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PHOTOGRAPHY

FUTURAMA- BENDER'S BIG SCORE
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 88 minutes, audio commentary, deleted storyboard scenes, Al Gore animated promo, Comic Con promo, Futurama math featurette, and more
VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox/ Curiousity Company
RELEASE DATE: 11-27-2007

FUTURAMA- BENDER'S BIG SCORE brings back Futurama with a bang. the humor and animation propel it to one of the best in the Futurama series. After the series was cancelled, I'm happy and very thrilled that the first of four animated films is a nice way to bring back the people from Planet Express in the year 3000. Time travel, the evil robot Santa Claus (from Neptune which will play into the plot later on), two musical numbers, and nudist alien internet scammers (who find a way to own Planet Express) make up most of the plot in addition to a few gags. Bender- the beer drinking, swearing, and stealing robot- (and later his pal Fry displaced from 2000 in the 31st century) get to time travel and screw up time.

FUTURAMA: BENDER'S BIG SCORE pays off for the fans who have missed the series since it's untimely cancellation. The first gag is the Box Network cancelling them (the B flicks to an F)- a direct humor bit about Fox cancelling the series. The animated film is one of the best writtern stories to come out of the FUTURAMA universe. Al Gore plays a role (I like the bit on how he actually lost the 2000 election). So get ready for a trip to a nudist beach planet, multiple Benders, Fry becoming jealous of teh Head Bank tech who Leela is smitten with, Hermes without a part of himself (I can't say more without spoiling it), and the return of quite a few characters.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A nice selection of extras. The Entertaining feature audio commentary (by Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Phil Lamarr, Claudia Katz, Dwayne Carey-Hill, and Ken Keeler) includes teh voice actors getting into character and loads of info on the production of teh animated film in addition to giving slight hints about the fourth animated film.

FUTURAMA RETURNS! is a live comic book reading by the Futurama cast. It would have been better if they featured the comic panel by panel instead of page by page. EVERYBODY LOVES HYPNOTOAD is an entire episode of the show that fans have been requesting as an DVD extra for a long time. Three deleted storyboard scenes are included and you're not missing much. One of the best extras is the animated promo for AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (with optional video commentary by Al Gore, Matt Groening, and David X. Cohen) has Al Gore beating Bender with a baseball bat.

BITE MY SHINEY METAL X is a math lecture with Professor Greenwald as she discusses math concepts in FUTURAMA (including clips from the series and animated feature). I think the highlight is the hangman game with Bender). Rounding out the extras are 3D Models/ 3D Turnarounds, new character/ and design sketches, and the five minute promo for BENDER'S BIG SCORE shown at the San Diego Comic-Con.

MENUS- Wait for the menu to play as Bender thanks you for buying the DVD and then gets irritated if you don't select an option with the remote.

FINAL ANALYSIS: FUTURAMA: BENDER'S BIG SCORE will be a hit for fans. It is well worth the wait to see the show come back in the first for direct to DVD movies.

this DVD review is (c)11-16-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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