2 stars = Mediocre
Seth MacFarlane pushes the limits and pushes them again as the director, co-writer and voice of "Ted."
He's a teddy bear and 1985 Christmas gift for John, a friendless 8-year-old Boston boy. John makes a wish, and the next thing you know Ted can walk, talk and, once he gets older and his voice much deeper, smoke pot, invite hookers over to watch bad Adam Sandler comedies and drive John, now 35, to work if he's too wasted to take the wheel.
If three's more crowd than company, John (Mark Wahlberg), Ted and Lori (Mila Kunis) are a crowd. John needs to man up and quit acting like a boy, and Ted has to ted up, get a job and an apartment of his own, but breaking up is hard to do.
For every absurd nugget or cameo ("Flash Gordon" fans will be in nostalgia nirvana) or classy voiceover by Patrick Stewart, there is yet another joke about flatulence or vulgar references about sex or a tasteless one-liner. How much you laugh may depend on your continuum from outrageously hilarious to purposely offensive.
As demonstrated in "The Other Guys," Mr. Wahlberg has good comic timing, and while the bear is a stuffed stand-in for every bad-influence roomie out there, the effects are so good that you think you're watching a walking, talking, beer-guzzling or suit-wearing bear.
The movie closes with a sinister subplot that seems tacked on but will have you rooting for the teddy, no matter how much trash he talks.
The Blu-ray and DVD include an unrated version, gag reel, three-part making-of documentary and commentary. The Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, alternate takes and a feature on the Motel 6 fight scene.
' The Bourne Legacy'
2 1/2 stars = Average
Yes, we miss Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
But the bigger problem is that "The Bourne Legacy" is often difficult or flat-out impossible to follow. Five years is a long time between movies, and the gap isn't helped by throwing all sorts of agency code names (Treadstone, Blackbriar, Outcome, National Research Assay Group) at us.
As the movie opens, agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is in the scenic wilds of Alaska, where he battles frigid temperatures, snowy mountain cliffs and snarling wolves. He is part of a program, Outcome, which counts Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) as a brilliant researcher. Her work at a pharma giant helps to make guinea pigs/super soldiers possible, but she comes under literal fire at her lab and home.
She and Aaron end up on the run as shadowy figures, including Edward Norton as a retired colonel running the show, want to shut down programs and people. Somewhere late in the game we get a couple of signature Bourne chase scenes, across clattering rooftops and on motorcycles, but this is a more cerebral, intrigue-filled effort.
Tony Gilroy, who wrote or co-wrote the three previous "Bourne" movies and made his directing debut with the excellent "Michael Clayton," directs "Bourne Legacy" and wrote the story with his writer-brother, Dan Gilroy ("Real Steel"). He may be too close to the material to know we need more explanation about the genetic machinations and a better sense of how "Ultimatum" and "Legacy" are linked.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
• "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (2 1/2 stars): The gang must use an iceberg as a ship when their continent begins to drift.
• "Backwards": A rower who fails to make the Olympics takes a job coaching rowers at a high school. Sarah Megan Thomas stars.
• "Law & Order: Criminal Intent - Season 9": TV crime drama starring Vincent D'Onofrio.
• "JAG: The Complete Series": Includes 10 seasons of the TV military law show.
• "The Story of Film: An Odyssey": A 15-part documentary looks at the movie business.
• "Girls: The Complete First Season": Lena Dunham stars in the cable comedy.
• "Mankind": The 12-hour History Channel series spans the first flourishing of civilization in Mesopotamia to the discovery of America.
n "Django!": Two spaghetti Westerns -- "A Man Called Django" and "Django and Sartana Showdown" -- are available on one DVD.
• "Futurama: Volume 7": Billy West is a voice talent for the animated series.
• "Hazel: The Complete Fourth Season": Shirley Booth stars in the TV comedy.
• "Doomsday Book": A man tries to survive in a world infected by biological toxins.
• "41": HBO documentary on George Herbert Walker Bush.
• "Collision Earth": A team must find a way to save Earth when Mercury is knocked out of its orbit.
• "Gunsmoke: The Seventh Season, Volume 1": James Arness stars as the famous lawman.
• "Dick Tracy": The film about the comic strip cop is now available on Blu-ray.
• "The Portrait of a Lady": Nicole Kidman stars in the film based on the Henry James novel.
• "Families of Italy": The latest release in the "Families of the World" series.
-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers