The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2008
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 87 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Cantonese
Starring: John Di Maggio, David Herman, Phil LeMar, Katie Segal, Tress MacNellie
Directed by: Dwayne Carey-Hill
Music by: Christopher Tyng
Written by: Matt Groenig, Michael Rowe, David X. Cohen
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 4, 2008
"Futurama's grandest adventure yet"
Park your hover-car and saddle up your unicorn for the most fantastical Futurama yet: Futurama: Bender's Game. With fuel prices skyrocketing, the Planet Express crew sets off on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the world's only dark-matter mine, source of all spaceship fuel. But deep beneath the surface, they discover a far stranger place... a medieval land of dragons and sorcery and intoxicated knights who look suspiciously like Bender.
I have to admit that I have never watched Futurama and never felt inclined to. Already watching animated shows like The Family Guy and The Simpsons, there just didn't seem like there was room to squeeze in another one. After checking this out I can see its appeal though. I liked the creative writing and the characters are really lots of fun. This plays out like a multi-stage adventure and brings the gang into conflict with Mom and her three sons. The problem lies in the need for dark matter which is converted into spaceship fuel. Mom controls the mines and has claimed there is a dark matter shortage. Mean while, Bender ends up in the HAL Institute for criminally insane robots after he plays Dungeons and Dragons with Cubert and Dwight which results in improper use of his imagination. He subsequently comes to believe himself to be his imaginary character Titanius Anglesmith and can't separate that from reality. Farnsworth determines that Mom is using the dark matter shortage as a ruse to make money and he and the gang set out to destroy the crystal used by Mom to convert dark matter into fuel by joining it with an anti-crystal he has in his possession. Ultimately they are brought together but it causes a strange cosmic disturbance that brings the fantasy world of Cornwood from the Dungeons and Dragons game to life and transports everyone including Bender, Mom and her sons into this alternate universe. They take on semi-alternate appearances and names as the next leg of the adventure begins with Bender assuming his titanious persona and culminating in a showdown with Mom whose alternate character is named Momon.
There is quite a bit more to the story as it plays out in Cornwood. I thought it was cleverly written and light enough for everyone to enjoy. I wouldn't say that I am now a Futurama convert but I did find it entertaining.
This film is not rated and does contain some thematic elements that might not be appropriate for viewers under 10 years old or so. <./p>
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Futurama: Bender's game comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.
Animation can sometimes be difficult to thoroughly judge when evaluating its video quality. There are aspects shared by both high definition and standard definition versions in terms of the absence of defining texture and lesser dimensional perspective. Objects in backgrounds are two dimensional which isn't a problem but images can appear to have less depth. I have noticed that with good high definition animated video this is still the case but rendering is notably improved. Such was the case here. Images had excellent visual depth with deep, rich, color fidelity and bold defining contrast. The video had tack like sharpness with crisp edges and no obvious signs of edge enhancement. Blacks were stable, with respectable depth that looked appreciable when onscreen with mixed content.
The high resolution DTS-HD MA soundtrack was well articulated with excellent headroom and crystal clear rendering across the board. This was a well balanced presentation that featured high level detail in a resplendent blend of dialogue, sound effects, bass and music. The results delivered a dynamically enhanced, relatively enveloping surround sound mix that delivered punchy, demonstrative bass, and room filling, three dimensional audio. This was a pretty entertaining experience.
- Audio commentary track by Matt Groenig, David X. Cohen, Billy West, John Di Maggio, Tress Mac Nellie, Matt Rowe, Claudia Katz, Dwayne Carey-Hill -
- Bonusview PiP Video commentary
- Storyboard animatics: Bender's game, part one
- Futurama genetics lab: Cross-breed your favorite characters
- (HD) D&D&F (Dungeons & Dragons& Futurama - 7 minute featurette
- (HD) How to draw Futurama in 83 easy steps - 8 minute featurette
- (HD) 3D Models with animator discussion
- (HD) Deleted scene: Cup or nozzle
- Blooperama 2: Outtakes
- (HD) Bender's anti-piracy warning
- (HD) Futurama: Into the wild green yonder - sneek peek
This is my first experience with Futurama and while it isn't necessarily my cup of tea I found it entertaining just the same. Fox continues their support of lossless audio encodings on the all of their Blu-ray Disc releases which I fully appreciate. This high definition presentation features excellent audio/video quality and an amusingly apropos set of bonus features that fans can relate to. Recommended for fans and as a rental for novices.
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