The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 89 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 SDH, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian
Starring: Katey Segal, John DiMaggio, Lauren Tom, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Billy West
Directed by: Peter Avanzino
Written by: Matt Groenig
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 24, 2009
"All the other galaxies will be green with envy!"
All the other galaxies will be green with envy! In this all-new Futurama extravaganza, mankind stands on the brink of a wondrous new Green Age. But ancient forces of darkness, three years older than time itself, have returned to wreak destruction. Even more shocking: Bender's in love with a married fembot, and Leela's on the run from the law - Zapp Brannigan's law! Fry is the last hope of the universe... so if you're in the universe, you might want to think about going somewhere else. Could this be the end of the Planet Express crew forever Say it ain't so, meatbag! Off we go, Into the Wild Green Yonder!
My first taste of Futurama was when I reviewed Bender's Game on Blu-ray last year. I thought it was entertaining enough but I wouldn't consider myself a devoted fan. Futurama: Into the wild green yonder brings the gang back and finds them at odds with Leo Wong who wants to build the universes largest miniature golf course. The course would span the galaxy and require the destruction of planets, suns and permanently affect the eco-balance in the solar system. Leela is opposed to this and joins a group of paramilitary eco-feminists that continually protest not only the golf course but Wong's rule that women are not allowed in any his resorts. During the crew's first meeting with Leo he demonstrates a method for land clearing which results in Fry being injured during an explosion. Afterward he discovers that he has the ability to read minds. Leela and the eco-feminists go into hiding after the headless Vice President (Spiro Agnew) is accidentally killed during one of their protests. Fry ends up meeting a bum in an alley that shows him not only how to shield his mind reading powers but introduces him to a secret society of mind readers. They explain the origins of the Dark Ones, a malevolent species devoted to the destruction of all life, and the Encyclopods, a now-extinct species devoted to the preservation of the DNA of all endangered life forms. Fry plans on using his new found ability to stop Leo but is unable to communicate this to Leela who misinterprets his recent involvement with Leo as a betrayal. Bender of course spices things up by becoming romantically involved with a performing Bot named Fanny who happens to be the wife of Bot mafia leader DonBot. Additionally he winds up becoming entangled in Leo fiasco. There are several smaller subplots but the main focus remains on Leo's disregard for the Mars eco-system and the potential destruction of the Violet Dwarf System which could impact all involved.
Having never watched the show my identification with these characters is limited. The movie's theme speaks to some environmental, societal, and economic issues but they don't take on heavy focus and the fun is kept in perspective. I thought this was probably a little better than last year's Bender's Game but both are equally satisfying. As I stated in that review: 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 isn't rated and contains mild thematic material that would require a TV-14 rating.
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: Into the wild green yonder comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 mbps.
This is a reference quality video presentation that offers eye catching imagery that literally pops off of the screen. Colors are rock solid with vivid textures, vibrant primaries and deep saturation that doesn't disappoint. The video has robust resolution and sparkling clarity that gives it incredible depth. Blacks and whites are dynamically vigorous which adds punch to colors and perceptible depth to dark elements. This is a pristinely rendered high definition encoding that exudes enriching vitality, razor sharp definition and demonstration level quality.
The is another excellent lossless DTS-HD MA multi-channel soundtrack from Fox on Blu-ray Disc. Comparing my notes from my review of Bender's Game they were nearly identical to my notes on this presentation. Here are my comments from that review:
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 with optional PiP BonusView (requires BD Profile 1.1 player) by Matt Groenig, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Patric M. Verrone, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski and Peter Avanzino
- Storyboard Animatic: Into the wild green yonder, Part 1 - 22 minutes
- (HD) Docudramrama: How we make Futurama so good - 5 minutes
- (HD) Louder. Louder!: The acting technique of Penn Jillette - 2 minutes
- (HD) Golden Stinkers - 5 Deleted scenes
- Matt Gorenig and David X. Cohen in space - 4 minutes
- (HD) How to draw Futurama in 10 very difficult steps - 11 minutes
- (HD) 3D models with animator discussion - 4 minutes
- (HD) Bender's movie theater etiquette
- (HD) Zap Branigan's Guide to making love at a woman - 3 minutes
This is my second experience with the crew of the Planet Express and it left me feeling very much the same. I found Futurama: Into the wild green yonder to be a mildly entertaining experience that didn't leave a lasting impression. I can't say the same for its reference quality video presentation which looks absolutely stunning. The excellent high resolution DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix and above average bonus supplements round out this solid, fan recommended, package from Fox Blu-ray.
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