If Kathy Griffin and Fozzie Bear had a child together, with Sarah Silverman and Andrew Dice Clay as the godparents, it would be Ted. Get ready to meet the most foul mouthed, funniest, furry teddy bear you have ever seen. The one liners came quickly and cut deeply; I could not help but laugh out loud. From a childhood wish that came true; John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg (Contraband, Date Night), and his talking teddy bear Ted were the best of friends. Even when John grew up, he and Ted were always there for each other. But as many of you know, when one of those two best friends falls in love, the dynamics of the friendship change. What would John do when his girlfriend Lori Collins, played by Mila Kunis (Black Swan, The Book of Eli), suggested it was time for Ted to move out? I won’t tell you, but what I will say is writer and director Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy-TV, American Dad-TV) created a gold mine of hilarious opportunities for laughter. In addition, he included a couple of themes for the viewers to mull over and possibly see if they could relate to them. Not only was Mila excellent in this movie; but Mark, who I have not been crazy about for some time, did a good job with his character. The goal of this comedy was to make the audience laugh and it succeeded. Just remember this bear is for adults only.
With some hesitation, I went to the early showing of this animated movie. As I suspected, the theater was packed with parents and their children. Don’t get me wrong, I knew this movie time would attract more children then a late night showing. The talking, eating, fighting and crying of various kids did not wipe the smile off of my face, though. Granted the father seated behind me who left with his crying child within the first 30 minutes, was enough reason to smile as far as I was concerned. However, this humorous movie had enough jokes, sight gags and fun claymation to keep me entertained. I thought the comedy had a bit more sophistication to it, geared towards the adults in the audience. Possibly the wonderful visuals would be enough to entertain the younger ones. The Pirate Captain, voiced by Hugh Grant (Music and Lyrics, Love Actually), was determined to finally win the Pirate of the Year award. Setting sail to plunder unsuspecting sailing vessels, the Pirate Captain knew the competition was stiff with Cutlass Liz, voiced by Salma Hayek (Frida, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) as one of the competitors. Both actors did an admirable job in their roles. For me, the stand out performance was from Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake, Harry Potter franchise) voicing Queen Victoria. The story, I felt, dragged out too long; but, I enjoyed just sitting and watching the beautiful art of claymation.
2 3/4 stars
My mind was blown by this amazing movie about a man and his inflatable life-sized doll. Before you jump to conclusions; trust me, this wonderful film was nothing what you are thinking now. The movie for me was a perfect reminder that when confronted with someone different or out of the ordinary, acceptance and kindness could have a powerful affect on them. Troubled Lars Lindstrom, played by Ryan Gosling (Drive; Crazy, Stupid Love) had a hard time relating to people. Not until he ordered and received his blowup doll did he begin to come out of his shell, with the added help from his family and neighbors. Emily Mortimer (Hugo, Our Idiot Brother) was especially sympathetic to Lars, playing his sister-in-law Karin, as he began introducing “Bianca” as his girlfriend. Most of you know I am a big fan of Ryan Gosling from my previous reviews of his films. His performance in this unusual story was brilliant. The mix of emotions throughout this tender, funny film were just perfect. This movie was a testament to the power of acceptance and kindness.
3 1/2 stars — DVD
Women you caught us men; who knew it only took reading Steve Harvey’s best-selling book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” to figure out the male species. And if you believe that, I have a brand new, still in the box Betamax for sale. I did not have high expectations for this movie. The story was about a group of women who read Steve Harvey’s book and used it to beat the man in their life at his own game. The movie, I believe, was not necessarily following the whole book, as much as just presenting scenes that addressed several chapters of it. This certainly was a great marketing idea. There were funny parts throughout this comedy; the bulk of them being handled by Kevin Hart (Death at a Funeral, Fool’s Gold) as Cedric. Out of the different couples in play, I felt Lauren and Dominic played by Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Karate Kid) and Michael Ealy (Seven Pounds, 2 Fast 2 Furious) were the most believable out of the group. Besides them, the acting was passable from the rest of the cast. As far as I could tell, the majority of the audience was enjoying this light comedy. There really was nothing bad about this movie, just light fluff in my opinion. I think this film would be an easy choice as a date night movie for most people.
2 1/4 stars