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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
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155 out of 160 people found the following review useful:

A cult classic.

10/10
Author: mehpie from Australia
30 January 2005

Whether film buffs would ever admit it or not, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is a classic film, arguably way before its time. Although for the die-hard fans of the comic book this movie did lack the apparent actual violence it did instead have great dramatic scenes blended in with witty comedic lines.

With a dark tone and gritty cinematography filmed with fantastic sets and locations around New York this 90s movie is far from something to be pigeonholed 'just for kids' or a 'family movie'.

The aforementioned 'surfer dialogue' criticised in other reviews can be put down to personal taste, as the majority of fans do find this lingo both entertaining and quote-worthy. Who could forget Splinter exclaiming "I... have always liked... COWABUNGA!!" Casey Jones is one of the greatest characters in film for a long time and the performances given throughout, even though can be labelled slightly b-grade, are lovable all the same from Chief Sterns to Charles and Master Tatsu. The angst of Raphael to the cheekiness of Michelangelo there is nothing not to like about the characters in this movie.

The musical score is great and ranges from intense to comical - very fitting for a movie that is exactly that in its mood, without becoming corny unlike its follow-up films. MC Hammer creates the best songs of his career. Shameless fun.

All of the scenes are special in different ways to different fans of this cult classic; from Casey Jones vs Raphael in the park to the Antique Store battle.

Extremely under-rated. One of the best comic-book adaptations ever made and one of the defining films in a LOT of people's childhoods. A fantastic film for anyone with direction and storyline that remains highly enjoyable through the test of time.

Brilliant.

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116 out of 132 people found the following review useful:

One of the most Underrated movies ever!

10/10
Author: The Yeti from Mt Everest
30 June 2004

I speak out on behalf of all fans of the TMNT!

This is not a bad movie!

You might say it has no storyline but I say it's kept simplistic for all the comic book fans. You don't want to confuse people with a massive complex tale. No one argues with 'Enter the Dragon' having a bad storyline!

The characters in this movie are wonderfully set up. Right from the start we see that Raphael has issues. This anger forces him to distance himself and in the process we feel his fury. We immerse ourselves in the character and see how deep he can go. From woefully staring into New York from a rooftop or letting out a frenzy upon the gang that has literally knocked April to the ground we are getting to know the character inside and out. This is the hero of the movie. As for the comedic cheek of Casey Jones or the light-hearted double wisecracks of Michaelangelo and Donatello, I'd love to see the reason behind this movie having "no character study" as some people might say.

The action scenes are set up within the constraints of a normal fun movie with great camera angles just dying to be put on an advert or poster.

The turtle effects by the Jim Henson creature shop don't disappoint even though Splinter looks like he walked straight off the set of 'Labyrinth'. The turtles are so good you shouldn't care anyway. The animatronics are fab and the voice characterisation is well chosen.

As for the main blessing, Steve Barron has chosen a dark tone for his movie. The original comic book would have been made proud by this attempt at making the movie more adult than people could believe. The crime-filled backdrops of New York make a great battleground, and the whole mythological element that all crime is ruled by a master ninja adds to the drama. The soundtrack couldn't be better for the beginning.

This is a fantastic movie and horribly underrated. With so many great elements this goes down as one of the all time great fantasy adventures. 10 out of 10 and a cowabunga to boot!

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98 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

This movie will always be a part of me...

10/10
Author: Carleton Hendrix (junkdrawerfull@hotmail.com) from Mesa AZ
16 May 2002

I was just a little kid when I first started collecting turtle stuff, Comics, figures, and trade cards, as well as many other things.. I remember one day I came home to find that my mother had thrown out every action figure and card I had, as well as most of my comics.. She replaced them with a phone and a fish tank.. She said I was getting too old for kid toys, and that I would grow out of them any way.. I was about 9... So when the movie was released I was the first one there on the first day it was released to theaters.. I collected some of the figures later on, but I never had a collection that was even close to my first.. I have almost every cartoon movie made on tape, several copies of all three live action movies, and this one on DVD... I never grew out of the turtles, and I know I never will.. I know all three movies word for word... When every one grows up, a part of them, a big part dies, and we forget what we loved so much as children.. Our Imagination dies, and an adult is born.. I simply refuse to let my heros go.. While the years pass and the turtles are forgotten, they will forever be a reminder to me of the times I could spend hours on end with nothing but myself and my action figures that came to life right in front of me with nothing more than my imagination....

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74 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

I remember them! Long live the "TMNT"!

10/10
Author: dee.reid from United States
6 June 2004

I recently bought an old VHS copy of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie" and I must say that this movie is still great even after 14 years. Now first let me that this is the only faithful film in the "TMNT" trilogy of movies released during the early '90s.

