Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel, in which Seth MacFarlane takes the same approach: throwing every kind of gag at the screen in the hopes that some of them stick. Thankfully, there are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments to make sure the film is continually entertaining, even if the plot isn't particularly inventive.
In the past three years, John (Mark Wahlberg) has seen his marriage fall apart, while Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) has married his girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). A year later, Ted and Tami-Lynn are in a rut and decide that perhaps a child will help kickstart their romance. Unable to conceive for obvious reasons, they turn to adoption, but this raises a red flag about Ted's status in society: he isn't actually a person, and the state declares that he's property. On the verge of losing everything, Ted and John hire novice lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) to defend Ted's right to be treated as a person. But their opponent is a slick lawyer (John Slattery) hired in secret by toy company Hasbro, which is now in league with Ted's long-time stalker-nemesis Donny (Giovanni Ribisi).
The ongoing central gag here is that John and Ted have never grown up, stuck in their dope-smoking fanboy ways, which allows for all kinds of rude mayhem, plus lots of cameo appearances from genre stars, including a gratuitous trip to New York Comic-Con that turns into the film's funniest sequence with a series of sublimely silly running gags. On the other hand, the one-joke premise badly limits the film's scope for coherent storytelling, merely dashing from one nutty set-piece to the next and hoping that something funny will happen. Thankfully, most sequences are genuinely amusing, at least for audiences whose goal is just to have a good time at the movies.
Continue reading: Ted 2 Review
There's a loose charm to this comedy that disarms the audience, raising smiles instead of laughter as three nutty characters swirl around each other. But writer-director Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess) seems happy to just let things meander without much sense of momentum and no real underlying point. So the characters become less endearing the more we get to know them.
It's set in a gym in Austin, Texas, where the dim owner Trevor (Guy Pearce) has a dream to create the ultimate holistic fitness centre, a goal constantly belittled by his sharp-tongued employee Kat (Coby Smulders), a fitness-obsessed personal trainer with whom he once had a brief fling. Their newest client is the recently wealthy Danny (Kevin Corrigan), who is just looking for ways to spend money and kill time. But Kat once again blurs professional boundaries, and Danny sacks her. Trevor steps in, offering Danny some whole-life training, which inadvertently convinces Danny to invest in his super-gym, working through a quirky lawyer (Giovanni Ribisi) and an estate agent (Constance Zimmer) who happens to be Trevor's current squeeze. What could possibly go wrong?
Bujalski reveals details about each character slowly, with back-stories and flashbacks thrown randomly into the unfocussed narrative. The film has a brisk pace, but is fairly aimless until more details are revealed about these people. Pearce is very funny as the too-serious Trevor, and his earnestness is the perfect foil for the cynical Kat, who is played with stinging cynicism by the up-for-it Smulders. The problem is that while their mutual physical attraction is believable, the underlying romance isn't. And while Corrigan completes the triangle nicely, he's so disinterested in everything and everyone that it's difficult to imagine him ever developing a proper friendship. Thankfully, the interaction is packed with barbed wit and some intriguingly dark emotion.
Continue reading: Results Review
Many people would love to be rich and still have plenty of free time, but for Danny (Kevin Corrigan), it is a living hell. He may be newly rich, but he's also recently divorced, and his bank account does little to help him in the dating game. When he decides to attend a fitness class, he meets Trevor (Guy Pearce) - the lively and energetic personal trainer. He also meets Kat, (Cobie Smulders), and finds himself immediately attracted to her. But when the three of them are forced into a professional relationship with one another, it is their personal feelings which begin to clash.
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One of the finest biopics in recent memory, this drama manages to present someone as iconic as Martin Luther King Jr. as a normal man anyone can aspire to emulate. Anchored by an internalised performance from David Oyelowo, the film is skilfully directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) with a sharp attention to subtle details. And the script by newcomer Paul Webb draws the characters with such complexity that the film has provoked controversy from people who like their heroes untextured.
The film enters Martin's story as he is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside his activist wife Coretta (Carmen Ejogo) in October 1964, just over a year after his soaring "I have a dream" speech. And a few months later, he's called to Selma, Alabama, to help blacks who are being denied the right to vote by racially motivated voter registration laws. Martin meets with President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), who has more pressing things on his political agenda, then heads to Selma to lead a march on the state capitol in Montgomery. But the peaceful protest is met with nightmarish violence, ordered by Governor George Wallace (Tim Roth). So as the protesters regroup and plan a second march, Martin heads back to Washington to challenge Johnson to set some new priorities.
Cleverly, the script just covers a few months, punctuated with a series of King's most rousing speeches. Since none of this is presented for its big inspirational value, it has a much stronger kick than we expect. The film's punchiest scenes are almost silent, as King struggles to knot his tie before an appearance or fails to find the words to confess his infidelities to his wife. Oyelowo is so transparent in the role that King emerges as an everyday man with a gift for oratory in the right place at the right time. But it's his steely desire to do the right thing that makes him inspirational. And how he reacts when he discovers the human cost of his actions.
