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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Satire > TV > Family Guy presents Something, Something, Something Dark Side (2009/Fox Blu-ray)

Family Guy presents Something, Something, Something Dark Side (2009/Fox Blu-ray)  

 

Picture: A-     Sound: A-     Extras: B-     Film: B+

 

 

Seth MacFarlane comes back for round two (or should I say round V) with Family Guy presents Something, Something, Something Dark Side.  After the success of last years Family Guy presents Blue Harvest (a comedic retelling of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) the Family Guy team got right to work with the next chapter in George Lucas’s epic tale.

 

Some have criticized the animated venture for being a simple carbon copy of the original, but in this reviewer’s eyes the new Family Guy film is a fun spoof that immortalizes the original while adding its own flare.  There is no true need to recap the story as it follows an abbreviated framework of Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back; but in brief the Griffin’s power is out again and Peter decides to indulge the other members of the family with a tale.  As the story progresses the normal Family Guy pop references reign supreme, while relying heavily on the oddities of Star Wars to propel each joke forward.  There is a plethora of references that allude to that of old comedians, juicy fruit, Dolph Lundgren and even Tom Selleck (in one of the most hilarious moments).  The jokes that concentrate directly on Star Wars such as the initial text crawl or the AT-AT scene or Cookie Monster as a Wampa are amazing and the brilliance just keeps coming.

 

I can by no means say that a ton of originality went into the film, as the characters are placed in their seemingly intended positions, but the vividness film’s art work and comedy give me one more excuse to love Star Wars.  My biggest criticism is the HUGE MISS with the revelation that *SPOILER* Darth is Luke’s father.  It is one of the biggest moments in the series, yet the team passed by the moment without any solid laughs or creative exploits.  If that is the worst the film did than I can forgive as everything else about Something, Something, Something Dark Side is amazingly done.

 

The technical features of Family Guy presents Something, Something, Something Dark Side are quite nice and almost makeup for the horrible quality of Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Comedy.  The picture is presented in a 1080p AVC MPEG-4 1.33 X 1 (Lucas’s orders) that has amazingly crisp and clean animation, bold and vivid colors and insanely deep, inky blacks to frame every shot.  The picture impresses from beginning to end.  There is a degree of aliasing, but nothing to worry too much about.  The sound is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that explodes throughout with clear and distinct dialogue that is of the highest priority.  The ambient noises as lasers blast and ships wing by are also a solid feature for this film.  The team made no mistakes with the original John William’s scores as they are aligned each note perfectly with the animated scenes and have a palatable roundness.

 

The extras are nice, but far, far away from fantastic.  The extras include an Audio Commentary with Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, David A. Goodman, Kirker Butler, Dominic Polcino and Mark Hentemann that is fun if not tangential.  Seth Green admits to having never seen the completed film and is thoroughly entertained by both the film and the facts others are divulging.  There is little silence throughout and plenty of interesting trivia (though certain individuals do the bulk of the talking), but I would not call this the best Audio Commentary I ever heard.

 

Other extras include Family Guy Facts Up that acts like a ‘Pop-Up Video’ for the film giving tid bits of trivia, much of which is from the audio commentary or pure nonsense all together.  The extra The Dark Side of Poster Art chronicles the journey of one Family Guy artist as he painstakingly attempts to faithfully recreate the original Empire Strikes Back poster while including the Family Guy cast.  The final extras include Animatic Scene to Scene; Table Read; Sneak Peak at Episode VI; Digital Copies; all of which are nice, but nothing thrilling.

 

I was thoroughly impressed with the effort of the cast and crew on this extended Family Guy episode (film).  It was fun and infused with the elements we love most about both Family Guy and Star Wars.  Life is good…plus the Chicken is Boba Fett.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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