This film, released at the height of "Turtlemania" in the summer of 1990, raked in $133 million at the box office, quickly making it the highest grossing independent film of all time. That's good considering it also faced heavy competition from another comic book adaptation that year, "Dick Tracy," which was directed by Warren Beatty and was quite groundbreaking, on its own terms of course.

Though the film is more in touch with the toned-down animated series of the same title, its roots are squarely in the original comics created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. This film is violent (it DID push the limits of its "PG" rating in some spots, especially with some intense moments, many of which dealt with teenage crime and alienation, and some particularly brutal fight sequences) and is quite dark and actually kind of scary. This is by far the most mature, moving, and tense film in the series and we should thank director Steve Barron for making sure his vision of the Turtles did not stray off course (unlike the sequels).

I was a huge Turtle freak growing up, and I still have many of my original action figures and other memorabilia. I only recently purchased Eastman and Laird's line of graphic novels from First and I must say that they're quite excellent and they take me back to the Turtles' roots. It is quite obvious that this line of graphic novels served as the main source of inspiration for the film. One particularly big difference between the comics and the film is that the literary source material is quite violent (and not to mention very bloody in some spots).

Many people may look at this film today (in 2004) and they might say this film has not aged well. All I can say is that they did not have CGI taking control of every single action sequence to make up for lack of real stunt work. The performers inside the Turtle costumes acted quite excellently considering what they went through to become our four, high-kicking reptilian heroes.

I remember reading a little while back that Hong Kong director John Woo had expressed interest in remaking the Turtles movie. I hope not for two reasons: 1) If the Turtles were to be remade, it would most likely be based off of the current running "TMNT" cartoon series, which is crap and 2) The original 1990 film is fine the way it is and does not need to be touched by the greasy hands of today's Hollywood.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie" is the best adaptation of the comics so far, and I loved it. It is one of the best comic-to-film adaptations of all time and should be preserved. "TMNT" forever!

10/10

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58 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

A Great Film

10/10
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
20 January 2000

Ninja Turtles. Anyone born in the 1980's remembers the phenomenon that swept the country during the late 80's and early 90's. And this movie proves what was once a big icon fad that was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This movie is well made for a kids movie, and it is my favorite of the series of films. I even like this more than the TV show. It has more drama and action than the other parts. And it's dark, I like that in a kids movie.

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49 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

The best movie ever made on the subject of radio active turtles

Author: Lauren from New Jersey
4 May 2001

I dare anyone to hate this movie. Come on. I triple dog dare you. Sit in front of the TV with a bunch of your friends and just try not to like it. You can't. It's impossible. I was a full fledged turtle fan back in the day (I don't think the fad lasted long enough for us to earn Trekker-type names) and of course at that point, I thought it was the Gone With the Wind of our time. That, obviously, it's not. But there is something just incredibly charming about a bunch of giant turtles acting like typical sit-com kids. One even gets yelled out for sneaking out past curfew to see Critters 2. If it comes on TV, even my dad has to pause to watch at least one fight scene. If someone in a college dorm pops it in, legions of kids will exclaim "Holy sh*t! Is that Ninja Turtles?" and then plop right down in front of the TV to watch. You have to give a lot of credit to the guys who made this film. It was released in the height of the craze so they could have thrown anything on the screen and it would have been a hit. (See Ninja Turtles 2). But instead, they tried to make it the best film they could, despite the subject matter. They came up with an almost relevant, after school special type plot. The jokes and references range from Moonlighting to John Steinbeck, and the fight scenes are done in the spirit of a Jackie Chan flick. Add the fact that there are giant turtles doing the fighting, and you get a funny, imaginative, and just plain likeable movie no matter what your age. Sure, it's about pizza loving ninja turtles. But it is the best movie that could ever be made about pizza loving ninja turtles. That has to count for something.

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46 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

This makes it clear...darker is better

Author: OptikMatrix from The Sewer
15 June 2002

On your first read of the title, you may think "Ah...the Ninja Turtles...kid's stuff". That conclusion is partially understandable, considering the fact that most people's minds drift towards the Saturday morning cartoon show, which was made for little kids. But if you are one of the handful of people who remembers the original TMNT comic book and how dark it was, you will probably think more of the name. This live-action version of the Teenaged Turtles reaches back into its comic book origins and sacrifices the kiddie stuff in favor of a darker, more brooding film. This is the key to this movie's greatness. It shows the Turtles how they were meant to be shown. The movie is still fun, though, supplying the viewer with all the early 90's teenager slang and ass-kicking that you can squeeze onto celuloid. The only problem is that the whole Ninja Turtles franchise has come with a love it or hate it tag attached to it, often times giving it a bad rap that it really doesn't deserve. The film is no Blade Runner or Spiderman by any means, but it's still a great little piece of cinema that you can just sit down with a bowl of popcorn (or maybe a pizza) and enjoy without much thought. Sadly, this is as good as the series gets (not that this movie could get much better). The sequels (TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze and TMNT 3) aren't really that great. TMNT 2 lacks the gritty edge that makes this movie good (having Vanilla Ice on the soundtrack doesn't help much either) and TMNT 3 is obviously aimed directly for the little ones. This is the great little movie. COWABUNGA!!!

