The Futurama Movies

Film #43: Bender’s Big Score
directed by: Dwayne Carey-Hill
released in: 2007
language: English
length: 89 minutes
watched on: 25 December 2011
Film #44: The Beast with a Billion Backs
directed by: Peter Avanzino
released in: 2008
language: English
length: 89 minutes
watched on: 28 December 2011
Film #45: Bender’s Game
directed by: Dwayne Carey-Hill
released in: 2008
language: English
length: 87 minutes
watched on: 29 December 2011
Film #47: Into the Wild Green Yonder
directed by: Peter Avanzino
released in: 2009
language: English
length: 89 minutes
watched on: 5 January 2012

I guess these are only loosely defined as films, since they were more like a cross between made-for-DVD movies and are sometimes referred to as Futurama’s fifth season. In any case, I’d been meaning to get around to watching them for a while, so I incorporated them into my Christmas viewing.

The best way of describing these is that they’re just like extended episodes of Futurama. Indeed, they are so much like a normal episode of Futurama that I was already starting to get bored about 20 minutes into the episode, when a normal episode would be drawing to a close, but these were only a quarter finished. That’s not to say they were necessarily boring in themselves.

The first one, Bender’s Big Score, is probably the best of the lot. It takes time travel and takes it to its logical extreme, with contrivance after contrivance so that by the end you’re not even sure where it really starts causally, which is always the best way to play out a time travel plot. It has a relatively large twist in the last act which I guessed quite early on, too.

The second involves a giant alien from another universe who somehow has sex with every being in the entire universe, which I just felt stretched the scale of reality a bit too much even for Futurama, which is usually pretty blasé about these things.

The third, while referencing “Ender’s Game” with the title, wasn’t actually anything to do with it; it was actually some kind of take on the fantasy genre; I think Bender goes crazy and ends up creating a fantasy dreamworld and sucking the others in.

The fourth… actually, I’ve forgotten entirely, except for the ending, which I probably shouldn’t give away. I don’t think the plot was particularly remarkable in this case. I think it may have had something to do with extinct animals…

Ultimately, they’re only recommended for someone who enjoys the main series of Futurama. They’re funny, definitely, and in many ways they’re far more complex and daring than regular episodes of the show are able to be, but if you can’t stomach a regular episode of Futurama there’s no point in subjecting yourself to these; while I found them good (as a fan of the series), I also found them tedious…

Anyway, after watching these I decided to go back and watch the regular series too, so watch this space for the review of that…

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