DVD Shopping Bag: Family Guy: Something Something Something Dark Side Blu-ray - Mania.com

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DVD Shopping Bag: Family Guy: Something Something Something Dark Side Blu-ray

And Blu-ray Dilemmas

By Robert T. Trate     December 29, 2009

Chris (Seth Green) as Luke Skywalker in Family Guy: Something Something Dark Side now on Blu-ray
© Fox/Bob Trate


I hope everyone got all that they wanted for the Big Holiday. If you didn’t I hope you got to return something or cash in a few gift cards that will allow you to do so. Last week District 9 (see column) andFamily Guy Presents: Something Something Something Dark Side (see review) both just arrived and hopefully have found their way into your hands. This week Shane Acker’s 9 hits stores as well as Jennifer’s Body (see review). Both films are either homeruns or complete misses depending on your tastes.
I don’t know how many of you got one this year, and I hope it was most of you, but by now a Blu-ray player should have found it’s way into your home. Yes, the economy isn’t the greatest, but let’s face it most of us will skimp out on most things but not our movies. Hell, it is almost better (and easier on the wallet) to get them and watch them at home than go out to the theater. I have been singing the praises of Blu-ray on Mania for well over a year now. Oddly enough it was you Maniacs that convinced me to get a Blu-ray player when I asked you which was better: a PS3 or an Xbox 360 in my toy column. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this at first but perhaps I was too busy basking in the Blu-ray glow that I failed to see the Blu-ray dilemmas. It all started just a few days before Christmas when I picked up Family Guy Presents: Something Something Something DarkSide.
Family Guy’s second tour in the Star Wars Universe was nothing but brilliant. There are few moments where it tends to drag but overall I found myself strangely compelled to watch it all over again. Immediately. The only downside is the special features. With this being a straight to DVD and Blu-ray release one would expect there to be some extra scenes or unproduced scenes with dialogue inserted, yet there were none. The other special feature I was hoping for were alternate lines for some of the bigger more memorable scenes. Han (Peter) and Leia’s (Lois) “I love you” scene in the carbon freezing chamber warranted more than one “I know” response but what else did Seth McFarlane and his crew come up with? While watching I thought, I’ll drag this along to a few holiday parties and if the mood strikes I’ll pop it in. It’s Star Wars and Family Guy, both loved by many of my friends, so why not? The “not” suddenly hit me. I am the only one with a Blu-ray player.
I was so high and mighty on my Blu-ay mountain that I failed to realize I bought something I couldn’t share with them. In the past year when I sang the praises of a Fringe on Blu-ray or North by Northwest many just went out and rented the DVDs. Sure this has kept my Blu-ray collection in tact but here I was sitting all alone feeling remorseful about the good time I know my friends and I would have had.
This wasn’t the only Blu-ray dilemma I encountered this holiday season. Another came when I broke out my holiday movies. The holiday movies do get packed away with all the decorations. Do I really need to watch Elf or A Muppet Christmas Carol in July? Yet when it came time to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol I had to get my old VCR out to play it. It looked terrible (duh) and when I went to eject it the tape got stuck in the player. So I thought about going out and buying the DVD. Then it hit me. Why not the Blu-ray? Despite the fact that it doesn’t exist for this particular movie, do I really need to upgrade a movie I watch once a year to the latest format? Is my copy of Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas on DVD already out of style? Yet, my Chuck Jones’ VHS tape of the same name clearly needed an upgrading but which to buy? If I were to take it to someone else’s house would they have a Blu-ray player? Is a DVD good enough for a holiday film?
The last Blu-ray dilemma on the list is one that I think many of you may have noticed already. This week’s DVD Shopping Bag is packed with tons of examples. Just look below. If you haven’t been able to tell the studios are making a big push to get all of you to buy Blu-rays by releasing special features, director’s cut versions and so forth. Now they are getting everyone else to double or triple dip on double feature (and some time triple or quadruple) DVDs. I hope that many of you know that when a good/ popular movie drops to $9.99 or $5.00 it is set to be re-released (with bonus content) on Blu-ray. They are getting many people to buy the same title two or three times because they are so cheap. Stop the insanity people! Don’t go for those cheap all encompassing collections of the first four Batmans or Tom Cruise Collections!
Go and get a Blu-ray player and upgrade your titles when necessary. Those old VHS tapes are ready for the trash or hopefully can be recycled (can they be?). I think I’ll hold out until next year and see how many Blu-ray players find their way in the homes of my family and friends before I buy my Chuck Jones’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Will it be DVD or Blu-ray? The dilemma, I guess, continues for now.
