Futurama - The Beast with a Billion Backs [DVD]
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Animated sequel set directly after the events of 'Bender's Big Score' (2007). When a rift in the spacetime continuum allows a disgusting, oversized alien to arrive at Earth, it takes control of Fry, making him the figurehead of a new religion. Fry convinces the human race to abandon Earth, leaving it free to be taken over by robots. Can the rest of the 'Planet Express' crew restore order to the planet?
The latest feature-length DVD spin-off from Matt Groenings terrific Futurama, The Beast With The Billion Backs picks up directly after the recent Benders Big Score, and the momentum and fun from that production comes along with it.
The story of The Beast With The Billion Backs follows, as you may have guessed from the title, the arrival of a strange creature on Earth. Said creature then takes control of Fry, who becomes the Pope of a brand new religion that soon begins to exert its grip on the planet. And without giving too much away, the panic and paranoia becomes just one part of an ambitious animated adventure, that makes a fair few points among its many, many laughs.
The good news for fans of Futurama is that The Beast With The Billion Backs really delivers, with more guffaws and a better all-round script than the mightily enjoyable Benders Big Score. Its not without the odd problem, and still doesnt quite manage to match the highs of the TV show at its finest, but its a very welcome fresh addition to the Futurama universe.
Two further direct-to-DVD movies are in the works at the time of this review being written, and with them comes continued hope for a full-on revival of one of the funniest animated programmes of the past ten years. It may not make suitable family viewing, but Futurama is brilliant television, and The Beast With A Billion Backs offers plenty of evidence as to why. Strongly recommended. --Jon Foster
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No. So on that basis go buy it, you'll love it.
`Beast' returns us once more to the bosom of the Planet Express team. Fry is taken over by a new alien being and before long he is the Pope of a new religion encouraging others to join with the beast. Can someone keep their own mind long enough to save the planet? Whilst `Bender' had some surprisingly deep ideas hidden away, `Beast' is a return to the anarchy of the TV show. Questions arise about relationships; Bender and Fry, Fry and Leela, the entire population of Earth and a strange entity that wants to mate with them all. As with all `Futurama' episodes and films, `Beast' is packed with humorous visual jokes and great lines, but as a whole it is lacking something. The plot drags on a little too long and you feel that perhaps the full feature aspect is pushing things. Despite this, it is still a decent watch, especially for fans of the show.
As with all these feature length episodes `The Beast with a Billion Backs' has some added featurettes that fans will love.
Don't get me wrong, this is funny and average for Futurama, which for a fan still makes it better than alternatives! There were funny things going on, but the whole tentacle thing ended up being tedious for me as did the colleen poly-relationship "joke". Could see where that was going pretty quick.
Some people said Big Score was too confusing.... Well, it's a sad fact that some things do need an IQ in double figures to follow. Hardly fair for all animated fun to be simplistic! For me, this was also too repetitive. A recycled swamp side-story is a prime example of this.
But.... As is sometimes the case with Futurama, the odd flashes of genius burst so brightly that their after image puts other more mediocre content in a better light, rather than just blowing it away. Bender's comments on love/lealousy are excellent observational type comedy, and the thing with the bricks... VERY funny. Almost made 3 stars into 4 in it's own right!
On watching it a second time i think it does a little better, possibly because the funny moments and dialogue are more subtle in this film, linking it to the more emotional episodes, the last episode, for example. Whereas the first film had been more similar to the "bizarre episodes" with more action.
Overall, still enjoyable, and any real fan will appreciate it.
I would urge all Futurama fans to buy the first two straight to dvd films, as well as the two that are to come. Even if you have reservations about how the show works in this format, Fox will view strong DVD sales will be the single most convincing argument in favour of bringing Futurama back as a full blown TV series. This happened when Family Guy was cancelled (in my opinion a far inferior series which relies heavily on derivative humour and cut-away gags that The Simpsons abandoned after its first few seasons.)
Encourage your friends to buy these DVDs, and indeed the boxsets of the first four series. We all know that Futurama is too special a series for us to let it fade Into the Wild Green Yonder.
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He finds it really comical.Read more