Easy Money

 

Easy Money  Opens July 13

Runtime 119 minutes.
Not for children.

Joel Kinnaman in “Easy Mon-ey.”

Based on an international best-selling novel, Snabba Cash by Jens Lapidus, Daniel Espinosa directs this brutal crime thriller. It is set inSweden. A low class business student, JW (Joel Kinnaman), falls in love with Sophie (Lisa Henni), a high-class heiress, and starts a double life mingling withStockholm’s wealthy elite. However, in order to keep up his façade, he finds himself pulled into a world of crime to get the money to finance his life style.

What happens next occupies the rest of the movie and, to call it convoluted would be an understatement. There are so many swarthy characters that I found it difficult to keep them straight. In fact there are no good guys in this movie. It’s long, dark, stark, and humorless.

A movie of unrelenting darkness and depression needs some comic relief sometime in the film.

Because Martin Scorsese is attached to it in some way, it will come as no surprise that the film is unusually violent. There are several brutal beatings and blood flows freely.

If you can put up with the violence and many confusing characters it’s an interesting tale.

In Swedish, Serbian, and Spanish.

Ted

Runtime 105 minutes.
Not for children.

From l, Mark Wahlberg and the voice of Seth MacFarlane in “Ted.”

If you want to have an idea of what eternity is like, sitting through this movie waiting for it to end gives you a good taste of it. I went to it expecting a charming comedy along the lines of Alf, the 1986-90 TV series created by Paul Fusco and Tom Patchett about a creature (an Alien Life Form) who finds himself living with a normal American family.

But Ted is as far from Alf as Texas Chain Saw Massacre is from The Sound of Music. Ted is created by Seth MacFarlane, who is responsible for Family Guy, a show I haven’t seen, but am reliably informed is unfunny and goes out of its way to emphasize poor taste. Ted certainly lives up to that description. I’m disappointed that the talented Mark Wahlberg signed up for this. Wahlberg should know better.

Ted is a teddy bear who comes to life when the youthful Mark wishes he could come alive and be his best friend for life. Miraculously, it happens, but as the movie jumps 15 years, the grown-up Ted is a profane, drug-addled punk. Making the story even more ridiculous, Mark has a beautiful, sweet girlfriend of four years, Mila Kunis, who placidly puts up with Ted, allowing Mark to put her in a distant second place in his affections.

The story is a comic book fantasy. Alf was a comic book fantasy, too, in concept. But comic book fantasies, well told with a good moral, can be entertaining. This is not entertaining because of its low moral tone. It is excruciating. Alf was lovable; Ted is hateful. I didn’t see it at a media screening, opting instead to see it in a theater with real people in the audience. It seemed to me that the audience was uniformly ready to bolt, jumping out of their seats the minute the closing credits started to roll like the gun had just gone off for the 100 yard dash. I had to sit through it, but nobody else does.

Why do you make a fantasy like this about a teddy bear that comes to life and make it with such a low moral tone that no well-meaning, responsible parent should drag a young, impressionable child to see it?

Read more reviews at www.tonymedley.com.

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