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|Index||83 reviews in total|
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A
Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs
A magic sceptor transports an ancient warrior from 1603 Japan to present day New York.The heroic foursome in turn learn they must travel back to the warrior's timeframe to battle Lord Norinaga (Sho Shinoba) and his right-hand man Walker (Stuart Wilson) who are enslaving the people.
The only film in the series to be completely absent of Shredder,the desperation begins to seep through at a very early stage.An obviously different,helium voiced actor plays Splinter,whilst we see Raphael adopt a less aggressive nature as events in the film progress.For this,and a fairly engaging script,the film is not a total failure.However,the lack of an engaging story proves to be quite a hindrance.The Turtles were certainly massive in the late 80s and early 90s and in retrospect,you could say good on them for wrangling all they could out of feature film adaptations for the franchise.Lets just say,they were certainly wise to leave it at this.**
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay, I was a fan of the first movie. And, embarrassingly enough, I was
sort of a fan of the second one. But this one...
Okay, first off, there's NO fluid movement to the Turtles AT ALL. They look about as mechanically-enhanced as those crappy singing robots they used to have at your local Chuck E. Cheese. In several shots, you can actually SEE where the turtle mask ends and the body suit begins, thereby magically creating the illusion that this is a guy in a turtle costume. The Splinter costume/puppet/whatever is SO. BAD. In the first movie, he was nuanced and realistic, but I guess that's why the folks at Jim Henson's Creature Shop make so much. Apparently, New Line couldn't afford them anymore.
The plot is... SO ridiculous. The "writers" send the Turtles BACK IN TIME to ancient Japan(?), a place where they don't have any villains from the comics or the cartoon. Some Japanese guys switch places with them in the present to be baby-sat by Casey Jones, and fish-out-of-water hilarity ensues (HA HA HA kill me). I actually have a theory about this: I think someone dug through a bunch of crappy action movie scripts, found one that would work with the Turtles and wrote the Turtles into it. It's the only thing that makes sense to me.
And P.S. -- the "jokes" are... not.
Anyway, avoid this abomination at all costs. If it means anything to ya, it ranks near the very bottom of my Worst Movies Ever list (somewhere below The Cat In The Hat but just above Freddy Got Fingered).
Like a lot of prepubescent children in 1989 or 1990, my imagination was
captured by this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fad. I remember
sitting down and watching an interview with the creators, a pair of
comic book authors who chose to go the independent route and gamble on
their own ability to succeed. They were lucky enough to win against the
odds, at least for a time, but in this interview, they also mentioned
something about believing the phenomenon would go on forever. Well, the
Turtles are still selling on comic book stands, and you can still see
some of their adventures on DVD, but as to whether it survived the
1990s is a matter of opinion.
The first feature film, complete with man-sized turtles played by actors in suits, was a low-budget triumph. Indeed, the dominance of Golden Harvest studios in Hong Kong martial arts cinema can easily be traced back to their winning of the rights to do the original film. With a little help from the Jim Henson workshop and some well-cast B-actors in key support roles, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was a major success that utterly dumbfounded the studio system. What is even more surprising is how the film did not go in the easy "we're primarily marketing to children, so we can be patronising" route that most children's entertainment follows.
That last point is where the first sequel, and this one in particular, went wrong. By the time 1993 rolled around, the Turtles fad had more or less utterly died, replaced by a far longer-lasting fascination with The Simpsons. As a direct result, the budget allocated by Golden Harvest to the third Turtles film was a mere fraction of that allotted to the first film. This is most obvious in the turtles themselves. Sure, they are still portrayed by men in suits, and those suits are still maintained by the Henson workshop, but the overall tone of the turtles' skin and the motion of their mouths indicates that Golden Harvest told the Henson workshop that they just wanted something passable. Given that the first film was dedicated to Jim because it was one of the last things he worked on before he died, this is quite the sad come-down.
