i won't say i'm a huge fan of Futurama.i have seen a few episodes of the TV series and was not all that impressed. i found them to be mostly slow and boring and unfunny.but,since my friend had bought this direct to video Futurama movie,i thought why not.what's that the worst that could happen?well,as it turns out,i liked it.i thought the story was very interesting,and flowed very well and there were some very funny moments and funny characters.the best part was that i was able to follow everything without knowing that much about the series.after watching this movie(number 3 in the series)i might check out the other three Futurama movies.they are:#1 Bender's Big Score:#2 The Beast With A Billion Backs:#4 Into the Wild Green Yonder.for me,Bender's Game is a 3/5
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Incentivise that employee for a great movie.Nov. 4 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
This movie is completely independent from the other two films, with everything back to normal at the beginning of it from when the last ended. It's pretty easy to follow along for thsoe who haven't seen the other two, or even the rest of the series. As others have mentioned, this movie takes on a D&D / Lord of the Rings feel to it as it explores the fantasy realm, but it's nicely explained as to why it happens that way. Everything seems to blend together well in this movie (the various subplots set up at the beginning join together). The movie also refers back to the original series and explains various things: a possibile origin between the Farnesworth-Wordstrom rivalry, more on the Mom-Farnesworth relationship, Nibbler being picked up off Vergon 6 as it implodes (and why it does implode), and a few other things. I think all of these add to what's known in the Futurama universe without taking away from anything, and fits very well in to what is already established.
I really enjoyed the movie, probably more than the other two movies. The one thing I didn't like so much about the DVD were the features. I didn't find them all that exciting. I enjoyed seeing how to draw the characters, and the genetics lab was somewhat interesting (but limiting). Everything else wasn't bad, but just seemed a bit short.
Features: -Movie Commentary -Storyboard Animatic for part one (~ 20 minutes) -Futurama Genetics lab (you can choose two characters and see what they look like merged- but only for a small number of characters) -Dungeons & Dragons & Futurama (~ 7 minutes, explains D&D references in the show) -How to draw Fry, Bender/Flexo, Leela, & Zoidberg (~ 8 minutes) -3-D modeling of various ships in the series (~ 5 minutes) -Deleted scene (only one) -"Blooperama," outtakes from the movie (~ 2 minutes) -Bender's Anti-Piracy Warning -Trailer for the fourth movie: "Into the Wild Green Yonder"
The packaging I got my DVD in was the cardboard "carbon neutral" packaging, in which the disc is put into a cardboard slit. I went out and bought a CD envelope to put in my box instead of using the slit.
The box did contain 4 Futurama postcards: giant Bender and Zoidberg (from the Anthology of Interest), Fry and Leela running away from aliens attacking, an ad to "Keep your robot clean" and a generic "The future is today, worry about it tomorrow." Even though these were mostly put in to advertise that these images were for sale in paintings, I kind of like the extra of having postcard-sized art ("One 'art' please").
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
The unmistakable stench of dwarf urine!Nov. 4 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
The first two Futurama movies were ok (well, to be honest, Beast with a Billion Backs was terrible), but this third installment is a winner. It has all the sly humor from the classic Futurama seasons that you've missed, and then some. I enjoyed the greater inclusion of Dr. Zoidberg.
The premise is quite true to life; the Planet Express crew must deal with the increase in dark matter fuel prices. This somehow segues into a Lord of the Rings plot which I won't spoil, but it actually works out quite well. We have an interesting tie-in between Mom and Professor Farnsworth.
All the old favorite characters are here too, including Morbo the Annihilator, Nibbler, Sal, Scruffy the Janitor, and George Takei. I didn't see Zapp Brannigan or Kif, but they weren't missed, and would've detracted from the story, or rather, the semblance of a story.
In conclusion, I think it's the unmistakable stench of dwarf urine that makes this Futurama movie a winner!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
What do barbarians, great axes, and Bender's Game have in common?Dec 15 2008
Michael J. Tresca
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm the target audience for Bender's Game. A lifelong gamer of over two decades (yeeck, I'm getting old), I also know and love the book by Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game. With the title alone, the Futurama writing staff is clearly letting me know this is the movie for me.
