A teddy bear, super spy and baby are fodder for this weeks new DVD releases.
Ted Grade A-minus: A grown man must deal with his cherished childhood toy.
Ted works because Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and all of the non-Hasbro-created cast members treat the story seriously. Because they dont question a world where a teddy bear can come to life, its easier for the audience to accept the concept and just laugh at the pull-no-punches humor.
The film smoothly goes from romantic comedy to buddy picture to stalker movie. Ted has less tact than Don Rickles and Daniel Tosh combined, but Seth MacFarlane, whos both director and writer, finds places to make the character warm and fuzzy. How can you not like a teddy bear who laments that he looks like Snuggles lawyer when he wears a suit?
The Bourne Legacy Grade C: The series continues with a new hero (Jeremy Renner), whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For a film franchise thats going through a rebirth, Bourne Legacy looks a lot closer to retirement age. The film moves slowly with a convoluted plot, uninspired action scenes and too many people babbling scientific and spy jargon.
Renners a capable replacement for Matt Damon on the action side. What he lacks is the on-screen charisma of his predecessor.
Gayby Grade B-minus: Director Jonathan Lisecki had success on the film festival circuit in 2010 with his 12-minute short Gayby (rhymes with baby). Its the story of two singles who have been friends since college Jenn (Jenn Harris) and Matt (Matthew Wilkas) who as 30-somethings decide to have a baby. The twist is hes gay and she wants to conceive the child the old-fashioned way.
Lisecki has turned that short into a feature film. Its a sweet movie, but it shows more is not always better.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:
Ice Age: Continental Drift: The gang must use an iceberg as a ship when their continent begins to drift.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Season 9: TV crime drama.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey: A 15-part documentary looks at the movie business.
Mankind: The 12-hour History Channel series spans civilization to the discovery of America.