Seth MacFarlane’s style has run thin with me. There used to be a time when Family Guy could make me laugh, and even when American Dad could muster a chuckle or two. MacFarlane seems to be more about how many pop culture references he and his staff can make rather than fit in a good, original joke. It’s with this trepidation that I entered Ted with reserved expectations.
For the most part, Ted did enough to exceed my expectations. While it’s not as funny as some of the year’s finer efforts (21 Jump Street and Bernie,) Ted does have a few hilarious moments, and it’s hard to hate a film that reminds us Flash Gordon is still awesome.
Part of Ted‘s charm stems from how believable Mark Wahlberg’s John and Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) interact. The film just asks you to go along with the overtly needy relationship a man has with his teddy bear. Ted himself is the crude, inappropriate of the duo, and balances out well with Wahlberg’s sweet, happy-go-lucky charm he brings to John. Mila Kunis’ Lori never comes off as bitchy, with Kunis playing more frustrated rather than annoying.
Unfortunately, not all of Ted is a wish come true. The rails begin to come off around the third act, with a subplot involving Giovanni Ribisi’s character that long overstays its welcome. It becomes too much, and if the film had handled this story better, Ribisi’s performance wouldn’t be so much of an annoyance. Another problem plaguing Ted is that it feels like an overly long Family Guy episode. It will depend on one’s preference for Seth MacFarlane’s flagship show, which led this to be a distraction for me.
Yet it’s not enough to undo Ted, which remains one of the funnier studio comedies in recent years. Ted is an often crude, but sometimes endearing film that delivers the funny more times than it misses. The film is also Seth MacFarlane’s crowing achievement.
Ted comes to us in a 1.85:1 ratio, and is mighty serviceable. Shot on the Panavision Genesis HD, Ted looks a bit smoother than film. There is some digital noise in the image, but not enough to taint it. Detail is impeccable, and the colors are lush and vibrant. This might not be reference quality, but it’s tough to say the film isn’t being presented well.
A DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix comes with Ted, and it does just enough to compliment the film. The music is the big standout, as it uses the five channels well, while everything else remains pretty restrained. The highlight happens to be when John and Ted meet Sam Jones, as it’s glorious to hear Queen’s soundtrack blast off.
Things kick off with a commentary track by MacFarlane, Wahlberg, and writer Alex Sulkin. More of a fun track than an informative one, the three have a strong dynamic, even if Wahlberg isn’t around for all of it. It’s a leisurely listen, and one MacFarlane fans will enjoy.
Next up are deleted scenes, which run just under fifteen minutes. None of them are really funny and wouldn’t have added any extra laughs to the picture.
Following these are alternate takes that run about ten minutes. Most of these are alternate lines given by Ted, John, and Joel McHale’s Rex, and are pretty interesting to watch. It doesn’t always hit the mark, but for the most part remains entertaining.
A Gag Reel is next and it runs for about six minutes. There’s nothing really noteworthy here, and happens to be your standard type of this ilk.
Ted: The Making Of is next, and runs around twenty-five minutes and has interviews with cast and crew members about the story and making of the film. It’s informative, and really gives a lot of depth into the making of the movie, particularly how they made Ted work. This piece come highly recommended.
The most entertaining piece is Teddy Bear Scuffle, which runs five minutes. It’s all about the showdown between John and Ted, and it’s purely a delight to see Mark Wahlberg pretending to get punched by a teddy bear. It also provides a nice look into the preparation for the scene. This also comes recommended, if only to see Wahlberg fight an invisible bear.
A DVD, Digital Copy, and UltraViolet Copy are also in tow with this set.
While not the funniest film of this year, Ted will please fans of Seth MacFarlane, and anyone looking for a fun comedy. I went in with tempered expectations, and Ted met them, sometimes exceeding them. Fans of the film will find a solid Blu-ray disc to add to their collection, with a fine audio and visual presentation, complimented by some informative if fluffy extras. Ted is a must own for MacFarlane fans, and worthy rental for those curious.