Bru’s Reviews – TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ARE NOT OUT-FOXED August 11, 2014 – Posted in: Blog, Bru's Reviews, Featured Columns
All original written content is (c) 2014 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
[note: as I was prepping this for Mike, news of Robin Williams passing came through. Honestly…don’t waste your money on this damn TMNT movie. Stay home and enjoy some truly magical moments with Robin Williams. If you’ve not seen him in Dead Poet Society, Good Will Hunting, The Fisher King or Mrs. Doubtfire you owe it to yourself to watch them. -Craig]
THIS WEEK: Another “new” version of Eastman and Laird’s pizza-loving comic-book reptiles, this time getting the “realistic” CG origin story with Megan “I wanna be more than a” Fox as reporter April O’Neil digging up a story of vigilantes helping New York City fight the evil Foot Clan, warrior-leader Shredder and their greedy leader’s plan to take over the city.
Written by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec and Evan Daugherty. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
- While the Turtles look the most different from their “classic” incarnation, they are done well. (Thanks to CG and motion capture.) Once you get a good look, all look different enough in facial features that you can tell ’em apart even without their individual colors (something the average viewer/reader couldn’t do in many other versions). Each has properly reptilian-rough skin, realistic eyes and teeth. Controversial for diehards, but okay for guys like me who have little to no knowledge of the characters.
- Same goes for the back story/origin. If you’ve never watched a Turtles flick before this one (again, like me), you learn all you need to know.
- Some funny dialog, mostly from Michelangelo. Nice bantering/bickering among the ninja brothers. Elevator scene was especially fun.
- Shredder gets a captial-B Badass Samurai outfit. [MIKE: Although if you’re familiar with Marvel’s Silver Samurai, you may feel a bit of deja vu.)
- I ain’t seen such a cradle-to-the-middle-age audience in a loooong time. Little kids dressed in Turtles costumes along with their parents, plus the over-40 geezers [MIKE: Hey, watch it!] who each have their own beloved version of the characters.
- Megan lives up to her Fox title, as usual. I only counted a couple decent tight-jeans butt shots, but still hot.
- Will Arnett is at least likable as her camera guy and gets a few funny lines. William Fichtner is always good at his type of character.
- Opening credits and comic artwork are overall well done. Credits after the film.
- The fight scenes are fun to watch with some decent choreography; same with the penultimate snow-chase sequence, which has a total “thrill-ride” feel.
- Plot is easy to understand for kids. The bad guys are bad and the good ones good.
- Splinter, the Turtles rat-sensei/father, is voiced well by MONK’s Tony Shaloub. He cares a lot for his kids and they for him; the Turtles all care for each other and it shows. The baby turtles are just too cute.
- Seeing the movie in a theater full of chatty, yelling kids (not just fans, but those whose parents were too cheap to get a babysitter), you can forget becoming totally engrossed in the story–not that there’s much story to be engrossed by in the first place.
- [Michael Bay – Craig]
- As much as I dig hot chicks (as readers of this blog and/or my comic know too well), Fox is just not foxy enough to carry a whole film. No Shia LeBouf here to help take some of the load. If she got naked, or even stripped to her undies or a bikini for some (or most) scenes, maybe she could make you ignore the steel-eyes acting. But in my book, she belongs in a porno or a centerfold, not leading a family film…or anything not X-rated. (She does look gorgeous when she smiles, at least, but that doesn’t happen till the end of the film.)
- Fox’s character is made as dumb as she comes off. Seriously, what reporter, junior or otherwise, would try to convince her boss to run a story about four giant talking turtles without a shred of photographic or eyewitness evidence, and not expect to be laughed at or thought nuts? Journalism 101.
- [Michael Bay – Craig]
- Will Arnett’s character is too old for hers and just comes off creepy when he keeps hitting on her. His funny lines often fall flat.
- Whoopi Goldberg is completely wasted here. Her character is only in a few short scenes and has zero lines of substance. I can only guess that she was cast in the hope a tenth of a percent of her acting chops would rub off onto Fox, but that didn’t happen either.
- Some scenes are bit intense for little kids (PG rating), and some of the language is non-Disney for sure. Now, if you’re one of those “modern” crappy parents who desensitized yer brats to violence via shooter video games and don’t care about them saying “ass” and “damn” a lot, then you can take ’em from the trailer park to the theater.
- [Michael Bay – Craig]
- A couple plot points were confusing. What was the green liquid in the big vial again?
- Splinter (not to be confused with Shredder) looks nasty! I know he’s a rat, but so what? They could still make him easier on the eyes, more kid-friendly, funnier or whatever. He just looks scary with the giant black-with-no-whites eyeballs and slimy/grimy with his leathery skin and droopy nose. I had no emotional attachment whatsoever.
- NO funny stuff during the credits and NO button at the end. WTF? That’s lazy. Granted, most parents wouldn’t stay till the end with screaming rugrats, but reward all those lonely man-child geeks who’ve supported your characters for decades!
First, don’t waste your dough on 3D. There’s hardly any scenes to really justify using the effect. Second, it’s obvious that die-hard Turtle fans will see this no matter what I say; same with the younglings who dress up like their favorite Renaissance artist-reptile. But for the casual or curious fan and average moviegoer, don’t waste your dough. If there’s nothing else on TV at 2am and you need something to watch while devouring your 100-cheese pizza, this will fit the bill. Otherwise, watch the cartoon.
P.S.: Pascale can draw a hot fox (Megan or otherwise) for you, as well as any or all of the turtles in any style. You’ll love it or you don’t pay. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, or any adolescent, genetically-modified, martial-artist reptiles. Please send nude photos of Megan Fox to firstname.lastname@example.org.