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Recasting FAMILY GUY characters into the iconic roles of the George Lucas films, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE ($30) does to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, what Seth MacFarlane and company did to STAR WARS with their BLUE HARVEST parody. Like the preceding send up, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE finds the power going out at the Griffin residence, and without television, the family calls on Peter to tell a story, as he did for BLUE HARVESTÖ Although Peter begins with a retelling of the movie BLACK SNAKE MOAN, we quickly finds ourselves reading the FAMILY GUY version of the opening crawl to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Other than the usual asides and other non sequitur comic material, the plot of SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE follows THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK quite closely.

In this FAMILY GUY parody of the STAR WARS universe, Peter Griffin is Han Solo, Chris Griffin is Luke Skywalker, Lois Griffin is Princess Leia, Stewie Griffin is Darth Vader, Brian Griffin is Chewbacca, Glenn Quagmire is C-3PO, Cleveland Brown is R2-D2. Some of the more inspired re-casting choices have Mort Goldman as Lando Calrissian, Joe Swanson as Imperial Probe Droid and Ernie the Giant Chicken as Boba Fett. Like almost everything coming out of the FAMILY GUY universe, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE features plenty of politically incorrect humor, which I totally love. Since there is a tendency to take potshots at everything and anything, there are those jokes that fail to hit the target, which is forgivable, since there is a near continuous volley of humor that is certain to hit something. The vocal talent behind SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE includes Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Patrick Warburton, H. Jon Benjamin, John G. Brennan, D.C. Douglas, Mike Henry, Danny Smith and James Woods.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. I have to say that the 1080p presentation is surprisingly impressive for this type of 2D animated material. Sure, this isnít the type of material one would use to show off the high definition format, it is quite nice to see just how crystal clear the animation looks on Blu-ray. Of course, the items from the STAR WARS universe are the most impressive, with the space ships and other hardware displaying an impressive amount of detail and crisp lines. Colors are strongly rendered, with the primary hues popping nicely. Secondary hues also look great, and all of the colors are reproduced with complete stability. Blacks and whites are pure. Contrast is excellent. Since it was not produced on film, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE is free from grain and print flaws.

SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. For a FAMILY GUY parody, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE sounds terrific on Blu-ray. Of course, if this were an actual STAR WARS Blu-ray release, the sonics would seem disappointing. For sitcom caliber material, the outlying channels engage pretty nicely and are fairly active, in addition to offering some nice pans. Still, the sound design is dialogue centric, as one might expect from a title that will eventually wind up in the syndication package. The real highlight of the soundtrack is the lossless encode afforded to John Williams iconic music- it all sounds wonderfully majestic and makes one long for an actual Blu-ray release of the original trilogy. The bass channel has some nice depth, but comes up shy of demo worthiness. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese Cantonese, Mandarin, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary track with executive producers Seth MacFarlane, Mark Hentemann and David Goodman, actor Seth Green, writer Kirker Butler, and director Dom Polcino. Family Guy Fact-Ups offer pop-up trivia pertaining to the FAMILY GUY and STAR WARS universes. Featurettes and other programs include the following: The Dark Side Of Poster Art (nine minutes), Animatic Scene-To-Scene With Commentary By Director Dominic Polcino (seven minutes), Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side Table Read (forty nine minutes) and Sneak Peak Of Family Guy: We Have A Bad Feeling About This Table Read (two minutes). Some Bonus Trailers close out supplements. A Digital Copy of the film is also provided.

If you are a STAR WARS loving FAMILY GUY fan, you are certain to enjoy SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DARK SIDE. The Blu-ray presentation is really quite sweet. Recommended.



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


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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