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"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)" Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

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James Harvey

The World's Finest
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You live, you die, you fight as brothers.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Release Date:
August 8, 2014
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Screenwriter: Josh Appelbaum, Andrew Nemec, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, John Fusco
Starring: Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Will Arnett, Danny Woodburn, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence)

Plot Summary:
The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to save the city and unravel Shredder's diabolical plan.

Comments? Discuss this latest big-screen take on the classic Heroes in a Half-Shell!

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BigFatHairyDeal

Defender of the Universe
Okay, I haven't read anything about this until yesterday, so someone who's watched the movie, please spoil away for me.

Is Shredder in this movie a white guy? Because if he is, then there's no way I'd pay a cent to watch this movie. I'm tired of Asian characters becoming white guys in movies, e.g. Last Airbender, King of Fighters, Dragonball Evolution, 21, etc.
 

BigEclipse

Member
Okay, I haven't read anything about this until yesterday, so someone who's watched the movie, please spoil away for me.

Is Shredder in this movie a white guy? Because if he is, then there's no way I'd pay a cent to watch this movie. I'm tired of Asian characters becoming white guys in movies, e.g. Last Airbender, King of Fighters, Dragonball Evolution, 21, etc.
The Shredder is Japanese.
 
Cohorts,

i hope tmnt does well and isn't beat by gotg for the #1 slot. i'm wishing for something over 45 million range or just or enough to have the studios consider doing a sequel.
 

MDawg

Nerfariously planning
Comports, why would you want such a terrible movie to do well? Consorts, should not better taste prevail? Contortionists, would it not be better of GotG steamrolls it so studios will understand that movies need to be better-quality and not insult the audiences with cheap humor and sex jokes to bring in viewers? Kokomo, that's where we want to go.
 

Peter Paltridge

Ay Carumba
Staff member
Moderator
Thing is, I can't see how anybody who enjoyed any previous incarnation of TMNT would find this pleasing to look at in any way. These Turtles aren't.....cool. They're not the type of guys you would want to hang out with.

It doesn't feel like anyone who admired or even cared about the franchise made this movie, and if anyone holds it dear, they'll feel it enough to avoid paying for a ticket.

Of course, I also pessimistically expect it to pull down some big numbers anyway.
 

MDawg

Nerfariously planning
So how awful is the movie? No one is seeing it cause they're expecting top-notch or even decently-done movies. They're seeing it cause they know it's gonna be terrible, but have lots of explosions, awful jokes and boobs.
 
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BigEclipse

Member
So how awful is the movie? No one is seeing it cause they're expecting top-notch or even decently-done movies. They're seeing it cause they know it's gonna be terrible, but have lots of explosions, awful jokes and boobs.
It's not as awful as it could have been. The plot is very thin and they play with the Turtle's origin a bit, but it's not the worst thing I've seen. I mean, it's not good by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not bowling shoe ugly. I saw an advanced screening at my local AMC Wednesday night, and most of the people who saw it with me seemed to enjoy it. To tell the truth, all the best action scenes and funny one liners were in the trailers and TV spots. Seriously, if you saw all those there's really no use in seeing the film unless you're a diehard Turtles fan (like me).
 

Silverstar

Rock the Dragon
Just got back from seeing it this afternoon. Yeah, it was OK. No masterpiece, but I was honestly expecting much, Much, MUCH worse from Bay. The theater was packed with kids and parents as you'd expect, and most of them seemed to enjoy it.
 

Neo Ultra Mike

Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts
I agree with what others said but here's a more detailed review that also gives an abridged history of my take on the franchise.

Though I never grew up directly with the series, TMNT for those of us born from the 80's and 90's was still one of those unavoidable things. Because of their merchandise (like an old board game I use to own, and comics I remember reading bits of when I was a kid) I knew who they were, even though I only saw clips of the original series, an episode or two of Next Mutation and posters of their movies at a nearby theater. It was only with the 2003 Fox Box 4Kids series that I not only found about their more comic book origins but would truly call myself a fan and actually knew the four turtles apart. It's a series I still haven't seen all the way through but did enjoy a lot of what I saw and even checked out the new Nickelodeon series which though not as good, is still one of the few quality series even on that network. And of course there was this movie which I've heard about for years. Because like with G.I. Joe, and Transformers there was no way this super popular 80's still running franchise wasn't going to be rebooted in some form. A lot of people soured though when Michael Bay was attached even only as a producer, and even more so when it was revealed the turtles may be aliens. Which didn't happen but with more and more news being revealed about the movie from the cast to description of the turtles to the marketing, it didn't look that appeasing. Still as a fan of the series I wanted to see for myself and watch and come to my own views and in my honest opinion this movie is...

