FUTURAMA: BENDER’S BIG SCORE
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Billy West as PHILIP J. FRY
Katey Sagal as TURANGA LEELA
John Di Maggio as BENDER RODRIGUEZ
Directed by: Dwayne Carey-Hill
BY KEVIN CARR
While I’ve been a fan of “The Simpsons” for years, I never got into “Futurama.” To be honest, I never gave it a chance, really, so it’s not that I was repulsed by the show. And by the time I actually got around to watching it, my only option was to see it on Adult Swim, which I can’t watch in front of the kids. (Damn rules at home!)
So my first taste of “Futurama” was by watching the movie “Futurama: Bender’s Big Score.” And while I thought it was funny and interesting, there was a large part that I just didn’t get. Yet, in my discussions with what seems to be every other human being on the Earth, the fans of the show were chomping at the bit to see it.
So, instead of just relying on my opinion, I’m going to assume that if you are a fan of the show, you’re going to go bonkers over this movie. In many ways, it reminded me of Kevin Smith’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” which really was nothing more than a giant 90-minute in-joke with the fans. As a guy who likes Kevin Smith’s films, I enjoyed “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” I imagine if I had seen enough “Futurama” episodes, I would have felt similarly about “Bender’s Big Score.
The story doesn’t pull any punches, especially those thrown at the studio execs of FOX. Making a barrage of jokes about being cancelled, the movie launches into a story about the Futurama team getting swindled by alien scam artists. In the process, they discover a tattoo on Fry’s ass that cracks the secret of time travel. Under the control of the aliens, Bender pillages the past for treasure, but Fry and Leela have a plan to save the world… and Fry’s ass.
Much like the film itself, the special features are loaded with in-jokes, including an actual 30-minute episode of “Everyone Loves Hypnotoad.” And with the exception of a rather annoying and preachy moment with Al Gore trumpeting his fight against global warming, most of the features are pretty entertaining.
Other features include a commentary with the cast and filmmakers, a comic book reading from Comic-Con, deleted storyboard scenes, 3D models and turnarounds, the first draft of the ship, design sketches, a 5-minute Comic-Con promo and a unique math lecture from the “Futurama” geeks.