Archive | 2:30 pm

Thunder Buddies for Life

28 Jun

When it comes to Ted, Seth MacFarlane’s talking teddy bear movie, there’s only one question that matters: Is it funny?

Yes it is.

Holy crap, is it ever.

If you know nothing about this movie, then let me fill you in: It all opens in a Boston suburb in 1985, at Christmas — “that special time when Boston children gather together and beat up the Jewish kids.”

John Bennett, an 8-year-old boy who has no friends, receives a teddy bear and makes a wish that the stuffed animal was real. Lo and behold, the next morning, Ted is a walking, talking, live teddy bear. (“Look what Jesus did!” a TV newscaster exclaims.)

Fast-forward a few years, and John is now 35 years old, played by Mark Wahlberg, living in Boston, dating a hottie named Lori (Mila Kunis), and still best friends with Ted (who now has the voice of MacFarlane — clearly, even teddy bears go through puberty).

Over the years, the bear became a minor celebrity, appearing on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and multiple magazine covers, but as the narrator explains, no matter how famous you get, “eventually, nobody gives a shit.”

Perhaps that’s why these days, Ted has a bit of an attitude.

He speaks with a heavy South Boston accent. He drinks beer. He smokes pot. He makes 9/11 jokes. And somehow, he has sex with prostitutes and other attractive ladies.

Ted is no Chucky. But he’s no Teddy Ruxpin, either.

If you’re thinking Ted isn’t exactly a family film, then you’re damned right. And that’s a good thing. Continue reading

Let Me Be Your Brother

28 Jun

There are two nice things about being an amateur film critic.

One is that I don’t have to see every movie that comes out. Only the ones I want to see.

The other is that when I see a movie that leaves little to no impression on me, I’m under no obligation to fake it through a thorough and intelligently written review.

That second thing is why this review of People Like Us won’t be my longest, best, or most thorough one.

In the film, Chris Pine (Star Trek, Just My Luck) plays Sam, a guy whose estranged father has passed, and who learns he has a sister, Frankie (Elizabeth Banks). Sam is short on cash, when his father leaves Frankie a bunch of it, Sam befriends her and her son, hoping he’ll be able to score at least some of it.

Also in the cast are Michelle Pfeiffer as Sam’s mother, who may or may not have known about Frankie, and the lovely Olivia Wilde, as Sam’s long-suffering law-student girlfriend. Continue reading

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