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i just saw a test screening of TMNT and, although i suspected it would
be good, it surpassed my predictions. i should note that i am a pretty
big fan of the old movies (1 and 2 anyway) and the old cartoon, and am
a collector of TMNT comic art posters-- this may give you a perspective
on where i'm coming from before you read my review. Without giving much
away, here is what i liked(+)/disliked(-).
+ANIMATION: the biggest thing the movie has going for it is the animation. it is miles ahead of any animated movie I've ever seen. the level of detail is unsurpassed and completely amazing. everything from backgrounds, characters, various surfaces and textures (including skin), lighting and different effects (including a pivotal sequence in the rain) absolutely blew me away.
+DESIGN: along the same lines as the animation, the general look and design of everything was pretty cool. the turtles themselves look different and new, as well as splinter, casey and april. their designs fit in well with the overall look of NY city, which is dark, worn and very impressive. the skyline was very well done. I was also particularly impressed with the design of karai and the foot.
+CHARACTERS & RELATIONSHIPS: especially between the turtles and splinter --and particularly raphael and leonardo-- the relationships are complex, as is traditionally the case for the franchise. in this film they are well drawn and developed and, in the end are fulfilling and cathartic. there are a few surprises to say the least, both within the turtle team and also without. casey also adds to his relationship with raph in this movie.
+SCREENPLAY/STORYLINE: The screenplay is generally okay. the tone is about as perfect a balance you can hope for for a film trying to appeal to the Saturday morning crowd as well as the old school, 20-something fans. it returns to the darker, more emotional tone of the first live action film but doesn't fail to deliver on humor (although some of it is hit and miss-- probably the result of trying to appeal to the younger crowd). Dialogue is decent. the storyline is a bit more on the sci-fi side than most fans of the old movies will be used to, but it seems secondary to the development and relationships of the characters-- a good decision on the part of the filmmakers. the plot is still interesting and fast paced, and the villains are credible.
+ACTION/FIGHT SEQUENCES: generally well done. for me, the centerpiece of the whole movie was a climactic, rooftop fight scene in the rain. other cool sequences include a skateboarding scene, and a huge fight against a bunch of foot ninjas.
-HUMOR: not that it was particularly bad (although michaelangelo was borderline annoying sometimes), but for me, there wasn't enough. i usually associated the turtles with humor, even in their darker pieces like the first live action film.
-SPLINTER'S VOICE: this may be sacrilege, but Mako's voice took some getting used to. I was used to the soft-spoken whisper of past splinters. this one is harsh and grumbly. this isn't to say its bad-- it just took some getting used to.
-CHARACTER SCREEN TIME: michaelangelo and especially donatello were hardly in the movie. there could have been more development about their characters (traditionally leo and raph are the focus, though) although they do bond well as a part of the whole group. Same goes for April. She has usually been a pivotal character in any incarnation of the franchise, but she is minor here. Hopefully there will be future films where these three characters will be explored in more depth.
-APRIL: not only does she have little screen time, but she isn't as "strong" a character as she usually has been, and her fighting skills were kind of out of the blue. besides this, her relationship with casey was kind of flat. hopefully it will be remedied in future films, if there are any.
-CASEY JONES: what happened to the hard-edged casey we all knew? i get that he is supposed to be more "domestic" now, but i didn't even get a hint of the old, violence-crazy vigilante.
-VIOLENCE: i hate for this to be another "there's not enough violence in TMNT" discussion, but although there is a lot of fighting, it seems they've really tried to keep the violence to a minimum, which is understandable considering their broad market (after all, it is PG). depending on if this film is successful, i would like to see them up the darkness and violence a bit more (PG-13 would be cool)-- although even if it is successful, it probably wont happen. wishful thinking i guess.
You will enjoy this film if you are a true old school fan or a fan of the newer cartoon. If you never really liked the turtles, you probably wont like this either. Since this is supposedly based more on the original comics, even the comic fans should enjoy it. Although it is a bit on the dark side, the PG rating is fitting, and isn't too much more violent than the Saturday morning cartoon, id imagine. it is a good action film and a good family film-- adults and non-fans shouldn't be bored. To people who balk at the idea of it being animation ("its a cartoon!") or being PG, i'd say give it a chance-- you might actually like it. like most things, if you walk in hating it, you're gonna leave hating it. but as a longtime fan of the turtles in most incarnations, this film has my seal of approval. it was pretty good, and i expect to see more.