Bender's Game starts promising, with jokes about the rising cost of fuel prices. There's also a sly joke about Leela's anger issues, which are controlled by a shock collar. A shock collar Leela starts to find ... titillating. Just when things get interesting and this plot point could turn into something awkward and funny, it's dropped.
Bender discovers that he has no imagination and, aggravated that he can't participate in a game of Dungeons & Dragons, flips out Mazes & Monsters-style, renaming himself Titanius and wandering the sewers. He then gets sent to the HAL institute, Arkham Asylum for robots. This plot point is pursued to a point and then dropped.
Meanwhile, Mom (that's her name) has been controlling dark matter prices for years, but there is a means of invalidating her stranglehold on fuel prices. Professor Farnsworth accidentally invented "anti-backwards matter" which, should it ever encounter dark matter, would render dark matter useless. It just so happens that this anti-backwards matter is a 12-sided die. Hilarious, right?
As our lovable misfits build towards a confrontation with Mom and her Killbot goons, reality shifts and suddenly everyone's in a parallel fantasy dimension. And then we get, in descending order of comedic value: D&D jokes, Greek myth jokes, Lord of the Rings jokes, Star Wars jokes, Call of Cthulhu jokes, and did I mention the Lord of the Rings jokes?
There's actually more interesting material on the extras, covering all the allusions to D&D that have appeared in Futurama and confirming that the guys who write the show are hopeless geeks themselves. Unfortunately, they're not really boosting their own geek cred with this movie.
Look, I love Futurama and I love D&D. But this movie is all over the place, using tired, easy jokes for fantasy. I always identified Futurama as a series of in-jokes for sci-fi and tech geeks, which is a much broader category than fantasy gamers. The bizarre diversion into the fantasy realm isn't well thought out, isn't particularly funny, and not all that interesting.
Sorry guys. This is one D&D adventure that doesn't give out nearly as much XP as it should.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Futurama: Bender's Game ReviewNov. 15 2008
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The main cast of Futurama: The Professor (Billy West), Hermes (Phil LaMarr), Leela (Katey Sagal), Bender (John DiMaggio), Amy (Lauren Tom), Zoigberg (Billy West), Nibbler (Frank Welker), Fry (Billy West) as well as Mom (Tress MacNeille) and her three bumbling sons return in this 80-minute special. Futurama: Bender's Game is unlike Futurama: Bender's Big Score and Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs due to this instalment not having a movie feel at all to it. Futurama: Bender's Game is designed to be aired in four-parts when it premières on television and it feels like a four-part episodic.
In the beginning of the film you are first introduced to a Futurama version on "Yellow Submarine". I believe this is just symbolic of how crazy the upcoming scenes get. Whilst driving about in the Planet Express Ship, Leela, Fry and Bender run out of fuel and luckily Nibbler had one ball of dark matter, which was enough to get the ship to a petrol station. The same guy Sal (John DiMaggio) that always seems to be at one of these stations makes fun of the crew's ship. Sal states even though his ship is beat up, he won the Space Destruction Derby five times. Due to Leela's unrelenting anger issues, she decides to enter the derby and later returns the ship severely damaged.
Later, Dwight Conrad (Hermes Son voiced by Phil LaMarr) and Cubert Farnsworth (the Professor's son voiced by Kath Soucie) are playing a game of "Dungeons and Dragons". Bender thinking that it is a form of gambling, wants to join in, only to find out that it is nothing like that. Dwight and Conrad tell Bender that it is the kind of game that you have to use your imagination and anything will be possible. Bender is finally able to use his imagination, but causes him to go mad, believing everything that happens in real life is happening in "Cornwood" (fictitious Dungeons and Dragons land).
The Professor annoyed with Leela's anger issues, has a shock collar put around Leela's neck, so anytime she has any thoughts or act of violence, thoughts of sexual perversion and/or lies, she will be electrically shocked. Mom appears in an interview with Morbo discussing the "problems" of dark matter and that she hopes to take care of them soon. The Professor perturbed at the interview explains how he created dark matter as a usable energy source. He further explains that Mom has the positive crystal and he has a negative crystal that he cannot find. He says that if the two crystals come together, that it will make dark matter useless. Mom tries to avoid the destruction of dark matter by sending her sons as "Owl Exterminators" to retrieve the crystal.