Another major problem is in the tone of the story. While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will never be confused with the likes of RoboCop, the first film went back to the roots of the original comic book and depicted a world that was, for all intents, rather dark. There was a bare hint that being a 5'6" turtle with consciousness was not all it was cracked up to be, unlike the utopia implied by the afternoon cartoon series. There was acrimony, grief, rage, and a million other things that children's entertainment seems to believe we cannot really handle now or ever. That was what turned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into Golden Harvest's big breakaway hit.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, also known as Turtles In Time, picks up with the turtles milling around their sewer hideout with Splinter (who now looks like a shag carpet with eyes). When April shows up with a bunch of items she found at a garage sale, she happens upon an ancient artifact that transports her back in time to feudal Japan. The turtles, in their usual confused weird-species adolescent fervour, take it upon themselves to go back and rescue her, because we all know how an adolescent turtle would go all bug-eyed at the thought of rescuing a woman who looks anything like Paige Turco.
Elias Koteas, the real star of the original film, gets to jump back in here, but the character he is best known for spends most of his time eating pizza, watching over a bunch of Japanese soldiers who changed places in time with the turtles (don't ask), and sharing conversation with the shag carpet that Splinter turned into. For the rest of the time, he plays one of the English scoundrels who are trading with the Japanese monarchs. Yeah, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Nor does it particularly excite the viewer. In fact, much like the previous film, the fight sequences are so toned-down and PG-fied that the adults in the audience will fall asleep. Or worse yet, just use this film as a kind of artificial babysitter, which I somehow doubt was what Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird had in mind for their original creations. I don't doubt that they were trying to reach the widest possible audience, but as this film proves, the more you try to please everyone, the more you wind up pleasing no one.
I gave Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III a one out of ten. There are moments when it gets bad enough to be funny. The problem is that there are just not enough such moments to justify this film for all but the most hardcore fans of the turtles. And since the most serious fans would all be at least twenty years old by now, well, let us just say this film has its work cut out for it pleasing even that audience.
I'm only a fan of this movie for the nostalgia. As a kid, I was
obsessed with 1993 ninja turtle Saturday morning cartoon. I distinctly
remember getting this movie as a reward for getting good grades in
every subject on my report card that term. I must've watched this movie
at least a dozen times that summer.
sorry for the tangent. corey feldman does the voice of a lifesize puppet. how can that possibly be a good sign? the heroes of the movie are irritating in every scene. the consistently bad puns will make you want to slam your head against a wall. the portrayal of the fictional early 90's new york that exists in this movie is about as funny as rick moranis's career. avoid avoid avoid.
Originally when I saw this movie, it had only just come out in theaters and I was just a kid. At the time, I thought the movie was a steaming pile of crap, no where near in comparison tot he first two. Hell, I overlooked the inclusion of Vanilla Ice for YEARS, insisting that even if he was in the second movie, it was still better than the third. However, now that I am older and a touch wiser, I've gone back and watched all three movies (I've been on a serious TMNT-a-Thon ever since I heard a new movie was in the making). While I admit the third is indeed the worst of the three, it is far from the travesty I originally thought (and thought for years). Aside from the silly story and the poor quality turtle costumes, the dialog is given several moments to shine with some surprisingly funny jokes and one-liners and minor giggles. I'm not saying every TMNT fan should go out and buy this. I don't even own it myself. However, I think you should get a few friends together, grab some snacks, some source of caffeine, order a pizza, and rent TMNT III for a night of absurdity and laughs. That's what my friends and I did <3
The story of the turtles gets even more far-fetched in this inferior
installment, with the turtles going back in time to 1603 Japan. The Jim
Henson's Creature Shop obviously didn't provide for the turtles, which
is a major blow to the overall production. There are a couple of pros
that save the film from being a total disaster, including: the return
of Casey Jones (Koteas), who's reprisal may make some fans feel that
the second installment had a void with his omission; some fun parallels
between 1603 Japan and the turtles' life in 1993 New York; wonderful
set production for the Japan scenes; and well-developed new characters.
