'FUTURAMA: BENDER'S BIG SCORE'
Creator Matt Groening and the guys behind "Futurama" waste little time explaining how their show was canceled and how those responsible at Fox got their own "cancellation" -- it's a running joke in this feature-length DVD ($29.98, Twentieth Century Fox Home Video). It ain't pretty, but it sure is funny, as is most of this new adventure for Fry, one-eyed Leela and the Homer Simpson of the future, robot Bender.
It's late December 3007 and nudist alien phishing scammers have taken over not only our world, but the universe (see, it doesn't pay to open e-mail from deposed Nigerian princes, even in the future).
It's an elaborate plot that bounces through time, and perhaps it's a touch too long. But they had to find room for that elf workshop rap with Robot Santa (John DiMaggio), KwanzaBot (Coolio) and Chanukah Zombie (Mark Hamill). Extras are inconsistent; there's a funny "Terrifying Message From Al Gore" about "An Inconvenient Truth" (Gore plays himself here, too! But no slideshow) and a funny math lecture. A 21-minute episode of "Hypnotoad" is funny for the commercials but is way too long.
-- Maria Sciullo,
Post-Gazette staff writer
'ICE ROAD TRUCKERS: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE'
Tired of the so-called reality TV, where people eat bugs and perform stupid exercises to earn money? Then "Ice Road Truckers" might be just your ticket. It's what reality television should be about: following interesting people doing interesting things in the real world. Nothing contrived here.
In "Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season One" ($34.95, A&E Home Video), which originally aired on The History Channel, viewers are swept into the lives of band of big-rig drivers, who jockey massive trucks over a strip of ice road built on permafrost and wending across frozen lakes in the far north reaches of Canada. For two frigid months each year, these guys haul needed supplies to mines and remote outposts farther north that are not reachable by freight vehicle except during this brief window of time.
The set also includes the original History Channel documentary giving viewers a complete background on both the history and construction methods used on the ice road. Other features include a look at how the show was filmed in arctic temperatures and an introduction to the men who drive.
The features are brief, and are definitely secondary to the live drama of the road. This is edge of the seat stuff, so get your bowl of popcorn and prepare to be drawn in.
-- Susan Banks, Post-Gazette staff writer