On DVD & Blu-Ray: December 11, 2012

As a fan of absurd and ridiculous comedy I was looking forward to Ted with hope of it becoming more than just an excuse for a cuddly creature to talk dirty and smoke pot. I wasn't overly anticipating the film though as I'm not a fan of Family Guy. Not because I don't like it or the type of humor it relays, but mainly just because I haven't seen too many episodes. I've seen a few and what I've seen I've liked well enough, but never got excited about it or necessarily understood what the hype was about. Still, Ted looked to be right up my alley. A rough around the edges comedy with a touch of satire and a flair for pop culture references where only a seasoned vet of the Hollywood culture might catch them all. Turns out, where many movies this summer let us down Ted stayed on track with my expectations and delivered on every level I needed it to in order to be happy with it. I had a ton of fun watching it and was pretty much laughing every scene, multiple times. It feels a bit long in the middle and as the conclusion draws near writer/director and actor Seth McFarlane falls into the trappings of his conventional story with underdeveloped aspects of the script coming into play too late in the game, but it isn't the story that needed to work for this whole thing to succeed. What needed to work was the relationship between our two leads; that a middle-aged man and a teddy bear could have a real, honest friendship. Thank God for Mark Wahlberg because he throws himself into this crazy world and makes it feel as smooth as a baby's bottom. B

The Bourne Legacy is not so much a continuation of the franchise as it is an expansion. Which, in many ways is a really interesting way to go about continuing a franchise especially when that franchise consists of secret government missions and secret agents that are the results of tinkering with the genetic make-up of those humans. Of course there was never just one of them. There was no way they stopped at the prototype, especially when despite his flaws he turned out to be so impressive. Still, while it is exciting to see this universe broaden how the actual film executes itself begs the question if it was really all that necessary. See, the most interesting parts of the this latest Bourne are indeed the few parts where our original hero is mentioned and we see the folds of the two stories beginning to overlap. It is an interesting approach, it is an interesting idea, but the critical component that needed to be interesting is what fails us here. Whereas Jason Bourne was a man on the run with no idea as to who or what he was the new central character Aaron Cross, played with intense gravitas by the credible Jeremy Renner has no such amnesia-like symptoms to cope with. Cross knows exactly who he is and what he's doing. In fact, he embraces it. I was a latecomer to the Bourne franchise in the first place. I never really understood the fascination with the first entry in the series, but I found its predecessors constantly improving on the intriguing set-up that first film had. In The Bourne Legacy we are supposed to see the ramifications of what Jason Bourne started, but instead we end up longing for the days when the task wasn't just a mission, but a personal journey. B- 

Is there a point at which these movies will become direct-to-video sequels? I can't imagine who was begging for another Ice Age flick, but the sizable amount of money this made will likely justify yet another installment in this ten year old series. Yes, Ice Age has now been around for ten years and those years are starting to show. Ice Age: Continental Drift has nothing new to share with us other than expanding the world of these characters to include even more characters. After three films the world is already a little over populated but the one thing this fourth entry gets right is isolating out original three heroes and giving them a somewhat entertaining adventure to go on. Manny (Ray Romano) is still grumpy and a control freak, Sid (John Leguizamo) is still the comic relief though his Granny sloth (Wanda sykes) should go ahead and keel over. Diego (Denis Leary) gets a love interest in Shira (Jennifer Lopez) but his character design looks lazy and poorly animated for such a high profile film. There is a fun run in with a pirate named Captain Gutt voiced by Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage and his crew which includes several big names for such small parts but hey, they prove to get a few moments. Except for Drake and Nikki Minaj who are intentionally as annoying and material as they likely are in real life. Still, there is no need for another adventure as they've already covered the meltdown, the dinosaur age, and as the land now shifts into its current state it won't be long before we see Ice Age: Extinction above the marquee. C

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