The Big Picture: Turtle Power - The Older, Better TMNT Movie

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Really? No one's talking about the awesome current comics run from IDW? It's great. If you haven't read it, give it a shot. It blends elements from a lot of previous incarnations, most notably the '80s cartoon and the original comics (which makes sense, as one of the writers for the series is Kevin Eastman, an original TMNT creator). I love it.

Yeah, the movie isn't great, but it's fun, has likable characters, great atmosphere, a villain that has presence and menace, and some surprisingly good stuntwork and action beats (seriously, fighting in those suits must have been a challenge but they made it look good). It's a fun movie that doesn't make its audience feel like idiots.

spoonybard.hahs:
It's not other people's IPs. He genuinely dislikes Transformers and TMNT or anything of the sort (he's said so in interviews), but takes the jobs anyway because he's kind of a whore like that. Bay has a certain film style and aesthetic that works when he applies it to projects he has a genuine interest in (see: Pain and Gain). But when it comes to the Hero Myth or anything having to do with characters that are intrinsically good or evil, he loses control of the wheel because his brain cannot process the four cardinal directions.

Though fittingly, no one wanted to SEE Pain and Gain. I think Bay likes to think of himself as some kind of artsy guy, but anyone into more dramatic, character-driven pieces hates his style. He's like a reverse David Fincher; both started as music video directors, but Fincher was able to use his style to accentuate and elevate his films whereas Bay hasn't evolved passed empty spectacle and remains stagnant.

i4njw:
Really? No one's talking about the awesome current comics run from IDW? It's great. If you haven't read it, give it a shot. It blends elements from a lot of previous incarnations, most notably the '80s cartoon and the original comics (which makes sense, as one of the writers for the series is Kevin Eastman, an original TMNT creator). I love it.

I mention it every chance I get on these boards. You're the first other poster I've seen bring it up.
It's definitely in the same vein and excellent quality of the 1990 film.

Thanks for that stroll down nostalgia lane Bob. That TMNT movie was awesome and the effects were actually pretty damn good for their time.

I've actually still got this movie! And watching this Big Picture has given me the urge to go watch it. I don't tend to agree with Bob on much, but I will say he was right about how this movie actually delved more into the individual characters of the turtles. And that meditation scene.....just seeing a clip of it made me a bit misty-eyed. Bob's right, a scene like that just wouldn't fit into the more recent incarnations of the Turtles, especially the most recent one.

Seriously, you know they're on the wrong track when originally they wanted to make them fucking aliens.

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane, Bob. They made it look like the cartoon came to life to my 6-year-old self! I didn't watch the 2003 version of the toon (except for the Turtles Forever special), despite watching the Transformers: Armada series from around the same time, so I can't comment on how it did. I have been watching the latest CGI cartoon on Nicktoons, and it seems to me to capture a lot of the spirit of the old cartoon and the movies.

How come nobody ever brings up TMNT Adventures? Just because it was under the headline of Archie Comics? By the time I was 8 I knew all about Buddhism, Japanese Mythology, Islam, Black Holes, Karma and Nirvana and reincarnation, principals of honor, any number of amazing concepts delivered into my young mind in the most entertaining and endearing way possible. And then there was Ninjara, Raph's foxy girlfriend. TMNT Adventures is pretty much the best incarnation of the turtles besides the first film and I always found it criminal how overlooked it was, especially compared to the (loveably) dumbass cartoon.

Ha ha! I completely forgot about that nunchaku scene between Mikey and the Foot ninja. "Keep practicin'" Made me laugh.

wswordsmen:
The '03 cartoon was better IMO, for the same reasons.

SuperSuperSuperGuy:
I don't think the '03 series gets enough love. Maybe it's just because that was the one I grew up watching, myself being 8 years old at the time of the series' start, but aside from the final couple seasons, which were sudden, rushed and jarring changes from the previous established setting and canon due to the network wanting to move more merchandise, I thought it was pretty good. Much like the movie, it had more personality than the comics and more substance than the original animated series. It's a lot less goofy than the movies, but the darker aesthetic and themes made it rather gripping for a children's cartoon of its type. Plus, I think that the visual design of the turtles themselves is pretty good; they all manage to be visually distinct while sticking to the same style.

Maybe it wasn't as good as I'm remembering it, but I never see it brought up in Ninja Turtles discussions and videos.

