Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Movie Review: Futurama: Bender's Big Score

From Matt Groening, the guy who brought you the comic strip "Life in Hell" and "The Simpsons" came sci-fi comedy "Futurama". It was a popular show while it lasted and when it could be seen. But the schmucks at Fox shoved it into the 7:00pm (6:00 central) time slot. This meant that it ran an hour before standard prime-time shows. This was rough on ratings but the show muscled on thanks to die hard fans. The second problem with this time slot was that sporting events frequently pre-empted the show. The only people who got to see the show were on the west coast. The rest of the country had no idea if the show was going to air at all. This successfully killed off the show.

Jump forward a couple of years. Those head Fox schmucks are gone now. The turnover rate for people in the position of head schmuck is ridiculous. I'd lay odds that those were the same bastards who canceled "Firefly". Anyway, they're gone now and the new head schmucks recognize they had a good thing. Partially because the DVD sales are great, ratings for the reruns on Comedy Central are high, and Comedy Central was talking about commissioning new episodes. So they start talking about bringing it back. What they have instead are a series of movies that can easily be broken into episodes.

The first movie is "Futurama: Bender's Big Score". Why I didn't buy it myself I don't know. I'll buy the next three.

"Bender's Big Score" is very self referential. I think they make reference to almost every previous Futurama episode and bring back nearly every character who has ever appeared. Big fan service episode. Really, that's who is gonna be watching this.

Time travel is a major factor in this episode. They tell you early on that it's gonna get confusing and they're not kidding. Some time travel shows are confusing because of their use of grandfather paradox or predestination paradox. This show says screw all that and works cause the universe to collapse every couple of minutes. The episode is littered with duplicate people who the universe has to destroy in horrible and inventive ways.

Quick summary: They open by mocking the people who canceled the show. Then they get conned by spammers who take the crew for everything and then start using Bender to pillage history. Fry returns to his own time several times and works his way back to the future.

Coming soon:
Futurama: Bender's Game
Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
all in post-production

No comments: