Welcome to a very special Top 5 is Alive!!! We were asked* some time ago to add a top five segment to our arsenal. So now here we are. It is 2014 and one of my childhood favorites has been remade into a blockbuster summer CRAP SALAD! By non other than Michael Bay and company. Notorious violators of the Eighties, just see Transformers, or rather, don't bother. The truth is, I have a lot of gripes with this "film,"** though I am limiting myself to five. Five long individual rants, but five none the less.
* Contractually obligated
** I threw up a little bit calling it a film too.
So please, enjoy the nerd rage and proceed to the theater with caution this summer. Here it is...
TMNTOP5! My top 5 gripes with the remake.
5. The Look: The Turtles have been through an extreme makeover. And this time it was downright offensive. They went from gritty Comic Book Heroes to cuddly Saturday morning cartoons and we loved them! Then they transformed into Animatronic Movie Stars and we were over the moon! Until the third movie anyway. And once again after that they became CGI Cartoons and that was even pretty cool. Now they are essentially unrecognizable without the different color masks. Besides the fact that they are all CGI now in movie form, they look like the mutants they once fought and have super strength. An update that would be fine, if the foot clan were still Ninjas. But apparently they are hired guns that can barely fight? Some like the new look, I feel as though it takes away the underlying innocence of the characters. What was your favorite Turtle Look?
4. The Cast/Characters: There seemed to be poor choices all around in this adaptation. I never got a chance to care about the characters. More about that in number 2. However, the acting was sub par. Megan Fox was beyond a terrible choice to play April O'Neil. Which probably won't matter because with her Michael Bay-Eighties revival track record, she will be out by the sequel. Good riddance! Here is to hoping. I didn't buy any of her lines or convictions. I even felt that Will Arnett, was a poor choice. I am a huge Arnett fan from Arrested Development and beyond, but if he is to fill in the Casey Jones gap, again, more later, he did a doughy not very funny job as the comic relief/love starved male co star. The Voices for Splinter and the gang were very good actually, just didn't mesh well with the execution... which takes us to Shredder, believable but again, the dialogue and story betrayed him. Miane Moji was weak as Karai, Shredders Femme Fatale and the foot clan were all inept lackeys. Some of the supporting cast were right on but I believe the script and Special Effects both gave them nothing to work with and made the direction lazy.
3. The Pacing: There was a script, I mean right? There must have been? And even so the origin was reduced to a series of panel art during the opening credits and then the movie seemingly started in the middle of the story. The timeline was incongruous, which if you are Tarantino can be a wonderful story telling device. But for this flick, I would have liked to have been sucked into a story from the beginning and brought along to the end. It felt disjointed and moved almost too quickly.
2. The Story: Well, it sort of made no sense. Splinter was a big deal breaker for me. I enjoyed when he was a Rat that mirrored a Kung Fu Master and once mutated was intelligent enough to become a master himself. It also tied him nicely to his feud with Shredder. Now he is a Rat that can read and found a random Ninjitsu book in a sewer? Even though that may be more modern, it is somehow more unbelievable than the more outlandish alternative. Other conflicts that arose were handled so quickly that the story part of the film was almost removed. Raphael was rebellious but no time was spent on his conflict with Leonardo as leader. It was resolved as quickly as it came up. No time was spent fleshing things out. The writers tied everything together into a neat package. Which made it predictable, rushed and boring. It's Turtles for crying out loud, not Lost.
1. The Execution: The film making was typical Michael Bay. Loud. Fast Cuts. Story sacrificed for eye candy. When the Turtles were on screen, they had some close ups. Though when fighting it was difficult to focus in on any one thing. Blair Witch eat your heart out. Perhaps because there was little to no substace to hone in on, the fast paced film work just tied my stomach and brain into knots.
BONUS: I don't even think the children that saw the movie that night really enjoyed it. There were Babies crying because they were afraid of the Turtles and even Splinter. Let alone Shredder. But then again, they seemed to laugh when Shredder was shown? The opposite reaction we had as kids. After the film, the kids were quoting lines about Michaelangelo Creeping on April. Great, if they took anything away from this it was the gratuitous sexuality. To be honest, Mikey's dialogue was the saving grace of the flick, it was the only thing that made me react un-ironically. Look aside, I enjoyed the Turtles themselves but overall that was not enough to make this movie worth the ticket price. I give this movie Four Three-Fingered Hand's Thumbs down. And two rat thumbs too.
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