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Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 22, 2009 by  



The fourth Futurama film is a hilarious take on women’s independence, ecology, corporate greed, taking care of endangered species, robot love and more. Definitely incorporates the wackiness that one expects from the television series and previous films.  All-out fun!”

TITLE: Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

DURATION: 89 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: Widescreen 1:78:1, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English SDH, 50GB Dual Layer, AVC@35MBPS

COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2009

Directed by Peter Avanzino

Created and Developed by Matt Groenig

Writer: Michael Rowe

Executive Producers: David X. Cohen and Matt Groenig

Co-Executive Producers: Michael Rowe and Patric Verrone

Producer: Claudia Katz and Lee Supercinski

Original Music by Christopher Tyng

Film Editing by Paul D. Calder

Casting by Scott Muller

Cast:

Billy West as Philip J. Fry, Professor Hubert Fansworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Leo Wong, Richard Nixon’s Head

Katey Sagal as Turanga Leela

John Di Maggio as Bender, Joey Mousepad

Maurice LeMarche – Kif Kroker, Donbot, Clamps, Headless body of Agnew

Phil LaMarr as Hermes Conrad

Lauren Tom as Amy Wong and Inez Wong

Dawn Lewis as LaBarbra Conrad

Snoop Dogg as himself

Penn Jillette as himself

In the most epic FUTURAMA ever, dark forces older than time itself are on the attack, hell-bent on stopping the dawn of a wondrous new green age.  Don’t you hate when that happens?  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, recruited for an ultra-top-secret mission.  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!

Prepare yourself for another hilarious film in the “Futurama” universe!

The crew of Planet Express are in another hilarious adventure as the crew takes a look at New Mars Vegas and learn more about Leo Wong’s goal of creating another golf course.  Of course, by doing so, he’s destroying any natural vegetation that still exists, as well as exterminating living life that reside on the planet’s underground system which prompts a group of Eco-Feminists who protest Wong’s golf constructions.

The protest catches the attention of Leela who also feels compassion for an alien leech worm (with sharp teeth) who she saves.  Meanwhile, as Wong tries to dispose of the protesters by detonating them, the lead protester falls on Philip and her cross gets embedded in his head.  Philip eventually gains a power of reading people’s thoughts.

Meanwhile, Bender and the gang get caught up in gambling and he eventually falls for a fembot, the wife of a Donbot of the mafia.  So, everyone goes their own direction.  And as for Leo Wong, if creating miniature golf courses was not enough, now he wants to create an intergalactic golf course using cannons.  But part of Milky Way is in his way, especially a star and thus in order to make his new golf course work, he needs to destroy it.

This causes Turanga Leela, Amy Wong and LeBarbara Conrad to join the Ec0-feminist protesters and lead them on crusades against Wong.  As for Philip, his newfound power leads him to a crazy group of people known as the Legion of Mad Fellows who believe that Fry’s new talents is a gift to save the universe.  The group gives him a mission of becoming an employee of Wong’s and use his power to read Wong’s thoughts in order for Wong to put his trust in him and eventually prevent him from destroying the star.  Also, teaching him that aluminum foil can help inhibit those thoughts if put on his head.  Thus, Fry wears a variety of aluminum foil hats.

As for Fender and the crew of the Planet Express crew, they are given a job to stop the protesters  with the promise of getting to watch Celine Dion perform, thus they join Wong’s team.

And as for Zapp Brannigan, he’s now set on capturing the protesters.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

With this animated film created digitally, for fans of “Futurama” and those who enjoy the style of animation by Matt Groenig, you will see how colorful and clear the animation looks on Blu-ray.  Featured in widescreen 1:78:1, you get a good balance of digital and 3D-based artwork.  Some parts that are quite vibrant and overall good uses of color throughout the film.

As for the audio, audio is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD and there were good uses of rear speaker usage during scenes that involve action-based scenes to parts that include a lot of people and you can hear crowds on the rear speakers.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are a good number of special features included on “Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” and included inside the case are four “Futurama” postcards.  Special features included on the Blu-ray Disc are:

  • AUDIO/VIDEO COMMENTARY –  There is an optional audio or audio + video commentary on Blu-ray.  The video commentary features a Picture-in-Picture (available on BonusView Enabled Players) while watching the film and watching Matt Groenig, David X. Chohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Patric M. Verrone, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski and Peter Avanzino together.  The audio commentary is quite informative and hilarious as the group is like watching a group of guys having fun, cracking jokes but also talking about certain parts of the film.
  • STORYBOARD ANIMATIC: Into the Wild Green Yonder, Part 1 – Featuring how storyboards were utilized for this film.
  • DOCUDRAMARAMA: How We Make Futurama So Good – An interesting behind-the-scenes feature of how “FUTURAMA” is created and learning how Lauren Tom does all the voices, all the special effects and storyboards.
  • “LOUDER, LOUDER!”: The Acting Technique of Penn Jillette – A short segment of Penn Jillette doing his scene for the film.
  • GOLDEN STINKERS: A treasure of Deleted Scenes – Scenes that were not included in the final cut of the film.  Instead of full animation, some the deleted scenes are in storyboards.
  • MATT GROENIG AND DAVID X. COHEN IN SPACE! – A video featuring both Groenig and Cohen taking part in a weightless flight ala Zero-G.
  • HOW TO DRAW FUTURAMA IN 10 VERY DIFFICULT STEPS – Featuring a few of the crew drawing several of the characters featured in “FUTURAMA” and some tips and advice by those who draw the characters.
  • 3-D MODELS with Animator Discussion – Animators discussing how the vehicles and the meteor were created in 3D and what changes they went through during the process of creating them.
  • BENDER’S MOVIE THEATER ETIQUETTE – A short segment featuring Bender at the movie theaters and learning about movie theater etiquette such as do not provoke people by throwing popcorn at them or else they may shoot you with lasers and destroy the movie theater.
  • ZAPP BRANNIGAN’S GUIDE TO MAKING LOVE AT A WOMAN – Brannigan shows us how women with one eye and women with two eyes must be treated differently if you are trying to romance them.

I also discovered two Easter Eggs so far on the Blu-ray.  Here is a way to access them:

Select 500 – Get a toilet paper Bender animation

At the main menu on the roulette table, hit left with your remote and the center of the roulette table will be selectable. You will find a “Congratulations – You have found a very obscure Futurama DVD Extra” which is Billy West voice acting as Zapp Brannigan.

“Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” is another hilarious and enjoyable “FUTURAMA” film.  I think it’s also pretty good timing for a Blu-ray release since there have been no television episodes currently in production  but the films on DVD and Blu-ray, fans can still look forward to the characters.  And sales for “Futurama” on DVD have been quite positive.

“Into the Wild Green Yonder” definitely was enjoyable to watch on Blu-ray.  Picture and audio quality was quite good and there are many special features included, so this release was definitely worthwhile.

I’ve read that the goal for four films of “Futurama” was that they would be split up into sixteen episodes for a fifth season on television.   But in a recent interview with Wired, head writer David X. Cohen would not rule out more additional films straight-to-DVD or a theatrical release.

Personally, I think there is much life left in this series especially for the way this film ends.  The adventures of Planet Express crew definitely has more exciting potential for more outlandish adventures and much more possibilities for more hilarious, fresh and crazy storylines may it be for television, the Internet or straight-to-DVD or theatrical film!

Nevertheless, every character has their own contribution to the wackiness of this film.  And I have to say that of the four “Futurama” films released so far, this is by far my favorite.

“Futurama” fans will definitely find enjoyment in this Blu-ray Disc release.

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