Not much sidelined by cancellation of it’s half-hour broadcast TV show iteration, “Futurama” bounces back in appropriately silly fashion in this straight to DVD movie release. This is the second of four projected, the first being “Bender’s Big Score”. Like the TV show, “Beast” doesn’t exactly pick up where “Bender’s Big Score” left off, but did anyone really look for a coherent plot arc through this show? (Bender being inducted into the robot secret society – whaaaa?) Then again, a overall and consistant story arc is not as critical as it was for, say Babylon-5. This offers the usual abundance of silliness, in-jokes, parodies of pulp science-fiction movies and TV shows and a larger pool of strange, eccentric characters – there are any other kind in the Futurama universe? And then there’s Brittany Murphy voicing Fry’s new main squeeze, a billion-tentacled being oozing through a tear in the space-time continuum, looking like the galaxy’s biggest koosh-ball and as the country-music song goes, looking for love in all the wrong places. Some of the allusions and one-liners tend towards the more mature audience; whether you find them distasteful or not probably depends on how much of a fan you already are. If you are a fan of Futurama, you’ll most likely want this. If not, you never miss it from your DVD collection.

Extras in this feature are minimal – the most interesting of the lot was of the voice talent at work, behind microphones that probably cost the equivalent of my years salary as a public radio announcer. Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs is available June 24th from Amazon.com and other outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. Her next work, the Adelsverein Trilogy will be available in December, 2008. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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