Sunday, August 19, 2007


"In a half shell, they're the heroes four, in this day and age who could ask for more?... T-U-R-T-L-E Power." If you got that reference, you are in for one heck of a movie. TMNT, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles if you've been living in the sewers the past 20 years, is brilliant candy for the eye, heart and mind. I went in with low expectations and was hoping for a fun action flick with a hint of nostalgia. The first 10 minutes of the film throws you a curve ball, as the TMNT aren't even a team. It answers the question of what these trans mutated fighting turtles would be doing if they weren't crime fighting... if they just had to live daily lives like the rest of us. The plot line was sophisticated enough to hold my interest throughout, but I think even the youngest fans will keep up with the storyline well enough to get it. You get really deep insight into the minds of Leonardo and Raphael, which interesting and action-packed enough to forgive the shortcomings on the other characters. The turtle vs. turtle arc is brilliantly executed and will satisfy both the fanboy and the average viewer. Some liberties are taken when it comes to pivotal characters, but it seems to capture the lighthearted fun of the cartoon series, the brotherly love of the live-action movie, and the gritty action of the Eastman and Laird comic book that started it all. I was amazed how well the stylistic animation and tear-inducing inspirational moments all blended together. I thought it missed the mark with the voice-casting of Splinter, their rat-turned-mentor, but the teasers they drop for a sequel and the return of their nemesis the Shredder made up for it.

The music was above average and fit the mood of the upbeat action swings, and it makes you chuckle a bit to think that Limp Bizkit got some work for it. (Limp Bizkit? Really??) Even though their original "Shell Shock" song mentions Bebop, Rocksteady and other turtle mainstays, it falls miserably short of the original live-action movie's "Turtle Power" theme song.

"Do YOU stand for what you believe in? And find the strength to do what's right?"
Turtle Power ;)
  • OVERALL: 92
  • VISUAL: 90
  • STORY: 96
  • ACTING: 91
  • BETTER THAN: The Invincible Iron Man
  • NOT AS GOOD AS: Spirited Away
  • WAS MISSING: "Cowabunga" and a better theme song
  • SEE IT FOR: Sibling rivalry & Donatello, customer service rep

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Last Mimzy

I thought I would stay on the theme of movies with "Last" in the title. Wow... was that ever a mistake. I knew very little about this movie going into it, but expected some sort of fantastical family or kid-friendly film about magic and, supposedly, a talking bunny. The doll reminded me a lot of one my friends' kid has, so I already had a special connection to it. A lot had to go wrong to disappoint me because I'm great at suspending belief and enjoying this genre of movies.

However, it was just plain awful. It was based on a short story, and I'm guessing it was a much better read. It had some interesting overall plot points and ideas, but they were executed horribly. I kept wondering what the intended target audience was for this film. Papa Bear would be bored to tears by the lack of action or anything resembling coherent plot. Mama Bear would disconnect herself due to the unbelievably bad acting of the two main child stars (and yes, she'd give them the benefit of the doubt for being kids). Baby Bear wouldn't make it through the first 30 minutes. The story isn't told enough to capture a kid's attention, and there is nothing fantastical enough to inspire their imagination. There's potential for it, but it completely falls short. There are small bursts of averagely-amusing special effects, especially at the end, but it's way too late by that point. I liked Timothy Hutton at times, but Michael Clarke Duncan further adds to the "joke" nature of this film. Rainn Wilson does his best, but not even "Dwight Schrute" can save this movie.

Don't even get me started on the bunny rabbit doll. The first time you see it, you anticipate a warm character with the charm of Gizmo from the Gremlins movies. Instead, you get Charlie Brown's teacher on helium staring creepily at you over shoulders and through intrusive zoom shots. I may actually have nightmares.

I sadly recommend this to nobody. It'd more accurately be titled: The Lost Whimsy.