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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 19 February 2009
If you already own the boxsets of Futurama, and have enjoyed the movies, its probably a safe bet to say you can stop reading here and buy this. You wont be disappointed. The last of the 4 straight-to-DVD movies is undoubtedly the best, with the team back on form for the last (?) outing for the crew.

The plot, in standard futurama fashion, manages to evolve and take its time, rather than jumping in and rushing. For fans of the series, there are a number of clever in-jokes, and several long running plot lines are wrapped up. As well as being one of the funniest pieces of film I've seen in a while, with the Robot Don's appearance being particularly good, there are some genuinely touching moments, with a conclusion that is both heartwarming and emotional, and will leave many fans with a lump in their throat.

So is it the end? The conclusion is suitably satisfying, while being left open enough to be continued. So here's hoping....
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on 24 February 2009
Could this be the end of Futurama? Let's hope not!
From 2003 - 2007 we have had to not only put up with no Futurama but awful Simpsons episodes, despite the fact it isn't funny anymore!
With the successful sales of the first 3 DVDs and a satisfying and EPIC conclusion to this 'season', all we can do is keep our fingers crossed for more of the Planet Express crew!
Buy this DVD!
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on 15 February 2009
This is definately the best of the four straight to DVD Futurama movies and a good send off for the show. Where the majority of the gags in previous outings felt somewhat strained and unusally 'gross out', thankfully in this episode the clever one liners and visual gags that made me regard Futurama as one of the wittier animated shows are back. There's also a lot more dumping on Zoidberg, which always gets a laugh from me...

'Into the Wild Green Yonder' has a plot that flows much better than the other movies. However, the side story of Bender's involvement with the Don Bot's Moll does disappear quite quickly, but thankfully all of the other plot points set up in what would be the first 'part' are all followed through to a satisfying conclusion.

Speaking of conclusions, I would have to say that as this is technically the show's very end (given that Fox and Groening have both said nothing about it's future) I think the end will equally satisfy and frustrate a lot of fans but is on the whole very suitable even if a little too self knowing. All in all, just we needed from possibly the last ever Futurama episode; a lot of laughs and a glimmer of hope for the future, even if it may be a futile one.
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on 10 March 2009
Note: The rating is for the quality of the disc, not its content - as it should be.

Unfortunately it seems that all PAL DVDs of this film (German, UK, etc.) are facing the same problem: The main film has been upconverted from an NTSC(!) master, resulting in a degraded sharpness and interpolation artifacts. Strange enough the bonus material is much sharper and features content coming from real PAL masters (or downsampled HD content). A friend of mine has compiled a comparison page with sample screenshots, but unfortunately due to traffic volume constraints I cannot post a link here.

This is unbelievable and unless you do not really care about image quality that much and have the choice, I urge you to get the Blu-ray disc of this film (which is flawless). Being as it is, this disc should never have left the authoring studio, let alone passed the QA testing... which probably hasn't been done anyway.

As for the content, this is one of the best of the Futurama movies. You will not be disappointed.
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on 25 February 2009
In all my reviews for these films I thought they were great at the time only to find the subsequent film better. I think I gave a couple of the others 5 stars when compared to this one they by no means deserve it.

This is the first film that feels like one of the episodes. The jokes come thick and fast and provide many laugh out loud moments. A couple of times my housemates and I were laughing for so long that we had to rewind to hear the bits we'd missed. There are lines in it that are still making me chuckle as I write this.

The end is a bit odd and perhaps unnecessary but I suppose it does fit as a possible farewell from the writers.

There are a couple of special features that had an amazing sounding description but turned out to be disappointments. For instance one of them is "Zapp Branningans guide to making love at a woman" which is just a bunch of clips from the series of things he's said to Leela. Likewise "Bender's movie theatre etiquette" is merely the seen from "Raging Bender" in series 2 dubbed over with new dialogue.

In summary: This film is very good. Buy this and don't bother with the other films unless you feel overly compelled and the sooner they make a new series the better.
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on 22 March 2009
Having been a big fan of Futurama the series, it was great news that there were to be feature-length episodes. For what it's worth, I thought that Bender's Big Score was a really good start, Beast With A Billion Backs held its own as essentially an extra-long episode, and Bender's Game could rival the others once it got into its pace.

Unfortunately, I'd say that Into The Wild Green Yonder is the weakest of the DVDs. Whereas Bender's Game was a well structured story that picked up once it reached a certain point, this is more all over the place and inconsistent in its humour and quality. It brings some minor characters more into the frame but these aren't developed much so don't work as well as the old favourites.

The humour is still in the vein of the Futurama feature-length episodes (slightly different to the series) but focuses less on the big laughs and more on progressing an impressively multi-stranded storyline and on satirising capitalism and environmentalism.

All that said, there are a lot of little laughs in the episode, some good visual silliness and a typical Bender side story which I felt absolutely steals the show from the Fry-focused storyline.

If you're a Futurama fan and have seen the other feature-length episodes, it's worth getting this. If you haven't bothered with the feature-length episodes or you're coming to Futurama for the first time, this isn't where to start.
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on 23 February 2009
As my title suggest no word has been said on the continuation of the Futurama series, but should this be the end it's a very satisfying ending. Ties up loose ends, being emotional and heartful as well as leaving it open for it to continue where it left off, or to live on in the continuing adventures in our minds.

Out of the four straight-to-dvd movies I still find Bender's Big Score to be superior in humour, plot and timing, but Into The Wild Green Yonder was probably the best way to end, upbeat and ambigous.