Okay. Fairly Okay.

That's probably the best review I can give this movie: competent. It's not a terrible mess or an overambitious attempt that spectacularly failed. It's someone who was told to make this movie under these certain guidelines and did so and... didn't really do much else. There wasn't the passion or fun in this film like you'd find in say Guardians of the Galaxy. A big problem being due to the rushed pace there isn't enough time to really know or care about the characters. Yeah they set up a line here or there about Leonardo being the leader and Raphael wanting to run off from the others and Donatello being the geek but it all feels severely underdeveloped, even for this sort of thing. Probably also hurts that when the turtles talk to one another through the first.... at least two acts of the movie it feels like dubbed ADR pick up lines without any thought or emotion into it. Or it feels like we're suppose to be focusing more on the plot then whatever they're actually saying. It just feels there like they're reminding you "see he's the nerd one" or "see he has anger issues" or "look at Michelangelo say something funny" then any actual character stuff. People may complain that's what Guardians of the Galaxy did too but no the core of that movie was the characters and their interactions and growth through their experiences. This movie should of honestly been the same but so little of it actually matters as most of it just feels so empty. I mean it kind of looks cool seeing the finishing jump on top of one another move they do to knock away the Shredder that was hinted at once when Splinter was explaining their origins but yeah... that's how empty that whole scene was: this build up of teamwork based on that one throwaway bit. Not exactly that compelling. Maybe that was because they felt kids would be bored if this movie was too long so it at least doesn't drag on and on like a Transformers film but it leaves so little of an impact it's hard to get excited for even when big action moments or bits happen because of how little you care about the characters. Honestly the only one who even felt like they had anything remsembling a full personality was Vernon and I'm pretty sure that's more because of how awesome Will Arnett is then anything written for the character.

And that's really how you could voice most of the complaints or comments here. Megan Fox wasn't terrible as April O Neil as they didn't overly sexualize or be explicit with her body. There was a joke here or there and Mikey kept wooing her but it wasn't anything that over the top. And to be fair if they were going with the old cartoon "I'll go and get the story no matter how risky it may be" April O Neil she made that work. Just at a level where it wasn't relatively embarrassing but nothing that left me terribly invested. Really seems like April is about as flat as she was in the previous live action movies (and is still doing that "I'm wearing the yellow coat to remind people of the jumpsuit even though I'm not wearing that jumpsuit all the fanboys go gaga over" thing. Seriously why bother with the color if you're not doing the actual attire that everyone remembers?) minus the charm and quips of the original cartoon or the actual growth and learning to rely on herself seen in various other incarnations. Shredder was threathening and did lay a decent beatdown but with his lines and stupid actions (why beat up Raphel and then just leave him when he was trying to capture him to put him with the others being drained of the mutagen? That didn't make any sense) he just felt so... there. They didn't do enough build up to have the encounters mean anything and this isn't like the old cartoon either where you got any good comedy from him either. I guess the Sachs guy was suppose to be more that kind of villan but also came across as bland. I think they were trying to do the whole "he may of had noble intentions but was corrupted due to his loyalty to his master" thing but it didn't come across that well and still felt flat. Plus that's something you're suppose to do with Karai who was also seriously wasted. She's suppose to be like near the level of the Shredder/ on equal footing with the others in combat and have her own character but just felt like a slightly elevated henchman leader. Seriously I doubt anyone would even know who this character is if she hadn't been in other turtles works and just based this off this one film.