A Perfect Getaway (Theatrical/Unrated Director's Cut) ~ Milla Jovovich
A Perfect Getaway (Unrated Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
Apache Rose ~ Roy Rogers
Bad Boys/Bad Boys II
Casualties of War & Black Hawk Down ~ Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Josh Hartnett, and Don Harvey
Cisco Kid: The Gay Amigo (1949) / Satan's Cradle (1949) (2-DVD)
Chains of Gold ~ John Travolta, Marilu Henner, Hector Elizondo, and Benjamin Bratt
Colorado ~ Roy Rodgers
Danger on the Air ~ Donald Woods, Lee J. Cobb, William Lundigan, and Edward Van Sloan
The Devil's Own & Donnie Brasco ~ Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, and Brad Pitt
Ghost Town ~ Harry Carey
Gone to Texas ~ Michael Beck, Claudia Christian, John deLancie, and Sam Elliott
Kid With the Golden Arm (Dub Sub) ~ Feng Lu, Philip Kwok, and Lung Wei Wang
The Marine 2
The Marine 2 [Blu-ray]
The Missing & The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada ~ Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, and January Jones
On the Spot (B&W)
Overland Stagecoach ~ Bob Livingston
Riders Of Black Mountain ~ Tim McCoy
Song of Nevada ~ Roy Rogers
Tactical Unit: No Way Out ~ Simon Yam
The Widow's Might ~ John R. Moore, Gator Moore, Cameron Heidrick, and Angela Coates
Wolves of the Range ~ Bob Livingston
Baccano! The Complete Series Box Set ~ J. Michael Tatum, Caitlin Glass, and Ian Sinclair
Blassreiter: Part 2 ~ Todd Haberkorn
Blood Pledge (Dub Sub) ~ Eun-Seo Son
Case Closed: Captured in Her Eyes - Movie ~ Alison Retzloff, Colleen Clinkenbeard, and Jerry Jewell
Dragonaut: The Resonance, Complete Series Part 2 ~ Colleen Clinkenbeard, Justin Pate, and Christopher R. Sabat
Genshiken 2: Volume 3 (Dub Sub) ~ Kaori Mizuhashi
Legend of Lyon Flare: Collection 2 - Into the Erogenous Zone
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle: Season 2 Set ~ Carrie Savage
The Actors: Rare Films Of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Vol.1~ Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
The Actors: Rare Films Of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Vol.2
The Actors: Rare Films Of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Vol.3
The Actors: Rare Films Of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Vol.4
The Actors: Rare Films Of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Vol.5
The Actors: Rare Films Of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Vol.6
The Actors: Rare Films Of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Vol.7 (how rare can they be with 7 volumes?)
The Actors: Rare Films Of Rudolph Valentino Vol.1 ~ Rudolph Valentino
The Actors: Rare Films Of Rudolph Valentino Vol.2
Return to Paradise ~ Gary Cooper
Two for the Seesaw ~ Robert Mitchum
Cheech & Chong's Nice Dreams & Things Are Tough All Over ~ Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Benita Barrie, and Sandra Bernhard
Blood Pledge (Dub Sub) ~ Eun-Seo Son
Carriers ~ Christopher Pine, Piper Perabo, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Emily VanCamp
Diagnosis: Death ~ Raybon Kan, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, and Rhys Darby
Evil Offspring ~ John Anton
The First 7th Night ~ Gordon Tung
Jennifer's Body (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] ~ Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried
Jennifer's Body
Nuns of Saint Archangel ~ Anne Heywood, Luc Merenda, Ornella Muti, and Martine Brochard
Paranormal Activity (2-Disc Digital Copy Edition) [Blu-ray] ~ Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Michael Bayouth, and Mark Fredrichs
Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity Limited Collector's Edition
Vampire Killers ~ Paul McGann, Steve Clark-Hall, James Corden, and Silvia Colloca
NON Genre DOUBLE DVD Titles (helping to prove a point)
A Few Good Men & Jerry Maguire ~ Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, and Jack Nicholson
About Last Night & St Elmo's Fire ~ Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, and Emilio Estevez
The Blue Lagoon & The Return to the Blue Lagoon (2pc) ~ Brooke Shields, Christopher Atkins, Brian Krause, and Milla Jovovich
Matilda & The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking ~ Mara Wilson
My Girl 1&2 ~ Anna Chlumsky, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis (
First Knight & Robin & Marian (2pc) ~ Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Gere, and Julia Ormond
Half-Life ~ James Eckhouse, Julia Nickson, Susan Ruttan, and Ben Redgrave
Hansel and Gretel ~ Jang Nam-Kyoung, Shin Eun-gyeong, Park Heui-sun, and Chun Jeong-Myoung
Muppets From Space & The Muppets Take Manhattan ~ Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, and Steve Whitmire
9 ~ Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, and Christopher Plummer
9 [Blu-ray]
Princess of Mars ~ Traci Lords, Jr. Antonio Sabato, and Matt Lasky
Gilligan's Island: Complete Seasons 1-2 (6pc) ~ Bob Denver, Alan Jr. Hale, Jim Backus, and Russell Johnson
Glee, Vol. One: Road to Sectionals ~ Matthew Morrison
Time Warp: Season 2 ~ Jeff Lieberman
United States of Tara: Season One ~ Toni Collette
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


