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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside’

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CHICAGO – It probably found its way under a few trees this Christmas, but if you have a gift card burning a hole in your wallet and are a fan of “Family Guy” without the latest straight-to-DVD release from Seth MacFarlane and his talented team then you should definitely use your holiday credit on the “Star Wars” (or, more specifically, “The Empire Strikes Back”) spoof “Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside”.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

The “Family Guy” team turned their love for “Star Wars” into the very clever and massively successful “Blue Harvest,” a surprisingly loyal spoof of George Lucas’ breakthrough masterpiece. Now they have returned to tackle the sequel, the beloved “The Empire Strikes Back,” arguably the best sci-fi film of all time.

Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 22nd, 2009.
Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 22nd, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox Home Video

Once again, the main plot points of the source are hit - it’s impressive how much the writers do focus on the actual story - but they are done so in the “Family Guy” style. The result is an effort that’s at least equally as enjoyable as “Blue Harvest” and arguably a bit more accomplished, at least visually, even if the show itself isn’t quite what it used to be (and even if “Family Guy” co-star Seth Green does this kind of thing a bit better with the “Star Wars” spoofs of “Robot Chicken”).

Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 22nd, 2009.
Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 22nd, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox Home Video

The basics are the same: Peter Griffin “plays” Han Solo, Chris is Luke Skywalker, Lois is Princess Leia, Stewie is Darth Vader, Brian is Chewbacca, and Quagmire and Cleveland are C-3P0 and R2D2, respectively. Of course, a few new faces show up in “Something, Something, Something Darkside” including Mort Goldman as Lando Calrissian, Chris’ boss Carl as Yoda, and, brilliantly, the Giant Chicken as Boba Fett.

Of course, most of the jokes in “Something, Something, Something Darkside” are aimed directly at huge fans of both “Empire Strikes Back” and “Family Guy”. There is some physical humor that could appeal to everyone but if you’re not well-versed in the MacFarlane universe, you should probably go back to the volumes of the FOX show itself before diving into something so clearly made for the fans.

Personally, “Family Guy” the series has been a bit down the last few years, stumbling with a few outdated and uninspired episodes. Most remarkably, the pop culture references have seemed a bit behind the times and jokes based on them have been falling flat. There are definitely elements of that mediocrity in an outdated references like the rip on “Studio 60 on Sunset Strip” that opens “Something, Something…” For every truly inspired joke in “Darkside,” there’s one that falls flat. Luckily, the inspired ones result in enough laugh-out-loud moments to make the 54 minutes fly by enjoyably. And visually the show has never looked better. There are moments, like the arrival at Cloud City, that are strikingly beautiful, especially for a show that has never really prided itself too much on visual appeal.

As with most releases that run less than an hour, the special features better be spectacular to warrant the cost of a Blu-ray price tag. “Darkside” includes a fun-but-crowded commentary with MacFarlane, Green, writer Kirker Butler, director Dominic Polcino, and producers Mark Hentemann and David A. Goodman, a pop-up trivia track called “Family Guy Fact-Ups,” “The Dark Side of Poster Art” featurette, a sneak peek of “Family Guy, Episode VI: We Have A Bad Feeling About This” table read, and more.

‘Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside’ is released by Fox Home Video and features voice work by Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, Alex Borstein, and Mila Kunis. It was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 22nd, 2009.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

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