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Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
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The Beast with a Billion Backs will be presented in widescreen format with English Dolby Surround 5.1, along with French and Spanish subtitles. Bonus features include:
The second of four direct-to-DVD adventures featuring the Futurama crew, The Beast with a Billion Backs picks up where its predecessor, Bender's Big Score, left off while balancing multiple love stories and the arrival of a sexually voracious alien from another universe. Unlike Bender, the various story lines converge well here--the tentacled, Lovecraftian creature Yivo (voiced by David Cross), which wants to mate with the entire population of the universe at once, makes Fry (Billy West) its de facto leader (Pope, actually), which in turn plays havoc with his relationship with new girlfriend Colleen (Brittany Murphy). And Yivo's scheme causes the people of Earth to evacuate the planet, leaving it in the hands of robots--which is, of course, excellent news for Futurama's resident mechanical malcontent, Bender (John DiMaggio). Beast is probably best understood and enjoyed by longtime fans of the series, who will recognize and appreciate the countless "surprise guests" (Robot Satan, the Harlem Globetrotters, Bender's hero Calculon, the head of Stephen Hawking), though the feature is certainly well-written and performed by its voice cast, and should provide plenty laughs for first-timers with flexible attention spans. Parents, however, should note that the humor can be fairly suggestive at times, and should exercise caution in regard to younger viewers.
Extras include a very funny commentary track with creators Matt Groening and David X Cohen, stars West, DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche, and key members of the production team. Deleted scenes and a making-of featurette with the voice cast are entertaining, but the real features of value are Futurama: The Lost Adventure, which is culled from the Futurama game for Playstation 2, as well as a lengthy preview of the next direct-to-DVD movie, Bender's Game. Suffice it to say that the Lord of the Rings weighs heavily on the storyline. -- Paul Gaita
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Top Customer Reviews
The 88-minute format is either too long for a compact and focused plotline, or too short for the type of complex story the producers appear to be striving for. The story here jumps around at a very awkward pace and shows signs of severe over-editing. The jokes have been reduced to Family Guy-like asides played for cheap guffaws rather than deep thoughts. (The caped superhero is an unfortunate example, and Bender's firstborn son is a very unfortunate example.)
Many holes and inconsistencies in the storyline show that plot construction took a backseat to the more easily written sight gags and cheap asides. (Here's an example that hopefully won't be condemned as a spoiler. Late in the film the new Yivo character says he [sklee] sent an image of himself to artists in our universe, but most of the story is built on the idea that Yivo thought he was alone in all universes.) The fundamental story has also trumped the longstanding strengths of the show. The personalities of Fry and Leela (and important supporting characters like Kif) are inconsistent, Bender has been demoted to an unworkable subplot, and Zoidberg does little more than vomit for simpleminded laughs.Read more ›
In fact, this film's plot itself ventures into a genre that I'd much rather have seen Futurama stay at two removes from: romantic comedy. Except this time it's all the inhabitants of our universe ("Universe Gamma") in a romantic comedy with a planet-sized tentacled monster from another universe. There's a Bender sideplot that serves absolutely no purpose except to give Bender screen time and ultimately give him a reason to basically undo everything that happened in the movie, just when one would expect a perfectly Futurama-style twistedly happy ending.
Speaking of undoing things that happened, I really must complain that this film literally resets the past eight years of Futurama continuity. Since the Niblonians and Brainspawn are no longer in Universe Gamma and every single romantic relationship has been reset to a basic state of "not existing", it really appears as though the writers behaved exactly like a dog encountering a chess board: knocking every piece out of its place with no real character development just so they could put them into the absurd places their canine brains desired.
Finally, it has come to my attention that a lot of people got a lot more out of this film by reading it as a portrayal of the events described by the Book of the Revelation of John (aka: the Book of Revelations, aka: that crazy Apocalypse thing). Despite my knowledge of the story, being a Jew I guess I just can't see the parallels. You can only see them after someone else tells you about them, which means they aren't really there.
The plot was seriously lacking, and the storyline wasn't strung together very well at all. In certain points I found myself thinking "You mean there's still more? Shouldn't it be over?!". Also, it seems like they've taken writing cues from the more recent seasons of "The Simpsons", many of the jokes were a bit over the top and at the same time low-brow. One of the things I love about Futurama is the creative and clever writing, the jokes that are a bit more clever, and not all physical comedy.
This movie was rife with moments where you just say "Yuck. That's not funny, it's just kind of gross". Which I think would be a great way to sum up the movie in general. It's not funny, it's just kind of gross.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love futurama! I never knew the background on the show until recently (the whole fry got stuck in the future thing). Now I like it more. :)Published 2 months ago by cntrywrtr
As a Futurama fan, I liked this. I'd seen it before so it wasn't a big surprise.Published 3 months ago by Ficus
Disc plays fine but you will need to buy a case to keep this in. It comes in a horrible cardboard sleeve that will quickly ruin the disc. Scratches appear instantly. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Chris
Finally piece to my Futurama collection. It came a little worse for ware but it plays fine. Love the Futurama franchise wish it was still going. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Pet Roc
Very funny and jam packed with features, my only complaint is the damn carbon neutral cases that all futurama stuff comes in now. It is cardboard and it can scratch the disks.Published 13 months ago by Skylar Munkers
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