While the omission of any references to the Foot Clan may heavily
separate this film from the others in the series, it executes an
entertaining and solid story. It's also nice to see the turtles and
Splinter are still living in the abandoned underground train station
from the second film, as well as Turco NOT suffering a recast of April
O'Neal like Hoag did; which shows some attempt at continuity despite
its major differences from the first two. However, the flaws are too
great for its pros to overcome mediocre status. Right from the get-go
the movie seems like a lost cause, with the opening credits being
accompanied by a ridiculously, terribly unnecessary, spontaneous
turtle-dance. Also, couldn't they have found a way to throw Chief Stern
(Serra) in for some extra comedic-relief and continuity?
** (out of four)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
(Possible Spoilers) The Ninja Turtles (one of my favourite series' as a child) return in their third, and worst, movie. Not alot happens in this one (the Turtles go back in time to 17th century Japan, have lots of fights) though some of the fight scenes are pretty good. Overall, children will love it but they still won't like it as much as the others.
Oh dear, if you're diabetic then I would seriously advise against
watching this film. It' so sugary it'll rot the brain right out of your
Why on earth Eastman and Laird allowed this to be made is beyond me. It's soooooooo far removed from their black and white comic book. Okay, I know the cartoon series was too but the first movie did have a hard edge to it. I mean, take a look at the cover-the Turtles are smiling and happy. Then look a cover of one of the original comic books. They're almost always gritting their teeth and frowning. THAT'S how it should be. Not like this.
Even the animatronics look fake. The first 2 had a rather believable Splinter but now he's juddering and stiff and obviously operated by a couple of technicians loitering a few feet off camera. His voice is also totally different and he seems a touch more upbeat and lively. HARDLY the way Splinter is supposed to be.
The plot itself defies logic and there are massive holes all over the place. With such a dramatic change in locale from New York to Fuedal Japan you'd think the movie would take advantage of that and go nuts with imagination.
But sadly not. It just...goes nowhere. I mean, what is the deal with the character of Whit. Why does he look like the great, great, great grandfather of Casey Jones.
In fact, the return of Casey is the only reason I am not giving this a 1-star rating. It's a pretty wretched movie but Elias Koteas can make it a tiny bit less unbearable.
Hopefully the new cartoon show and the possibility of another (harder) movie will cancel this one out. It's nothing but dated, mindless fodder for under-fives. At the risk of repeating myself; this is NOT how the Turtles should be.
Extras are almost non-existent but the animated menus are cool. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture is in pretty good shape but the Dolby 5.1 track isn't up to much I'm afraid. The film was originally recorded in Dolby SR so this is obviously a remastering job. It's just adequate is all I'm saying.
The turtles are at it again with their 3rd Turtle movie, Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles 3 but unfortunately, it isn't as good as the first two, the
first one was a classic and the 2nd one was very good but the 3rd one is
fairly dissapointing, the worst thing about this movie is Splinter's voice
was awful and going back to time was a cheesy idea, but fortunately Elias
Koteas returns as the immortal Casey Jones although he only gets to appear
in about 10 minutes of the whole movie and Corey Feldman returns as the
voice of Donatello (he couldn't make it to the 2nd one due to heroin
This movie gets 2 out of 5 stars instead of 1 since this movie does have Casey Jones and it's not a total waste of time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
By 1993, the Ninja Turtles franchise continued to be enormously
popular. However, its grasp on the kiddy zeitgeist was starting to
slip. Critically acclaimed adaptations of superheroes, like "Batman:
The Animated Series," had inched in on the Turtles' territory. The
Turtles were no longer as hip among the playground crowd. These things
I can attest to, as I was there. A few months after "Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles III" was released, the Power Rangers would premiere,
stealing the TMNT's thunder, quickly eclipsing the older series in
popularity. But before that happened, the Green Machine went back in
The film begins with the Heroes Four at ease, practicing via synchronized dance moves. April climbs down the ladder, barring gifts from Japan. Among those gifts is a golden scepter. When holding it, April is thrown back in time to 1700's Japan. A prince is teleported to the modern day in her place. Determined to rescue their friend, the Turtles quickly decipher the mechanics of the device, heading into the past after her. Once in Edo era Nippon, the turtles are embroiled in a plot involving an English trader selling guns to the samurai lord, eager to use the weapons in war, something his son is strictly against.
