I got my grubby little hands on a copy of the new Futurama direct-to-dvd movie, "Futurama:The Beast With a Billion Backs" that's set to come out on the 24th, and thought I'd give everyone a heads up of just what I think about it...cause I know how much you care.....oh, and 'cause you want some spoilers probably.....it shall be done!
Anyway, being a HUGE fan of the original TV series, and enjoying the first direct-to-dvd offering they gave us(though the best part was the Hypnotoad episode bonus feature), I couldn't wait to see this in the hopes that it would bring back some of the magic of the series that had been lost in the first movie. Sadly that didn't happen.
What I got was a haphazard collection of in jokes and schizophrenic story lines resulting in me going into a fit of rage that could only be soothed by a quick trip through memory lane via my Futurama Season 3 DVD set (the best season in my opinion). It was bad. It wasn't terrible, but in comparison to the television series it was pretty much a waste of time. There were some good jokes sprinkled around, but generally it was pretty disappointing.
The movie does have it's moments, and the trademark Futurama humour is definitely there, but something is missing from the equation, and I think that something is "sanity". The jokes were often funny, but the main story was too strange and forced to overcome itself. This is not the Futurama I know and love, this is something new.....and in this case, that's not a good thing.
If you want the full scoop and a pile of spoilers, keep on reading, otherwise stop now and go watch "Everybody Love Hypnotoad from the "Futurama: Bender's Big Score" dvd extras.
The story starts off where the last one ended, with a giant hole torn into space, and everyone running around screaming, then nothing happens. People freak out less and less for a while, as the big space rip continues to do absolutely nothing until most people start to forget about it being there at all.
Finally they explore the rip, and fry goes through (after a series of issues, including stowing away in a giant lint trap), and gets the attention of a giant tentacle monster from another universe, how proceeds to send tentacles through the rip and attaching to everyone in the universe. Once attached everyone loves the tentacles, but it's soon discovered that the monster is actually using them to mate with...everyone in the universe...and agrees to stop if they (everyone in the universe) agrees to go on a date with it (the billions of tentacles).
This is where the story starts to get weird (no, I don't count that first bit as weird, read on to find out why).
After the date (or the billions of simultaneous dates I suppose I should say) everyone starts to love the tentacle, and they (the tentacles and everyone in the universe) go steady, and eventually move in together. By which I mean everyone in the universe moves to live in the head of the tentacle monster in the other universe, including a long montage of people using golden escalators to leave there planets for the other universe, where there are some fun cameos like the Globe Trotter planet which of course looks like a basketball.
The tentacle monster is apparently the inspiration for earth's idea of heaven (including "angels" that are really mindless birdlike creatures...in the shape of human angels....yeah), pearly gates, and the whole deal...and everyone is pretty much loving it...except all the robots, which could not go to the other universe for reasons that didn't make a lot of sense.
While all this dating and tentacle strangeness goes on, Bender is off doing his own thing and ends up leader of the League of Robots through a massive contest with many many levels...all of which involved drinking. He then decides to attack the tentacle monster by pulling it into their universe, and does so with the help of Robot Satan's army, after quickly giving up the child no one knew he had until that very moment...and going, pirate style, on a tentacle hunt. The tentacle gets it's heart broken, and everyone on the universe gets into Bender's little pirate boat/space-ship and leaves...it all makes very very little sense, and felt extremely forced most of the time.
There were a number of sub-plots about Amy and Kiff, and Zapp, and Fry and his poly amorous girlfriend, but it was all so jumbled and bizarre that none of them really matter much.
I'm pretty annoyed with it, but it did have enough classic Futurama left in it to be mildly entertaining....I really do hope that the next one pulls out of this rut though, no hitting a suicide booth just yet....but if things don't improve the next time around, I may go ballistic.
***Originally written for tvgawker.com***