Over my birthday week, I was lucky enough to see two movies. Both were amazing but in different ways.
"Ted" and "The Dark Knight Rises"
This review will be slightly more spoiler-heavy, so be warned.
The first was Seth MacFarlane's "Ted". I do like Family Guy, but I've been skipping the last few seasons since the jokes seem to be striking out more than hitting. But I still adore the classic seasons and I catch the spinoffs sometimes.
Ted brings the best (and some of the worst, but thankfully rarely) humor from the various cartoons and adds a truly heartfelt layer to it. It's un-PC, but not in any malicious way (except towards those who act it the most; like Trey Parker said, "You can do whatever you want in your show as long as you have a main character say 'Dude, that's not cool.'")
Ted represents both your best friend and your happiest childhood toy, and in scenes where it looks like Ted may have to be let go hits one on both spots.
There's a surprisingly neutral Prequel reference. An opening montage shows Ted and John (Mark Whalberg) waiting in line excitedly for Phantom Menace. It doesn't show an outcome, but at least it doesn't show a negative outcome and revels in the nostalgia of waiting for a midnight movie.
There's also a bit where they predict the film's biggest criticism, where during a party John does a mocking imitation of Ted and Ted replies to the effect of "That was pretty good, but I do NOT sound that much like Peter Griffin."
Between general Seth MacFarlane humor, a story that's pretty deep behind the crassness, and some unexpected cameos (including brilliant opening and closing narration from Patrick Stewart), this is probably one of the better comedies I've seen in theatres.
In a dramatic shift in tone we have the highly anticipated and tragedy-marred "The Dark Knight Rises." Like the other two in this series, the trailers left me lukewarm at best. And, like the other two in this series, my expectations were exceeded times several hundred.
It did baffle me that the super-steroid venom was not mentioned once in association with Bane, but his background it left mysterious enough for it to fit in my head-canon. Tom Hardy got so much across with his eyes that it didn't matter that his luchador-Vader mask got in the way (though some lines were a tad muffled).
Anne Hathaway was a wonderful Catwoman, though I did miss the whip.
This is the most major spoiler in this review, but I had to mention it: I KNEW Marion Cotillard's character was going to end up being Talia Al Ghul, just as going into the first one I had an inkling that Liam Neeson was going to be the real Ra's (which is pronounced "rays", incidentally, one of my few beefs with the DKT) seeing as how he looked more like the comic character than Ken Watanabe did. It was handled beautifully.
As for the giant rumor about the ending, thankfully it's only half right, though I'll leave you to find out which half. There is a bit of nonsense about nerfing the effect of a nuclear explosion, but as Ed Wood said "Haven't you ever heard of suspension of disbelief?"
All in all, I heartily recommend both films. See them in theatres (especially DKR).