Jason Clark

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Ted 2 Review

Very Good

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

A Million Ways To Die In The West Review


Very Good

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

Ted Review


Very Good
Plying his trade in pop culture references and surprising punchlines, MacFarlane jumps the adult-oriented comedy bandwagon with a film that's smarter and funnier than most. It also has a surprisingly warm and serious thematic undercurrent.

After a childhood wish brought his teddy bear to life, John (Wahlberg) has become inseparable with his buddy Ted (voiced by Macfarlane). But John's girlfriend Lori (Kunis) is starting to think that a 35-year-old man and his fluffy pal should stop living like stoner-slackers. Worried about the foul-mouthed, womanising Ted's influence, she encourages John to make his own way in life, so they can be a proper couple. But separating Ted and John is more difficult than it looks.

Continue reading: Ted Review

Homegrown Review


OK
Movies about marijuana are historically slapsticky, funny romps (see the Cheech and Chong oeuvre). Homegrown probably started out that way, then turned into a typical drug thriller, only set in the northern California hippie community. Message to producers: Hank Azaria is a comedian, not a gun-toting action hero.
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Jason Clark Movies

Ted 2 Movie Review

Ted 2 Movie Review

Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel,...

A Million Ways to Die in the West Movie Review

A Million Ways to Die in the West Movie Review

After the success of Ted, Seth MacFarlane gives himself his first leading-man role in this...

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Ted Movie Review

Ted Movie Review

Plying his trade in pop culture references and surprising punchlines, MacFarlane jumps the adult-oriented comedy...

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