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Futurama: Bender's Game 2008

The Planet Express crew get trapped in a fantasy world...

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Personally my favorite, though none of these futurama movies are as good as the best episodes..
MOVIE REVIEW: Futurama: Bender's Game


SUMMARY: Nice title, makes us everyday geeks look quite normal...





So basically, we have the third installment of four promised Futurama films after the abrupt end to the television series. Matt Groening does not aim to disappoint in this. The story has absolutely NOTHING to do with the first two, other than the return to a focus on Bender.


Politically motivated by the (at the time) skyrocketing oil prices, the focus of the plot is the shortage of dark matter, and "Mom" being a profiteer, hoarding stockpiles of the stuff. Doctor Farnsworth starts a ban on the crew taking the Planet Express ship for anything other than on jobs to save money.


Aside from that, Cubert, Walt and a couple of new faces, spend their days playing a superbly awesome round of Dungeon's and Dragons...a game I know absolutely nothing about. Here comes Bender, assuming it's a round of child-gambling and wants in...only to find out he just doesn't come built with an imagination.

The thing I love about these Futurama films is Matt Groening and David Cohen's ability to make fun of SO MANY things in SO LITTLE time. The first ten minutes, I could count six different major media topics that managed to get satired in the film. Imagine how the rest of the film pans out.

Fans of Futurama will not be disappointed. The film aims to please to all the true-blue geeks out there who enjoy excessively intelligent/borderline comiccon-style humor that more or less makes Mort Goldman look like a stud...

I am really looking forward to how the fourth one ends up. :-)
This film is nothing special. The excitement of the first film carried the second but they need to try harder with the forth to make it a success. Not worth buying yourself, watch it at a friends house.


I'm a huge fan of Futurama, and was looking forward to these straight to video movies. So far Bender's Big Score and The Beast with a Billion Backs were decent, but didn't capture the essence of what made Futurama such a great show. Instead of expanding on the show, those two films spent most of their lengths referencing various jokes and sight gags from the series.

Bender's Game isn't perfect, but it is the closest Futurama movie to match what it is I love about the series. The jokes are far better than the previous two, and the film is able to create some very memorable moments. While there are a few references to the television series, this film doesn't spend as much time like the previous two films did trying to remind us about what we already know and love about Futurama.

I thought the pacing to this film was a lot better than The Beast with a Billion Backs, which took far too long to get interesting. Plus, the film successfully mixes a lot of different characters into its storyline perfectly. And I like some of the twists and turns along the way.

You can tell the writers and animators of Futurama are among the biggest nerds around. The series has made many references to "Dungeons and Dragons," and it was nice to see them finally be able to do an entire story inspired by the game. Also, the film is very hilarious with its many references to other sci-fi and fantasy films and television shows. I think my favorite, though not really sci-fi or fantasy, was the Yellow Submarine opening to the film.

I don't know how many films are lined up for Futurama, but if they could make more like Bender's Game I would be a lot happier. Bender's Game is a fantastic animated movie, and one of the best straight to video releases this year. It's films like this why I started my Best Straight to Video/Made for Television category for my Thirdman Awards.

I reccomend this film for any futurama fans. You get served a nice platter of comedy, it's just the thing you need to end a relaxing day or to brighten up a horrible one. You will be in stitches from laughing throughout the course of the movie. This will also please many lord of the ring fans out there!!! The dvd also comes with a tonne of amusing extra features such as mixing the characters together or how to draw bender and so on. I extremely enjoyed it and can't wait to see it again with a few of my friends to share the experience!
:fresh: Outstandly enjoyable!
As the series of feature-length Futurama films Fox has optioned for DVD winds to a close, it's becoming more and more evident that the writers are back in their comfort zone. Last week's release-Futurama: Bender's Game-carried an extended Dungeons & Dragons parody (a joke that, not unlike most of Family Guy's zingers, is about twenty years past the expiration date but which the show's target audience will still enjoy) and a lot of poop jokes, but peppered in a number of sociopolitical jabs, too, bluntly enough so anyone can get them but not with enough malice or passion to make those who disagree, really care much.

