Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy / Science Fiction
Fox || NR - 89 minutes - $39.99 || February 24, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-02-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Peter Avanzino
Writer(s): Matt Groening (created by), Michael Rowe (written by)
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Video Commentary
  • Feature Commentary
  • 8 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • DTS-HD MA 5.1: English
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot Summary: In the most epic Futurama ever, dark forces older than time itself are on the attack, hell-bent on stopping the dawn of a wondrous new green age. Don't you hate when that happens? Even more shocking: Bender's in love with a married fembot, and Leela's on the run from the law - Zapp Brannigans law! Fry is the last hope of the Universe, recruited for an ultra-top-secret mission. Could this be the end of the Planet Express crew forever?

Nowadays it's not that shocking to find out that a canceled show has been brought back in some fashion. "Family Guy" is the obviously the biggest, but some smaller shows have resurfaced with new episodes ("Greg the Bunny" comes to mind) so it was no surprise to hear that Matt Groening's baby "Futurama" would be brought back in the form of four feature length films that would be eventually trimmed down into 16 episodes to air on Comedy Central.

The first of these films was Benders Big Score which was a slight disappointment to fans. It suffered from a bad plot and overall was just not what many fans were expecting. The Beast With a Billion Backs (try saying that five times fast) was an improvement, but suffers from a poorly executed final act. Bender's Game followed up a short time later and now comes the final film, Into the Wild Green Yonder.

I really tried to like this film, but simply couldn't. It had an incredibly lame plot and you could literally see where one 'episode' ends and the other begins. Bender's story of falling in love with the Fembot was great - he had tons of awesome one-liners and could have easily carried the entire film - but instead it literally ends 22 minutes into the film. Gone. Done. Then we have Fry who can hear other people's faults and while it started off strong towards the end it became a useless subplot to expose the "dark one". Leela has by far the most annoying plot in any of the "Futurama" films where she joins a hippy-gang who wants to stop Amy's father, Mr. Wong, from turning the galaxy into a giant mini-golf course.

What went wrong here? They could have made a gripping film to end "Futurama" (if it does not get picked up for another DTV or TV Series) but instead chose to go out on a rather poor note. While it was great to see all of the "Futurama" characters at the end of the film (literally everyone) the film is just bad. Probably one of the worth out of the series which is a shame since there may not be anymore. I was fighting back yawns every ten minutes.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Matt Groening, David X Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Patric M Verrone, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski and Peter Avanzio

Video Commentary with Matt Groening, David X Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Patric M Verrone, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski and Peter Avanzio (PiP - Profile 1.1 required) -- Identical to the one above, just the option to see them. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

While the disc may seem packed most of this only lasts a few minutes: Storyboard Animatic (22 Minutes) takes a look at the first part (or Episode 1 when the series gets broken down for Televised airings) of the film in Animatic mode; How to Draw Futurama in 10 Very Difficult Steps (11 Minutes) is pretty self-explanatory; Deleted and Alternate Scenes (3 Minutes) provides a few scenes that seemed perfect for the film, but given the run-time and being forced to be split up at a later date for TV I understand why they were not put back (or finished) for the film. Last but not least is Docudramarama: How we Make Futurama so Good (5 Minutes) which is pretty much just a small tour.

Also included is 3D Models (4 Minutes), Louder, Louder: The Acting of Penn Jillette (2 Minutes), Matt and David in Space (4 Minutes), Bender's Movie-Theater Etiquette (1 Minute), Zapp Brannigans Guide to Making Love at a Women (2 Minutes) and a short, toilet-paper theme Easter Egg right on the main menu, plus 4 Futurama-themed postcards.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder is presented in 1.78:1 (AVC) on a 50GB Disc. This one is a bit tough to score - while the film looks great in HD, lines seem to have some odd angles to them and look like razor cuts. I compared using a previous Futurama DTV title on DVD (since I received only a DVD screener for this release and couldn't compare) and didn't notice the same razor line cuts on the DVD (It may just be the way this one was animated though). With that out of the way, this still looks vibrant with colors having a nice pop to them.

Fox has included an English 5.1 DTS MA Track for this release. A pretty powerful track that gets dialog across perfectly while keeping the rears active for most of the film. Really surprised with how well this DTV title sounded.



.::OVERALL::.

Considering the way the DVDs are packaged (cheap cardboard) I'd always recommend a Blu-ray purchase of this series. With a slew of extras, average Picture and Audio Quality any fan of the series will want to get this. If you've never seen the show before... I'd hold off since you are likely to be lost on who most of the characters are.