Skepticism

Review: Futurama, The Beast with a Billion Backs

My review: So great. I mean, so, so great. If you love Futurama (and you should), you’ll probably love this. It’s better than the previous movie, Bender’s Big Score.

The brief synopsis: an anomaly appears in space, the gang investigates, it’s a crack into another dimension where a giant ball of tentacles lives, which ends up invading Earth’s universe and taking over. Also, it’s really about dating and love.

Here’s a brief rundown of the positives and negatives of the movie, which doesn’t contain plot spoilers but does have some bits I found funny, so I dunno, you might want to skip if you like to be totally surprised.

Positives:

There’s a St. Asimov’s Day

The DVD contains a deleted scene taking place during the St. Asimov’s Day Festival, where a giant statue of St. Asimov is paraded down the street. An old woman says to the statue, “I gave a dollar to this kajigger last year and my hip still hurts!” The statue responds, “Serves you right for being superstitious, you old bag,” and then kicks her.

Farnsworth to his scientist foe: “Tough talk for someone with only one Fields Medal.”

Scientists settle debate in the Deathball Arena.

“Stardate: the year of the tiger.”

Miss Universe is a giant asexual microbe.

ROBOT DEVIL! As I’ve mentioned before, my absolute favorite character, and his scene was the best.

Stephen Hawking & David Cross provide voices!

Negatives:

There’s a gun with laser sights, and you can see the laser beams travel through the air. Tsk.

Blake Stacey (who is currently traveling on a bus to New York with me and Joshua) points out that also, there are some scale issues with the thing from the other dimension and with a pirate ship meant to carry all of humanity aboard. I see that as more forgivable since it was required by the plot.

I think we can all agree that the positives outweigh the negatives on this one.

Overall Rating: A Billion Stars (out of 5)

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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16 Comments

  1. I don’t know if it was better than the first movie, not enough Bender in this one for my tastes. also, don’t think about David Cross’ character too much or you will be grossed out.

    and I think we will ALL agree that the next one (Bender’s Game) will cause us all to show our true geeky colors.

  2. “Bender’s Game” ??!! Really??

    I love it already! I use “Ender” whenever I play NTN trivia, and feel obligated to keep the name at the top of the standings.

    But also from “Beast with a Billion Backs,” I told myself while watching that I would try to use these lines in daily conversation:

    “Your team sucks bosons!”

    and

    “Less Invasions, More Equations!”

  3. Damn, I’m slow. I didn’t get the title “Bender’s Game.” Until I saw Ken’s post. I can only say that it has been about 20 years since I read the book. My middle son read it just a few months back. It was great fun discussing the book with him. Hey, what is NTN Trivia?

  4. The reference to Bender’s Game is likely also a double reference. Since the next movie contains such a huge tribute to Gary Gygax in the form of what appears to be a story much like those from the anthologies of interest.

    However, while this Futurama movie is good I can’t possibly say it was better than the previous movie. My main complaint with Futurama is that it’s doing what every comedy that contains drama elements seems to do. It’s resetting the story lines (usually relating to love interests) so that they can keep writing the same sort of material. Futurama is really good but the series seemed to end originally on such a nice note for the characters that it seems a shame they didn’t have the guts to keep all the gains the characters made throughout the series.

    I really hope that we see some good resolution for our Futurama friends as this series of straight to video movies winds to an end.

  5. NTN Trivia is the little box they’ll give you at some bars (usually sports bars), so you can answer the questions on some of the TVs.

    I don’t drink, so I sometimes need some extra entertainment when I’m out with friends and family who do. I try to do Ender’s name justice, but of course I don’t always win like he did.

    By the way, if you read “Bender’s Game” so long ago, you probably haven’t read any of the sequels. I liked the ones I’ve read, although I was disappointed that Orson Scott Card seems to think religion isn’t going to change much even in a future where humans are colonizing other planets. He may be right, but I find it depressing that people capable of spaceflight and aware of alien races may still think crackers are magic and the Creator of the universe cares what they do with their genitalia.

    Wasn’t it Jay on the SGU that said someday an astronaut will be using homeopathic remedies as he leaves the solar system?

  6. “The enemy’s gate is down.” I haven’t read any of the sequels, though it sounds like I should.

    I didn’t care so much for Bender’s Big Score, though I’ve been thinking of picking up B^3 just for the cover.

  7. I think I read Ender’s shadow but it didn’t make anything like the impression that game made. I really haven’t read much by Orson Scott Card since I gave up on the Red Prophet series. Though I have read a few of his comic books. The one about the norse gods coming to earth to help the nazi’s and the ulitimate iron man. Is Card a mormon? Seems that I read that somewhere.

  8. this is coming from someone who watched the whole episode of “Everybody Loves Hypnotoad.” I felt a little funny afterwards.

    Really? Afterwards, I felt rested, wholly refreshed, and thoroughly entertained.

    Also, my girlfriend and I have taken to saying “MY LEG FEELS FUNNY!” to each other at inappropriate moments.

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