After the less-than-stellar 1993 film that was "Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles III", the world's favored Heroes in a Half-Shell began to take
a seemingly indefinite leave from pop culture and I for one wondered if
the awesome foursome would ever make a comeback.
Ten years later, a brand new animated series redefined what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were and helped everyone begin to see past the pizza-loving, child friendly characters of the 1980's cartoon, the live-action "Next Mutation" series and the second and third live-action movies. It was a step in the right direction and left many fans wanting more.
Now, in 2007, Peter Laird, Kevin Munroe and the amazingly talented folks at Imagi Animation Studios deliver what could very well be the movie that everyone has waited for for so long: A film that presents the light-hearted aspects of the 1980's cartoon, and the dark and gritty of the original comics books that started it all, while introducing a brand new story that moves at a pace that's sure to keep new viewers enthralled.
The animation on show here, while heavily stylized to emphasize the film's comic book origins, is absolutely stunning. Something I really admire about this movie is the voice acting, especially that the team working on the film went to lengths to portray ethnic authenticity with characters such as Foot Clan Leader Karai and the Turtles' mentor and father, Master Splinter.
While the story may not have a whole lot of depth to it, it really doesn't need to. Hell, this is a movie that deals with humanoid mutant turtles going around and kicking butt, ninja-style. And thats not a bad thing in the least. The soundtrack consists of a mix of orchestral tunes and the seemingly obligatory rock/pop stuff, and thankfully its a pretty healthy mix as neither one seems to outweigh the other.
All in all, I found TMNT to be a very enjoyable ride and recommend it to anyone looking for a fun time at the cinemas. In my honest opinion, the fourteen year wait for this movie was most definitely worth it.
Saw the preview of TMNT on the weekend and I have to say that the
comments from ChimpCadet are spot on.
I am one of the older generation of TMNT fans and I can happily say that I greatly enjoyed watching this film. Also the row of children sitting behind me did not make one noise from the start of the film to the end. Which I think is a good sign to universal appeal of this film.
The plot ticks along at a good pace, some of the action sequence are outstanding in terms of action, animation and detail (as stated by ChimpCadet the fight in the rain is a highlight of this film).
On the whole a great film that does well to start the franchise and spawn a sequel or two.
TMNT does its job: CGIs are done very nicely, the visual overhaul of
the Turtles' design comes near the original comic-look and for a kiddie
flick (let's face it TMNTs target audience is well below 14) it is a
shade darker, cooler and grown-up than any of the other animation films
hitting the Box Office right now.
I was not sure what to expect after some of the reviews I read before seeing TMNT, but have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Snappy one-liners and some tongue-in-cheek comments younger viewers will not get did really make this a great CGI-movie. Especially the hyper-kinetic camera work and the rather unusual scene setups were really intriguing.
Don't listen to the "It's-not-like-the-comics"-Fanboys and dive into the turtle world, you won't regret it.
It appears that 2007 is going to be '80's Revival Year' with both The
Turtles and The Transformers making their return to the big screen. I
was very sceptical of a CGI redux of the Turtles especially as a child
the live action movie was a Friday night staple but I can happily say
that TMNT is the best Turtles film yet and one of the most entertaining
films I've seen so far this year.
Writer/Director Kevin Munroe clearly respects what has gone before in regards to Turtles canon and has crafted an original tale that can happily satisfy both newcomers and die-hard fans who's childhood was crafted around the 4 reptilian martial artists (me!).
The film is a semi sequel to the first Turtles film with Shredder defeated, but things have not gone well for the brothers. The Turtles are divided - Leonado has gone to S.America to hone his leadership skills at Splinter's behest, Donatello is stuck in a tech support phone in job, Michaelangelo has taken to performing at children's parties and Raphael..................well always the hot head, Raph has taken to being a solo vigilante, The Night Watcher, trying to recapture past glories but without his family's knowledge.
However an ancient curse featuring monsters, a resurgence in the Foot Clan and a mysterious millionaire is going to be the brother's biggest challenge....if they can get past their problems with each other.
