Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story
The Griffin family of Quahog makes its way to your home in a direct-to-DVD movie titled "Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story."
The 88-minute adventure started as three individual cartoons, and that is obvious even without listening to the commentary. What the creators have pieced together is funny, but nothing like the best moments from the TV episodes. A lot of the jokes are solid one-liners or instances with characters in unlikely scenarios or as characters in other movies. "Indiana Jones," "Star Wars" and "The Family Feud" are all referenced.
The problem is that no scene is laugh-until-you-cry funny. There's no Kool-Aid Man bursting into the courtroom gag. There also isn't an extended segment that comes out of the blue, like Peter fighting a chicken for no discernable reason, like in an earlier episode.
Rent it for the good scenes. Twenty clams is a lot to shell out for three glorified episodes. Check out the DVDs for the first two seasons instead.
The Craft - Blackalicious
Blackalicious returns to the independent hip-hop game with "The Craft," the follow up to critically acclaimed 2002 release "Blazing Arrow."
Lyricist Gift of Gab can still weave an intricate web of rhymes and can consistently pump out booming, deep lyric after lyric without pause. DJ Chief Xcel does a good job melding beats throughout the album. There's a progression from early album "NIA" to "Blazing Arrow" to "The Craft" that solidifies Chief Xcel as one of the best producers out there. The production rings true to what these Quannum cats are known for: conscious lyrics over chill-out melodies.
The majority of the tracks on "The Craft" are solid songs and each track seamlessly carries the same vibe. Nothing stands out however, and it's tough to find a single-worthy song. "Blazing Arrow" had "make you feel that way," "4000 miles," and "Passion." They were tracks that continue to stand the test of time.
While the verses on "The Craft" stand as some of the best spit by Gift of Gab, there's a scarcity of standout choruses. That's what keeps the album from being an instant pickup classic. No doubt, the album wears on you, but you need to learn to love it. It's certainly not body moving at first beat.