The movie-which, like its forebears Bender's Big Score and The Beast With a Billion Backs, will eventually hit the airwaves as four episodes toward a new and potentially resuscitory season of the canceled TV show-revolves around a fuel crisis that has been artificially created by frequent series antagonist "Mom," whose Mombil Dark Matter fuel stations are posting record profits all while claiming that there is a shortage of the fuel and that she may close up shop any day because of the cost overruns. The interview in which she proclaims this is conducted by Morbo in what I think is my least favorite sequence of the picture (Morbo should not be sitting down to sip tea. That joke should have gone on for the two seconds it was funny and then Morbo should have reverted to his usual self, which in the Victorian setting would have been even funnier than usual).

Professor Farnsworth-who developed the fuel during his days as a scientist-for-hire and lover-for-fun under Mom-decides to break the back of her monopoly by utilizing a pseudoscientific device that he has which will simultaneously render all of the Dark Matter fuel in the universe inert. The resultant catastrophe in the intergalactic fuel supply, he reasons, will force scientists to confront the problem and develop better, more responsible and egalitarian fuel solutions.

There are a couple of notable subplots here-the first being that Professor Farnsworth, whom I do not remember ever interacting substantially with Mom's sons before, expresses his deep loathing for the oafish trio (and particularly for the youngest, saying essentially that the evil and cruelty that the elder pair bring with them is irritating, but the stupidity of the youngest is an affront to the species). From about ten minutes into the picture, Mom starts telling the older boys that there is a dark and horrible secret which has long been kept from the youngest of her sons-and it's clear to anyone whose synapses are firing what that secret probably is.

The second (and the impetus for the title as well as a lengthy plot-irrelevant diversion) is that Hermes' and Farnsworth's clones have finally returned. Seen here for what I believe is the first time since the end of the TV show, these little shark-jumpers lay the tracks for Bender to become swallowed up in another one of his own mad schemes. Thinking that Dungeons & Dragons is the kind of game that he can somehow use to grift money from the kids, he joins them and quickly realizes that he has no imagination programming. The kids instruct him that Everyone has an imagination-that all he has to do is immerse himself in the fiction. Of course, the result is that Bender Is swallowed into the fiction completely, taking on the name and persona of his character while living day-to-day life and terrorizing everyone in the office with a sword and any number of random items that substitute for a shield throughout.

At some point in the film-and after two viewings I still can't completely wrap my head around how or why, other than, "It's what the writers wanted to do," the whole lot of characters are thrown into the fantasy world of Bender's imaginings and about forty minutes' worth of plot happens there. Ultimately it resolves little besides a silly and dull story beat about Leela having an anger-management problem. When the diversion ends (with the Planet Express crew literally fighting a dragon in a dungeon, natch), the plot picks up from roughly where it had left off, with little explanation and minimal impact on the rest of the film, which plays out as people grow, dirty little secrets are revealed and just about everyone swallows something unsavory, only to have it explode or degrade in their tummy.

The film is certainly enjoyable to fans of the show-there's a concern, though, that it might be too insular. Certainly it's the most continuity-intensive movie yet, with very little in the way of introducing any of the characters and a lot of dependency on your knowledge of not just Futurama, but Dungeons & Dragons as well. Whether, when the show returns for its tentative resurrection, audiences will tune into this chunk of the season will likely define whether the whole project is a success or failure-and I'd say right now that it could fall either way.

It was a waste of an hour and 20 minutes. It wasn't even funny.
Benders Game, the third straight to video offering since Futurama went off the air (soon to return to Comedy Central I hear, woohoo), is the weaker than the first two. The story tries to mine for laughs in the fantasy genre. One would think the laughs would come rolling one after another form the seemingly bottomless pit of material, but I thought the story really lacked humor and cohesiveness. Enough entertainment value to get a luke-warm passing grade from me, but this one really seems to be mailed in.
Not that good.But it is sometimes really entertaining.