Continue reading: Selma Review
Giovanni Ribisi - Gwen Stefani mans an giant cannon atop a high rise building in downtown LA while filming a MasterCard commercial directed by Giovanni Ribisi - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 14th November 2014
“What happens when a man stands up and says ‘enough is enough’?” So goes the question raised by Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) when President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) declines to help him in battling the race-related violence in Alabama. In retaliation, King organises a peaceful protest; he has African Americans march into Selma, Alabama, in an attempt to gain rights to vote. What follows, is a truly horrifying attack from the police on the peaceful protest which was televised and seen by millions, forcing the President’s hand, as he is forced to watch innocent people suffer.
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After the success of Ted, Seth MacFarlane gives himself his first leading-man role in this hilarious but overlong comedy-Western. The film is clearly a passion project, as it reveals MacFarlane's love of the genre with knowing jokes in between the usual gross-out humour. But it also feels stretched rather thin, and would feel even funnier with a zippier pace and tighter story.
In 1882 Arizona almost anything can kill you. Albert (MacFarlane) is a sheep farmer who has very little respect in his tiny frontier town. His girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) has just dumped him and taken up with smug Moustachery manager Foy (Neal Patrick Harris). And his best pal Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) has issues of his own, determined to wait until marriage to have sex with his fiancee, the town's most popular prostitute Ruth (Sarah Silverman). Then a stranger rides in: Anna (Charlize Theron) is trapped in a marriage to the local outlaw Clinch (Liam Neeson) and needs a place to hide. And in Albert she finds the kind of nice guy she thought didn't actually exist in the West.
MacFarlane's most clever decision was to surround himself with terrific actors who can effortlessly play both comedy and drama. As a result he just about gets away with a performance that doesn't stretch him at all. Theron is especially good, bringing an offhanded humour to her scenes that grounds the entire film. She may roll her eyes at the bad jokes while laughing openly at the good ones, but she stays firmly in character, which makes her scenes with MacFarlane and Neeson crackle with all kinds of romantic energy.
Continue reading: A Million Ways To Die In The West Review
Albert is a rather introverted sheep farmer who tries at all costs to avoid confrontation with the occasional gun-toting outlaw who may pass through the small Arizona town in which he lives. His reluctance to engage in any kind of combat has cost him his girlfriend, but on the upside, he's still alive - which is more than can be said for a large percentage of townspeople. There is danger is every turn and Albert is feeling a little low in confidence - that is, until the arrival of the town's feisty new resident Anna. She wants to show him how to aim and fire a loaded pistol and, generally, how to win a fight, which is just as well because one man is on his way over with the intention of dominating the town with his formidable reputation. Unfortunately for Albert, he's Anna's estranged husband and, with Albert having spent so much time with her, it is starting to look like he's finally run out of luck.
Continue: A Million Ways To Die In The West - Clip
Albert is one of the more lucky men living in his doomed Arizona town, mainly because he hasn't yet died; quite a feat for a sheep farmer who can't fire a gun in a time where outlaws rule the West. After one failed confrontation on his part, he is promptly dumped by his girlfriend, but this doesn't prove to be a bad thing when an extremely attractive and feisty new resident shows up in the town. Albert agrees to show her around her new neighbourhood, while she decides to help him man-up and learn how to gun fight properly. It's just as well because he soon finds himself facing mortal peril at the arrival of her ruthless outlaw husband - and he's not the only one who'd rather avoid confrontation this time. With his new friend's encouragement, however, he tries to step-up and take charge of the situation - let's just hope his luck hasn't run out by now.
Following the success of his live action directorial debut 'Ted', 'Family Guy' creator Seth Macfarlane is back with western comedy 'A Million Ways To Die In The West' in which he stars, directs and co-wrote with Alec Sulkin an d Wellesley Wild ('Dads ', 'Ted', 'Family Guy'). The movie is set to be released in the UK on June 6th 2014.
The red-band trailer for 'A Million Ways to Die in the West' is here.
A man getting his head squished by a giant block of ice. A photographer being burnt alive. A woman dying from surgery for a splinter. All these unfortunate endings make up the new movie - and first trailer - for Seth Macfarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Charlize Theron [L] and Seth MacFarlane [R] in 'A Million Ways to Die in the West'
The Family Guy creator directs, co-writes and stars in the western comedy, playing a farmer who enlists the help of a gunslinger's wife (Charlize Theron) in the hope of winning back his ex-girlfriend.
Albert is a sheep farmer who, unlike most men in his small Arizona town, is unable to handle a gun and tries to avoid confrontation at every opportunity. He gets dumped by his girlfriend for his spinelessness - but as a passive individual, he's still one of the luckiest guys in his neighbourhood having so far avoided death. This is a town where the residents are constantly in danger at every corner, but Albert finds his inner strength at the arrival of an attractive and feisty new resident who is willing to death him how to fire a pistol and stand up to his adversaries. And it's just as well when a dangerous outlaw shows up and starts to try and run the town, revealing that he is the husband of Albert's new female friend. Could his luck be up this time?