Blu-ray Review: Ted

Ted Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane | CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Patrick Stewart
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 12/11/2012 | PRICE: DVD $29.98,  Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted scenes, alternate takes, gag reel, commentary
SPECS: R/UR | 107 min./114 min. | Comedy | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

TedPart gross-out comedy, part buddy movie, part romantic comedy, Ted is all Seth MacFarlane. The writer and director brings his Family Guy humor to his first live-action film, the story of a man (Mark Wahlberg, The Other Guys), his girlfriend (Mila Kunis, Friends With Benefits) and his teddy bear best friend (voiced by MacFarlane).

Fans of MacFarlane’s brand of laughs will find plenty to love in Ted, and even mild MacFarlane fans will enjoy most of it. At times hilarious and sweet, Ted does, however, go overboard often.

The story follows Wahlberg’s John Bennett, who we learn — through narration by the brilliantly cast voice of Patrick Stewart (TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation) — was a loser as a kid. But one magical night, he makes a wish and it comes true: His teddy bear comes to life. Fast-forward to when John’s 35 and Ted is still his best friend, but now they’re both foul-mouthed, bong-smoking stoners with no direction. Not impressed, Kunis gives John an ultimatum: the bear or her. Meanwhile, a creepy Giovanni Ribisi (Contraband) has his eyes set on Ted in a weird obsession.

The premise is a great one, and the visual effects teams that brought Ted to life did it wonderfully. But the jokes can be a bit heavy-handed at times. Still, Ted isn’t a bad way to spend a couple hours if you like your humor on the irreverant side.

The Blu-ray is also lifted by the special features. The disc contains plenty and most are worth your time. First and foremost, of course, is the unrated edition of the film. It only has an extra seven minutes, but the filmmakers packed a lot of laughs into those seven minutes.

Movie students will enjoy the four making-of featurettes, especially “Teddy Bear Scuffle,” which shows the detail and work that went into making the fight scene between Wahlberg and Ted. It took a lot more work than you might think, and you’ll come away with a stronger appreciation for visual effects artists who make fake things look real.

The next best featurette is one that shows how MacFarlane directed the scenes and performed as Ted at the same time as the actors without actually being on the set. Motion-capture technology and a little sideways thinking from the other actors helped to bring it all together and give each scene more of a sense of reality.

The disc also has a bunch of funny deleted scenes and alternate takes, and the actors crack up throughout the gag reel.

Even the commentary is entertaining, with MacFarlance, Wahlberg and co-writer Alec Sulkin giving plenty of behind-the-scenes information and joking around during the whole track.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.