MONSTER ROBOT MANIAC FUN COLLECTION
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Year: Compilation 1999-2003
U.S. Rating: NR
Canadian Rating: NR
Film Length: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.33:1
Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround[*] Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround[*] French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Closed Captioned: Yes
SLP: US: $11.98
SLP: CDN $16.98
Release Date: August 23, 2005
Entertainment Rating: /
Voices of: Billy West, Katey Segal, John Di Maggio, Lauren Tom
Created by: Matt Groening
Hilarious! Selected by creator Matt Groening and producer David X. Cohen, these are their four favourite episodes from the Futurama television series. I have to agree – these episodes are twisted and are very funny! Included in this selection is the Emmy Award-winning episode Roswell That Ends Well.
The first time I saw (and reviewed) Futurama, I wasn’t sold as a fan immediately. In fact, I felt that it ranked behind Groening’s other creation The Simpsons. Now that I’ve had some time to digest Futurama, I can say that the seasons are brilliant and are more entertaining than what The Simpsons have become over the past several years. Each show has its fan base, but if you haven’t tried Futurama I think it’s long over due for you.
Briefly, Futurama is set in New York City 1000 years from now. Fry was just a regular pizza delivery boy who was accidentally sent into the future. He’s teamed up with a robot that enjoys all pleasures and sins in life, as well as a tough but sexy one-eyed Cyclops woman with purple hair, and a lobster-man among others. It’s a twisted future and it’s definitely a maniac set – I guarantee it. This is what you can expect to find in this collection:
HELL IS OTHER ROBOTS
Bender puts his sinful lifestyle behind him when he joins the Temple of Robotology. But after returning to his old ways, he is banished to Robot Hell where, in a musical extravaganza, he faces the Robot Devil and endures tortures unimaginable to man.
ANTHOLOGY OF INTEREST 1
The Professor’s “What-If” machine simulates Bender, Leela, and Fry’s wishes: Bender turns into a giant robot; Leela impulsively murders her friends; Vice President Al Gore, Stephen Hawking and others come to the rescue when Fry inadvertently opens a rip in the space-time continuum.
ROSWELL THAT ENDS WELL
In this Emmy-winning episode, the Planet Express ship travels through time to Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and Fry becomes his own progeny. This one was my favourite episode of all of them. I can tell why it won an Emmy!
A killer bee sting sends Leela on a long, strange trip. This episode sets out to confuse the viewer. What is real? What isn’t?
VIDEO QUALITY /
Ahhhh…it’s nice to see (what I think) is just about a perfect picture on DVD. This DVD is free from chroma noise, ghosting, compression artefacts, and edge enhancement. For the most part you will see a nice high-contrast and very colourful presentation of this TV show. There are a few moments when the image is blurrier than the previous scene, but it is very rare as it comes and goes.
AUDIO QUALITY /
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround presentation is average across all four episodes. Dialogue is the main focus of course, and after decoding it’s placed in the center speaker where is should be. The music is spread around all four main channels and it’s the only sounds that stand out for surround. All sound effects are limited to the front channels. Dialogue stands out from everything, most likely because it’s a TV show and the major part of it is the dialogue. Thankfully the soundtrack is clear and free from distortion.
SPECIAL FEATURES /
At the bottom of the screen, you can click on an icon that gives a 2 minute introduction to the DVD. Participants are Matt Groening (creator), David X. Cohen (producer), Claudia Katz, Rich Moore, Bender (John Di Maggio in character), and Professor (Belly West in character)
You have the option to watch each episode with an approximately 1.5 minute introduction by Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, Claudia Katz, Rich Moore, Bender (John Di Maggio as himself and in character), and Professor (Belly West as himself and in character).
Aside from an Easter Egg that you must find, the other feature on this disc is the full animatic for the episode Hell is Other Robots. This animatic episode runs four minutes longer than the final episode so you can see what final cuts were made. With this, expect to hear an optional commentary from Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, Claudia Katz, Rich Moore, John Di Maggio, and Billy West.
IN THE END…
If you are new to Futurama and are not sure if you should invest in the season box sets already available, this disc is an excellent primer to get you into the show’s humour. Each episode is hilarious and you’ll find yourself laughing for more!