When I first saw the movie poster for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, I was walking into my local theater to see Grindhouse. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to see the Aqua Teen film (or Grindhouse a second time) during the entire week in which both features screened there. Despite its alluring painted movie poster (another King of the Mountain variant), I later discovered that I didn't miss much; this isn't the kind of film that's significantly enhanced via a theatrical experience.
But don't misunderstand me: ATHFCMFFT is a great feature-length reworking of one of Adult Swim's best shows, and it manages to deliver all the bizarre, bloody hilarity of the series' best episodes many times over. It may seem inconceivable that the surreal and gory fun of ATHF can be multiplied many times over in the context of a feature film, but a minor miracle happens here: it's everything you could possibly expect from an Aqua Teen movie and a pinch more for good measure.
The plot, in summary: the Aqua Teens, Plutonians (accompanied by the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past) and Mooninites are in a race to harness the power of an exercise machine created by Dr. Weird and owned by Carl, which contains a dormant, unparalleled destructive power. Also, the Aqua Teens seek out their creator. Sort of. It's not as though any of this makes much sense, so don't worry about it.
Stretching a show of 11-minute episodes into an 87-minute feature film is a daunting task, but ATHFCMFFT is an adequate effort. The film drags in a few spots, but is as consistently unpredictable and inventive as the show itself. ATHF is the only remaining program from the original Adult Swim lineup because it's the best of those four shows (with Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law coming in at a close second). As a result, it's also the most worthy of a film adaptation. Just consider this for a moment: can you imagine how excruciating a Sealab 2021 or Space Ghost film might have been? To be sure, this is geared towards the ATHF fanbase, so if you're not among the initiated, I suggest that you obtain some marijuana and/or a clue before viewing this, because anyone who watches this and expects to take it seriously is bound to be as confused and offended as they are obtuse.
Though it wallowed in relative obscurity at the box office, ATHFCMFFT still managed to earn its minuscule $750,000 budget back seven times over. This may pave the way for future films based on other Adult Swim programs; I can't be the only one who knows that The Venture Bros. would make for an incredible theatrical feature! Besides, the amount of money that ATHF fans spent on weed before going to see this was undoubtedly more than the box office revenue of all of this film's competitors combined.
Finally: Bruce Campbell voices a long-lost Aqua Teen, a man-sized fried chicken. If you're not already planning to see this by now, what's wrong with you?!
ATHFCMFFT's two-disc DVD package is packed with perhaps more special features than I've seen before in a DVD set. The most interesting of these on the first disc include an informative commentary track, a detailed behind-the-scenes documentary and a few amusing theatrical trailers. The companion disc is even more plentiful, providing the infamous fake endings, plenty of hilarious deleted scenes (including the televised Deleted Scenes / Star-Studded Xmas SpectacularATHF episode), some cute promotional commercials and a lot of fun music videos related to the film's soundtrack. It also includes a thoroughly hyped "Deleted Film," an unwatchable 80-minute alternate version of the film compiled entirely from deleted material. I can report that this alternate movie was unwatchable from first-hand experience, as I was unable to view more than ten excruciating minutes of it.
The menus are...enormous. If you like graphic design culled from hip-hop and heavy metal albums, you'll love the gigantic, tacky aesthetic of the selection interface. Really, what else would you expect?
How do you write about something like this? I've heard people talking about how the anime series Excel Saga is incapable of being reviewed but I had no problem in the past. The new Watchmen movie was being unfilmable, but I've skimmed the book and think they did a decent job. THIS though, is where it gets tough. I don't think it's possible to accurately even TALK about this movie to someone who isn't already plugged into the fanbase that the Cartoon Network … more