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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Stewie's Origins Better Left Unknown
by Geoffrey D. Roberts

It's hard enough being a baby genius named Stewie Griffin, but it's even harder being trapped in a body with a football-sized head. When you hope to conquer the world from your own crib, it's also tough living among "idiots" who don't understand your evil intenions and want to cuddle and coddle you most of the time.  

Worst of all, nobody but the family dog named Brian knows you have a manic personality, are delusional, and fantasize about killing members of your family. All this is made clear in Family Guy: Stewie Griffin, The Untold Story!

While watching TV together, Brian and Stewie stare with mouths agape when they see a man on the screen who looks sounds, acts, talks and walks like Stewie. He has the same football-shaped head and lives in Calfornia.

Coincidentally, Quagmire, their sex-addicted neighbor, shows up with an RV he bought for a quest to have sex with at least one woman in each state. Wouldn't you know it? He just happens to be heading to California. To prevent Stewie from getting into trouble and to help him search for his origins, Brian decides to tag along with him and Quagmire on their way to California.  

Several sequences in this film work, but they are too few and far between. When Stewie decides to take up drinking, Brian tries to teach him a lesson by taking him to a bar where both drink themselves under the table and have the problem of trying to figure out which one is less drunk than the other. Brian hands Stewie the keys, and they wind up on television after destroying the bar by driving the car through the window.

The best sequence involves a parody of Blockbuster Video and films that were edited for morality and Christian values. When one sees what's actually edited out, it's quite hilarious. Another funny bit shows a long-bearded Stewie being the world's worst leader -- with his statue knocked over and found in a hole much like Saddam. Also amusing is a scene where store employees use Tivo's pause, record, play, fast-forward and rewind features to get customers to buy an expensive low quality electronic device they had no idea they bought and have no need for.

I think the sequences in this film may work better as individual shorts or as 30-minute episodes of the Fox show. Ironically, that was the plan in the first place. The producers of "Family Guy" always intended for this DVD to be seen in three separate parts on television with the riskier scenes and language removed. 

Showcasing a character such as Stewie exploring his origins seems like a bad idea to me. Not knowing Stewie's origin, true intentions and the reason behind them is why many viewers watch the show. Family Guy: Stewie Griffin, The Untold Story! should have been left untold. Bottom line: be sure to watch the hilarious television show and buy the DVDs of the last three seasons. They are infinitely better!

(Released by 20th Century Fox Pictures; not rated by MPAA.)


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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