Archive | August, 2014

Spoiler free review of TMNT

8 Aug

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I’m a long time hardcore TMNT fan, I’ve been waiting for years to see another movie.  I tried not to get caught up in the hype but I have more TMNT attire than I do dress shirts.  Action figures (dont call them toys) sit on my computer desk.  So writing this review was particularly hard for me as there is no other franchise I hold as near and dear to my heart like I do the Turtles.  Hell I love the turtles so much I grew a shell of my own except its on my front.

 I don’t know what I went in expecting from this film but I sure as hell did not get it.  I’d like to write a thoughtful detailed review but that would mean I put in more work than the writers did on this script.  While they did draw bits and pieces from comic books while adding its own feel.  I appreciate some of the references to appease old school fans like me but the movie just felt short and made no sense.

Do I look happy?

Do I look happy?

The plot had more holes than the cheese on the pizza hut product placement TMNT was pushing.  Seriously I dont mind products being peddled during a movie if its not so obvious but they didn’t even try.  Its like Pizza hut sponsored a Nickelodeon made for tv movie, than I would be raving about this film.

Besides the sewers and a subway scene, New York does not seem like New York.  Maybe that wont bother others as much but I’m born and raised here and it ticks me off when you get NYC wrong!

While I love the idea of CGI reboot of the franchise I had a hardtime adjusting to how big and strong these turtles are.  Seriously they are really strong and way too big for ninjas sneaking around the island of Manhattan.  Ok here I go getting fan boy ranting,  Woosa

Megan Fox is well Megan Fox cosplaying April O’neil, she looks the part but did I mention she’s Megan Fox?  I dont think Michael Bay is over her talking shit about him and he basically snuck one over and punished her with this movie.  Or maybe he’s just trolling us like usual.  Even though Bay’s hand is not felt too heavy on this film, us fanboys know he’s attached.  Anyone my age has felt the wrath of Bay as the destroyer of everything we love from the 80’s.  If I hear Michael Bay has anything to do with a Thundercats movie I might be writing reviews from jail.

Here I go fanboying out again. Sorry about that but seriously Fuck you Michael Bay!

Ok back to the movie.   The footclan is nothing like the footclan of old.  They were just throw ins to get tossed around by the Turtles.  Now Shredder on the other hand kicks major ass/shell but everytime I look at him I think of the Silver Samurai in the Wolverine flick.  I would like to have seen him fight before becoming all Supercharged.  Master Splinter was a Ratlike Yoda when it came to fighting.  I loved watching him throw down but his persona falls flat.

Now for the Turtles.   I wish more time was spent on them and setting up their personality.  If I was not a longtime fan I’d have no connection to them at all.  The opening monologue by Master Splinter themed to comic book scenes falls short and pretty much sets tempo for the movie.  It all seemed rushed and just thrown together.
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At first glance I did not like how accessorized they were but it grew on me.  Each turtle is distinct in size as well as voice the CGI was pretty good at giving us a way to tell them apart.  However in some scenes effects looked poorly done especially the big chase.  All the voices work fine accept Donatello can get pretty nasally and sound almost like a female at times.

Donnies the Smart guy doing what he does with computers and gadgets.  He even snorts while he laughs so that we get he’s a nerd.  Leo is the leader of the pack but he does not give off much personality but than again no one does.  Raph is the hardheaded brute whos always bumping heads with Leonardo.  Raphael is my favorite and I felt like he was given the most screentime which was cool.   Mikeys his loveable funny silly self but alot of the one liners fell short for me just like everything else about this movie.

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Besides the fight scenes I did not come away with much more entertainment here.  The best and only memorable moment is seen in the previews when the Turtles are beatboxing in the elevator.  Other than that the turtles lack a charm and silliness that I grew up watching and loving as a kid.  Although I believe new generations of turtle fans will enjoy this version, its painfully obvious these are not my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

TMNT had the potential to be awesome but its the dud of a summer filled with great movies.

