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Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder Review


Excellent
Bringing back Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's brilliant animated epic Futurama in the form of DVD movies has presented a logistical challenge for the creative minds behind the original TV series: a quartet of movies cover roughly the same amount of space as a season of television, yet tell stories of a completely different size and shape. Though all of the movies have been by turns hilarious and accomplished, and often more than that, they've also felt a bit like two or three episodes stretched and staggered and blended into each other.

Into the Wild Green Yonder, the final-for-now Futurama DVD movie, comes closest to realizing the near-infinite potential of Groening's intricate and inventive world on a narrative level. It begins with a familiar yet, as before, somewhat dissonant approach to a feature-length rhythm: The first 20 minutes, featuring Bender the robot running afoul of the robot mafia in the newly renovated Mars Vegas, more closely resemble a stand-alone episode than just about anything else from the other DVDs.

Continue reading: Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder Review

Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs Review


Excellent
After Matt Groening's dystopian vision of the future was given a welcome revival with Bender's Big Score, Groening and company have delivered the second of four direct-to-DVD Futurama movies. With the triumph and novelty out of the way, the adventures of unfrozen twentieth-century human Fry (voice of Billy West), the unrequited one-eyed mutant love of his life Leela (voice of Katey Segal), and his miscreant robot best friend Bender (voice of John DiMaggio), among others, can continue with its typical invention. The Beast with a Billion Backs isn't precisely the same as a sequel -- these DVD movies occupy a strange netherworld between supersized episode and full-blown saga -- but if it was, it'd be one of the good ones, like an even-numbered Star Trek movie.

Beast picks up on a dangling plot thread from Score and runs with it; when the Planet Express crew ventures out to investigate a tear in the space-time continuum, they and the rest of Earth (eventually) encounter an encompassing, tentacle-heavy alien life form called Yivo (voiced -- also eventually; Futurama movies offer plenty of skillful digressions -- by David Cross). Yivo's methods are reminiscent of Invasion of the Body Snatchers; its motivations, though, have the murky mix of creepiness and hope more akin to a particularly odd Twilight Zone episode.

Continue reading: Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs Review

Bender's Big Score Review


Excellent
Matt Groening's first animated series, The Simpsons, has had the sort of extended (and in television terms, practically infinite) run that confounds just about everyone's expectations. His turn-of-the-millennium second series, Futurama, was an ambitious sci-fi comedy (set in the year 3000) with a far more earthbound trajectory: it lasted four erratically programmed seasons, amassing around 70 wonderful but cult-bound episodes.

Early in Bender's Big Score, a direct-to-DVD revival of the Futurama universe, Groening and his brainy writers have their revenge: Hubert Farnsworth (voice of Billy West) reveals that the "moronic" executives who briefly ran Planet Express, the interplanetary delivery service where all of the main characters work, were not only "themselves fired for incompetence," but beaten up pretty badly, and eventually killed and ground into a fine pink powder. Apparently those imaginary higher-ups (of the "Box Network," naturally) are indispensable in this form, as Torgo's Executive Powder appears throughout the film, put to a variety of uses including fish food, glue, and relieving jock itch.

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Comic Book: The Movie Review


Good
27 years after his appearance in Star Wars, Mark Hamill makes his directorial debut in a movie about... comic books? In this mockumentary, Hamill is just about the only actor who isn't playing himself. Instead, he's Don Swan, a comic book collector and store owner who is asked to consult on a Hollywood film about his favorite comic book character: Commander Courage. Hamill rounds up the usual comic book crowd (folks like Stan Lee and Kevin Smith, who wouldn't dream of missing an appearance in a film about comic books), plus manages to work in appearances from Hugh Hefner, Ray Harryhausen, Jonathan Winters, and Donna D'Errico, among others.

Swan gets a camera crew to tail him to Hollywood -- where Commander Courage, a supposed WWII era patriotic hero -- has been reinvented as Codename Courage, a ninja-like fighter of terrorism everywhere. But quickly he's on to the San Diego Comic-Con convention, where the bulk of the film takes place. It's hard to tell where the staged stuff for the movie ends and the fanboy ga-ga stuff begins: Among the countless shots of scantily clad fanbabes, costumed kids, and hugs with random convention exhibitors and fans there's a semblance of a story. Basically that involves Swan trying to convince everyone he meets that the old Commander Courage is better than the new Codename Courage (including a scene with Hamill and Stan Lee on a panel at the convention. Just don't think about it too much or you'll start to ask yourself just why Swan would be sent to this convention in the first place. It works only in the sense of putting the characters into oddball situations, but it's got little to do with anythig in the plot.

Continue reading: Comic Book: The Movie Review

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'Modern Family' Casts TV's First Transgender Child Actor

'Modern Family' Casts TV's First Transgender Child Actor

Jackson Millarker will star in episode ‘A Stereotypical Day’ set to air in the US on Wednesday evening.

'Will And Grace' Comes Back For Mini Episode To Voice Support For Hillary Clinton

'Will And Grace' Comes Back For Mini Episode To Voice Support For Hillary Clinton

The cast had teased something big was coming and all was revealed on Monday night.

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Drake Launches Intense New Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

Drake Launches Intense New Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

The rapper teams up with Apple Music on his latest project.

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