Sometimes it’s a dilemma: what DVD should you rent or what movie should you stream or order-on-demand? Do you want a date flick, an action caper, or a goofy comedy? Weekly Surge is here to help with our reviews of recent at-home movie releases, which we’ve watched from the comfort of that favorite recliner.
The creator of “Family Guy” and about a dozen other animated series, Seth MacFarlane, is able to unleash his made-for-TV raunch and go full out raunchy and inappropriate. And it makes for one of the funniest movies of the year. Mark Wahlberg is in his wheelhouse playing an underachieving Bostonian who manages to land every dude’s favorite chick, Mila Kunis. But Ted is the real star…duh, look at the title. Also voiced by Seth MacFarlane, Ted has no dead-air, the bear is hilarious in every scene he’s in. And it’s an onslaught of funny. You have to pay attention to catch it all, which will probably merit multiple viewings for fans of MacFarlane. Plus, there are pop culture references aplenty. Joel McHale and Giovanni Ribisi take turns as completely different and completely hilarious villains. Norah Jones even turns in a nice cameo. Grab a Tedy Brewski and kick up your paws because this one is worth a watch.
Director Steven Soderbergh has covered a vast range of topics in his films – he’s done the heist film, the price of fame film, the experimental film, the retro black-and-white film, the war on drugs film, the war on disease film, the biography film, and there’s much more. Now, he manhandles the stripper film…the male stripper film. Loosely based on Channing Tatum’s true adventures in assless chaps, Soderbergh goes for the grit and excess associated with an easy-money occupation. And it pays. Tatum owns the dance scenes. Matthew McConaughey is all over his role as a past-his-prime dancer and club owner. The nudity is fair and balanced and it’s no soft-core porn but the dance scenes are a flat-out exploitation of male bimbos and female audiences must feel like it’s about time. If you can get past Tatum’s co-star, Alex Pettyfer, his lame delivery almost ruins it but the story moves in a nice, natural arc and Soderbergh’s direction is dead-on as usual – worth a watch.
“Men in Black 3”
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have lived with these characters for 15 years. They’ve channeled their funny man and straight man roles into a sort of second nature – it’s buddy-cop chemistry with aliens and shiny gadgets. Even though, Jones steps back in this time-travelling installment and lets Josh Brolin take over the role of his character as a younger man in the late ‘60s. But it’s like he never left – Brolin is a dead ringer for Jones’ Texan deadpan delivery. This is Jones and Brolin’s third film together. It’s Smith and Jones’ third film together. Barry Sonnenfeld has directed all three MIB films. There’s a comfort level that makes MIB a tried and true success. Adding Jemaine Clement to the equation only makes the film stronger. He retches the ridiculousness out of the material and it’s all fun. But let’s not get carried away with the film’s blockbuster status and start canning MIB movies like green beans – it works because of the space between films and it’s a nice conclusion of the trilogy. Leave it alone and let’s enjoy what we have – worth a watch.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge