Bolt (2008)

Stupid cat.

Stupid cat.

Directed by: Chris Williams and Byron Howard (Howard also directed Tangled which I didn’t think much of)

Written by: Dan Fogelman and Chris Williams

Starring: the vocal cast of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, Malcolm McDowell, Randy Savage, Nick Swardson, Diedrich Bader, Chloë Grace Moretz, James Lipton, Grey DeLisle, John DiMaggio, and Jenny Lewis

What it’s about: a dog raised on a TV show finds out that he has no super powers at all

B-Movie Alternate Title: The Dog Who Didn’t Know

Movie Mash Up: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey animated

What I liked: The animation is gorgeous – especially on Bolt – and some of the scenes that don’t involve any of the characters in the movie look like real life.  Well, the movies version of real life, I guess.  I absolutely love Jenny Lewis, and honestly, there’s no reason (except that the Oscars are bullshit political garbage) that her song wasn’t nominated in the Best Original Song category.  Really, TWO songs from Slumdog Millionaire were nominated?  Idiots.  Her song still brings a bit of the old glassy-eyed reaction out in me.  The characters were fun as well.

What I disliked: For some reason, the more times I re-watch this, the less impressed I am by it.  I still think it is a decent movie, but my enthusiasm for it has dulled since I originally watched it.  Personally, I would have rather had Chloë Grace Moretz as the lead voice like they originally recorded, rather than Miley Cyrus’ fucked up nasally cigarette-infused voice.  The movie just doesn’t impact me as much anymore, but I still want a dog.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sure, there’s nothing offensive about the movie at all, just an enjoyable easy-to-watch romp.

Rating: 3 / 5

That is pretty adorable right there

That is pretty adorable right there

Ted (2012)

Directed by: Seth MacFarlane (you might know him better as the creator of “Family Guy” and voice of many of the characters on the show I haven’t watched in probably a decade)

Written by: MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin (better known on Twitter as TheSulk and a “Family Guy” writer), and Wellesley Wild (also a “Family Guy” writer)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, MacFarlane (as the voice of the titular bear), Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Jessica Barth, Matt Walsh, Ralph Garman, Alex Borstein, narrated by Patrick Stewart and featuring numerous cameos.

What it’s about: an adult male attempts to balance the relationships of his long term girlfriend and his childhood teddy bear that came to life

B-Movie Alternate Title: The Teddy Bear that Came Alive!

Movie Mash Up: any number of “bromance” R-rated comedies with “Teddy Ruxpin” I guess

What I liked: I dig R-rated comedies that refuse to pull verbal punches for the sake of a larger box office due to being able to play to more demographics.  I mean, that is what an R-rated movie should be about, and Ted is a prime example of what they should be.  I’m not a big Wahlberg fan, but he played his role quite well.  Same with MacFarlane, but I’m still not going to watch “Family Guy”.  I love Mila Kunis in everything, and I enjoyed many of the smaller roles as well as the fun cameos.  It’s a fun and interesting story, too, nothing really run of the mill here, and how the whole “the teddy bear is alive” thing is handled was decent.

What I disliked: Sometimes it felt like the entire movie was trying too hard, if that makes any sense.  It was entertaining and all, but it verged into Bad Santa territory without really having earned it, again, if that makes any sense.  I liked it, but I felt a bit dirty for liking it.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sure, if they like R-rated comedies, it’s entertaining and fun.

Rating: 3.5 / 5