Poll Results: What grade would you give Seth MacFarlane’s performance as Oscar host this year?

The final tally is in on this guy’s grade as Oscar host:

seth-macfarlane-oscars

THE RESULTS:
– B: 13 votes
– A: 5 votes
– C: 5 votes
– F: 2 votes
– D: 1 vote

So, the general consensus seems to be that MacFarlane was pretty good, but not great. I can get behind that. Even though the Oscars felt more like a roast with him at the helm, I think he did a better job than the hosts of the last couple years. I’m glad he won’t be doing it again next year — it’s good to have variety — but I don’t have any major complaints with his performance.

This Week’s Poll: Last week, I wrote about my experience of seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen in 70mm. This made me think about Stanley Kubrick and his impressive directorial career. My question for you this week is: what is your favorite Stanley Kubrick film? I’m allowing for two votes since it’s damn near impossible to pick just one. Really curious to see how this one plays out.

Have a great week everyone!

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Poll Results: Best Bruce Willis Film

Well, I’m sure we all saw this one coming:

Die Hard

THE RESULTS:
– Die Hard: 12 votes
– Pulp Fiction: 9 votes
– The Fifth Element: 6 votes
– Twelve Monkeys: 3 votes
– Unbreakable: 3 votes
– Die Hard: With a Vengeance: 2 votes
– Moonrise Kingdom: 2 votes
– The Sixth Sense: 2 votes
– Armaggedon: 1 vote
– Hudson Hawk: 1 vote
– Last Man Standing: 1 vote
– Looper: 1 vote
– Sin City: 1 vote

This was Die Hard‘s to lose, wasn’t it? Still, nice to see so many of Bruce Willis’ movies get some votes. The man has had a great career, unnecessary Die Hard sequels be damned.

This Week’s Poll: I’m sure many of you watched the Oscars last night (as did allegedly over one billion people worldwide), and I would like to hear your thoughts on the event. More specifically, what did you think of Seth MacFarlane’s performance as host? Just from doing my morning reading, it sounds like the reactions are pretty mixed. I will go on record in saying that he was a much better host than the dreadful duo of Anne Hathaway and James Franco from two years back, and it was refreshing to not have a “safe” bet like Billy Crystal from last year. What did you think?

Movie Review: Ted [2012]

Ted [2012]

Ted [2012]
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Genre: Comedy/Fantasy
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale and Giovanni Ribisi
Runtime: 106 minutes

In theory, Ted shouldn’t work. Not only is this the first feature-length film from director Seth MacFarlane, who is responsible for the long-past-its-prime Family Guy (among other animated TV shows), but this is also a movie about a freakin’ talking teddy bear. The odds were against Ted being a quality film, yet somehow it manages to surprise and stand out as one of this year’s better comedies.

The movie revolves around the friendship between John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) and his talking teddy bear, Ted (voiced by MacFarlane). As a child in 1985, John didn’t have a lot of friends so he made a wish that his teddy bear would be able to talk to him. As luck would have it, his wish coincided with a shooting star, and his request was fulfilled. Ted sprang to life the next morning, startling the hell out John’s parents, but he quickly became accepted as a new member of the family.

Flash forward 27 years. John and Ted still live together, but now John is in a serious relationship with a hard-working office professional, Lori (Mila Kunis). While she is determined to rise through the corporate ranks, John seems content to work at a car rental business while getting high in his spare time with his buddy Ted. Lori has had enough of this childish behavior and presents John with an ultimatum: it’s her or Ted. What transpires is a juggling act from John, as he tries to keep the two most important people (er, things) in his life.

Ted with hookers

The plot is paper thin, but that’s all irrelevant thanks to the charismatic teddy bear. Ted has a foul mouth with a thick Boston accent, and he has a penchant for drugs, booze and hookers. His banter with John is oftentimes hilarious and raunchy, and their shared devotion of the campy 1980 Flash Gordon film lends itself to some of the film’s brightest moments. Naturally, as this is a Seth MacFarlane creation, there are dozens of one-liners that reference obscure 80s pop culture targets, and many of them will go over the heads of younger viewers. There’s also at least one Diff’rent Strokes joke, which seems to be a mandatory inclusion in everything MacFarlane does.

In order to stretch out the running time, an additional subplot is presented in which Ted is targeted by a creepy stalker played by Giovanni Ribisi (as crazy as ever). This adds more dramatic elements to the film, but its inclusion ultimately feels tacked-on and unnecessary.

Ted [2012]

In essence, this movie is all about Ted, and his CGI is very impressive. Ted fits in seamlessly with the rest of the actors on screen, and it feels like he is just one of the gang. Mark Wahlberg does an admirable job playing off this invisible presence, and he seems right at home while testing his comedic chops. Mila Kunis, while stunning as ever, doesn’t have much to work with thanks to her dull character, but she does the best with what she has.

While I’m not ready to label Ted as a *great* movie, it is easily one of this year’s biggest surprises, right up there with 21 Jump Street. This film is better than it has any right to be, and it makes for one of this summer’s more enjoyable comedic offerings. Fans of Family Guy will appreciate this most, but its concept can appeal to anyone. Just be warned: this is not a family-friendly comedy.

7/10