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00610 – FAMILY GUY MOVIE

MovieHype00610 – FAMILY GUY MOVIE

I realize your lives are busy, so let me save you some time: If you are not a fan of FAMILY GUY, whether because you just never watched it or you tried it out and didn’t care for the humor, the new FAMILY GUY movie is not for you. Skip it, and feel free to skip the rest of this review (but only if you’re going to spend your time reading other Hyperion-related things). For the rest of you, I got two words: Required Viewing.

FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN – THE UNTOLD STORY is exactly that. Except we don’t get the story of Stewie’s origins, we get his future. Sort of. You’ll figure it out.

I assume those of us still reading are FAMILY GUY fans. I came to the show late, like many of you. Initially I thought it was a Simpsons’ clone and refused to watch it. Then FOX cancelled the show and it popped up on the Cartoon Network (or Teletoon up here in the great Frozen North). That’s where I discovered that any resemblance to the Simpsons is skin-deep only.

For all the griping about the Simpsons, I think a powerful argument can be made that it’s the most moral show on TV. (Note: I don’t count TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, because that show was so bad I think it caused people to abandon God.) True, the Simpsons have always had a high dose of parody, satire, and social commentary, but there also has been a real attempt to humanize the residents of 142 Evergreen Terrace. (That’s the last I’ll say of my favorite yellow people other than to mention that on my Top Ten website we’re doing Simpsons all week. Come check it out!)

FAMILY GUY, on the other hand, is utterly uninterested in redeeming social values. They’re all about the funny, and the more “out there,” the better. What results is scattershot humor; site gags and extended jokes, edgy borderline offensive material, and lot and lots of “like that time when….” True, all of these things came from that other show in the previous paragraph, but with FAMILY GUY it’s become their raison d’etre.

FAMILY GUY’S humor has always been sort of hit-or-miss. Not everything works. However, enough does work that that’s hardly an episode that isn’t funny. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the funniest members of this family are Stewie, and to a lesser extent Brian the dog. That’s why I was so excited to see the movie focuses mostly on Stewie. Yay!

Obviously I love Stewie’s attempts to kill Lois and take over the world. In some ways the boy takes after my own heart. Just as funny, though, is when Stewie actually tries to be a sympathetic person. He’s so terrible at it, and he gets this mealy voice as he tries to comfort. Hysterical. In STEWIE GRIFFIN – THE UNTOLD STORY, we get both Stewies at the same time! Heaven.

The movie starts with all the Family Guy cast showing up for their premiere. Asian reporter Trish Takanawa and Cleveland have the funniest bits. Then we get some previews and finally the film (including an intermission). After it’s over we get outtakes, which of course you’ll want to stay for, as often they’re the best thing.

The FAMILY GUY movie is rated R, which shouldn’t offend any fans of the show. I have to say that part was fairly pointless. They throw a few F bombs in there, but that’s pretty much it. Yes there’s sexual humor (like when Quagmire buys a “Cross-Country Tour” Winnebago with his sign misspelled; you figure it out), but just about all of it could fly in their regular show. (The outtakes use the profanity in a funnier way, but for the most part they could have just beeped them out and gotten their PG-13.)

Speaking of the regular show, one of the biggest complaints may be that STEWIE GRIFFIN – THE UNTOLD STORY comes off like four regular episodes strung together. I can’t argue with that. Because of it, I’m not sure this is something you’d want to buy. But if you’re a FAMILY GUY fan, you really have no choice but to at least watch.

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