Wow, FOA, that's
a pretty in-depth post. And, to paraphrase Randy, there are parts of it I like and parts I don't like. So here's my rebuttal of sorts...BBS
Leela completely ignores Fry's feelings throughout the movie. I can understand that she is excited about her new relationship but considering she knows about Fry's feelings for her she didn't have to rub his nose into it. She could have let him down easy.
I agree that the Leela/Fry interaction in the movie fell mostly flat (and that, in a lot of ways, Leela wasn't the most likeable person), but I don't see that as so out-of-character, or even a reset of the original series. I mentioned this in the shipping thread, but here's the gist: If you want to argue that the reset button was pressed (and I don't think it was, necessarily), then you have to accept that Fry and Leela aren't going to be much closer now, eight years into their friendship, than they were when last we saw them, four years into their friendship. At the end of season four, they were inarguably growing closer (episodes like "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", "The Why of Fry", "The Sting", "The Farnsworth Parabox", and "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" prove as much); but, if the writers reset the original series finale (Devil's Hands), then I don't think its fair to hold the Fry/Leela relationship to the same standard as you might've held it had BBS acknowledged TDHaIP.
The way I see it, though, the reset button wasn't pressed between Devil's Hands and BBS. I just think that the writers chose not to elaborate on what happened between "I want to hear how it ends" and "We're back on the air!" For all we know, Fry and Leela could've dated for a while. Or--and this is the more likely option--Leela let him down easy back then
, and in the four proceeding years, their friendship was in a sort of stasis.
And it's worth mentioning that I don't think Leela was flaunting her relationship or rubbing it in Fry's face; if anything, she was bragging about it to everyone
, and not just Fry specifically. (Plus, I'd argue that she was always into parading her new boyfriends around to the entire PE crew: Adlai and Chaz come to mind. So the supposed insensitivity to Fry's feelings is by no means an innovation of BBS; it's something Leela's been doing for the entire series.) Sure, after the wedding's called off, all those comments about Lars being the only man she'll ever love do
seem a bit insensitive, since she's saying it to Fry; however, she was devastated, so I don't think it's so gauche for her to be unconcerned with how her feelings for Lars might make Fry feel (also, all the "only man I'll ever love" stuff just makes the ending more powerful and inevitable, IMO).
We lose Bender early on. His control under the nudists essentially neuter his performance. Worst thing about that is the movie is still focused on Bender yet Bender isn't himself. That's a waste of probably the best character on the show.
Bender still retains his core Bender-ness, though--he's still homicidal and snarky when it counts. It's just that he's also an ass-kisser (which is nothing new, either. Remember Elzar?).
Nibblers bit in the movie is unnecessary. He doesn't add anything to the movie. Seriously, take him out and nothing is lost. About the only reason for him to be in it is to explain that the time code is paradox correcting (which I think is stupid) and one-way and that could have been explained by a legend (maybe as part of that fairy-tale book from 409).
I agree that the reveal with Nibbler was incredibly disappointing. It kind of ruins all the secrecy and mystique surrounding his two speaking appearances in "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" and "The Why of Fry". Now that I think of it, though, the writers probably chose to reveal the truth about Nibbler in BBS so that they wouldn't have to waste time on it in "Bender's Game".
Lars didn't work out as planned. He was supposed to ingrain to the audience that Leela is truly in love with Fry but that is messed with by the fact that Leela barely acknowledges Fry throughout the movie. We're supposed to believe that she loves this guy who she barely knows exist?
See, I think it accomplished that. The scene that cinches it, for me, is when they're in the Head Museum at night (Lars, in that scene, is very Fry-ish to me), and Leela says, "My life is changing so fast. I don't know who I am anymore." It's sort of a nod to the fact that, hey, Leela has really let every other aspect of her life (including her friendship with Fry) go by the wayside because she's so head-over-heels for Lars. Their entire romance has this whirlwind quality to it (they can't be dating for more than a month or two before his proposal on Xmas Eve), and I think that line of Leela's offers us some insight into how she feels about the whole thing. She loves Lars, but in loving him she's lost control (which is interesting, because that's probably always been part of her hang-up with dating Fry
). Then Lars comes back with, "You're the woman I've been waiting for all my life" (such
a Fry line, and one of those that I'm sure was intended to set off alarms in the fans' heads), and Leela scrutinizes him for a moment, but then there's kissing and all that nice stuff.On a totally self-aggrandizing note: I do agree that the writers could've made more attempts to show the audience that Lars was Fry. But I think that the similarities between the two were downplayed in BBS as a way to service the twist ending. That's why I'm currently writing a fic that deals with BBS from Leela's point of view; I try to portray Lars as being very Fry-like (granted, in a wittier and more mature way) when he's alone with Leela, "winging it" (meaning he hasn't already seen this interaction played out before him prior to his return to 2000).
Whoops! Sorry! I was supposed to be writing about Lars. Anyway, there isn't enough of Fry in Lars to make his purpose believable. Aside from that nice moment at Elzar's he doesn't act like Fry at all. I don't care how mature how Fry would get there is no way he'd become "a bald-headed coook (is that how it's spelled?)".
But there are just little moments that, when you watch the movie again with the knowledge that Lars is Fry, seem very Fry-like. His "Up and away!" when he's dropping Hermes's head into a jar; the scene at Elzar's; the Head Museum ("What's wrong? Is the screaming depressing you?"). Then there are the dead-giveway lines like "I've always loved you". Like I said, we could've been given more of an indication that Lars was Fry, but I think the writers had to walk a fine line: if they gave us too many hints, most of us would've figured the twist out too soon, and the ending wouldn't have had the same impact. ('Course, I was one of those people who, though I recognized the whole Billy-West-does-both-voices thing, didn't realize Lars was Fry until "I've always loved you.")
