Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder review

After 72 episodes, and three direct-to-DVD films, Futurama comes to it's second finale, does it go out with a bang or get lost in space?

Into the Wild Green Yonder opens up in dazzling Mars Vegas, which is soon blown up in order to build a new Mars Vegas, thus upsetting some "Green" activists. Soon after, Lela gets a leech attached to her, while Fry's brain gets a necklace embedded into it, causing him to hear people's thoughts. And once New Vegas opens, Bender falls in love with The Donbot's wife, causing him a load of potential trouble. As confusing as it may sound, it was nice to have aspects of the plot to be revealed early, as I feel the last two Futurama films suffered from poor storytelling.

Early on in the film, Lela uses the f-word (a first for the show), but sadly it's bleeped out. I say sadly, because for a direct-to-DVD release, there's no excuse for censorship, at least in my mind. As for the rest of the film, it's not without its usual pop culture and science fiction references, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the series. None the less, it all comes down to the usual story of only Fry being able to save the universe, a little dry, but it works for the film in the end.

Extras on the disc include: audio commentary, a storyboard animatic, deleted scenes, "how to draw" lessons, 3D models, and a Futurama "making of" featurette, which covers the steps of how the show is made, though in a very tongue in cheek manner, but while it may not be factual, its worth plenty of laughs. Also included are a short with Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller), another short with Matt Groening and David X. Cohen going into space via a Zero G flight, a "Bender's Movie-Theater Etiquette" short, and lastly a "Zapp Brannigan's Guide to Making Love to a Woman" short. There's also an interesting easter-egg of Billy West as Zapp Brannigan muttering nonsense about something that happened outside the recording studio, and another easter-egg of Bender, animated on toilet paper.

Yes, quite the amount of extras, sure they're hit and miss, but you're here for the movie. While Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder is available on both Blu-ray and DVD, I can't say there's a big desire to see this in HD, so the choice is yours. If anything, I will say this is definitely my favorite of the 4 direct-to-DVD films. And for the ending, without giving away any spoilers, I will say that fans will be pleased, and if this truly is the for the series that would be just fine.

Overall Score: 9/10

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