Ted Blu-ray Review
I typically associate Seth MacFarlane with Family Guy or American Dad, neither of which I’m a fan of. So I had no interest when it was announced he would be directing a live action comedy that he also wrote. But then a few hilarious trailers came out and I thought that maybe TED would be different. Shockingly, it turns out that MacFarlane’s brand of humor actually works better in a live action movie than it does in an animated cartoon.
Mark Wahlberg is John, a 35 year-old man still living with his talking teddy bear, Ted. When John was a little kid, he wished that his stuffed bear would talk back and through some unexplained magic, his wish came true. MacFarlane did well by not making the bear’s ability to talk a plot point. Ted found brief fame, akin to the boy that fell down a well or a local hero, but everyone accepted that Ted was alive and could talk. This allowed him to focus on the actual plot of the movie, which revolves around John trying to balance his friendship with Ted and his relationship with Lori (Mila Kunis). This is something many of us deal with as we try to move on from our college buddies and focus on our grown up life, only John’s “buddy” happens to be a talking teddy bear.
Although the fact that Ted is a talking teddy bear isn’t a plot point, it is the source of most of the humor. Ted is a cute looking teddy bear and when he’s rattling off vulgarities or dry-humping a cash register, it’s just funny. Sure, some of the humor is juvenile and predictable, but it’s funny nonetheless. The humor is helped by the all-in performance from Mark Wahlberg, who sheds his tough-guy action movie roles for the weak man-child John. I tend to question Wahlberg’s range, but he showed me something in Ted, delivering his lines with great comedic timing and getting into his character so much that it was easy to accept the idea of a talking teddy bear. The exchanges between Ted and John were the highlight of the film, such as John trying to guess the name of Ted’s new girlfriend, and I wish we would have had more of those.
The film slowed down when Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) showed up. Donny’s obsession with Ted was a subplot to the film that took a darker turn than what was necessary. They had a nice subplot going on with Lori’s boss Rex (Joel McHale) that could have served the same purpose that Donny served. Tone is important in comedies and it seemed the tone of Ted got away from Seth MacFarlane at times. He needed a catalyst that would bring Ted, John and Lori back together after their fight, but he should have stayed away from the creepiness of an obsessed kidnapper. It brought down the last quarter of the film and wasn’t rescued until the last scene, which still has me laughing out loud.
Unless vulgar humor offends you, I feel confident that everyone else should find TED to be a very funny film. There are some trademark MacFarlane moments, such as flashbacks and exaggerated dream sequences, but watching Mark Wahlberg and a stuffed teddy bear fight each other in a hotel room is worth the price of admission.
Video: TED is a very average transfer for Fox. It didn’t seem to have the same “pop” that a lot of newer Blu-ray titles have, but it still looked fine.
Audio: The audio is also fine.
Audio Commentary with director/co-writer/voice talent Seth MacFarlane, co-writer Alec Sulkin and Mark Wahlberg: An alright commentary where the guys give some information about the film but mostly crack jokes. It’s pretty good until Mark Wahlberg has to leave to early.
The Making of Ted (24:57): A behind-the-scenes featurette that is broken down into three sections. This is a great piece to watch for fans of the film.
Deleted Scenes (15:01): Fifteen deleted scenes are included and are a must watch for those who can’t get enough of that crass teddy bear and his human companion.
Teddy Bear Scuffl (5:59): This is a featurette about the big fight between Ted and John.
Alternated Takes (10:58): An alternate take reel that will provide some laughs but is sometimes lame.
Gag Reel (6:02): The obligatory gag reel that is a must watch.
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