/img]Ted is a mostly bright movie with very few darker scenes. Indoor scenes are well lit bringing out the detailing and textures in the settings. A few scenes with Lori and John conversing in bed look a tad grainy. Facial features are clear and crisp and clothing looks good, except when black or darker clothing is worn, then outlines are lost and blend together. A club scene recalling how John and Lori first met doesn’t fall victim to the usual noise inherent in places lit with colored spotlights. The fish John and Ted make fun of at the Boston Aquarium look shiny with lots of detail in the scales. Probably the most important visual is Ted, and he looks great. The detailing in Ted’s fake fur and stuffing is definitely a hallmark in Ted. Every patch especially when it gets dirty and grimy still looks sharp. My only real gripe with this 1080p transfer is the occasional SD look of some of the scenes in the trio’s apartment, they were rather underwhelming.
-Unrated and Theatrical Versions
-The Making of Ted
-Teddy Bear Scuffle
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10286[/img]When it comes to comedies opinions are pretty subjective, but there are exceptions. I dare anyone to speak ill of Dumb and Dumber (1994) because that movie is comedy GOLD! On the far end of the spectrum there is the atrociously unfunny Jack and Jill (2011) that is a slight on the comedy genre. But saying that I know people who would think Dumb and Dumber is lowbrow and would laugh at Adam Sandler’s antics in Jack and Jill; so not every comedy is for everyone. Ted is definitely for a particular sort. If you like MacFarlane’s animated comedies then this movie is right up your alley. For those skeptical about the premise and the R rating I recommend giving it a shot because I think you’ll be surprised, plus the CGI looks amazing.
Buy Ted on Blu-ray at Amazon
Watch the Official Trailer
Watch the Official Trailer