|The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings||The Beast with a Billion Backs|
|Voice actor performance||90%|
|Guest actor performance||83%|
Written by Aki on 12 July 2010.
|Voice actor performance:||10|
|Guest actor performance:||10|
Bender's Big Score might not fit into the quality of the original run, but is definitely a great call-back in film form, containing many lovable side characters and referencing most of the Futurama history, an amazing task even though it is in fact four times as long as a "regular episode".
But it lacks. It feels in fact as four episodes pushed together as one. It is apparant that the writers try their best to make it a real epic, and it does have a good time-travel story going, but it also feels like they started with that story, and upon realising that it wouldn't fit ninety minutes they started to include sideplots. Fortunately, they bring everything together, but it could have been much better with a single, focused plot. There is also a musical number that is easily forgotten, in spite of the fact that that's what Futurama has shown cabability in before in episodes like Hell is Other Robots and The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings.
I just love the Lars story, I have to say. Its unravelling finale is so perfect, and Fry's cry in the 21st century before Bender blows him up is so heart-smashing I won't believe it. Upon second watching we also realise that there are many clues of the finale, and still I didn't see it coming.
They surely try for an epic, and they do succeed in the sense that they bring an epic-style story reminding of the more epic stories like Roswell That Ends Well and The Time Keeps on Slipping, but they also succeed in creating some stunning visuals and some music that is clearly different from the original episodic format. Unfortunately, none of this can measure up to the fact that the story is simply blurring, and some scenes are just unnecessary and annoying. I will never get over the fact that this movie could have been great, and they screwed it up.
Written by cyber_turnip on 30 July 2010.
|Voice actor performance:||10|
|Guest actor performance:||7|
I'm going to judge each of these films as 4 to be continued episodes rather than a movie because that's essentially how they were produced. With that in mind, Bender's Big Score is excellent and one of Futurama's finest hours (and a half). It features a wonderfully touching story (fun fact: this is the only film to ever make me cry -even Jurassic Bark didn't manage that) with a great amount of science fiction fun that takes a big swim in the proverbial pool of Futurama's established canon without (as some people seem to think) damaging the show's past episodes. In fact, as a time-travel nerd, I can vouch for this episode when I say that its time-travel is flawless. People seem to complain about it being confusing, which it is, but they also seem to complain about it not holding up. Thanks to the 'paradox correcting' aspect of the time-code, it holds up perfectly. I'm happy to explain how it does to anybody who doesn't 'get it'. The only bit that doesn't make complete sense is the paradox of where the time-code tattoo comes from which is clearly an intentionally 'chicken or the egg'-y moment, something you get in almost every piece of time-travel fiction. As for not damaging canon, it's operating with different timelines, like the most recent Star Trek film. Sorted.
Aaanyway. There are a lot of fan-wank moments, but you're a fan of the show right? If you're not, then why are you watching this film? Or reading this review? They're never gratuitous or at the expense of plot like things like this can be, they're just great little callbacks. On a side-note, this film features some of the best Futurama music ever.
After this gushing of praise, you may be wondering why it only gets a 9/10 from me. Well. It's by far and away the most unfunny thing Futurama had ever created up until this point. For me, Futurama has always been a sea of vaguely amusing jokes and concepts that make me smile inside with a fair few hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments dotted around. This film still has the vaguely amusing stuff, but honestly, I don't think there's a single laugh-out-loud gag in the entire 88 minute running time.
Thanks to the great plot, that still makes for a wonderful bit of entertainment, but one that left me bitterly dissapointed after awaiting more Futurama for over 4 years. It's a great comedy, it just isn't as funny as I expect Futurama to be. Once you get your head around that, it's a truly wonderful film and whilst it's far from being Futurama's best, it's among them.
Written by speedracer on 31 July 2010.
|Voice actor performance:||6|
|Guest actor performance:||8|
As the first of the four Futurama movies commissioned by Twentieth Century Fox, "Bender's Big Score" had a lot to live up to. It had to please Futurama's well-established fanbase but also bring in enough new fans to get the attention of TV network executives regarding a possible series renewal. To top it off, it had to do so in the setting of a 90-minute film, which meant that the size, scope and pace of the story would be completely different from anything Futurama had ever done before.
