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Bender's Game review
I love Futurama. It was a brilliant, brilliant show with great characters, excellent stories and wonderful humor. I was sad when the series was cancelled, but became hopeful when the DVD movies were announced. I will review the third DVD movie Bender's Game.

The story centers around a dark matter shortage in the universe, and a subplot about Bender playing Dungeons and Dragons. Now, the first half is superb. There are some issues with character exaggeration, but other than that, is excellent. The humor is funny and clever, most of the parts with Bender in the asylum in particular, and there are some magnificent plot elements, for example, the reveal of the secret behind Mom's Dark Matter mine is the movie's triumph, making a hilarious moment, that ties in to the continuity in a satisfying way.

But the main selling point in this movie was the Medieval segment. I was mostly against this idea, since it seemed pointless that Futurama would need such a segment. But there were possibilities. Would it be the medieval world shown in the first episode? A steampunk medieval setting? No. The end result is what ruins the movie.

This segment, awkwardly comes right in the middle of the main plot, throwing everything established in said plot out the window. What we have is this hackneyed, uninspired segment that takes over the movie, and accomplishes nothing, other than being a mediocre Lord of the Rings parody.

Did we NEED this segment? Did Futurama need the cast roleplaying as medieval archetypes? Did we need to have this instead of the previous plot? This is one of-NO-THE worst plot shift I have ever witnessed in a fictional work. And to top it all off, the climax has no closure and ends off with a cheap gag. Un-F**king-believable.

So the moral of this story is, don't throw something perfectly good away, to get an inferior replacement. It's just a bad idea.
Do you think that Futurama's channel exchange has something to do with it's slide in quality? I mean I would have to give credit to the station that axed it in the first place but Futurama seemed snappier when it was on Fox. Or would you say this was just a bad plot. When it was an episode by episode show you could have a bad storyline and it would be over in half an hour and then promptly forgotten. But with the telemovie format it means that the writers have to stick with a lame idea for longer. What do you think?
comment #654 wellinever 24th Jul 09
I would put this down to the telemovie format, personally. You make some good points.
comment #686 Emperordaein 29th Jul 09
I hated the fantasy parody, because unlike most parodies done by Futurama, it fell victim to Small Reference Pools. It was Lord of the Rings very minimal D&D elements in it, despite supposedly being based on Bender's D&D hallucinations.

I'd love to see the Futurama writers do a more subtle fantasy plot, without falling victim to "I think the viewers won't get this".

I still liked the third movie more than the second, which I hate with the passion of a thousand volcanoes.
comment #1466 Kerrah 9th Dec 09 (edited by: Kerrah)
@wellinever

Nah. The comedy central episodes have ended up being pretty good. It was really just this telemovie.
comment #8212 ronasokily 21st Jun 11
The movies in general. Only the last was any good. The new episodes, however, are awesome.
comment #8213 Ghilz 21st Jun 11
Christ, people, unclench your arseholes. They're all brilliant, even the movies.
comment #9738 5318008 6th Sep 11
I think it's odd no one considered the possibility that a group of sci-fi nerds writing a sci-fi show which makes mostly sci-fi references and references to actual scientists and theories might not have enough interest in fantasy to parody it properly. The same people who slipped in "You changed the result by measuring it" felt referencing non-LOTR-and-D&D fantasy series would go over people's heads? Really?
comment #9739 Wackd 6th Sep 11
For me the first real season that premiered on Comedy Central was just kinda alright, like they were still fitting back into making the show. They seemed to play catch-up, but it was still good. The second though has been fantastic with great focus on characters.

The movies varied in quality though. 1 I thought was pretty good, 2 I really hated (and the tentacles were creepy as hell... and this is coming from someone whos seen plenty of hentai), 3 was pretty mediocre and pretty much what this review said, but 4 was great.
comment #9746 EnigmaticSpirit 6th Sep 11
What bothered me most about the fantasy segment was that it felt like the writers had never read Lord of the Rings, only watched the films. Once. Without bothering to pause it when getting snacks or going on bathroom breaks. (Since when is Minas Tirith known as "the White Castle"? Because the joke makes no sense otherwise.) Not only were the jokes utterly crass and the reference pools as deep as rainwater puddles, but the whole thing was just so uninteresting. By the time Fry got the knife from his reflection I was actually rooting for him to kill his friends; not because I hate the characters, but because I wanted something to happen.
comment #19912 DoktorvonEurotrash 20th Jun 13
@Dok

The name wasn't used in the books, but Minas Tirith was alternately known as the White City, and the place was basically a giant castle, so the reference stands.
comment #19913 Wryte 20th Jun 13
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