So should this be end I highly recommend this to any die hard Futurama fan, I'm quite sure non-fans can enjoy as well but with no experience of the series they wouldn't understand any of the reacurring jokes and how far the characters have developed as well.

It's worth it's price tag and lets just hope this really isn't the end
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on 25 February 2009
Cracking off full power jokes at a higher rate than any of the other films, and serious quality of animation and direction, this probably is the best film of the four. Its plot is fabulously constructed (if you think it is too 'jumpy', it's probably because you haven't got the small amount of brains required to follow) with interweaving stories from all the main characters.
It's a great entry into the sci-fi genre; the themes of evolution running beneath it providing a wonderful insight into the realms of possibility, and a basis for a huge amount of fantastically original funny moments.
Crazy, surreal and blindingly hilarious you can call this, but never dull.
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on 28 February 2009
Where do you start when writing a review to what could possibly be the last episode in a truly classic series. Expectations were high for series 5 when the films were announced and these expectations weren't met (in my opinion).

A good place to start would be by my views on the series and the films. I've been a huge Futurama fan since 'Space Pilot 3000' in 1999 right up to the final episode 'The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings'. Every episode was a gem exploring complex themes, honouring established sci-fi while poking fun at it and delving into new realms of alternate reality. At the center of the show were the characters which gave the show heart and an emotional attachment to these 2D animated characters. More than most TV programmes (animated or not) you felt a connection to the characters.

I recieved the news of series 5 been released in the form of straight to DVD films with some trepidation but more Futurama is better than nothing. And so, my thoughts on the three previous films.

Benders Big Score: The first film was cleverly written and, due to the time travelling nature, required multiple viewings to get all the jokes. It wasn't until you know how it ends that you can appreciate some of the scenes and jokes throughout the film. The film had the usual madcap sci-fi themes and the characterisation was brilliant. Further exploring Fry's feelings for Leela (feelings that span 1000 years) almost brought a tear to my eye. There are so many in-jokes that only a futurama fan would get it's unbeliebable, but a futurama newbie would appreciate the film as a whole. Overall 8/10

The Beast with a Billion Backs: On first viewing I was dissapointed with this episode. My main concern was the lack of emotional pull that the series was renowned for. The film seemed to lack the interaction between certain characters and a divergence from established character personality traits. Upon further viewings I appreciated the film on different levels but still dont rate it highly. Overall 6/10

Benders Game: The less said the better. Ridiculous plot, no charaterisation and poorly parodies other films, namely Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Although a redeeming feature is that you learn some important facts about beloved characters. Overall 5/10

And now for the main event, Into the wild green yonder. Like most fans of the series I'm a fan of the stories, the absurd sci-fi mumbo jumbo, the themes consistent throughout the episodes but most of all the characters. In these respects the film delivers in spades. Each scene has something a fan couldn't resist but grin out and quite often laugh-out-loud at. One instance is Hermes's derision of Labarbara's attempt at one of his famous rhyming exclamations ('Sweet something of someplace', for example).

Out of all the films, this one brings the best out of all the characters (with the possible exception of Professor Farnsworth). The film centres around Fry's inabilty to have his mind read (due to his lack of the Delta brainwave since he got 'nasty in the pasty' and he is his own granfather). Fry's ability to read the minds of others isn't fully explained or explored but his apparent opposition to Leela leads to some friction between them which finally resolves to the conclusion we have all been wainting for.

I really don't want to give much away but this film has a satisfying ending. Not everything is wrapped up suitably but trying to wrap up 4 series of stellar episodes in 4 films isn't an easy task. But this film does a decent job and hints at the possibility of more to come.

Overall 9/10

Now for the Blu Ray disc review

I have literally never seen an animation look so good. The outlines are sharp, the colours are bright and the motion is smooth. I watched it on a 1080p Panasonic 42 inch Plasma and loved every second. It's not eye poppingly brilliant but it is crystal clear and the only way to watch the finale of a cult sci-fi series. I've watched the DVD's upscaled to 720p (via PS3) and there is no comparison. This Blu Ray wins hands downn in visual clarity. Overall 9/10

The sound is presented in DTS. I have a 7.1 system and noted some sublime ambient sound in certain scenes. The majority of the film is dialogue and so comes from the front speakers but the sound is always sharp and clear with few surround sound effects. Overall 8/10

This film is a must for all Futurama and sci-fi fans. The four films didn't live up to the heights of the series but this is well worth the extra money for the blu ray. Go on, treat yourself. You know you want to.
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on 6 June 2009
Matt Groening's second most successful animated series still pops up from time to time with feature-length specials, despite the parent show ending some years ago. After the brilliant `Bender's Game', I found this latest offering ever so slightly disappointing; less coherent, less imaginative, and perhaps a little tired; I nonetheless enjoyed it from start to finish, as there is still enough surreal humour and invention, and plenty of cheeky references, to make this a highly entertaining 90 minutes. It was still better than 'The Beast With a Billion Backs', but hopefully - as it seems to be - this isn't the last we'll see of Fry, Leela, and the Planet Express gang.

The DVD extras are adequate but nothing to write home about. `Docudramarama: How We Make Futurama So Good' is probablly the best thing here, as it showcases Lauren Tom (Amy) taking viewers on a step-by-step process of how an episode is created, mixing fact with fun.

`Louder, Louder: The Acting Technique of Penn Jillette' briefly shows the magician at work doing his voiceover segment, since he appears as himself in the film.

` Matt & David In Space' pointlessly follows the co-producers as they head off for a day of zero-g weightlessness aboard the famous plane used expressly for such purpose. A short feature on storyboarding for the movie and a couple of superfluous clip selections from previous DVDs, finish the extras off.
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