Honestly the comedy is the same as well. This felt like a movie that was constantly trying to make you laugh be amusing and I guess a lot of people liked it (at least in the theater I went to as they were laughing) but for me a lot of it came across as flat. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I didn't care much about the characters but honestly the timing for a lot of jokes just didn't work. They were way too predictable to really be funny. Like when April O Neil is talking to her room mate about her meet up with the Turtles you all know the joke is going to be her saying something "yeah I think you're crazy" remark so when you see it happen it's not a surprise and is just expected. Same when the main 4 are all around Splinter at the end and he whispers something to Michelangelo and you know pretty much it's going to be a "ha ha I'm actually alive and going to be okay" line. There aren't any twists or spins on the line to make them interesting. Like how you got in Guardians of the Galaxy which made it seem like they were at least aware of their own tropes, while this just seemed to be playing all of them super straight. There were a couple of good bits like the pop culture references with keyboard cat and the crew dancing to Hollaback Girl and Mieky not getting the ending of lost and honestly the old show did that a lot so I don't know why people are annoyed whenever the turtles do it in other medium . I get if they don't think it's funny because yeah a lot of the jokes here just didn't work and didn't really wind up meaning anything in the end despite how obvious it was they wanted you to laugh at them.

I will give credit and say the action scenes are pretty good and it feels like a complete plot that granted could easily be smoothed over to make more sense but it's nothing really that annoyingly ridiculous. Okay the whole "April was the one who had the turtles as pets and let them go to the sewers when the lab blew up and she did that instead of trying to find her dad" explanation of their origins is lame and honestly you really didn't need to connect them on that level to April but eh every TMNT variation has some spin on the origin so if this one had this, fine by me. Still again a very nothing, empty movie. Honestly this is the textbook explain to me of just a generic dumb "done in 90 minutes and you're not bored and can somewhat get into it but forget about it right away" summer blockbuster film that I've ever seen. It just feels so there which honestly is pretty annoying especially from something that is part of such a popular franchise with so much going for it. I guess if you want the... most mediocre adventure and romp the turtles have been in, something that isn't really that bad but isn't really that good you can go for this but otherwise, this is something you can easily skip.
 

Angilasman

Active Member
Is Shredder in this movie a white guy? Because if he is, then there's no way I'd pay a cent to watch this movie. I'm tired of Asian characters becoming white guys in movies, e.g. Last Airbender, King of Fighters, Dragonball Evolution, 21, etc.
The white guy was meant to be the Shredder when they began making this film, but they apparently decided against it and went back and filmed two scenes with an Asian actor as "The Shredder" (he has no other name) and make the white guy (William Fichtner) his disciple. They also dubbed or refilmed some lines of dialog (and one scene of Fichtner during the climax when the TMNT are fighting Shredder) so that they're referred to as two different characters. It's really obvious, almost laughably so. I'm not lying when I say that some of dialog was just dubbed: when Splinter explains the relationship between Fichtner's character and the Shredder he's off-screen so they don't have to animate him speaking the words!

It's par for the course for a film so amateurish, choppy, and... heck... unfinished feeling that I'm surprised it was released by a major movie studio and had $150 million behind it. The ugly creature design (Splinter makes out much worse than the TMNT and Shredder) and paper-thin plot and characters are not even the worst of it. Like the first Twilight movie this is a film that at times feels more like a direct-to-video cheapy than a big budget film.

... but I kinda recommend seeing it. It's bad on a level that's strangely interesting, like a '50s B-movie.
 

Spider-Man

Well-Known Member
By no means is this a great movie, but it was better than I was expecting. However my level of expectation was somewhere around that of the Bay Transformers movies so that isn't saying much. I will say this movie gives a better version of the Turtles than the terrible Next Mutation series and some of their more ridiculous versions (like the concert Turtles) but that is still no excuse. There were a few actual funny moments here and there and some really nice looking action but the story made no sense whatsoever and was riddled with holes.

The revised origin didn't make a lot of sense either. Based on the new origin there is no reason for Splinter to adopt the ninja lifestyle and the Turtles learned their skills way too fast. The only way this movie really works is if you have a history with these characters and if you already know them because this movie does little to set up their friendships. Each Turtle acts a little too aggressive. Mike is borderline rapey toward April and Splinter comes off as very very cruel when he is first introduced. There's really no reason given for why you should care about these characters. And connecting everyone so closely together doesn't make a lot of sense. You can also tell that this movie was rewritten quite a bit and reshot since Shredder's role in the film is pretty useless. It seems like they split the role of the film's bad guy between him and Eric Sacks.

