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12.12.07

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Futurama: Bender's Big Score

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment; $29.99


The secret of Star Trek was a combination of sci-fi parables and a lot of dialect humor. This timely revival of the Matt Groening/David Cohen TV show doesn't tamper with a formula that has lasted several eons and millions of light-years. In this feature-length adventure, the gang is faced with an unstoppable force: the power of spam. A trio of sniggering hackers from a nudist planet foreclose on Earth, using stealth programs and pfishing. Elderly Professor Farnsworth is fooled, too, deluded by an email telling him he's the heir to the throne of Nigeria, now that the old king is dead: "I'll inherit his kingdom, his canoe and his plump young wife." Meanwhile, the aliens dose the swaggering robot Bender with a virus and turn him into a "Dispatcherator" to raid humanity's past with a ray gun. The sometimes moan-worthy jokes are bolstered with gratuitous nudity, a trip to Neptune, an appearance by Robot Santa, a nigh-suicide mission by Al Gore's head and a plausible explanation of how Bush won the '04 election. The extras include a commentary track and a long—weeks long? I lost all track of time—appearance by the ever-compelling Hypnotoad. (Richard von Busack)


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