The current highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, Ted, about two Bostonian buddies (one of whom is a foul-mouthed living teddy bear) is now available in its unrated form on Blu-ray. The first-time big screen directorial effort from Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane (from a script by MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild) is a lewd, crude and totally hilarious tale of a grown-ass man (Mark Wahlberg) who learns to, quite literally, put away childish things when his magical best friend, a talking plush bear voiced by MacFarlane, endangers his current relationship with his girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis).
Even those who may have tired of Family Guy’s humor over the years will find this movie, which is also filled with cutaways and loads of niche ’80s references, pretty damn funny. For me, it more or less solidified the fact that I’d much rather see Wahlberg do comedy now than his usual stockpile of actioners. For those of you who are still diehard MacFarlane fans, you’ll find a ton of welcome faces (and voices) here, ranging from lead Kunis to Patrick Warburton to Patrick Stewart to Ralph Garman. You’ll also get a few surprise guest stars in the form of Nora Jones (who also sings the MacFarlane-penned opening credit song “Everybody Needs a Best Friend”) and Flash’s Sam Jones. Yes, TWO Joneses.
The Blu-ray set itself is pretty sweet. Along with looking and sounding great (which is essential for making Ted feel like he’s a seamless part of the world), the extras are substantial. In particular, an in-depth look at the making of Wahlberg’s all out brawl with a CGI Ted (aka himself) in “Teddy Bear Scuffle” where the decision was made to have a brutal, somewhat-dramatic fight instead of a silly scrap. On top of that, MacFarlane’s commentary track, with Sulkin and Wahlberg (who couldn’t stay for the entire film), is both funny and informative. I do lament the lack of Mila Kunis, but all in all this movie, like most of MacFarlane’s projects IS MacFarlane. So most of the insight is going to come from MacFarlane while the most you get from Wahlberg is him letting you know every time one of his cousins pops up on screen in a cameo.
There are also a bunch of deleted scenes and a decent gag reel, but the second best thing to watch after the bear-fight breakdown is the “Alternate Takes” section which is filled with a ton of improvised lines from MacFarlane, who was always live on set, in a mo-cap suit, and ready to riff. The “Making of” featurette is standard, but still informative as it shows all the lengths the creators went to in order to make the absurd character of Ted look and feel like a regular human character.
The main draw of this Blu release though is probably Ted’s “Unrated” version, which people will automatically assume is more racy and raunchy. Which isn’t exactly what an “Unrated” version means per se. This version comes with approximately six more minutes. Some of the extra moments are just scenes that are extended by a tiny bit while the rest of the add-ons are actually more substantial; including more of Ted Danson’s cameo, some more Tom Skerritt jokes, a Tammy-Lynn wedding brawl, a few more lines from Lori’s slutty co-workers and a brief “origin” scene for Giovanni Ribisi’s Donny as a young kid. It’s a nifty amount of additions that don’t make the film feel too bloated.