The Professor sees past the boys ruse and finds out that his anti-matter crystal was being used as a die in the Dungeons and Dragons game. Bender having completely gone mad is submitted to the HAL Institute which cannot help his problem. The crew heads over to Mom's base to destroy her crystal. While, the professor is able to get the two crystals to come in close contact, which causes the dark matter to glow, it somehow amplifies Bender's imagination to send everyone to Cornwood.
From this point on the crew are each changed into a Dungeons and Dragon character or a "Lord of the Rings" character. Cornwood is essentially Lord of the Rings with Dungeons and Dragons theme to it. The rest of Futurama: Bender's Game tries to wrap up the convoluted story as much as possible. Overall Futurama: Bender's Game is very silly. This is a good thing as they brought back much of the Futurama humour and have many jokes about things you may have forgotten from the 1990's. I felt that this adventure is a big step in the right direction from Futurama: The Beast with A Billion Backs as this was actually funny. Futurama fans should enjoy this as long as they just relax and enjoy it as it is without preconceived notions and realise it is very silly. 4/5
Futurama: Bender's Game is presented in the 1.78:1 (16:9) format. The picture was crystal clear throughout and I could not find any skipping, frozen frames or blur in the picture. 5/5
The sound is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The sound was very well done throughout, but since they decided to make this like the television series, you do not get much in terms of cinematic sound. The voice actors voices were always clearly audible in the centre speaker during the talking scenes, which for some films can sometimes be problematic. 4/5
The special features are rather dull. There are not too many special features and even when you think you find something good such as a deleted scene, it is just a story board with sound. The team that assembled this DVD got rather lazy as far as extra features go. 3/5
Movie: 4 Picture: 5 Sound: 4 Special Features: 3
The first thing I would like to say to Futurama fans is: DO NOT watch this as if it is a film nor should you have ideas floating around in your head about how great/awful it will be. You need to just sit back and watch it as if you are watching the show and enjoy the silliness of this adventure. I found the part when the crew ran into Zoidberg in "The Cave of Hopelessness" and what happens to him reminiscent of Maria in the video game "Silent Hill 2". If you played the game, it may give you a chuckle, if not, you will enjoy it all the same. Whilst, I wish that Futurama: Bender's Game was produced as a film rather than a four-part TV series, it made me chuckle several times. I recommend this DVD/Bluray to fans of Futurama as it is a very silly one that makes up for the disaster that was Futurama: The Beast with A Billion Backs and I definitely recommend this to casual Futurama fans.
NOTE: A DVD was used for this review.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
What Happened!?Nov. 16 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
I am A huge Futurama fan. Have every episode and love how smart and well timed the comedy can be. As much as I want to love this installment, I can't. Benders big Game is A Big let down. The comedy is so low-brow and the story and dialog is poorly written in comparison to everything that has been done up till now.
-"Benders big score" felt like Futurama well seasoned. -"The Beast with a billion Backs" felt like a really long episode. -"Benders game", has too many holes, not enough why?, The jokes all lean toward potty humor (that's not just because one of the castles is design after a toilet), and some jokes are dragged out till you wanna say, "and we are still talking about this, because.....?" It feels like the writers have taken lessons from family guy and later bad episodes of the Simpsons. The comedy isn't smart, too much sensless humor, an advertisment for a knife commercial that feels like it lasts for 5 minutes (I laughed in the first 30 seconds then it became annoying), they had rosie the robot from the Jetsons in the robot insane asylum), an apearence form the tele-tubies in a fantasy scene, a side story (in support of a larger concept, leelas rage) shock collar gag on leela that ends up going no where, and on top of that and then some we have a very long build up of wasted story time until we finally get to the meat, in this case, benders fake fantasy world, which has limitless possibility, and wasn't taken advantage of the way many fans would hope.
on a side note: if the time is taken to watch the commentary, (bluray lets your see them talk) I was in aw that they basically don't pay attention to the story or whats happening on the screen, and spend the time making jokes to entertain themselves, unless there is too much gross on the screen then they all cringe.... I said it before, "what happened!?"
I can't give this movie five stars just because I wanted to love it, and one or two decent laughs doesn't mean five stars either. -For Futurama fans and non- fans alike the last thought would be, Rent this before you buy it!