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52 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

This movie rocks! One of my favorite childhood memories!

8/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
12 December 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ah good times good times, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one of my favorite cartoons as a kid and I absolutely loved the comics as well. This was such a great concept, I mean look at the title, who knew, right? Turtles that fight crime, talk like surfers, and eat pizza, but we bought it and rooted them on! So obviously the creators wanted to cash in on this great story and we got the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Guess what? It was awesome! This is one of my favorite movies from the 90's, I'm in my 20's now for goodness' sake and I still watch this. I can't help it, it's just such a fun movie and the great thing about this movie that despite it was made more for kids, it had a dark edge to it that it was also made for the adults as well.

April O'Neil, an investigative reporter at Channel 3 Eyewitness News, is researching a story on a recent, immense crime wave in New York City. She is later rescued by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from a group of street thieves. As the Turtles are celebrating their victory, an ex-hockey player called Casey Jones, having become a vigilante to combat the crime wave, is shown beating two thieves with his sports equipment and arguing with Raphael over the proper way to punish criminals. The crime wave is traced by April to the Foot Clan; the Foot Ninjas attack her and knock her unconscious, Raphael rescues he. As the Turtles escort April back to her apartment, where they remain for some hours, the Foot raid the Turtles' lair and kidnap Splinter. They carry him back to their headquarters, where their master Shredder is forming an army of corrupted, ninja-trained teenagers to build himself an empire of crime. One of those teenagers is Danny, the son of April's boss; having seen the Turtles at her apartment, he tells Shredder where to find them. The Foot therefore launch a surprise attack on April's apartment. Outnumbered and surprised, the turtles are finally defeated, they may have lost the battle, but it's time for war to get their Splinter back.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of those movies that just rocks because it has awesome action sequences, fun actors, and just a great story. I miss writing like this because it seems like more movies that are made with superhero's for the kids now-a-days are more cheesy. This was not made to insult anyone's intelligence, I mean, like I said before these are pizza eating vigilante fighting talking turtles yet we believed it. Not to mention that there is a talking rat, I know it's kind of a weird little puppet they created, but still he's like the Chinese Yoda that always makes a classic "funny" at just the right time. His last scene with Splinter was short, sweet, and effective. This is a movie I will show to my kids when I have a family one day and will still watch with a smile on my face.

8/10

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32 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

A Movie that Changed my Life

8/10
Author: blacknight595 from United States
29 January 2006

As a new generation turns 18-20 this movie was vital for many growing up. It WAS their Saturday morning routine. A necessary part of growing up, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instilled values for a generation. Both the movie and the TV show were key in this upcoming generation's development and coming of age. I recently watched this movie again for the first time in a decade, and yes it was cheesy and tacky. However, that doesn't make it bad in anyway. There are some complex issues going on beneath the surface here. First, this movie was released close to the peak of crime wave that occurred across the country in the early 1990's. A city lost in crime is saved by a few of the next generation's heroes, who are nothing more than teenagers on a quest for pizza. Second, there is a definite connection between Splinter and Jesus when he is nailed up to a wall and talking to his "sons". Many reading my comments may laugh because, lets face it, the idea of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is hilarious, but the movie spoke to a specific generation at a specific time and as a period piece it can still be appreciated. This was more than just a movie; it defined a generation. Even if the movie makes no sense go with it and watch it for the ridiculous 1990's dialogue...Its funny, enjoy!

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30 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Much better than you might think

8/10
Author: Stephan Fukasawa (aka_golgo13@hotmail.com) from California
10 August 1999

Now that the TMNT craze has been over for a few years due to the dumbing down of the original, show, the stupid live action show and lackluster followups to the original movie, I feel I can safely comment on this movie and not be accused of jumping on the bandwagon. The movie is a bit surprising, it is quite dark, there is swearing (a big no no in translating a popular kids TV show to the big screen), and some bloody fights, well bloody for the expected age audience. The tone really fits the original Eastman and Laird comic series which was excellent. And thats great, the last thing we need is a cheap cash-in on a popular comic. After TMNT and Batman what was the last good comic movie? Maybe the Mask, the Crow, or Blade. So a good comic movie is very rare thing and I think TMNT deserves a second look just because its tone was so different from what it could have been and eventually did become in TMNT 2 and 3. I'll be generous because I look with nostalgic eyes, I was 7 when I first saw the movie in 1990, and give it an 8/10.

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