As evidenced by Futurama's renewal on Comedy Central and the existence of this review (which is being typed by someone whose first substantial exposure to the show was through this film), "Bender's Big Score" lives up to all of its ambitions. It's accessible enough for newcomers (though the state of Fry and Leela's relationship is a point of contention among some longtime fans), but throws in plenty of callbacks to the original series which can safely be skipped by novices, giving the movie substantial replay value. As always, the humor is varied and operates on multiple levels. The extended runtime allows for some truly emotional scenes such as the shots of a heartbroken Fry sitting alone in his old apartment in the 2000s, and the musical score enhances the mood in all the right places. The graphics and animation are off in a couple spots and the voice acting is a little bit rusty, but those are relatively minor criticisms.
The plot starts off with Hermes being decapitated in a freak limbo accident and having his head placed in a jar, Leela falling in love with Lars Fillmore (a technician at the head museum) and nudist alien scammers taking over Planet Express. It quickly grows to epic proportions when the scammers detect a tattoo on Fry's buttocks which contains the secret to backwards time travel. The scammers send Bender (who has been infected with a virus) to go back in time and steal treasures from the Earth's past, and Leela and Lars develop an passionate relationship. A bitter Fry makes two trips back into time to escape his predicament and leaves one copy of himself back in the year 2000 while his other self returns to the present. The story reaches a global scale when our heroes fight to reclaim Earth from the scammers and an intensely personal scale when a tremendous secret about Lars is revealed.
"Bender's Big Score" showcases everything that is great about Futurama and is a monumental achievement in the series' history.
Written by AdrenalinDragon on 17 August 2010.
|Voice actor performance:||10|
|Guest actor performance:||8|
Being the first of the Futurama movies, Bender's Big Score was an enjoyable ride that followed a time travel plot of scammer aliens taking over Planet Express and using a time travel code to steal all the things they need. The crew find themselves in hot water when its revealled that Fry has a tattoo of Bender with the time travel code on his ass. On a wild goose chase, the scammers control a virus-ridden Bender to destroy Fry, whilst Leela falls in love with a man named Lars from the head museum. This movie was written by Ken Keeler, who successfully followed the Futurama setting of continuity, geeky humour, plot twists, and most importantly, its characters.
Although Bender's Big Score is entertaining almost the whole time, make no mistake, its not perfect. The first half of the movie is very funny, as it cleverly builds up to the time travel storyline of introducing the alien scammers to Planet Express, and implementing many funny Bender moments to its time travel storyline with him, chasing Fry in the 21st century. If there's any gripes I have with this part, it's that I feel it does lower the impact of the endings of The Luck Of The Fryrish and Jurassic Bark, since the time travel plot does merge with those events, but these things in most people's eyes are considered minor things (though for me, its hard to look past that one). The 2nd half of the movie sees a pacing problem, as it tries to explain what happened to the Time Duplicate Fry (In which you may or may not guess the twist correctly first go) and the current events of fighting back the alien scammers. The jokes are fewer and not quite as good in the 2nd half, as it tries to explain the 21st Century Fry more than the present, but the plot is good enough to make up for it. Overall, I thought Bender's Big Score was a successful entry to the Futurama movie market, and I'm going to give it an 8/10.
Written by totalnerduk on 8 July 2012.
|Voice actor performance:||9|
The epitaph for this movie, the thing that they'll carve on its' tombstone will be "Good enough".
It was a good attempt at a Futurama movie, but it wasn't as good as it could have been. It feels more like an extended episode than a movie in four acts, for a start. Watching it as four seperate episodes on TV will confuse and irritate anybody who hasn't already seen it all the way through.
The time travel is fairly easy to work out - it's nowhere near as convoluted as some would have you believe. Continuity doesn't get raped as badly as people would have you think, either. There are really only two minor points that should be thought of as disrupting continuity (and at least three "goofs" from the previous episodes that turn out to have either been planned or were simply fixed by the writers during BBS).
There's science, silliness, a real epic feel visually and score-wise, but no actual greatness. It's just... good enough.