Showing items 1 - 9 of 9
DaForce1 12/29/2009 1:16:52 AM

Movies you watch repeatedly during the year get the Blu-Ray treatment ONLY IF they have been truly upgraded and not just another sh!tty transfer. Case in point; Enter the Dragon on Blu-Ray was digitally remastered and I saw some details in the film I had never seen before, while the Blu-Ray version of Big Trouble in Little China was a transfer of the dvd (which itself was a transfer of the laserdisc) and was no better in quality than the regular dvd.

How do you tell the difference? Rental.

spiderhero 12/29/2009 4:43:46 AM

I say no to Blu-Ray. This will sound weird, but when I see Blu-Ray movies playing in stores demonstrating the amazing picture quality, I don't like them. The visual seems less real than DVD.

Also, I have a fine DVD player & refuse to buy something new until I have to. If that means the economy collapses because I won't spend money on things I don't need, then let the economy collapse. You hear that polliticians?  Oops, I started preaching. sorry.

noahbody 12/29/2009 10:11:30 AM

I can not justify buying a new player when mine works just fine.




redhairs99 12/29/2009 10:15:36 AM

Spiderhero, I agree with you on Blu-Ray.  I really don't see the need to upgrade.  Nothing I have on display looks like enough of a jump in quality from my upconverting 5-DVD changer to warrant the upgrade.  That and in five years, it'll all be digital/HD downloads anyway.

DaForce1 12/29/2009 12:29:19 PM

The difference between an upconverting dvd player and a Blu-Ray player is enormus, especially when you have the proper tv (and connected with the proper HDMI cable, NOT component cables) to view it on. But hey, I guess people said the same thing when color tvs first came out too.

Wyldstaar 12/29/2009 3:11:33 PM

The level of difference between upconverted DVD and a Bluray with HDMI cable is enormous.  However if you don't have a large HD television, the difference won't be as noticable.  If you've got a big screen, the difference is like night and day.  My dad used to say the same sorts of things about HD tv and bluray players being a waste.  Then I invited him over to watch John Wayne in El Dorado in HD on my big screen.  Guess what Dad bought himself for Christmas?

redhairs99 12/29/2009 3:34:07 PM

All I know if the difference isn't very noticeable on my 42" HDTV with HDMI and upconverting DVD player.  42" may not be considered "huge" anyway, but it looks pretty damn good to me and I have no desire for anything else.  But hey, if you guys think there's a difference then by all means spend away.

raynardmuldrake 12/29/2009 3:41:27 PM

Unless you have an HDtv that is 1080p Blu ray movies are a waste. A Blu ray player will upconvert your regular DVD to 1080i ..which is just as good as 1080p..there might be very slight differences..but unless your watching them side by side..you cant really tell. Blu ray players are coming down in price..you can get one for around 100 bucks now. I buy my DVDs used from Blockbuster..you cant get new releases about a month after they come out..sometime you get deals like 3 for 20 bucks..or 5 for 20 bucks...they may not have all the super special 25 hours of extra features..but i dont mind.

spiderhero 12/29/2009 6:30:24 PM

I have a HD TV, and I do see the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD. The thing is, I don't like the image on Blu-Ray. Call me crazy, but I don't like the way it looks. I've seen the "best" image possible in stores on display with the best movie, player and TV and I just don't like it. The image just doesn't look good to me for some reason. So I'll stick with my simple DVD player & keep my money. Of course, if the rest of you want it, be my guest...



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