Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ted ...not just a kid's toy

 You could call it the first adult comedy of the summer. You could be shocked that Mark Wahlberg is doing this kind of movie. You could say that it it's completely ridiculous. On all counts, you would be right, but there is something about Ted that is a nice change of pace. We are in the middle of a summer that has boasted epic failures, huge successes and nothing like the Hangover for us to laugh at. Seth Mcfarlane is changing that.

 Ted is rude, crude, and you might even have fun with it. A boy who has no friends wishes his teddy bear could be alive and the wish is granted. We are introduced to a world that is accepting of a real life stuffed animal. Ted even becomes a celebrity for a while. The bear starts out cute and lovable , but quickly becomes a booze drinking, pot smoking, and foul mouthed roommate of Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg plays a 35 year old car rental salesman who has pretty much been wasting his life. The one thing he does have is a very hot and successful girlfriend played by Mila Kunis. Her boss has a thing for her, but she loves Wahlberg and the problems begin when Ted comes between their relationship with his antics.

 The movie is full of crude humor, but it is entertaining. Seth is not afraid to poke fun at Family Guy and even though he's showing his age, Wahlberg plays a good stoner. The best part of Ted is the supporting cast. Joel Mchale does great as the self centered boss, but small appearances make the movie. Giovani Ribisi is the perfect creaper and the cameos are fantastic.  Nora Jones and Ryan Reynolds show up and work great, but it is Sam J Jones from the cult favorite Flash Gordon that makes the movie.

 It's not the Hangover, but it is a good adult comedy. It's not or kids, but if you allow yourself to laugh at how silly this movie really is, you might just like it. I know I did.

Friday, June 8, 2012

  Ridley Scott finally unleashes the prequel to Alien or does he? We meet a couple of scientists who think they have discovered the origin of the human race. They get on a big ship funded by the Weyland Corporation. If that name sounds familiar, it should. It is the constant in all of the alien movies. The ship journeys two years into deep space lands on a planet in the middle of no where. The crew consists of mostly tech and science people. Charlize Theron is the corporate liaison and Michael Fassbender is the android. Those are also staples in the Alien films. Sounds like we've got ourselves a prequel, right?

 The crew searches through what they believe to be a pyramid and find clues of an alien race. Things go wrong and they discover a horror that could be our end rather than our beginning. In typical fashion people begin dying and the fate of earth is in question.

What works? There are alot of familiar images. The Geiger-Esq art, creatures that gestate inside a human host, and Michael Fassbender. I enjoyed his performance as the android David. You never know exactly what his motives are, but the same thing I loved also annoyed me. There is a rather intense "medical" scene that was kind of cool and might even make you cringe a bit. Guy Pierce done up as elderly man was also a cool visual.

So what lacks? Quite a bit. You never really know Fassbender's motives. He can watch some one's dreams, but it's never explained why or how? Charlize Theron is completely wasted. You could've put anyone in her role and it wouldn't have made a difference. The creatures were lacking. The best part of the previous alien movies were the aliens. They were terrifying. These might be the birth of those creatures, but they lack a lot of aggression. Prometheus lacks suspense. There are a couple of moments, but the film really lacks the "edge of your seat," suspense that you might expect. My biggest problem with this movie is the fact that it's boring.

 If there were no previous movies, I don't believe this is a solid enough movie to stand alone. The film exists in the same univers, but never says it's a prequel. The story is sub par and the so are the special effects. In a summer where The Avengers and Men In Black entertained, Prometheus feels like it belongs on cable.