Soulrender95:
Having grown up with the original animated series and the classic movies I've got to say while I owned a lot of the toys figures and related VHS tapes (god I feel old) I personally prefer the 2003 series overall and it's movie Turtles Forever and honestly my opinion of the classic series mirrors 2003 Mikey's, love em at first but after awhile they just start to grate on my nerves.

Still now might be the right time to rewatch the first two movies again, maybe there better than I remember.

Thank you kind sirs for being so much right. The 2003 cartoon doesn't get nearly enough love it deserves for good characters, nice overarching plots in which in Rowlingian fashion minor elements from way before can come back as huge plot devices and great artwork.

SweetShark:
Oh Bod. Do you really think the old movies was really good?
I don't want to make a comparison with the old and new movie, but a comparison with the movie and the cartoon.
It watchable, but it is not a very good movie.

My biggest disappointment was the Footclan plot of the movie. Seriously? You made the most awesome Robot Ninjas into a group therapy of little kids rejected from other people?
I didn't liked April.
Shredder plan is not suitable to his personality.
Where the f*ck is Krang?
Where the f*ck f*ck are Bebop & Rocksteady?
Why the f*ck the children are stupid morons?
etc,ect,etc

No......Bod I will watch the new TMNT movie and maybe I will like it.

TMNT 1990 movie, 7-10
Good movie, but it is SO Overrated with many mistakes/changes which personalty irritate me.

The movie was closer to the original comics in which there was no Krang, Bebop or Rocksteady and the Foot weren't robots.

wswordsmen:
The '03 cartoon was better IMO, for the same reasons.

That's because it was but it didn't suffer the limitations of a live action movie. It still remains a high point.

I personally feel the movie holds up well when you ignore the spiral corded phones.

I love this movie, and I really... REALLY want to own it. I don't want the 4 pack for 12 dollars... I just want the first one.

I'm not satisfied, Bob. How about next week taking a look at the Casey Jones fan-film?

Cowabunga Bob, Cowabunga! 110% agree with this one. the original Live Action TMNT still holds up today, its got action comedy and emotion to tie it all together.
sigh, if only people took what others have done right in the past and improved upon it when doing a reboot/remake or what have you.

I went to a screening of the original live action TMNT that had people dressed up and this intro
https://vimeo.com/85604932

I liked the fact that Kevin Clash (Elmo) was Splinter.

I own the Hong Kong version of the DVD that has famous comic actors from Hong Kong comedies doing the voices, they even do a song at the end.

The soundtrack has to be one of the best ones from that period to capture the exact mood at the time. Nothing can beat the Prince Batman soundtrack though.

spoonybard.hahs:

It's not other people's IPs. He genuinely dislikes Transformers and TMNT or anything of the sort (he's said so in interviews), but takes the jobs anyway because he's kind of a whore like that. Bay has a certain film style and aesthetic that works when he applies it to projects he has a genuine interest in (see: Pain and Gain). But when it comes to the Hero Myth or anything having to do with characters that are intrinsically good or evil, he loses control of the wheel because his brain cannot process the four cardinal directions.

Bay exists outside of the new wave of "Geek" Cinema and seems to have a genuine disdain for it. You can see the jolting difference between him and say, Joss Whedon or James Gun who has genuine affection for his source material, has been infusing his work with geek media for decades and seems almost humbled to be making it. This shines through their work and many other people's work.

I've said unkind things about JJ Abrams visual sensibilities, mass-market blandness and flimsy films before, and i think he is like Bay in quite a few ways, but he does not share the same "This property is crap and i don't give a crap" mentality. He's like a 'fixed' version if you will. Bay puts 80s level Urkel 'Nerd' stereotypes into his film and likes to shit on scientists whilst wanking his military fetish. You can see how much he would rather be making another film by how background and aesthetically jumbled the more fanciful title characters are.

Bay sees himself as "The Action Guy", I'm sure he would much rather be making something closer to The Expendables and feels this kind of work is beneath him and just for children and infantile nerds. That's what i dislike most about Bay and his movies, the big "Fuck You" he always puts up on his adaptations.

tzimize:
Yeah....the first TMNT was brilliant. Especially since it actually had some emotional depth to it (the brotherhood of the turtles, and their relationship to their father figure).

Also, since it was actually mostly about the TURTLES. It seems Michael Bay is hell-bent on taking old franchises and making movies about them, while at the same time not actually having the movie about THEM.

Transformers needed more transformers. A LOT more transformers. And while I havent seen the new TMNT, from what I hear, it leans HEAVILY on April O'neil. Thats not who we're there to see...and neither do we need a human being to have an emotional connection.

