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Review: Futurama — the return of geek comedy gods

My brother got me the new Futurama DVD movie for my birthday. He bought it Region 1 from the US, since it isn’t due out in Australia for a few more weeks (I think he bought it before Christmas, but didn’t get it delivered till January). I’m glad to have any kind of early mark though, because it is magnificent.

Sat down and watched it tonight, and damn it is funny. “Bender’s Big Score” contains almost everything you could want from classic Futurama episodes, in a whole new story involving alien nudist scam artists, several time travel paradoxes, Bender stealing things from all of history, Fry still being in love with Leela, Leela falling in love with someone else, the Harlem Globetrotters being smarter than everyone, Santa (along with Kwanzaabot and friends) reaking havoc, several entertaining musical numbers, and a giant space battle against solid gold death stars.

In other words, everything you could possibly want from 90 minutes of animated entertainment.

I think one of the things I love the most about Futurama is its embrace of two completely different kinds of comedy — they will go from high brow science jokes to low brow sight gags within the same scene. Matt Groening and his gang prove that animation can be all things to all people — my three-year-old hasn’t seen as much of Futurama as he has of The Simpsons, but he likes what he sees of Futurama already. Even if it will be years (more like decades) before he gets some of the jokes.

Early highlight: Planet Express has spent the last three years on cancellation because of the drones at the “Box Network”. Drones that everyone hates so much they get turned into fish food. Yes, Matt and his crew are so loved they really can say what they like to the Fox people now.

So get out there and watch Futurama: Bender’s Big Score. I mean, it goes without saying that you need to be a fan of what’s come before to get into it, but even if you were only a casual fan, it’s a great fun movie. And if you’re a big fan — you should already have it. And I’ll be you’re decoding the hidden messages and watching for all the hidden references as we speak.

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