Family Guy Presents: Something Something Something Dark Side (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy
Fox || NR - 54 minutes - $29.99 || December 22, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-01-11


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Dominic Polcino
Writer(s): Kirker Butler (written by)
Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Patrick Warburton, Alex Borstein


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Trivia Track
  • Featurette
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian

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.::THE FILM::.

It pains me to type out, but the latest “Family Guy” flick, entitled Family Guy Presents: Something, Something, Something, Darkside, just doesn’t stack up to past episodes or films. Sure, the comedy is all here in the form of the characters and jokes. Sure, this is what fans of the show are looking for. The problem is the episode just doesn’t run together as smoothly as past ones nor do the jokes really hit home. That being said though, the darkside is still entertaining for fans and newcomers alike.

The second installment in the spoof-series follows Chris (Seth Green) as Luke Skywalker returning home to the cold weather land known as Hoth. Peter (Seth MacFarlane) as Han Solo decides to leave Lois (Alex Borstein) as Princess Leia and the rest of the rebel alliance when all of a sudden Stewie (Seth MacFarlane) as Darth Vader has come yet again to terrorize the alliance. Han reluctantly stays behind to help out, but Chris is kidnapped by a giant cookie monster (seriously, voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and has to use the force to get out. But Chris needs to be stronger to beat Vader, so he must go find Yoda and I won’t spoil who does his voice but it is a funny character in the entire movie. The film literally follows the fifth storyline to the teeth of the flicks that it spoofs, so odds are if you’ve seen them before then you know what’s going on here and I can stop now and criticize the film.

Alright, here we go. I loved “Blue Harvest,” the last spoof flick, but this one just didn’t feel the same way. Sure, I laughed a ton throughout the entire runtime, as even I didn’t catch some of the references or funny material hidden throughout. Heck, Mort as Lando had me balling for about ten minutes just because of how insane it was, the cameo by a famous bounty hunter was hysterical too, and the giant chicken as Boba Fett made me cry. I literally couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard when the giant chicken showed up as the bounty hunter, just because I didn’t think that he was still around anymore. What a great creative choice that was by the director to include way more characters in this film than they did in the previous one.

I must say though, that while I am being quite hard on the film about the laughter, it’s well deserved in my opinion. There are jokes throughout, like how Yoda won’t go help Luke fight the emperor, how Han shoots the “monster” multiple times (in the movie he shot only twice, here it’s like two dozen), and other hidden gems strewn throughout the movie. The problem is that they are quite few and far between, which is a rarity in the show itself. I rarely find the time to stop laughing during the episodes, especially the latest one last time on Fox, but this flick just didn’t have the same appeal.

The cameos though are some of the best in the show’s entire run. Acclaimed actor James Woods returns (and after listening to the commentary, he will return in future episodes!) and a few other actors do too, some of which surprised me. The cameos themselves though can’t save this from dragging on a bit too long for my tastes. I am glad to report though that Meg (Mila Kunis) FINALLY has a line in the flick, and it’s by far one of the best ever including what Peter/Han says right afterwards. The jokes on Meg never get old though, heck they could have done 60 minutes of making fun of her and I would have been happy.

Regardless of the fact that it’s not as entertaining as the past flick or episodes, this is still a worthy addition to the “Family Guy” repertoire.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Mark Hentemann, David Goodman, Kirker Butler, Dominic Polcino, and Seth Green: As per the norm of every "Family Guy" commentary, this one is a giant treat to listen to since my ears were glued to the screen when everyone talked. Green is hysterical, MacFarlane is absolutely a riot, and the rest of the cast discuss hilarious things throughout this track. They point out what scenes were done in what order, some funny behind-the-scenes stuff, and crack jokes about literally everything but the movie itself. This is, as usual, a must listen/watch track once you've completed the film.

Family Guy Fact-Ups (55 minutes): This is the freaking extra I’ve finally been waiting for all these years! A pop-up track will play throughout the entire episode, pointing out neat tidbits and also the gag references that you may or may not have figured out. This alone makes the disc worth a buy in my opinion for all the fans out there of the show. I strongly urge you to watch the movie again with this feature on to pick up on anything you may have missed.

The Dark Side of Poster Art (9 minutes): A simple look at the art that goes into the show, mainly dealing with the poster art that appears on the DVD covers. Not that interesting or funny, so you can probably skip this extra.

Animatic Scene-to-Scene (7 minutes): The director goes through the animatic versus the color reel, which for those who don’t know it means that this is a comparison between the black/white and the color or final product of a film. This is a neat special feature, although it does run a bit short. Dominic is good at describing what’s going on, and is a treat to listen to, so watch this when you get a few minutes.

Family Guy Table Reads (50 minutes): Just as it sounds, so if you enjoy the table read segments that occur then this is the extra for you. I however find them to be pretty boring and never that funny.

There’s also a Sneak Peek of Family Guy-Episode VI for those excited about the next issue in this on-going series. Sadly though there’s no animation, as there is just a table read here for you to enjoy.

Finally, a Digital Copy is available that does work with iTunes.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

This is the animated cartoon’s first entry into the high-def format, as even the show isn’t presented in HD quite yet, and I must say it’s a welcome and long waited for addition. Colors are bright, although they could have used a little boost. They do at times appear a little bit washed out which was disappointing to say the least. Thankfully though, I noticed absolutely zero in terms of noise or tearing at any point throughout, so that’s a bit of good news there. Speaking of colors, there weren’t any sort of overblown issues throughout. This is a great entry into the HD world for the show, and if they fix the little contrast issues in the film, then the show has a promising future.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a complete overhaul in comparison to the television show. I must say that this track really surprised me in terms of “oomph” power that the show has with its dialogue which is loud and engaging the entire time. Surround sound is used almost perfectly, and I say almost because there is one specific instance that I noticed that surprised me. In the start of the film when Chris/Han cuts off the cookie monsters arm the cookie monster runs off screen and the audio levels go way up and out of the wrong speaker. It’s an odd engagement to hear, and trust me, I heard it too loud for me, and if this was fixed then the track would have been better.



.::OVERALL::.

The Blu-ray version is still worth a purchase to fans, collectors, and newcomers, but don’t go expecting anything monumental from the FG team here. The jokes don’t connect as well as they did in past films or episodes, so you’ve been warned. That being said though, I still recommend a purchase in the long run. Shut up, Meg, and go get yourself a spoof flick to enjoy.