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DVD Review – Futurama – Into the Wild Green Yonder – Blu Ray
If there is something that I like more than fantasy and dungeons and dragons mixed with Futurama, it is gambling and Futurama. I am a casino lover, I admit it, so when I get to see one of my favorite television gangs head over to Mars Las Vegas it was like winning at roulette. Amy Wong’s father Leo is the one that is obliterating all the life on the planet to make room for his casino and mini golf course, and the Eco-feminists are just not too happy about it. As the story gets a bit deeper we find Fry has mind reading abilities and the universe rests in his hand once again. Leela, Amy, and a few of the other female characters get themselves involved in the Eco-feminists and the always interesting internal conflict between the Planet Express gang ensues, with Bender looking to make a profit.
The Eco-feminists try to halt the construction of the casino and golf course, but Wong just has too much money and knows too many corrupt individuals (Professor Farnsworth). It all seemed a bit Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back C.L.I.T story line, but without the thunder. Once the new Mars casino is put up we have all sorts of background jokes which I just loved. The slot machines have names like Wheel of Fortran, Pull my finger, Quarter Pounder, Granny’s Last Nickel, etc.. I think the detail in the background is always well done by the Futurama team. Fry and his mind reading capability try to beat Bender at the casino hold ‘em tournament who has entered to be able to run away with the Donbot’s wife. I have always loved the robot mafia and “Clamps”. I actually refer to Clamps on a regular basis, it’s just that some people who have never seen Futurama do not get it. That is ok though ’cause I’ll put the clamps on them also. This part of the movie is well done and the pace does not get bogged down. The jokes have a bit more focus then we are used to in these previous straight to DVD movies.
The problem is, after the poker tournament we are then focused back on the Eco-Feminists and the Legion of Mad Fellows save the universe and all of the animal species. There were some funny parts with the Eco-feminists and their pink VW rocket van. They used the word vagina in most references to anything with the van, as in the vaginascope, chuckle quality. Also, after they kill the headless vice president while playing mini golf had its moments. Overall, I found the Eco-femanist part of the storyline drawn out and underwhelming. Fry and the Legion of Mad Fellows was a bit better, I loved their foil hats and how they kept knocking out Fry to bring him to their secret location that he already knew about. The Dark Ones and the violet dwarf star are the key to saving or destroying the universe, but the setup is better than the knockdown on that one. The glue that bound those two stories together was the construction of the mini golf course that was so big that the balls were shot off planets and asteroids with cannons. I wished we could have kept the Robot Mafia and the casino a bigger part of the story line throughout the whole movie. While others may have, I actually did not find the Pro Earth eco friendly message to be too forced. As I have stated many time over and over, the reason that Futurama is so good is because of the continuity of the universe, the characters, the story lines, and the jokes.
I was surprised as I watched all the other Futurama movies on DVD the quality of this Blu-Ray really did make a difference with the animated movie. It was super crisp and the colors just popped.
While we have recently heard the rumblings of maybe Fox picking up Futurama for another season, if we are to leave the Futurama universe on this note, it will be done with some joy and a tear in the eye. That is always why it is a good idea to leave the last scene a bit open ended. I enjoyed Into the Wild Green Yonder, it had far more positives than negatives and not only wrapped up the series (maybe?), but was a fulfilling movie with a bunch of chuckles and laughs. Could be my favorite of the movies, I am still in the process of deciding that though.
Some other funny moments:
Using Old Man Waterfall’s family members again, I do not think many people realize the brilliance of keeping this family involved in the Futurama story lines.
Eco-feminists after they kill the headless vice president, are offered 6 weeks in jail for it. Also Snoop Dogg does an incredible job at being the head judge for the trial. Was quite funny.
Bender being Bender is only concerned he has the biggest rap-sheet which leads him to break out the feminists from jail. The writers really do a great job with Bender being consistently worried about his image of being a top notch thief and law breaker.
Carry over from last movie with the whale oil now powering the ships instead of Dark Matter, also a carry over from earlier episodes about Fry’s specific brain waves was a nice touch to see it so prominently used here.
About the Extras:
Audio and Video Commentary – The commentary for Futurama is always funny. We get to hear things like how they got the color right for the aluminum foil hats and random facts about the show that reminds me of the pop up videos they used to have. I could never remember all the cameos, easter eggs, and old story lines so this was interesting. One of the really cool tidbits was the fact that we find out why the secret society, Legion of Mad Fellows, leader has a number 9 toga. It was because of a previous idea that they had but ended up canning. I like information like that.
Storyboard Animatic – This is the section where we get to see the storyboard, but we have already seen the full movie so after a few of these storyboards they lose a little something.
Docudramarama - Pretty funny, a spoof of a documentary of making the film. It is done by Lauren Tom who is voice of Amy Wong who plays it off like she does everything on the show from voices to drawing, a funny way to show the audience how Futurama is created.
“Louder Louder!”- We get Penn Jillette talking about his acting techniques of playing himself.
Golden Stinkers – It seemed like this time around the deleted scenes were all so short, with a direct to video release why they did not just include them in the movie I do not know.
Matt Groening and David X Cohen in Space! – We get to follow Matt and David as they go aboard Zero G and experience different types of gravity and then a weightless experience. It looked really cool, I do not know even if I had the time and money to attempt it, I could muster up enough courage. At least they can both say that is necessary for their work on the show.
How to Draw Futurama in 10 very difficult steps- We are shown how to draw some of the Futurama characters, if I had any inkling of art talent I might give it a shot
3-D Models – We get to hear a bit about the technical aspects of the computer modeling done for creating the show
Benders Movie Theater Etiquette and Zapp Brannigan’s guide to Making Love at a Woman- They reused some clips of older episodes of Futurama to create these short films, but they did use one of my favorite episodes where Fry and Zapp were to be put to death by snu-snu
Also on the 500 space on the wheel on the top level menu system we have the Toilet Paper Animation of Bender Drinking a Beer, nice…