Ted (Seth McFarlane, 2012)

What’s it about? When 8-year-old John makes a wish that his teddy bear comes to life, everyone is astonished when it does and the two become friends for life. Fast-forward 27 years and John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (voiced by Seth McFarlane) are still slobby, immature, pot-smoking buddies, much to the exasperation of John’s girlfriend (Mila Kunis), who wishes he would just grow up. Something has to give.

Is it any good? Like a lot of childhood teddies, it’s a bit patchy. On the one paw, there's some funny jokes and game performances from the likable cast, which includes a couple of neat cameos. The CGI Ted is also impressively and seamlessly integrated with the live action. However, on the other paw, there's a lot of unfunny jokes too, fairly lazy plotting and a heavy over-reliance on hit-and-miss 80s references. I bow to no man in my love for the 80s, but they don’t all work here. McFarlane can use 80s references if he wants to, he can leave my views behind, but the references aren’t all funny, and if they’re not funny, I can leave those references behind. Ultimately, whilst it’s watchable enough, it’s just not funny enough. As TED Talks go, it's not really an idea worth spreading.

I don’t trust you. What do others think? A bit hit at the box-office, but mixed reviews and reception, with most acknowledging that it was all a bit hit-and-miss and not really as funny as McFarlane’s animated sitcom Family Guy. Doesn’t seem to have done McFarlane any harm, though – he’s been selected to host the 2013 Oscars. Naturally, the Academy will neuter his more offensive gags, but he’s essentially a funnier, more charismatic and less smug version of Ricky Gervais, so expect a few chuckles. And, hopefully, an extended fistfight with a large chicken.

What does the Fonz think? Look for the bear profanities, the simple bear profanities, forget about plot worries and plot cares.... 

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