Futurama – Into The Wild Green Yonder (Fox Blu-ray)
A- Sound: A- Extras: C Film: B-
no such thing as a bad episode of Futurama;
there are only some that are better than others. So to all those naysayers out there, all of the
Futurama straight to DVD/Blu-ray
have collectively been outstanding. Sure
there are moments that drag and perhaps 90minutes is too long for any one dose
of Futurama; but this reviewer will
take more Futurama any day. Futurama:
Into the Wild Green Yonder is the “final” installment in a series of four
films to be commissioned straight to home video by FOX. The original hope was (and is) that the
success of the films could resurrect the series; just as Family Guy’s second coming after it hit big on Cartoon
Network. The films will collectively be
broken up into 22-minute segments to air on television and act as the series
newest season; if all goes according to plan.
Into the Wild Green Yonder is
no the best film in the series, but it still is entertaining as it reunites the
cast for another romp through the universe; trying to not destroy it, while
The story of Futurama:
Into the Wild Green Yonder starts as Amy Wong’s father destroys old Mar’s
Vegas to make room for New Mar’s Vegas as well as the Universe’s Largest Mini
Golf Course (world’s tallest midget?).
Mr. Wong wishes to build his inter-stellar mini golf course but a violet
dwarf star stands in his way; as he wishes to create a black hole, so that the
player can’t get back their ball at the end.
That is smart and hilarious writing.
Leela (Katey Segal) being the bleeding heart that she is has already
saved a blood sucking leech and intends to save the dwarf star and a near by
asteroid that is beaming with life. Just
as the previous three Futurama films
(and many episodes) have done, this film establishes several seemingly separate
story arches that come full circle and connect in the end. Fry (Billy West) is off the save the world
again (or at least win a poker tournament) after a hippies metal necklace gets
wedged in his skull, giving him telekinetic powers. So while Leela is caught up with a bunch of
Feminist Hippies, Fry has found his own band of aluminum foil capped wackos who
wish for him to save the world from a mysterious being. Bender is once again involved with the Robot
Mafia as he attempts to win enough money so he can run away with the mob bosses
wife; but in the end he may only end up getting THE CLAMPS! The other cast members pop in from time to
time to contribute a tiny quip here and there; but not nearly enough
Zoidberg. The film is fun and even Futurama virgins should have no problem
jumping right into this anthology of interest.
Futurama never had the awkward beginning
years that The Simpsons had to work
through. Matt Groening had worked out
all the artistic and comedic kinks by the time his twisted Jetsons homage took flight.
The series for some reason missed gaining a following when it originally
aired, but has quickly gained steam and a solid following after its untimely
death. The films are hopefully only a
new beginning for the series as it has so much more to offer. The show is visually stimulating, hilariously
funny, and so smartly written that it is nearly impossible to absorb that
onscreen genius in just one sitting. A
truly fantastic series that deserves every bit of praise and more that it has
Futurama: Into the
Wild Green Yonder looks
amazing on Blu-ray and is nearly flawless when considering picture and
sound. The picture is projected in a 1.78
X 1 Widescreen, AVC @ 35MBPS that is visually stunning with its crisp, clean
image and vivid color presentation.
Where as it is not perfect animation, it is pretty darn close as the
palette explodes of the screen as classic animation styles and 3-D images are
combined to create an amazing video experience.
The sound is a 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio that uses each and every speaker
with the space ships panning across with precise directionality and the
dialogue crisp and clear as anything.
The audio is fluid and robust as it projects from the speakers,
highlighting even the smallest ambient noise and allowing all other aspects to
‘pop’ as they should.
The extras include:
Audio Commentary [Interesting and well done as the
cast/crew reminisces about Into the Wild
Green Yonder, as well as making the entire series and the other three
Into the Wild Green Yonder, Part 1
we Make Futurama so Good
The Acting Technique of Penn Jillette
Golden Stinkers: A
Treasury of Deleted Scenes
Matt Groening and
David Cohen in Space!
[The boys are filmed taking a flight that makes them appear weightless]
How to Draw Futurama
in 10 Very Difficult Steps
3-D Models with Animator
Guide to Making Love At a Woman
Most of the extras are just more of the brand of zaniness
that we have all come to expect from Futurama. Some of the material is recycled clips used
to make mock-u-mentary style featurettes, but it is all good as you laugh the
entire way through each extra. The
series never had a dull moment and let’s hope there is more to come.
- Michael P.