Ninja Turtle Rage

A Collection a Day #31 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TMNT

So what’s up with all the Ninja Turtle rage? The upcoming Ninja Turtles film produced by Michael Bay is driving some shell heads crazy with some changes to the heroes in a half shell. So what exactly the source of this outrage?

This film has two big changes to the Turtle franchise:

  1. The Turtles are no longer mutants; they are aliens from a far off planet where everyone is apparently a turtle.
  2. They’ve also dropped the “Teenage” from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles title as well, so now its the much shorter title Ninja Turtles. (This was a decision by Paramount for marketing purposes to have a shorter, concise title).

These two announcements, plus what other changes that are yet to be announced, has started a fan outrage that hasn’t been seen since the Transformers and GI Joe movies of the last decade, every super hero film, and even 1987’s Masters of the Universe. The point is, that it is inevitable that the story will be changed from the source material.

Think about this…the original Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles published by Mirage Studios is different from the Fred Wolf Films cartoon series. Take it one step further and you will see that there are other differences in the Playmates toy line, the long-running Archie Comics series, and every subsequent film/cartoon show. The point is that these are all variations of the same theme and are all valid.

So what does Michael Bay have to say about this?

“Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story,” said Bay on his message board.

“Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.”

And this is the inherent problem with fandom. We all wind up judging the final product before its been released. Everyone gets worked up over these changes, sounding like morons with the whole “you’ve raped my childhood” hyperbole. If Ninja Turtles is going to suck, it’s not going to solely be because they’re aliens and not mutants. And if the film is awesome, its’ not going to be because of that change either.

What is going to make or break this film is much larger; the combination of story, the acting, the special effects, even the marketing. To judge it by a minor plot tweek is insane.

On a final note, to everyone who is not a fan of Michael Bay, I challenge you to tell me why his Aaron Burr Got Milk collection isn’t amazing.

Review Time–Transformers: Dark of the Moon


On the morning of July 4, I did my patriotic duty and went to the movies. I saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon. So how did the final part of Michael Bay’s trilogy do?

Well I enjoyed it. It wasn’t a great movie that makes you think. There were no higher themes and messages really, nor did it intend to be. It was just the good robots fighting to save the planet from the bad ones. And there were a whole lot of awesome special effects.

This reminded me a lot of Independence Day, possibly because of its similar holiday marketing and promotion, but as an epic high stakes battle against aliens. The plot was fairly simple, with the Autobots, Sam Witwicky and some US soldiers saving the day from the Decepticons. There were a couple of plot twists, and some p(l)ot holes along the way, but they got the audience where they needed to be. Transformers also had a lot of silliness and jokes along the ride.

This movie was a lot like watching fireworks for two and a half hours. At the point when you started to get bored, they turned up the explosion factor to 11. If you like seeing stuff blow up, then this is your movie. If not, then sorry you had to see it.

So this is what I liked about the film:

  • Ken Jeong was hysterical for his brief role as Sam’s (Shia Labeouf) conspiracy obsessed coworker.
  • Laserbeak was an awesome villain in the film, serving as the Decepticon’s stealth assassin.
  • They did a really good job in distinguishing the color difference between the robots during fight scenes, which helped make things more sensible.
  • How they tied the Chernobyl disaster into the Transformers history, with the reactor being built by incorporating Cybertronian technology incorrectly.
  • Peter Cullen made Optimus Prime into a super bad-ass, who was ready to go all Punisher on the Decepticons and Sentinel Prime for their teachery and willingness to destroy mankind.

And what I didn’t like:

  • Rosie Huntington-Whitely was really flat as an actor, but she was no different than Megan Fox in the last two films.
  • The jarring switch in tone of the film…one minute its “OMG! LOL” and then the next minute it’s “OMG! 😦 OMG :*(“
  • There were a bunch of new Autobots introduced in the film and they really didn’t get identified or explained to well.

So in a nutshell, I had fun and it looked good in 3D. I’m not going to rank it in compared to the rest of the comic/super hero films this summer until Captain America comes out.

Basically, it was entertaining if you like loud action films and Transformers. It’s a great way to kill some time.