"Ninja Turtles III" is not well regarded. Most consider the film the long-running series' nadir. As a kid, I remember being disappointed because the villain wasn't Krang. Now that Shredder's dead, that's the second most important villain, right? Or how about Baxter Stockman or Slash? I wasn't alone in that disappointment. The film, instead, breaks wildly from Turtles canon, featuring an original story populated with new characters. It takes the characters out their urban setting, putting them in a different time. It's a Ninja Turtles movie where ninjitsu plays a small role. The Teens spent most of the film dressed as Samurai. Yet it's not fair to judge III for what it isn't.
So why do people hate this movie so much? The number one reason is doubtlessly the steep drop in quality concerning the special effects. The Jim Henson Creature Shop, who provided the fantastic suits for the last two films, passed on this one, leaving the effects duties to less disciplined hands. The animatronic heads are less expressive, with blockier faces and more exaggerated features. Whenever they have to talk or express emotion, the fakeness of the suit become apparent. The Turtles' look more rubbery and their skin is dotted with odd liver spots. Splinter, meanwhile, is obviously a hand-puppet, as you never see his legs. While the last two films convinced you that these puppets were real characters, here they look like the unconvincing special effects they are.
There are other reasons "Ninja Turtles III" is considered the crappy one. The film has an obnoxious sense of humor. Throughout the entire film, the Turtles repeatedly drop random pop culture references, many of which have little relevance to the actual plot. There's no reason for the characters to mention the Addams Family, Elvis, or Clint Eastwood and even fewer reasons for the film to find such references so inherently hilarious. While the Turtles are in the past, Casey Jones has to take care of four ancient samurais in modern day New York. He does this by teaching them hockey and taking them out to a dance club, which leads to broad, embarrassing comedy. In the past, the Turtles obsess with Wet Willies and mock a fat dungeon master. It's not sophisticated, is what I'm saying.
Moreover, the movie's plot isn't very interesting. Some consider the time travel device too far fetched but I don't think that washes, considering the silly things Turtle fans do accept. Walker is a fairly generic bad guy, motivated by simple greed. The exact reasons he and the samurai lord are working together aren't elaborated on much. His death scene is also super stupid. The looming threat of war is mostly kept off-screen. The film is also poorly paced. After arriving in the past, there are some action scenes with the Turtles attempting to rescue Mikey. After that, the story relaxes into a long, leisurely sequence of the Turtles hanging out in the village. Donnie is preoccupied with going home. Raph befriends a young child who he thinks is too serious. Mikey, meanwhile, starts to fall for Mitsu, the human samurai chick that is actually the time-displaced Kenshin's love interest. Not until the very end, when the Turtles make their way back to the castle, does the plot begin to move again. And that plot is a fairly uninspired MacGuffin chase, the Turtles chasing after the scepter that can take them back home.
But I don't hate "TMNT III" and am coming awfully close to calling it underrated. The film tries something different with the characters. The relationship Raphael forms with young Yoshi comes close to being touching, as it finds the turtle confronting his own angry personality. Michelangelo developing feelings for a human female might strike you as odd but it forms into an interesting storyline, especially when the turtle debates staying behind in the Feudal Japan. The story may be poorly paced but I appreciate the filmmakers attempting to tell a lower-key tale. Elias Koteas and Paige Turco are back and both give decent performances. Lame as the character may be, Stuart Wilson at least has some hammy fun as Walker. The action scenes are surprisingly well choreographed and features the Turtles using their weapons more then part 2 did.
The film still opened number 1 at the box office but didn't have the staying power of the previous flicks. Despite plans for a fourth film, the series took an extended break from theaters. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III" is ultimately a failure but it's an interesting failure that attempted to take the franchise in a different direction. It didn't do it well but at least it tried.
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