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Featured TV on DVD Review: Family Guy: It's a Trap

December 19th, 2010

Family Guy: It's a Trap - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Blue Harvest came out in 2007 and it was a huge hit with fans of Family Guy and Star Wars. Two years later, Something, Something, Something, Dark Side was released. It earned good reviews and was worth picking up. Now just a year later the folks at Family Guy complete the spoofs of the original trilogy, but can it live up to the same standard?

The Show

The film dispenses with any pretense of a setup. Like the first two spoofs, we start in the Griffin home watching the family watch TV when there's a power outage. Stewie says, "We're about to do Jedi, aren't we?" And with that, the opening crawl begins and the plot continues where the last film left off.

There's not much that needs to be said about the plot, while if you need a run down of most of the cast, I did that in the previous reviews. The episode starts with Stewie / Darth Vader visiting the Death Star under construction where he meets with Roger from American Dad!. Darth comments, "Are we already out of our own characters?" When it comes to reviewing this show, this is probably the most important part to point out. There are characters from all three Seth MacFarlane shows. This is a good thing if you really like his work, but not so good if you are like me and felt The Cleveland Show was pushing the formula way too far. Speaking of pushing the formula too far, this episode is showing signs of fatigue in a number of ways. In fact, the writers openly acknowledge the fact a number of times. Some jokes feel incredibly tired, like the nodding scene, which just seems to go on forever. There is a pretty good payoff featuring a clip from CaddyShack, but they could have stripped that section down to half the time and they joke would have worked a whole lot better.

The number of jokes that miss is much higher than in either of the first two specials, like Rush Limbaugh as the Rancor, but even so, the number of jokes that hit is still higher than the ones that missed. Brian / Chewbacca testing out the AT-ST's weapon capabilities should get big laughs from most audience members, as will how Carter Pewterschmidt / Emperor Palpatine tries to turn Chris / Luke not by mocking the death of his friends, as it is done in the movie, but by making fun of Seth Green's real life career. Of course, this too is a running gag in the series, but it does set up a really good joke in the end.

The Extras

The DVD has an audio commentary track with Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman, Cherry Chevapravadumrong, Shannon Smith, and Peter Shin. It's not as good as past audio audio commentaries and there's are more than a few dead spots to contend with, but it is still worth listening to. Also, it's found in the Setup menu and not the Extras menu, which is a pet peeve of mine. The first "Extra" is a message left by Darth Vader on Luke's answering machine. It's rather short, but quite funny. The longest extra is a 30-minute featurette on the four main people in the creative force playing a game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. It doesn't sound like it would be compelling, but it is. Then again, I'm a big geek, so take that into account. Drawing with Peter Shin is a rather self-explanatory featurette with Peter Shin, the director, showing you how to draw various Family Guy characters as they were seen in these spoofs. Next up is Sock Puppet Outtakes, which is rather skippable. Finally, you can watch an earlier Animatic of the special, which does include many differences.

(The DVD does come with a digital copy, for those that like them.) I do not have the Blu-ray to review, but it appears to not have any exclusive extras, while it costs almost 40% more than the DVD. Granted, I've heard good things about the video quality, but that's still a little too much for this type of release.

The Verdict

Skip it. While Family Guy: It's a Trap represents good value for the money on either DVD or to a lesser extend on Blu-ray, grabbing Laugh It Up Fuzzball on Blu-ray It costs just $5 more than buying this Blu-ray individually, and its the only way to get Blue Harvest Blu-ray. That release is easily worth picking up, and even a contender for Pick of the Week.

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