Anyone see Ninja Turtles?

So, did any of you, our loyal readers, see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this weekend?  Did any of you contribute to the $65 million dollars that the movie made this weekend?  Did any of you that saw it actually enjoy it?

Looking at my friends list on Facebook over the weekend, I was surprised by how many of my friends not only saw the movie, but actually enjoyed it.  Words like “amazing” and “fun” were used.  In fact, I didn’t see anyone on my friends list that saw the movie and didn’t like it. 

I was perplexed.  I wanted to comment, “wow, they should have put scenes from the actual movie into the preview,” but I didn’t.  I wasn’t feeling that cynical.  I checked out Rotten Tomatoes, thinking that maybe the movie ended up not being the train wreck that it looked like.  Well, it currently has a 20% rating, so that doesn’t seem to be the case.  But I still found myself momentarily wavering on my decision to not see the movie in theaters.  But then I saw more commercials for it, and that moment faded. 

The movie looks terrible.  I absolutely do not like the design of the turtles.  In every other version of the characters, they are pretty much humanoid, ranging in small to average height.  Here, they are giant, hulking monsters.  The images of Shredder look ridiculous.  It’s like they looked at images of Super Shredder from Turtles 2, and asked how they could make it more ridiculous looking.  Apparently, the answer to that question was by adding Wolverine claws. 

It really pains me (figuratively) to be writing this.  I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I grew up with the original cartoon.  I remember 9 or 10 year old me losing my mind when I saw the movie poster for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2:  The Secret of the Ooze.  My brother and I had nearly all of the figures.  One of my mom’s favorite stories involving my grandmother involves the Ninja Turtles.  She was going to Toys R Us to get me a birthday gift, and was asking the clerk for “a turtle but it’s a rat.”  Back then, I had also found collections of the original comics.  My brother and I read those so much, the covers came off. 

I say all this because I love the Ninja Turtles.  I even like the Nickelodeon cartoon that is currently airing.  I wanted this movie to be good.  I wanted it to be something I’d be excited about seeing as soon as I could.  It’s crazy to think that as a long-time fan, I would automatically write off this movie.  Hell, I don’t even care that Michael Bay is involved as the producer.  To me, that doesn’t mean much.  I don’t hate the man’s work like many do. 

And generally speaking, I’d like to think that I’m not one to rush to judgement.  I try to judge things on their merits, and not per-conceived notions.  So, through all of the “they’re not really turtles” rumors, and other pre-release doom articles, I held on to hope.  Then the first trailer debuted, and I could not hold onto hope any longer.  That first trailer is what you use to try get people hyped about your movie.  It’s the footage that the studio chooses to be their first impression.  And my first impression was that this looks awful.

I don’t mind variations on designs, but they have to be variations.  You can’t just throw a shell on a large, green beast (alien?) and call it a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  It’s as if you were going to make an entirely new Batman movie, and the starting look of the character was the armor that Azreal made over time. 

It’s like the only thing you really wanted by using a licensed property was the name recognition.  You named the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because you knew people would show up for it, and you’re not confident that people would show up to a movie named Ninja Space Aliens.  Maybe that’s what bugs me most.  That it’s a blatant money grab.  Yes, I know that it’s all a business designed to make money.  But dammit, create your own properties.

Sigh, I think I’m done for now.  Eventually, I will see the movie, and write a real review for it.  Probably when it’s available on DVD through Netflix.  Although, I had joked about paying to see something else, but seeing Ninja Turtles.  If I’m wrong about the movie, I will gladly tell you right here.  To be wrong would be a wonderful surprise.  Until then, I’ll watch the 4 other Ninja Turtles movies that I have.  Yes, even Turtles 3.


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