I cried at the start of UP. And at the end of Toy Story 3. Nothing about those movies were real, and one of them had living toys as the main characters. Stories and good characters will deliver emotional investment. Tacked on human stories, do not.

The difference between old and new movies

Old Movies: A human being involved in a different world
New Movies: A different world being involved around a human being.

You can see this in many 80s/90s kid movies. There's a premade life out there, and our kid hero discovers it. That life still continues without our hero.
Today, as seen in Transformers and TMNT movies, the hero creates that life, and the life is dependent to our hero.

Today's directors and producers assume that kids need to tacked on human stories to feel emotional connection.

RealRT:
The movie was closer to the original comics in which there was no Krang, Bebop or Rocksteady and the Foot weren't robots.

I never read the old comics.
But again, I wanted some things to appear from the cartoon, not from the comics.

My FAVORITE version of the series will always be the Random House read-alongs. Well, they are called read-alongs, though being more or less an audiobook version of the archie comic -- with voice actors, music and sound effects -- they work just as well as stand-alone audio dramas. Example: Chapter 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrWDboeKurI

Though the best version? ... yeah, the first movie. No question. Despite being painfully 80's, it ultimately holds up. I still go back to it on occasion.

Personally, my favourite Turtles media are the current run of the comics and the 2012-present TV series.

I like the first movie, but one of the biggest problems I have with it is that it doesn't seem to develop the character of anyone aside from Raph. They don't go much deeper with the other three than Leo is the leader, Donnie's the smart one and Mikey's the jokester/party guy.

Take the way they characterized the turtles in the 2012 series:
Leo is still the leader, and takes his training the most serious out of the four, but isn't confident that he has what it takes to lead
Raph is still the hot head, and physically the strongest, but has his own pet snapping turtle named Spike that he can open up to (until half-way through the second season)
Donnie is still the smartest, but this time around he has fallen in love with April, which leads to tension between him and Casey
Mikey is still the party guy and like naming each new enemy they come across, but he also has the most talent, if only he would put his skills to use.

I loved the first movie when it came out. My grandma taped it for me and sent me the tape, as we didn't have cable and I didn't get to see it when it was in theaters. I was probably nine or ten when I saw it. I was super into TMNT, had a ton of the toys, the technodrome, blimp, pizza shooter (do not point at people or animals!). I thought this movie was as good as you could want in a TMNT movie.
I saw the second two down the road but disliked both of them. I am not seeing the new one until I can watch it at home.

So let's just be clear.

TMNT was released in 1990. The Turtles can move, emote and turn their heads well enough to be given proper camera work for an action scene.

The Dark Knight was released in 2008. Batman can't move, emote or turn his head well enough to be given proper camera work for an action scene.

Just so we're clear.

*rolls eyes* Because Bob was a kid when it came out so of course it's better.I'm not saying the new one is good but, heh, news flash the older movies were just as much junk food as the new one.

Yep, for what it is, the 1990 movie is kind of awesome. I'm still more than a little shocked at how well the actors could fight in those suits. I also have some love for Secret of the Ooze. Yeah, it's a lot cornier and sillier, but it was a mainstay of my very early childhood.

But the movies aren't my favorite incarnation of the Turtles. That honor would have to go to the IDW ser-

Dead Century:

i4njw:
Really? No one's talking about the awesome current comics run from IDW? It's great. If you haven't read it, give it a shot. It blends elements from a lot of previous incarnations, most notably the '80s cartoon and the original comics (which makes sense, as one of the writers for the series is Kevin Eastman, an original TMNT creator). I love it.

I mention it every chance I get on these boards. You're the first other poster I've seen bring it up.
It's definitely in the same vein and excellent quality of the 1990 film.

Blast! You guys already covered that. I'll have to add that while the movies are what made a Turtles fan as a kid, the IDW comics are what made me truly love them. That new backstory is pretty darn tear jerking.

Its nice to hear that old theme song play.

Yeah, that movie was outstandingly well made, even with the production value. A kids flick, that was funny, had good action, and had an emotional center, something most film makers leave out thinking kids are too dumb to understand. Plus, best brother dynamic ever seen for TMNT.

I'd love to hear Bob's thoughts on the currently running 2012 Nickelodeon series. Like Superflick, I think it's the most fun and well made version of the series so far.

