11 July 2008

Ink Blots - Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs

The second in the line of 4 direct to video Futurama movie, The Beast with a Billion Backs (BBB) takes a step down from the previous effort Bender's Big Score. The last outing, on top of hilarity, offered a clever story and heart. This one mostly just has the hilarity. The intent for these movies is to chop them into 4 episodes each that can be aired in 30 m inute segments. Now I have read a couple of other reviews that say that structure was obvious in this movie, but I would disagree. I did not feel like I watched four episodes "back to back" (pun intended, the story did progress, though I suppose there were independent subplots in each act. Nevertheless, I think chopping this movie up is going to be tough since there really were not, at least to my untrained eye, natural act breaks.

Anyways the basic story involved an intergalactic tentacle monster AKA Yivo (who was also heaven) dating and seducing all of humanity (and some other species too). There was also a pointless subplot with Bender and the "League of Robots" which really was pointless, though the mustached robot was pretty cool. I also enjoyed the giant deathball competition which can be viewed at Amazon. There are also so jabs at Catholosism and religion in general (Fry becomes tentacle Pope), but I don't think any philosophies "spouted" by Futurama should be taken too seriouslly.

This time we got more Zap Branigan (YAY!), more Kif and Amy (meh) and a couple of good vomiting Zoidberg gags. Unfortunately, though we also got additioanl robo-cameos from Calculon, Hedonism bot, and the Robot Devil, we didn't get as many great appearances as were woven into the last outing. And how does Steven Hawking provide his own voice? Shouldn't his voice sythesizer be getting the credit? Was Steve even there in the recording session because they could have just typed his lines into Microsoft Narrator and had it "perform."

Basically, where the last movie was one of those special episodes like The Sting, Parasites Lost, or The Devel's Hands, this is just a good ol funny episode more like The Day the Earth Stood Stupid or the Problem with Popplers, and if you are down with that, you be down with the Beast. Until Bender's Game, I will be content with the 2 two bonus movies with which we have been graced. BBB appropriately earns a B.

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