Blu-Ray Review: ‘Family Guy: It’s A Trap!’ (‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Parody)

An outrageous “Family Guy”-style remake of Return of the Jedi, this Star Wars spoof finds Chris Skywalker and Princess Lois attempting to rescue Peter Solo from Jabba the Hutt, defeat the mighty Stewie Vader and blow up the second Death Star. This wacky animated parody features off-the-wall Star Trek: The Next Generation guests including Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf. – Netflix

4 out of 10

This is the third installment of the Family Guy spoofs of the original Star Wars films and it is the worst by far.  In the opening scrolling text sequence in the beginning of It’s a Trap! the writers tell a tale about how they literally put no effort into the writing of this because they were so exhausted after having done Something, Something, Something, Darkside that they just didn’t care… this is not a joke, it is the absolute truth.  It’s even admitted to by Seth McFarlane in the commentary, and it’s apparent from the first joke that they completely phoned it in.

It’s a Trap! is boring and unfunny for the most part and the jokes are generally predictable and nowhere near as good as Blue Harvest or Something, Something, Something Darkside (with Blue Harvest being the best of the three).  There is one truly hilarious scene in the film but that’s it (and unlike some other reviewers, we’re not going to spoil it by telling you what that is.  You deserve to get some enjoyment out of this mess).  The rest is pretty much a waste of time from a comedy standpoint and what’s going to be disappointing is that this is that is going to be this season’s season finale because that’s what they’ve been doing with these direct-to-video movies for the last four years.  It’s really a shame because, It’s a Trap! is going to tarnish what has been the best season of Family Guy since the relaunch.  This episode seems more suited to second or third season post-relaunch Family Guy with the unfunny jokes and jokes that just got dragged on forever than it does for the 2010 -2011 season.  If you need any further proof of how bad this is or how the writers mailed it in, they threw in a Conway Twitty scene… again… but this time they gave him a Darth Vader helmet (no, I’m not kidding).

The only reason it’s getting a four instead of one is because the special features, albeit limited, are pretty decent (the commentary is funnier than the film) and the animation is fantastic.  This is the first of the Family Guy Star Wars spoofs to be produced in 16:9 and it is quite visually stunning and in fact it is the most visually stunning of the three spoofs.  That being said, quality of animation is not why we watch Family Guy, though.

Unless you are a die-hard Family Guy fan and you must have this in your collection, we wouldn’t recommend this.  The only reason we purchased it is because it came in the  trilogy and we needed the Blue Harvest Blu-Ray and the trilogy was just $4.00 more than just the one film. Also, for the record, the Blu-ray not only comes with the Digital Copy but it also comes with the DVD copy as well so at least it’s a bargain.

‘Raising Hope’ (FOX – Tuesday, 9:00p.m.)

Raising Hope is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their household.  At 23 years old, JIMMY CHANCE (Lucas Neff) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his MAW MAW (Cloris Leachman); his mother, VIRGINIA (Martha Plimpton) and his father, BURT (Garret Dillahunt).  Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with LUCY (guest star Bijou Phillips) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he learns Lucy is pregnant with their baby, and after she gives birth, he is charged with raising their daughter. – FOX 

The Preview (originally posted on 9/15/2010):

Shawn:     I didn’t think it was possible but Rasing Hope has given me whole new reason to hate sitcoms.  You see, what’s pissed me off thoroughly is the lie perpetuated on show’s Official Page that I posted above.  It’s leaving out a crucial detail and the omission is by design.  The little baby’s mother, isn’t just a wanted felon, she’s a serial killer and her big joke in the trailer is that they would never execute a mother of a seven month-old baby.  Then, they cut to a scene with Jimmy sitting on the other side of the glass with the baby on his lap watching her get electrocuted and about halfway through the process he covers the baby’s eyes.  I’m sorry, and you can call me old-fashioned, but a baby being separated from its mother and then forced to watch her get executed in an electric chair is not exactly what I would call charming or endearing.  FOX has been doing a very good job of hiding that little piece of information on their website and their regular TV spots for this show.  Gee, I wonder why?  What I saw is not nearly as bad as the fact that they are trying to hide it.

Beyond, that, of course this show is as stupid, clichéd and as recycled as any other sitcom.  Seriously, though, the rule of thumb for FOX should be to assume all of their sitcoms are going to suck.  It’s just a question of to what degree of suckitude (© 2010, TV-Tastic).  Raising Hope is certainly no different from any other FOX sitcom and they brag about why it sucks.  The claim to fame of this show is that Greg Garcia created it and of course he was the award-winning writer who came up with My Name is Earl.  What no one wants to admit about My Name is Earl is that it wasn’t funny after the first season and to be honest, the novelty wore off after the first 10 episodes.  And of course, this show isn’t even much different from Earl with the portrayal of the stupid, white-trash and downright depressing family.  Again, recycled crap.  It’s seems like a shame too because the main cast includes Cloris Leachman, Martha Plympton and they FINALLY got a lead role for one of my favorite character actors of all time, Darren Gillahunt (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Deadwood), an actor that is so talented that he played TWO different characters on Deadwood and no one noticed it was the same guy.  So, yeah. we’ll be passing on this.  Oh and if you watch this video, you’ll the scene in question.

The Review:

7 out of 10

Well, like Detroit 1-8-7, we have another case of I was exactly right yet I was dead wrong at the same time.

First, the mea culpa: the scene that I was most concerned about in the trailer with the mother being executed in the electric chair wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed in the trailer. When taken in context with the ridiculous tone of this show and although I would have preferred that it not be in the episode, it flows pretty well in a cartoonish sort of way. In fact when I think about it, cartoonish is the perfect way to describe that scene. It was like something on Family Guy and South Park where, yes, under normal circumstances it would be processed by your brain as being horrific, but in context it’s pretty tame, because it’s really just slapstick. I’m guessing that the reason that FOX decided not to air that spot on TV was because it screened as poorly with their test audiences as it did it with your friendly neighborhood test-critic.

Now, on to where I was right and what I hate about this show. Raising Hope is exactly what I thought it would be: a typical Greg Garcia show about a family of really dumb, loser P.W.T. (that’s po’ white trash for the unenlightened) who are completely ridiculous and just like the aforementioned scene, absolutely cartoonish. It’s style and tone is very much like My Name is Earl and it goes to show that Greg Garcia is really kind of a one-trick pony which is something I suspected all along.

That being said, the show is pretty funny and despite its flaws is very charming. The characters, although cut from the ‘Earl’ cloth, are endearing and all very well-cast. There’s a lot of good humor here and even though they’re resorting to the same Bundy-style adversarial family that has been used a hundred times before, they all seem believable in their caring for each other.

What has really sucked me into Raising Hope show is Hope herself. That cute little baby is irresistible especially for anyone who has kids and honestly, you forget about the flaws of this show when you see that precious little face. She reminds me of my own daughter at that age and I seriously just melt when she’s on-screen just being cute. You will too.

Watch complete episodes of Raising Hope, here.