DVDs in Review - #15 - Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

Category: , By Rev/Views

I first talked about the second Futurama straight-to-DVD movie last month and I did not have a favourable opinion. But the official release happened here on the 30th and I was committed to purchasing a copy no matter what. Some spoilers may follow here.


The Beast with a Billion Backs is not the best of the Futurama stories, even on the second viewing I still didn't find it as gripping as Bender's Big Score so I concentrated on watching it with the commentary this time. The usual crowd were there and I'll talk a little more about the commentary in the Extras section. The premise of The Beast follows directly on from the events of the previous film, Bender's actions caused a rift to tear in the fabric of the universe and no-one knows what it could be about. Meanwhile, Fry has met a new woman, Colleen and is pretty happy. Events push forward when Farnsworth and Wernstrom get into an argument about who should be allowed to examine the anomaly. It is resolved with a game of 'Death Ball' which seems to be a multi-ball tilting labyrinth with human players inside. Farnsworth wins and the crew are dispatched to investigate the anomaly, which they do by sending Bender out. When touching it he and the ship are thrown backwards. Fry discovers that Colleen is a polygamist and resolves to leave reality through the rift - which will only accept organic matter (and his space suit for some reason). What follows is a set of events which are supposed to be touching, earth shattering and moving. But in all honestly it doesn't quite hit the mark, Bender wanders off into his own story about "The League of Robots" which sounds like it should be exciting, but it isn't and the show just struggles its way to an unsatisfying conclusion.

Now I love Futurama, so it's especially hard for me to get through this and be so negative about it. But the honest truth is it's below average for a Futurama story. While the 3D Effects include some staggeringly beautiful moments (especially the shots of Earth and the anomaly), the jokes are often recycled, the dialog is weak and the overall plot is very unsatisfying.



The Extras on the DVD are up to the usual standard provided by the Futurama crew. The entire plot of the Futurama video game is included as a "Lost Adventure", several deleted scenes are included (one of them were Scruffy dies, that one should have made it into the final cut imo), a short interview with David Cross (which is every bit as funny as he always is), video of the cast recording dialog, some shots of 3D models and how the Death Ball game was designed. Then last of all comes a sneak preview of "Bender's Game", which is clearly inspired by "Dungeons and Dragons" and also includes a D12 (my favourite die!).
The commentary sheds some light on the thoughts and feelings of the cast, they seem to have a very different opinion of the movie compared to me. They're quite proud of their production and enjoy watching it a lot more than I did. Of particular note is the dialog where David X. Cohen talks about "Sock Barrelling", which is where a show unintentionally reuses the same joke on more than one occasion. He notes that it happens with two occasions of an underplayed 'ow'. But it's not that reuse that irked me. It's all the other recycled jokes that occured in this movie that made it less fun for me and they seem to be oblivious to how many of them there are.



There's not that much to talk about when it comes to the packaging, it's very standard. The artwork is nice enough (if rather misleading) and it evokes the old style of past B-movies. It matches up well enough with Bender's Big Score and Monster Maniac Robot Fun so I'm content enough with it.



Currently it can be had for around £13 and it runs for 85 minutes. This is a staggering 15p per minute, which - when combined with the overall weak nature of the film - makes it a really poor purchase. This is one for die-hard fans only right now, for everyone else I'd say "Wait until Bender's Game comes out and pick this one up once it's dropped in price".


Show: 5
Extras: 8
Packaging: 7
Price: 2

Final Score: 55%

That's a staggeringly bad final score, but all in all this is not the best product from David, Matt and the cast. Must try harder guys!


0 comments so far.

Something to say?