Cowabummer

I give the TMNT a 5.0 out of 10

Spoiler free review: Guardians of the Galaxy

1 Aug

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Marvel has taken one of its lesser known series, and launched what’s sure to be a hit Franchise.   Guardians of the Galaxy is the comic book movie I’ve been waiting for.  Gone are the powerful yet anguished superheros, replaced by the most unlikely band of lovable misfits.

This wasn’t just a movie, it was an experience.  The F-word can best describe that experience, FUN!   Guardians hits you with one blast of fun after another.  You’ll be sure to talk about this one with all your friends and share many of the lines.

James Gunn directed and co-wrote along with Nicole Pearlman  a gem of a film.   To make a funny, action packed movie with memorable characters is no easy feat.  This is sure to be a cult classic on steroids.  _GOTG_ had the entire theater literally laughing out loud.  I don’t remember enjoying a movie as much as this one in my adult life.

From the moment Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) dances his way into our hearts.  I knew I was watching something special.    A classic that only comes around once every decade or so.  Disclaimer my generation (80s babies) may be a little more inclined to love this movie.  Thanks to the soundtrack, 80’s props and references we get treated to.

Pratt is such a different but like-able hero, he’s quirky but has a swagger to him.  He showed he has what it takes to be a leading ma.   Pratt nails everything they throw at him in this role.  Problem is the rest of the Guardians were just as good if not better.  This was truly a team effort, the Avengers should be jealous of what Gunn captured here.  The way they dropped hysterical one liners made me forget I was watching a movie and not just hanging with friends.

Zoe Saldana is the go to sci-fi actress and I understand why.  Shes sexy, charming witty and bad ass as the green skinned Gamora.   Drax the destroyer did a great job for being a wrestler turned actor making his debut.   Bautista does a good job delivering some of the funniest lines in the movie.  Believe me when I say nothing goes over his head because his reflexes are too good.

They jam packed well known actors from Josh Brolin,  Glen close,  Benicio Del Toro, Michael Rooker and it goes on. A very impressive supporting cast.   Lee Pace plays the main bad guy Ronan the accuser.   He does a decent job but again unlike many other comic book movies the villain plays second fiddle to its stars.

The cast chemistry is damn near perfect.  I find this impressive because the two scene stealers are CGI character’s.   We have Groot the simple minded but sweet humanoid tree.  Voiced by Vin Diesel who may have put on the best acting performance of all-time of a tree.   I loved the running gag of him repeating the same three lines, it surprisingly never got old.

Get ready to see Rocket Raccoon every where after this movie.   I know Disney will surely cash in on his merchandise.   Bradley Cooper surprised me at how good he was pulling off this character.   His voice acting was spot on for what I imagined Rocket could sound like.  I admit I was worried when he was first cast but man did Cooper dazzle without his good looks.  Rocket is such a great character and they truly brought him to life.

Groot, Rocket and all of the cgi are beautiful.   I saw the movie Imax 3d and it was worth it.  Marvel made sure to include some sweet 3d effects.   Plenty of action to go around from hand to hand, guns blazing and amazing space ship warfare.  Gunn does a great job of creating a beautiful galaxy.   Both Star Wars and Star trek would be proud.

The effects were awesome but GOTG succeeds where many other comic book movie’s fail.  By putting the focus on its characters.  They’re funny, charming, flawed and often fight each other but in the end they become family.   You wind up cheering out loud  because you cant help but like them.

This movie had me smiling from beginning to end.   As the crowd left after the post credits bonus scene, I looked around and saw nothing but smiles.  We didn’t just watch a movie we witnessed the birth of a classic.  Guardians of the Galaxy is something different,  special kind of different with some special ed thrown in.

Like Rocket Raccoon says “Ain’t no thing like me, cept me.” The same holds true for this movie.

I give Guardians of the Galaxy a 9.7 out of 10