CGI cartoons have become a staple these days with every studio and their dog producing them. TMNT however stands head and shoulders above them by being a film that both adults and kids will love. It's not a happy-go-lucky film with cute furry talking animals - there is fraternal angst as Raphael is finally fed up with following rather than leading and Leonado is forced to reasses his role as leader of the group. The scenes between the two are as dramatic as anything you'd find in a adult drama and when the two comes to blows there are serious reprecussions.
Munroe has made certain changes though. April O'Neil is no longer a reporter but a Lara Croftesque antique dealer aided by former vigilantee and now 'live in' boyfriend Casey Jones. I expected this to be a shocking mistake but it worked mainly due to the fact that these are the characters you know and love. Casey, like Raphael is also keeping up the crime fighting despite April wanting him to grow up.
This unique family need each other to survive and love each other no matter and have to realise that if they're not there for each other, then they are nothing.
The voice cast is amazing with the Turtles voiced by unknowns but famous voices such as Patrick Stewart, Mako, Chris Evans and Zhang Ziyi give the film an A-list film. Even without them though, the animation is first class and at no point do you think is nothing more than a film made by people who love the Turtle brothers.
You may find it crazy, but this in my eyes was a 5 star film. A wonderful animated film, a gripping brotherly drama and an entertaining martial arts epic. Even the Turtles new lean look worked well, something that had previously worried me, as they flip and jump through New York and battle The Foot and the ancient monsters.
Hopefully this film will do well at the box office, as like Batman Begins the ending hints at an old nemesis returning in the sequel............and that's something I can't wait to see.
I would say that I am a moderate fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles, while I absolutely loved them as a kid, after a while I felt I
had outgrown them, despite still finding the idea and characters
legendary. The idea of this new movie however did not really excite me
when I first heard about it, I just felt they were trying to bring back
a franchise that long ago died, this would basically be Turtles for a
new generation. However after letting nostalgia get the better of me
and starting to get quite excited over the movie after a decent trailer
I went and saw the Advance Screening today. Now let me say this is the
turtles we all know and loved, they've changed slightly and the movies
a teensy weensy bit darker than the old TV show, but this is still the
same thing basically. This is a movie that knows what it is, its a fun,
action packed, comedy filled thrill ride from beginning to end, and you
know what I wouldn't want it any other way. If you go in expecting
faults you will find them, I did hence the reason it got 9/10 instead
of 10/10. But this movie is full of inventive ideas, a surprisingly
compelling plot, beautiful animation, great voice acting and just loads
more. I simply loved this movie! Now then first I'll go on about the
voice acting, now the voice acting was superb. All of the voice actors
for the turtles are newcomers, yet they're still practically the same
as the turtles we all know and love. All of the turtles are played
brilliantly, especially Leonardo, who was my least favourite turtle
originally, I felt the voice actor added an extra layer to him I didn't
expect to find. As the humans we get Patrick Stewart in a role
surprisingly unlike he usually does, Sarah Michelle Gellar who fitted
perfectly into the role of Abi, Chris Evans who does a pretty decent
job, hell even Kevin Smith is along for the ride in a slightly
pointless but enjoyable to point him out role. The only Voice Actor I
was slightly discomforted with at first was Mako as Master Splinter, he
just didn't feel right to me, perhaps its because it was a different
voice for Splinter, but still I didn't like him at first. He did
however grow on me after time. Ziyi Xang also does a pretty good job in
Now next thing to praise has got to be the animation and the actual storyline. The animation didn't look amazing to me in the trailers, seemed too cartoony. Boy was I a fool! The animation to be blunt is simply breathtaking. It took me all of five minutes to figure that out and for the rest of the movie I just gazed in awe. My friends complained about how the humans looked, I still felt they worked perfectly in the movie. The animation of the actual city is breathtaking, and when the animation comes to a fight in the rain it looks beautiful. The plot as well is surprisingly decent. The fact Shredder wasn't the villain might upset people, I was glad as they need to movie on, but the villain and storyline here is just as good. The storyline also allows for plenty of pretty good action, this might be a PG, hence why the action isn't violent, but it doesn't prevent the action looking superb.
Now then the negatives of the movie. Well I suppose the dialogue doesn't exactly amaze, it works perfectly fine and at times I found the dialogue was done very well, at other times it did seem a tiny bit forced. Surprisingly it wasn't the humour that was forced, that actually worked very well, but some of the tough guy action dialogue started to grate after a while. That's pretty much my only negative to be honest, I'm sure there are more, but I was having to much of a blast to notice. Overall TMNT is a great movie that will please fans of the original series and comics as well as newcomers. Its a movie to sit back, relax and enjoy, and bring your bucket of popcorn as well. The turtles are back everyone! And judging by the climax, and if this does well at the Box Office, there's more to come!
