ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:
I really didn’t like watching this movie. Everyone should avoid.
Poor Chris. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so unhappy watching a movie before. But we both trudged through this one, and it wasn’t easy.
Ted is up for Best Song, and I’m not sure where the song was (in the beginning? I think?) but sitting through this just because of the song’s Oscar nomination made me question our quest to see every nominated movie. Because Ted is not a good movie.
Seth MacFarlane takes a similar approach to Ted as he does to Family Guy: if you pack in as many jokes as you can, surely some of them will land occasionally. And yes, there are some funny parts. I chuckled a few times. But those times were vastly outnumbered by feelings of discomfort, offense, and boredom. Ted is the first non-Tyler Perry movie I’ve seen in a long time that has so many homophobic, racist, and sexist jokes that are played for actual humor rather than horror. Examples: A.) John (Mark Wahlberg), while hugging Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) accidentally presses a button that makes a recorded “I love you” come from Ted. They both back away, continually explaining to each other that they’re not gay. B.) When describing his new Chinese neighbors, Ted says “They don’t have a gong or nothin’, so it’s not that bad.” C.) After one of the breakups between John and Lori (Mila Kunis), Ted explains to John that she’ll be okay after she watches Bridget Jones’ Diary.
The only decent thing in Ted were the pretty seamless visual effects, to the point where I’m almost surprised it didn’t get an Oscar nomination for that. I never thought the character of Ted looked fake and his interactions with the human actors were kind of amazing. Now if only it had been funny and not awful!
Also, I think it’s worth noting that during the night after we watched Ted, I woke up with a horribly painful ear infection. Was it because of fluid in my ears from two recent colds? Or was it Seth MacFarlane’s Peter Griffin-esque voice as Ted clawing against my eardrums that caused this intense pain? You be the judge.
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:
Searching for Sugar Man has pretty much everything I want in a documentary: it’s on a subject I knew nothing about, it’s shot incredibly beautifully, it’s the perfect length, it’s interesting, it’s surprising, and it has really good music.
The story of Searching for Sugar Man is pretty incredible: a presumed-dead folk artist from the 70s gains massive success in South Africa, while being a musical failure in the United States. No one in the United States, including the musician (Rodriguez), knows about the hundreds of thousands of copies his albums sold in South Africa and neither he or his family ever received any royalties. The documentary is about two super fans who set out to find out how Rodriguez died, only to discover not only is he not dead, but in perfectly good health and living in Detroit.
Rodriguez’s discovery of his fame in South Africa (several people say he’s bigger than Elvis and The Rolling Stones there) is like someone discovering they’re the heir to the throne of a small, unheard of country. It’s pretty amazing, and if it were a fictional feature, it would be almost too far-fetched. But as a documentary, it’s incredible.
I had no idea what this documentary was about before we watched it but it truly is a great movie. I had never heard of the musician, Rodriguez, before but I really wish I had a lot sooner. He is definitely someone my high school self would have been obsessed with. I’ll have to look for his albums at End of an Ear next time I’m there.
The first thing I thought about this movie was how well it is shot. The filmmakers make Detroit look absolutely beautiful. The mix of snow shots in Detroit and sunny landscapes in Cape Town, South Africa played well together. The film also has a few animated sections which I enjoyed and didn’t expect. I think thats really what I liked most about this documentary, it has a lot of elements that work together. If I had stayed with making movies this is the kind of thing I would have wanted to do.
I really hope Sixto Rodriguez is at the Oscars cause I want to see him sitting with the stars in those cool sunglasses.