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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Family Guy: It's A Trap!



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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted December 24 2010 - 05:31 AM


Family Guy: It's A Trap!
Release Date: Available now
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Packaging/Materials: Two-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX" with slipcover
Year: 2010
Rating: NR
Running Time: 57 minutes
MSRP: $24.98
 


THE FEATURE

SPECIAL FEATURES

Video

1080p high definition 16x9 1.78:1

High definition

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1

Stereo

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

None


The Feature: 4/5

The power goes out in the Griffin household for a third time, forcing patriarch Peter (voiced by Seth McFarlane) to entertain his family through the oral tradition of storytelling. By now the family has been expecting it and draws in close to hear the final chapter of the mythic "Star Wars" saga...

Even if you're not a fan of the animated TV show "Family Guy" or creator Seth McFarlane's unique brand of humor, you'll find it hard to resist the charms of the third and final Family Guy-zed, Star Wars parody, "It's A Trap!" Much of that comes down to the novelty of seeing whole sequences from "The Return of the Jedi" recreated in animated form; less so the perfunctory use of "Family Guy" characters in the major roles. The former actually provides some needed balance to the usual non-stop, nonsensical asides, tangents and sight gags that typify a "Family Guy" episode. And though parodies are not always meant as homages to their source material, the obvious love and respect for the original trilogy that permeates the film is ultimately what makes it so broadly appealing, just as "Blue Harvest" and "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" were before it. I wouldn't expect the same kind of entertainment factor for a McFarlane send up of the prequel trilogy, which better explains why there are no plans to do so, citations of plot complexity notwithstanding.

"Family Guy: It's A Trap!" debuts on Blu-ray and DVD in advance of it airing on the Fox Network in May 2011. Broadcast censors will inevitably clean up some of its language, so viewing it on disc will be the only way to see it unaltered.

Video Quality: 4.5/5
The film is accurately framed at 1.78:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec. Black levels are excellent - stable and deep. Fine object detail is hard to judge, given the lack of surface textures, but several shots of dense starfields and the sharpness of illustration lines — notwithstanding some apparent haloing - indicate very good clarity and detail. Colors also exhibit satisfying depth and fidelity, the orange of Lois's hair, various hues of lightsaber blades and the greens of the Endor forest standing out in particular. Though I noticed a few instances of shimmer and color banding, they are the only faults in an otherwise great transfer.

Audio Quality: 4/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio track is front-stage dominant, and fairly concentrated towards the center. The rear and front surrounds perk up to provide some nicely balanced directional pans for the occasional flyover, but are otherwise relatively silent. LFE is more frequent than in the last film for things like Star Destroyer fly-bys and the deep rumble of Jabbas voice, and though not especially subtle, the response is deep and clean. Dialogue also shows an improvement compared to the previous installment, being consistently crisp, clear and well-balanced with the rest of the channels.

Special Features: 4/5
I guess it wouldn't be a Family Guy Star Wars title without something completely pointless in the extras. Though the commentary is markedly improved from the one on the last release, the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit tournament is a self-indulgent waste of time (no offense to the writers involved, who don't seem entirely responsible for the piece). In contrast, the drawing sessions with Director Peter Shin and animatics of practically the entire feature provide some useful demonstrations of animation processes and technique.

Commentary with Seth McFarlane, David A. Goodwin, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Shannon Smith and Peter Shin: Though the track is not without its humorous asides, the group — composed solely of writers and producers this time — provides some solid information about the making of the film, from animating to adapting the script. There's more quiet moments, and sometimes it seems like the group is watching the film for the first time, but I find this preferable to raucous, tangential tomfoolery.

A Very Special Message from Darth Stewie (1:26, HD): Darth leaves a rambling voice message for Luke, covering a variety of issues.

Star Wars Trivial Pursuit: The Ultimate Championship (31:29, HD): Watch writers David A. Goodwin, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Kirker Butler and Alec Sulkin as they play a game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. Yes, it is as exciting as it sounds.

Drawing with Peter Shin (19:29, HD): Shin provides some helpful illustration methodology as he draws Chris as Luke, Lois as Leia and Stewie as Darth Vader.


Sock Puppet Outtakes (1:29, HD): Bloopers from the green screen shoot for the insertion of the 'special edition' sock puppet.

Animatic (39:19, HD): Running almost as long as the feature, the interesting series of animated storyboards shows the film's foundational animation and visual storytelling technique. A must for anyone intrigued by the animation process.


Making the Scene (6:14, HD): Peter Shin provides commentary on the barge battle and lightsaber duel scenes, pointing out the changes between the animatic and finished product.
 

BD-Live: Includes highlights from other Fox Blu-ray releases, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at Family Guy's appearance at last year's San Diego Comic-Con.


DVD: Watch the feature presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic standard definition video and 448 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (English only). Subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish.


Digital Copy: Incorporated into the DVD "Combo Disc" and compatible with Mac and Windows. Those with the capability can also download the file directly to their mobile device through the Pocket Blu mobile app.

Recap
The Feature: 4/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

Another entertaining, "Family Guy" send up gets an excellent audio and video presentation and a solid special features package with only a few pointless moments.



#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Brett_M

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Posted December 25 2010 - 02:48 AM

I have the other 2 and they are amusing to bust-a-gut funny.
Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it meant to roast in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you.

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted December 25 2010 - 03:40 AM

Interesting in that my thoughts of the three versions are that of the actual films. The first was good to excellent and very different,  The second was just as good as the first and very enjoyable and the third was the weakest one of them all.  Though It's A Trap has its funny moments and should be enjoyed.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#4 of 4 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 25 2010 - 04:10 AM

I thought It's A Trap was a big step up from the Empire parody. Not that that one was bad but I enjoyed the new one much more.





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