Greetings again from the darkness. Reinventing a once popular franchise
is always a bit of a gamble since the built-in audience will be very
critical to changes and building a new audience can be extremely
difficult. The secret usually lies in the ability to recapture the good
parts from the original and add modern touches in order to attract new
Director Kevin Munroe delivers some witty one-liners and a couple of nice fight scenes all wrapped up in a terrific new animation style that lends itself very well to the dark side of sewers and big cities. Additionally, some complicated interaction between Leonardo and Rafael add a dimension not normally seen with the Turtles. All the necessary elements are there: the fight scenes (in keeping with the PG rating) are action packed, but with very little real violence; the bad guys are bent on world domination, even though the familiar Shredder is gone; the Turtle brothers struggle at times, but of course come together as a team when necessary; and the funny one-liners will make all ages giggle.
The downsides are the opening stage-setting scene, which will be a bit boring and hard to follow for the youngsters and the lack of any type of catchy music for the characters. Michaelangelo remains the fun-loving one, but he and Donnatello are pretty minor characters, and a big complaint is the lack of edge to Casey Jones. Instead of a hockey mask, he should probably dress as the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man. Still, none of that takes away from a fun film with a beautiful look.
Voice acting is pretty well done by the likes of Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Patrick Stewart, Mako, Kevin Smith and Ziyi Zhang. So take the kids and if you were once a Turtle fan, you should treat yourself to the fine new version. Cowabunga!!
Okay, when I was little, I was a big Turtle fan. I had this deep,
emotion connection with the show. Years later, yes, I never give it
much thought. In a way, my hopes were answered when I found out this
movie was coming out. One could just look at it and tell that this
movie is either going to be really good or really bad.
I was shocked.
I'm not going to spoil anything, but I will say this. Like many, I was glad to not see Shredder. But that aside, this movie was REALLY well done. It, like many action movies, has its faults (cheesy dialog for instance), but they suit this kind of a movie and franchise. The action sequences were great and the story was compelling and moving. The characters were well developed, and of course, totally freaking awesome. I also say that it is good that the story is darker than the cartoon from the early 90's. Personally, I feel the most moving stories have to be dark.
In short, this movie does a great job targeting audiences of all ages. Cartoony for the kids, compelling and interesting plot for the teens, and very good morals to remind the parents of what they should be teaching their kids. 9/10.
Just saw this tonight at an advance screening. Have to say it didn't
really leave me disappointed, but it's certainly not harking back to
the hyper violent original graphic novels that some might have hoped.
It's more of a continuation of the original couple of films, so more
action than violence.
The story is a bit silly, but befitting of an animated piece. It mainly plays a back seat to the inner-turmoil between the four brothers which is the main focus of the film. Leo and Raph have the majority of the screen time with Don and Mikey taking a back seat, even to the likes of April and Casey.
Style wise, it looks very good, with some excellent fight sequences. Although overall the film went by very very quickly. Voice Acting was good too, nice to see Patrick Stewart in the mix too.
Basically if you liked the original movies than you'll be in for a treat. If you're one of those people that thinks they should all have red bandanas and swear all the time then this might not be exactly what you were hoping for.
I went into this feature not quite knowing what to expect. I grew up
with the turtles and was a huge fan of the comic book, the cartoon
series (the original, of course), and the movies (only the first two).
Growing up with the first two movies, I was really hoping that this one
would be live-action. I will have to say though, that I was not at all
disappointed in this feature.
At the beginning of the movie, I was slightly disappointed in who the rivals were. It seemed very far fetched, even for a Ninja Turtles movie. However, about half-way through the movie, I found myself forgetting about the not-quite-so-wonderful way the story line was set up. I'm not going to give away too much, but let's just say that the feud that has existed between Leo and Raph reaches an interesting point in this movie.
Overall, I would have to say that any turtles fan should give this film a shot. Try to not go into it with expectations set by the first two movies. Just think of this as a stand-alone movie, even though it does roughly follow the story-line set by the first two. If nothing else, the CGA is wonderful and the voice acting isn't so bad either.
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