I saw a late showing of the film last night and the theatre was packed. I would not be surprised if the film tops the weekend box office and it looks like it might based on this Variety article:

Box Office: Turtles Heading for Possible $60 Million Opening Weekend | Variety

The current Nick CG series is so much better than this movie on every level. Kids will probably really like this movie but it will be tough for some adults to sit through. But still I say that and last night the majority of the crowd was really enjoying the movie. They laughed at the jokes and references and everything. This movie is definitely a bit of a misfire but it seems like it's going to do well anyway. I did get a laugh out of the reference to the 1990 live-action movie, the reference to mutating rabbits, and the "tonight I dine on turtle soup" line.

I think this will be a very divisive movie especially among the hardcore Turtle fanbase. Reading the reactions over at The Technodrome have actually been a bit more enjoyable then a good portion of the movie. It really seems like this movie was edited down to the barebones from a script that wasn't all that together in the first place which only compounded the problem. The Turtles don't look bad for the most part though they probably cool have scaled back on the "realistic" designs a bit. It's an alright movie at best but I wouldn't recommend anyone to go out and see it.
 

Sketch

not like those other old guys
Pretty good action and decent animation. That's where most of the effort went in because the script is weak and you do not get enough time with the turtles because the story focuses on April's connection to everything. The bad guys plan is standard. The nods to the 80s cartoon can be charming when the times they did not feel forced. Despite one-liners flying and an adequate soundtrack blasting the action didn't feel very exciting. It was dull and shallow but not offensive like Transformers. It will likely appeal to the masses but I don't know what Nickelodeon was thinking putting their name on this movie, it is not a good movie for children... but then again neither was Transformers.
 
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Jave

Beware of the SPLAT
Staff member
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Just saw it. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it definitely as its fair share of problems, mainly April being shoehorned in almost every scene and Eric Sacks being an awful villain. The characterization was spot-on for the most part, and it was quite a relief since that was one of my biggest fears of this movie. The humor was okay, outside of that one fart joke and the "Victoria's Secret" bit, but the jokes for the most part worked.

I'll see if I go into more detail soon, but on a general note this is definitely not a bad film. Certainly enjoyed it more than the Transformers films, and this is coming from someone who wasn't particularly offended by the first three of those (haven't seen T4).
 

zoombie

Well-Known Member
My review.

It is better than the Last Airbender, with comparing Nickelodeon movie it is better than the Last Airbender. It is bad, but it at least not boring, Last Airbender was boring.

But what the hell, first of all Michael Bay got his bad guys mixed up, instead of the Footclan we got Cobra instead. The Footclan aren't even ninja, they are just terriost that use guns and bomds and modern techlogy. Maybe Cobra Commander lend Shredder his henchmen.

The origon story, they got rid of Himato Yoshi, he doesn't even excist, so Shredder obcession with Splenter and the Turtles is because ah....., take over the world. Instead Yoshi replaced with April's dad. Uggh.

And instead of Casey, we get Verne, who is kind of a April's love interest maybe, did they ever know about his character, Verne plays for the other team if you know what I mean. If I am Whoopi Goldberg character, I wouldn't just fire April, I would have had her commited.

As a Karai fan, I was happy they didn't really screw up her character too much, I wish did more, get more of a character with her, instead they give her backstory to that Eric guy. I thought perhaps in that chase battle in the snow, you could have had the Turtles save her life. Perhaps that did happen, but it wasn't clear, because explossion and effects take top priority over character momments and story telling.We don't know even if she if she has any ninja skills or jsut like the rest of the Foot, just people with guns that has minimal martial arts ability Perhaps when Eric said to April a girl with dead daddy issues I understand perhaps referring to Karai, I doubt it though. But perhaps her not doing much is good thing, less chances to screw up her character.

What happened to Eric, did he get away? I thought Eric would be defeat either killed or arrested.

It was an okay movie, not as bad as I thought it would be, better than The Last Airbender, that is something they can be proud of I guess.

So better than The Last Airbender at least.
 

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