This week I watched two movies, Rock of Ages and Ted. Now, these films are quite different, but I enjoyed both of them. I had a good time despite the fact that Rock of Ages is sitting at a not-so-great 41 percent and Ted isn’t doing much better at 69 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ll be discussing what I liked in each of these. There might be some spoilers so be forewarned.
I was talking to my brother in law a couple weeks ago and he asked me if I liked Prometheus. This is another film that has been taking a bashing by critics. Regardless I did enjoy it and let him know that. He asked me if there were any movies that I didn’t like. This got me thinking, my philosophy regarding movies might be a little different than other people. For me films, as well as most things in life, are about managing expectations. This can be me managing my own expectations or me managing others expectations.
Let’s take Rock of Ages and what we know about this film going in. It’s a musical. It has music from hair bands from the 80’s. There will probably be some clichéd broadway moments. So now that I know what to expect going in, there is no dwelling on the issues that are expected. I felt the talent was there, all the actors had excellent voices, apart from one whom I’ll discuss in a few. Arguably Tom Cruise was not the main character and, while he did a great job singing, Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta who played Sherrie and Drew are the main characters and were excellent singers and had great voices. I can see why they were cast. The story that the film portrays wasn’t the greatest or most innovative but that wasn’t what I was expecting. The only part that I didn’t think came off particularly well was Alec Baldwin’s character. I didn’t think he was the best singer and I felt the more intimate scene with Russell Brand felt a little contrived.
Ted features the story of a teddy bear that comes to life and lives with the boy who made the wish that made the Christmas miracle. We know that this is Seth McFarlane and we know his style of comedy. We know that this is an adult, rated R comedy. Given this, why would I compare this film to Citizen Kane. Coming in with these expectations I really enjoyed Ted. Compared to other rated R comedies I felt it ranked right up there with Bridesmaids and The Hangover. On a slight tangent The Hangover 2 was one of my least favorite films of this rated R comedy style. Ted had various laugh out lough scenes where the entire audience was cracking up. The technology that incorporates computer animation and real life has progressed by leaps and bounds. The feeling that this bear was really interacting with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis who play John and Lori was quite real. The story was touching and characters were immersive, all necessary in a good film. If you enjoy this style of film I think you will really enjoy Ted.
Having said all that, obviously I would hope that every film I watched was “top ten” quality. I would love for every film to be innovative like Inception and, more recently, Cabin in the Woods. (Go see it if you haven’t.) Given that, if I go into every movie I see having decided that if it’s isn’t spectacular then I’m going to give it a thumb’s down rating, I’ll be walking out, constantly disappointed, and not enjoying what I’ve come to love from a lot of films.
Have you seen either of these? We’d love to hear what you think or let us know what you saw and what you thought.