What about the whole Big Score part of the title. I thought the entire episode would be a romp through time with Bender as he steals all these great treasures yet it only is made a focus through the second chapter and we only see Bender steal two things (Pharaoh Mask and East Coast/West Coast Rap Treaty). I thought guys as talented as the Futurama writers could make a big Time Travel story work.
Speaking of that, did anybody complain about how big a waste of a Time Travel story this movie is? So you have Futurama, an incredibly well written satire of Sci-Fi while at the same time great Sci-Fi show in its own right, do a movie based around time travel and only 1 period (early 2000's) is extensively visited. What a waste! BBS should have been massive in its scope. We should have been able to see the PE crew visit Rome at its height, The Jurassic Period, and other great times but its wasted on a less than great love story.
I never really looked at it as a waste; like you mention, I think the time travel was really there to provide some nice visual gags, but more importantly to create Lars. The Time Sphere is essentially a conduit for the love story (which I actually did think was pretty great). After all, the show already did a "real" time travel story, and I don't think anything could've matched the quality of "Roswell that Ends Well" without seeming like a total rehash. To me, BBS took time travel in a different, less derivative direction. TBWaBB
First of all, why is it that the title character of the movie doesn't show up till the halfway point? Hell, if you want to get technical we don't really meet the creature (I refuse to call him (it acts like a dude, it's a him) by his name because that might make me remember the movie) until the end of the 3rd chapter so he is really only present for about 22 minutes. Movies do not work that way! You use the first 20 minutes or so introducing your characters or premise and then you get to the point.
Eh, that seems trivial to me. That's like saying that "Bender Gets Made" is a dumb title, 'cause he doesn't become a member of the mafia until act two. "The Beast With a Billion Backs" is a funny, lurid title that was meant to evoke those melodramatic titles of '50s monster movies.
Looking back I don't think I like Colleen as much as I thought I did. She's wonderfully acted by Brittany Murphy but she really doesn't have much of a purpose in the movie. Yeah, she's the reason Fry goes through the rift but she is quickly forgotten at various times (read more on my Beast inconsistencies post) so her purpose is diffused.
Colleen is so bland that I can't buy Fry would be willing to commit celestial suicide over her. Fry is the most
out-of-character in this movie, IMO, and that's primarily why. If he's gonna be depressed over anyone, make it Leela (and even then, killing himself over her would be a bit extreme). (On a somewhat unrelated note: Fry saying he loves
Colleen is so ridiculous to me, and a much more annoying use of the reset button than Leela's ignorance of Fry's feelings in BBS (which was at least an established trait in her case).)
On the Rip: A hole is blasted to a parallel universe. This place could be used for anything. Alternate versions of people and places in our universe could be used or alternatively it could be a completely different universe filled with an infinite amount of possibility for new sights and characters and it's wasted on a hentai joke. A bad one! I know how funny a person found the creature is in the realm of personal opinion. Good thing I'm writing this in my post then.
Yes, but DXC has clearly stated that the writers had four missions for the four movies: one would be a time travel epic; one would be a monster movie parody; one would be a fantasy romp; and one would be a space opera. TBWaBB just happens to be the monster movie.
By the way, if the Rip was going to be used for a parallel universe it probably would have been better used for Benders Game.
That's a really great idea. However, I don't think TBWaBB could've existed if not for the anomaly, either--what with Yivo basically being his own universe and all. (However, in your case, the non-existence of TBWaBB might've been a good thing.
I gotta say, the Creature is a complete waste of time for me. Not only did I not find it funny (only line from it I laughed at was that phone message it left (and that had more to do with imaging David Cross actually leaving that message to a girlfriend in real life), it didn't really do anything. I mean it burst through Earth's defenses (I thought that the Diamondium shield (or was it Diamondillium?) looked really cool and if the movie was good could have been an iconic image. Too bad they waste it by having the Creature tear through it), "made love" to every creature on the planet, and eventually carries all of them to live inside it and yet it still doesn't remain memorable to me.
I love David Cross but he was probably the wrong person for this role. I thought he was good for it since his comedy was always "out there" and this creature certainly qualifies as "out there" but looking back on it he's too aloof in the role. He doesn't even try to hide his voice or general personality. The Creature has no self. It is David Cross. I feel bad for saying this but his performance most reminds me of Pauly Shore's. It reeks of "I'm just here doing my job" rather that him having any real enjoyment from doing it (although, maybe he just read the script and was immediately saddened on what he would have to portray (cheap shot FTW!).
I more or less agree about David Cross, but I still think Yivo is a funny enough character, and the "having sex with everyone in the universe" thing is also disturbingly amusing. It's not the best story Futurama's ever done (which is a fair assessment of all the movies), but I thought it was a decent attempt.BG
I agree with everything you said. To me, BG is the weakest movie by far. It just seems like a rehash of a lot of other stories that Futurama has already done (the HAL institute, in particular, seems less like a call-back and more like sloppy, lazy writing).ItWGY
This one's my favorite movie, too. It's funny, emotional in all the right spots, subtly shippy, and ultimately satisfying.
Thanks, FOA. That was pretty damn fun, in a pathetic sort of way...If we want to continue with much of this conversation, we might want to move it to the ship thread, because most of the complaints are leaning in that general direction. Your call, though, man.
And tnuk: Illiteracy is not funny. Unless it is. And in my case, it's hysterical.