3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Futurama - The Collected Epics [DVD] (DVD)
When Futurama was cancelled back in 2003, I'm sure that I wasn't the only fan to get angry at Fox for doing what they always do, so when I heard that four feature-length episodes were being released over the course of a year or so around 2008, I got pretty excited. These four episodes - split into sixteen episodes for TV-viewing ease - all ran concurrently, beginning where the previous one ends, which gave Matt Groening the possibility to develop characters a lot more closely than they had otherwise been, and offering them up a chance to revive old feuds or relationships. What we were left with was a varying mish-mash of animation goodness (and not-so-goodness).
Due to the feature-length nature of these specials, I found that the humour that was usually crammed into one episode of Futurama had to be dispersed throughout a show four times as long, meaning that a fair few of the jokes just fell flat. There are moments of absolute hilarity, and my personal favourite special, Bender's Game, revolves around Bender becoming obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons so much so that he begins to play it in real life, which I found pretty original. Into The Wild Green Yonder is another decent feature, and Bender's Big Score has moments where it really shines. Although this is all just opinion, I personally found The Beast With A Billion Backs, the second out of the four features, to be a huge let-down, with only occasional pieces of anything original, and very little laughable content.
Overall, if you're a Futurama fan like myself, this is an essential piece of your collection, but for people who aren't avid viewers of the show or don't know it at all, this isn't the place to start. Season Five has just been released on DVD/Blu-Ray and I'd heartily recommend it over this; it packs a much more potent dose of comedy than this does, and it's split up into 22 minute episodes (the way it's supposed to be), not 90 minute movies that feel a bit too thin to stand on their own.