Ted is exactly what you think it is. I can’t think of greater praise or more biting criticism to come up with than saying that. If you’ve seen the commercials and have any experience with Seth MacFarlane at all then the mental picture of this movie you have is probably very similar to what they put up on the screen. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is a much harder thing to pin down.
I frequently feel that among my peer group I am one of the few that likes MacFarlane’s work at all. I am a pretty big fan of American Dad! and will often put on Family Guy reruns while I’m working as background noise. This is a stark contrast to the nothing but shitting on everything MacFarlane has ever done that I think is far more common among my comedy nerd friends. I just want to get this base covered before I spend the next paragraph talking about how not funny I think this movie is.
It’s not like there weren’t any jokes in this movie. It’s packed to the gills with jokes. The problem was instead of making me laugh I would sort of just recognize the joke, see about how clever it was and then move on. I was never adequately surprised by the material. This did not seem to affect anyone else in the theater. The movie went over like gangbusters. Or it did until the last five minutes when two-thirds of the audience inexplicably walked out.
I can’t explain the mass audience exodus. At first I thought it was in reaction to a retard joke that might have been over the line but this is an audience who a) knew what they were getting into when they bought the ticket and b) responded with glee when Mark Wahlberg punched a child unconscious not five minutes prior. I guess it was sort of the movie epilogue where they explain what happens to all the characters and people might have thought it irrelevant but there were still jokes coming. Maybe people just had a lot of things to do on this Monday afternoon? I don’t get it.
There’s also a remarkable lack of stakes in Ted. The characters are to terribly consistent from scene to scene and they seem to only exist to serve whatever joke is happening. I wouldn’t have a problem with this approach except at the end they suddenly want me to care about the characters. They also want me to believe a thin man and a heavy set child can successfully confine a magic bear who had previously had beat the shit out of Mark Wahlberg in a hotel room. They treat the first 75 minutes of the episode like a long episode of Family Guy and then try to finish like a real movie. I don’t get it.
Oh, and Pilot was there and she didn’t like it either.
Holy crap a lot of movies open this weekend. Summer is here folks and everyone wants to get their movie out a week before Spider-Man crushes everyone. Let’s take a look.
Brave is a great film and will probably continue to make money all summer. I don’t know if that means that have a second week at number one in them. This would be four full weeks of computer-animated children’s films and I have this sneaking feeling that the adults are ready to take back the box office.
Opening this weekend
Magic Mike: Channing Tatum is back! Already having a great year winning this weekend would be another huge step on Tatum’s climb to the top of this current crop of young actors. This movie loosely based on Tatum’s own career as a male stripper also features every other actor from a romantic comedy that you’ve seen in the last five years. If the women of America feel like flexing their box office muscle this weekend this is going to be the movie to beat.
Madea’s Witness Protection: It’s very hard to bet against a Madea movie. Tyler Perry seems to have his finger on the pulse of the black movie-going audience and there seems to be enough pent-up demand from a demographic that might feel underrepresented in every other movie. On the other hand it’s a very stunted release trailing the other big releases from this weekend by substantial margins. It also trails Brave by 2,000 theaters. I fear the numbers just aren’t there.
Ted: Now we’re talking. There hasn’t been a big R-rated comedy this year and Ted is sure getting a serious advertising campaign. Seriously, I defy you to watch a show aimed at young people that doesn’t have an ad for Ted on it. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis are both legitimate stars and Seth MacFarlane certainly seems to have his finger on the pulse of the modern American sense of humor. The only thing this movie really needs to overcome is it’s restrictive rating and the very cluttered landscape this weekend.
People Like Us: Just stop. I don’t know a single person who can tell me what this movie is about. It’s in the least theaters of any movie opening and is behind five existing movies. It’s in fewer theaters than the third week of Adam Sandler mega-bomb That’s My Boy. No shot.
My Prediction: This weekend will not be about Brave. Brave will probably make about $35 million this weekend. Can any of these other movies top that number? Probably. Will they? I wouldn’t bet on it. I’m taking Brave.