Futurama : the features



2008

[dvd]
Bender's Big Score

They're baaaack! (And with some great digs at the people who canned the series in the first place.)

After being unemployed for two years the staff at Planet Express are back in the delivery business. Their first job is to a nudist planet, where they are accosted by a bunch of scammers who get their email addresses, and send them spam, which they can't resist, the result of which is that they lose their jobs, the company, and eventually the entire planet. The scammers discover an icon on Fry's buttock, which gives them the secret of time travel. They send Bender, under control of a virus since he tried to download roboporn, back to steal Earth's treasures. Nibbler warns all this time travel will tear the fabric of the cosmos. Meanwhile, Leela meets Lars, and falls in love. Fry tries unsuccessfully to break them up, but he dumps her at the altar anyway. Once the scammers have stolen everything, they decide to erase the time travel code by ordering Bender to kill Fry. So Fry goes back in time, too, then forward, then back again. Then things get complicated...

The authors are clearly pulling out all the stops: all the old favourites are here, from Nibbler to RoboSanta, from Nixon and other heads-in-jars to Zapp Brannigan. Maybe a few too many stops, leading to a whipsawing feeling occasionally. But the complex multi-crossing time-lines plot is super.

Rating: 3.5
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 20 August 2008



2008

[dvd]
The Beast with a Billion Backs

The second of the feature length Futurama episodes keeps up the good work. From the "previously, on Futurama" scene (just the last two seconds of the previous episode!) onwards, it's a flurry of the sight-gags (some of which went past so fast I barely caught them), in-jokes, and weird references we so love about this show. The underlying plot is a multi-tentacled, planet-sized monster from another universe that starts taking over people in this one, in order to love them. That's a typical 50s B movie plot, done hysterically well, but serves only as the framework to hang a load of other subplots and gags on. Amy and Kif, Fry and Colleen, Bender and the League of Robots, Farnsworth v Wernstrom, and more, it's all here. Enjoy!

Rating: 3.5
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 29 August 2008



2008

[dvd]
Bender's Game

Another feature length outing with the crew of Planet Express. Bender decides he needs an imagination, so practices at Dungeons and Dragons; he gets so good at it he can't leave his fantasy realm, and ends up in an institution for criminally insane robots. (Warning, children: if you play D&D, this will happen to you !) Leela is fitted with a shock collar to control her violent temper after entering a Demolition Derby with the spaceship. Meanwhile, the price of Dark Matter fuel, a monopoly held by Mom's corporation (apart from Nibbler's poop, that is), is spiralling, but Farnsworth has a way to destroy Mom's monopoly -- by destroying all the Dark Matter! The two plot lines come together, and the crew ends up in Bender's fantasy world (which has a strong resemblance to other, better-known fantasy worlds), on a quest to melt the plastic die of power.

Funny and clever, like the others. It steps up a notch when everyone gets into the fantasy world, but there's lots to enjoy at all levels.

Rating: 3.5
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 9 January 2009



2009

[dvd]
Into the Wild Green Yonder