I really did prefer this version of the turtles to the 80s cartoon. It would have been nice if they could have kept it up, but the next movie got even slapstickier, and sillier, and lost some of the charm (though I still enjoyed it) and then III was....Well, let's not go there.

I also really liked the 2007 movie despite its many flaws for sort of similar reasons. I just wish they hadn't thrown in the "getting the band back together" cliché, added the 13 ghosts of Scooby Doo, and made Raph a vigilante who needs to learn the same tired lesson. I mean, it's funny. In a franchise full of cliché and repeated elements, this one stands out enough to annoy me.

An Ceannaire:
Hey everybody, Bob mentioned "The Bias"! Let's have a massive and pointless argument about why he is right/wrong to dismiss those accusations like we always do!

Well, since you asked nicely, okay! Though I usually only discuss things of consequence on the internet, like whether or not the new Ninja Turtles movie was good, or whether or not Critical Miss is funny....

Strain42:
Why did I know that this week's Big Picture would be more about the turtles? Bob can be very predictable when he doesn't like something. Why not just do that Howard the Duck episode you mentioned doing last week?

You said in your own critique of the new TMNT that you're tired of people coming out and accusing you of bias, and while I'm not one of them, you DO tend to have a habit of really narrowing in on the things that bug you whether it's Transformers, Amazing Spiderman, Man of Steel and now...well Ninja Turtles.

Just some friendly advice, you could probably get some of those claimers of bias off your back if you go a while without talking about how the new TMNT sucked ass (and for what it's worth, I totally agree that it did)

I won't go too far into the "is Bob TEH BIAS" territory, but I have to say: Bob is pretty much an "as advertised" product. You've watched him long enough to know that he's going to keep harping on TMNT, so this should be fairly obvious. It's also The Big Picture, a show which weekly delves into nerd and nostalgia territory specifically.

What I'm saying is that expecting different is like expecting to not get fast food at Burger King. We all know what's going on in the kitchen and what we're getting into. I mean, yeah, it's sometimes tiresome to see the same pot shot inserted into every video and that's unavoidable without simply avoiding Moviebob, but this is a little more specific. You "knew" a turtles video would be up next. You knew he didn't like the new movie. And the video's title even indicates the subject matter. If it's that much of an issue, why watch at all? Why not just give it a pass?

Zachary Amaranth:
What I'm saying is that expecting different is like expecting to not get fast food at Burger King. We all know what's going on in the kitchen and what we're getting into. I mean, yeah, it's sometimes tiresome to see the same pot shot inserted into every video and that's unavoidable without simply avoiding Moviebob, but this is a little more specific. You "knew" a turtles video would be up next. You knew he didn't like the new movie. And the video's title even indicates the subject matter. If it's that much of an issue, why watch at all? Why not just give it a pass?

Because even though I admit I'm slightly tired of Bob doing some of those pot shots gratuitously, I still like the show. I still liked watching this episode. I'm merely offering some constructive criticism. If someone complains about the sun being in their eyes, I would suggest they try a hat or sunglasses. If Bob complains about people claiming bias at him because he focuses a bit too much on taking digs at things he hates in unrelated videos, I would suggest a way to maybe get that to come up slightly less.

As I said, I don't think Bob is biased. I've seen plenty of his videos where he's said he hated something he expected to love and loved something he expected to hate, which kind of goes against the definition of being biased.

Okay, Bob. You don't like the horror and distraught that is caused by the menace that is "the Bias". So I want you to do something. Not for me, but for yourself since you seem pretty riled over this. Something very simple that you really shouldn't have any problem doing: Act like Greg Tito.

Yes, Escapist editor in chief Greg Tito. Act like him. Specifically, act like how he acted when he released his review for Dragon Age II back in 2011. A glowing review for a game that is most hated by nearly everyone on the Escapist. After he released that review, it became a running gag for Escapist members to bring it up as a representation of Greg's credibility whenever he wrote anything related to Bioware, RPGs in general, or even giving a slightly controversial opinion on a game.

Hell, for a while, anytime he wrote a review, it was guaranteed that there would be at least one person in the comments section that would write, "So is it better or worse than Dragon Age II?"

So... How did he address all this talk of bias and questionable judgement?

... He maintained his stance on the game and never talked about it otherwise. In fact, the only time he mentioned his opinion on Dragon Age II was when directly asked about it. And those smug people who constantly questioned his credibility as a reviewer and left snarky comments on all the content he contributed? They went away and did other things. You barely ever read "So is it better or worse than Dragon Age II?" on the Escapist anymore, save for perhaps a handful of the most persistent bastards.

