This week is a special DOUBLE FEATURE review! First up, the raunchy comedy from Seth MacFarlane: TED! Then a lesser-known hockey film starring Seann William Scott: GOON!
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Writers: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, and Giovanni Ribisi
Director: Michael Dowse
Writers: Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg, Adam Frattasio, and Doug Smith
Starring: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber, and Eugene Levy
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TED Review Transcript:
You know, it’s nice to see someone like Seth MacFarlane go outside of his comfort zone. The transition from crude humor portrayed through the medium of animation to live action sophisticated comedy is undoubtedly a difficult one. It’s not often that we get to see a movie capture the magic of a child’s imagination and true friendship, and Ted the teddy bear…
Oh who the hell am I kidding? It’s an extra long live action episode of Family Guy with a talking teddy bear instead of Brian the dog. That’s really all you need to know about this movie. If you enjoy Family Guy, you’ll like Ted. If you’re not a fan of Family Guy and are easily offended, you will hate it.
Wahlberg plays the grown up yet perpetually immature Peter Gri- I mean John Bennett. MacFarlane voices Ted the teddy bear, who sounds remarkably similar to Peter Griffin. Mila Kunis voices a hotter version of Meg Griffin…my mistake, she voices herself playing Lori Collins. Correction: she doesn’t voice herself, she’s acting.
The biggest issues with Ted (outside of the humor that’s subject to opinion) are:
1) It goes on a little too long. There is a weird little side plot that feels incredibly forced and really isn’t necessary at all. Given, it works with the story in the end, but what it DOES could have been handled in a way that easily cuts 15-20 minutes from the movie.
2) Good comedies can intermingle drama in their comedy with serious moments and maintain an overall enjoyable experience. Great comedies can intermingle the drama and overall storyline without ever breaking the comedic tone (see: The Naked Gun series, Mel Brooks’ films, South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut). Ted falls short of being a great comedy because it has moments of “serious drama” that break the overall flow. There aren’t many of these, but they’re rather jarring because any jokes made during these moments feel incredibly awkward (and not in a funny way).
Otherwise, as I said before, if you like Family Guy then you’ll like Ted. Needless to say, as a fan I laughed my head off. It’s immature, it’s raunchy, it’s foul, and by god it’s hilarious! You won’t find anything new from Seth MacFarlane here, but his comedic style works very well as long as that’s your kind of thing. If you’re looking for something different, you can always check out That’s My Boy. Yeah…
I give Ted: 7 / 10.
Oh yeah, to all the parents out there (specifically the ones that came into the theater with their 5 to 8 year old looking kids): just because the movie has a talking teddy bear doesn’t mean it’s something you should take your young children to. I’m not saying that you’re bad parents…I’m saying that you’re horrible parents.
GOON Review Transcript:
Considering American Reunion was released this week in what can only be described as a land-speed record for “theater to DVD” in barely over 3 months, I came very close to reviewing it since I had been too busy biting my toenails, or watching the neighbor dog roll in its own excrement, or something else that’s infinitely more interesting to me than the final installment after what was supposed to be a final installment of an until-now trilogy that can at best be described as “meh”. Instead, I decided to take a look at the latest non-pie related career choice of Seann William Scott (aka Stifler, aka the only funny character in the series that didn’t get freaky with band instruments and wasn’t the pie-humper’s dad).
Goon is a hockey movie and an interesting amalgamation of elements that seem innocent enough, but as a whole create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Take one part Forrest Gump in the form of a dim-witted yet incredibly nice and kind protagonist named Doug, then mix that with a mild violent streak and a dash of concrete fists. In a separate bowl you’ll add the feel of the Mighty Ducks movies, strip away the kid-friendly Disney humor, then replace it with language your mom wouldn’t approve of, fist fights and blood, and have the story focus around one half of the “Bash Brothers”. Finally, mix it all together, add annoying best friend to taste, and pour into a bread pan of “inspired by a true story”. Yep, good old IBATS is back!
Like Ted, Goon is a comedy, but a completely different kind of comedy aside from one being a movie about a teddy bear with the heart of a foul-mouthed jackass, and the other being about a huge intimidating hockey player with the heart of a teddy bear. It’s not as funny overall, and you won’t be doubled over with laughter unless you’re some kind of sadist that finds watching grown men beat the crap out of each other hilarious. Though if that’s the case, laughing is probably the least of your problems…and you’re probably one of my exes.
What this movie has more than anything is heart. You may not be laughing the whole time, and you may want to shove a hockey puck into the best friend’s mouth every time he talks, but the movie as a whole is a wonderful journey from start to finish. You could say that it’s a great family movie for families without kids. Older kids would be fine, though they might develop tourette’s after listening to that annoying runt from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice talk for thirty seconds.
I give Goon: 7 / 10
I’m Papa Kenn, and I’ll see you next review.