Thursday, February 07, 2013


I really like Family Guy, but I don't particularly care for Peter Griffin.  I love Stewie and Brian, but Peter goes over my line for decency. Not just over. Puke-fest over.

Ted is a cute, rather large teddy bear who has Peter Griffin's voice. Not surprisingly, that's because he's played by Ted's screenwriter and director Seth MacFarlane. Ted is just a fuzzy reimagined Peter, with the same scatological humor and mind-bending grossness. You can see why I'm not crazy about Ted the movie or Ted the character.

I like humor that's surprising, and Ted the character is certainly that. Foul-mouthed, gross, violent at times, but his humor is certainly surprising. But I do also want my humor to be witty. There's no wit within 10 yards of Ted.

Thankfully, the movie is somewhat saved by actors Mark Wahlberg, who plays innocent dumb guy really well, and Mila Kunis, who can do practically anything. There is a bit of originality in the screenplay, in that Ted as a character has never been drawn quite like this before, where the public knows all about him. But that originality is lost once the movie gets going, because we can predict pretty much where the story is going, even if we can't predict which prostitute(s) Ted will end up with. And why.

Thumbs down.


I first met Karl Urban about 15 years ago, when he was a virtually unknown actor from New Zealand. I soon found out, though, that the guy took chances on stage. I saw him do impressions, mostly of Elvis, and strip down to his shorts.  Just to entertain us.

Fastforward and the guy is a fairly big star, starring in his own movies. The current one is Dredd, and while it's certainly Dredd-full, it's thankfuly not dreadful.

If you know the comic books at all, Judge Dredd is one of many Judges who go around MegaCity, cleaning the place up. It's not terribly clean-up-able, and so each judge is police, judge, jury and executioner.

Thankfully Dredd doesn't spend a whole lot of time setting up the futuristic situation. It just dives in, introducing us to a rookie judge who is assigned to Dredd to see if she's judge-worthy. She happens to be a mutant, which is usually unlawful, but in this case, an experiment. Thanks to this character's introduction, the story becomes quite interesting.

Dredd and the rookie become locked into an apartment complex and have to face the drug runners who want to erase them from the scene. Because of this, and maybe in spite of this scenario, the action is rather repetitive. You can only see ten or us heads being blown to bits before it becomes a yawner. Fortunately, we have a really intriguing villain, Ma-Ma, played by the always-interesting Lena Headey (300).

I found myself bored at various parts of the action film, but quite interested in other parts. I like the fact that Urban never showed his face, not once, in keeping with the spirit of the comic. You can't say that about many movie stars.

Thumb's up.