Greg didn't take it personally that everyone disagreed with him and called him bias. He didn't make a crusade out of Dragon Age II, bringing it up nearly every goddamn time he posted content for the Escapist. He didn't constantly address his dissenters to tell them how much he just doesn't care about what they say to him. And those dissenters? They withered away with time. Only now seen as the most desperate of people who don't know how to let something go.

I mean, look at me. I wouldn't have even written this multi-paragraphed post if you hadn't made yet another reference to "the Bias".

I dunno, maybe being a video maker takes a higher level of ego compared to someone who only writes, and a larger ego is always more easily bruised. Maybe it's not your fault. But I fucking guarantee you won't hear about the Amazing Spider-man as much as you do now if you just stop bringing it up so goddamn much. Point is, once you stop caring, everyone will stop caring.

Strain42:

As I said, I don't think Bob is biased. I've seen plenty of his videos where he's said he hated something he expected to love and loved something he expected to hate, which kind of goes against the definition of being biased.

I had a full reply typed up, and my computer decided to crash. So here's the short version.

"liking something I expected him to hate" isn't so much bias or lack of as it is surprising you. That doesn't particularly mean he's unbiased, it could simply mean you failed to call his bias. I can't honestly think of the last time Bob's opinion on something surprised me, does that mean I do get to call him biased? Hell, he's ignored facts or misrepresented them both on The Escapist and in his Game Overthinker series, something that would get other people crucified around these parts.

Now, to the meat: Bob is biased. I'm not sure what definition of "bias" would excuse him except for the internet/Fox News version of "people who disagree with me." He's biased, and that's okay. Because we're talking about shows where he offers his personal or critical opinion, and in both, one expects bias. He's not reporting on Gaza or Ferguson or Robin Williams, he's talking about movies and stuff he liked as a kid. The idea that a critic or a media personality should be unbiased is patently absurd. As such, the response to bias claims shouldn't be "no he isn't," but rather "so what?"


And to follow that up, a Jim Sterling review without bias:

http://www.destructoid.com/100-objective-review-final-fantasy-xiii-179178.phtml

He cranks it up to the absurd, but the point is, we want bias in reviews. Well, we want bias in our favour. That's the kind of bias we tend not to talk about. Bias happens all the time, but because people complain only when it's negative, we take a negative connotation to it and thus feel the need to rebuke claims of bias and defend the personalities we like as "unbiased."

Bias matters in news. It matters in consumer safety. It matters in technical specs. It doesn't matter in criticism (barring the aforementioned or similar) or opinion (also barring the aforementioned). Accusations of bias should meet scorn not because they're incorrect or bias is automatically evil, but because they're the equivalent of "well that's, like, your opinion, man!"

I'm hoping this is the last I have to say on bias for a while. I've said bias so often it feels as meaningless as whether people throw it around as a criticism within subjective commentary.

Scarim Coral:
You know, I been wanting to get that film on DVD (it is that danm awesome) but it's not sold anywhere in the UK (without resorting to importing it). It something to due with the film being censor alot in the UK (Mike uses of his nun-chunck) which sucks alot!

Edit- As much as I hate to admit, it look like thanks to that film, they are actually going to release the blu ray and dvd of the classic film on 29 September!

I'm in the UK and the dvd was released over here quite some time ago.It wasn't censored at all and it shouldn't be too hard to find it still and even when it released it didn't cost too much. *Takes a look* ....okay, its shot up in price to 19.95 on amazon...I only paid about 7 quid when it came out back in 2005. Its pretty nice its getting a re-release though :) I remember when my older brother (16 years difference) rented this out on vhs back in the day and it was awesome! Still my fave out of the original 3 movies and it still kicks as much ass today as it did back then! :)

Chester Rabbit:
*rolls eyes* Because Bob was a kid when it came out so of course it's better.I'm not saying the new one is good but, heh, news flash the older movies were just as much junk food as the new one.

Nope. Sequels, sure, but not the original.

If that were the case, why doesn't anybody put the Power Rangers movie on the same pedestal? ...or Three Ninjas? ...or the Super Mario movie? ...or any other random shitty kids movie from the early 90's that we liked back then cuz we were dumb?

Nostalgia's not strong enough to hold any of those movies together, TMNT 1990 should be no exception... and it isn't, really, because nostalgia isn't the culprit. People still enjoy it because it's legit good. Too legit to quit.

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