Chances are that if you’re an original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan from the 80s and 90s, you are having a hard time accepting the new reboot produced from Michael Bay.  To be fair the “fans” of the original comics and the 1990 film were never going to be satisfied with whatever this movie was going to be.  The idea was to take material to another level for today’s youthful demographic and not just to appease overly-nostalgic fans. With that said, this latest behind-the-scenes video has the actors, doing what seems to be,  brainwashing audiences on “how awesome this movie is”.

OK, so, the talent isn’t going to be saying it’s “the worst movie ever”, but still. It’s hard to listen to creatives say “Michael Bay has given us the opportunity to make photo realistic walking talking turtles” and not feel they’re are being slightly disingenuous. Because photo realistic they certainly are not.

Nostalgiatards like myself have already made up our minds that this will be terrible and we’ll hate it as a collective! But giving credit where credit is due, I will say that they have captured the quips, whit, humor, and charm of the turtles. That, they’ve got right. Unfortunately, it is everything else that looks like an amalgamated mess. It’s like the production team took everything identifiable with the franchise and injected it with a concoction of steroids and meth, with Micheal Bay conducting it all with fierce frivolity

I understand that kids will think this is the greatest movie ever. However, just because a movie is targeted towards kids doesn’t give it a pass on things like plot and character development. Loud, fast, and colorful does not make for a good movie. This won’t be the worst movie, it probably won’t even be Michael Bay’s worst movie, but I’ve seen too many of his movies to just assume that he’ll suddenly get it right.

We’re in an age now where directors, producers and studio heads feel that everything needs to be bigger and more exciting. I’m not sure if it’s the ever slipping attention span of modern audiences that have brought on this trend or it’s Hollywood that has made them this way. Long gone is the magic of subtly, and doing more with less.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)” Theatrical Trailer

It’s hard to compare the original early 90’s Turtle movies without sounding biased, but that first foray into live-action was superb.  It was shot in a brooding and dark style, which matched the flavor of real world New York at the time.  The movie had the right blend of action, comedy, drama, music, and story. It combined the dark quality and complex storytelling of the original comics with the all the fun and light-hearted nature of the classic cartoon show. And there were some complex undertones too – which dealt with concepts of brotherhood, family and identity.

I feel bad for today’s youth being given what they’re given and being non the wiser about it. I feel even worse that some older audiences don’t demand better. That they are so easily amused by proverbial shaking of keys and think it makes for a “cool” movie.  I am sorry to judge. You like what you like and that’s fair. But Hollywood can do better,  because we’ve had better. That’s not me speaking as a guy trapped in the 90s, I’m just a fan that cares about quality.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens Aug. 8, 2014.


Category: Film

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