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Mr. Arctic Defends The TURTLES!!

Merrick again...

Mr. Arctic sent in this look at TMNT, in response to THIS REVIEW - which we posted late last week. In short, he liked it more than the previous reviewer (but not unapologetically so)...and tells us why. Here's Mr. Arctic (Arctic? I think I may have dated his daughter...)
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 is 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.
The film opens March 23.

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 11, 2007, 12:18 p.m. CST

    First!

    by kisaoda

    Yay.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST

    One of my must-sees of 2007!

    by DerLanghaarige

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 12:45 p.m. CST

    When....

    by snomusic

    ...are they gonna make the original incarnation of the beer swilling, cigar smokin' TMNT?

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Wait for Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles....

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    I remember growing up in the UK and watching the cartoon. Apparently the word Ninja was deemed too violent so that changed that into Hero. The movie looks good. 2007 look to be a killer year for both video games and movies!

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 1:03 p.m. CST

    I Didn't Know Plants Could Type?

    by LargoJr

    First he plays himself up as a HUGE TMNT fan, as well as a collector, then claims the animation is better then anything he's ever seen... WTF? Are you kidding me? We've SEEN the footage, and everyone here knows its virtually identical to other recent films... tanked this review before I finished the 1st paragraph. What a friggin joke.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST

    doesn't sound like a plant, compared to

    by Datascream

    the Ghost Rider review. Gives us some reasonable details on what didn't work and what did. Can't he say he was surprised by the animation, and not be called a plant? guess not on here.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 1:40 p.m. CST

    I'm on the fence

    by justcheckin

    I'm not really excited about this either way. It will be interesting to watch but not at the theater, for sure a rental. I hope Vanilla Ice doesn't make his animation debut!

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 1:30 p.m. CST

    hmmm mebbe tmnt should have been a bit broader

    by misnomer

    after all...this is a download imo. It does sound like maybe theyve been faithful to the comics, but in all the wrong ways. No donny or mike? granted theyre kind of goofballs, but I thought the first movie hit the balance right. Plus the turtles are too cute here...they need to be more badass.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Concur

    by The Dum Guy

    This won't warrant a $15 trip to the theaters. I wish we woulda got the rumored R-rated version by Woo, but this one's for the kids.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 2:10 p.m. CST

    R Rated Version

    by justcheckin

    Yeah, that would have been awesom but TMNT have been franchised to be for the kiddos. I don't think that will ever change.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Screw all of you

    by T 1000 xp professional

    TMNT has taken my money a long time ago and will do so again..... the Donatello and Michaelangelo thing is a bummer though.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 2:04 p.m. CST

    SnoMusic

    by Frijole

    You won't see it because you can't have teenaged heroes in a mainstream movie drinking and smoking. It just doesn't work. Think about it.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Its possible...

    by Lewster3000

    for the franchise to go back to its violent roots. But maybe in comicbook form. One day. As for the review? It aint a plant. Just because its sorta possitive dosnt make it one. Im definatly going to see this movie though. Now that the turtles cartoon have gone more kiddish then ever, I think this movie is the best wel get for some time now. Plus, the animation really does look awsome.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Huh?

    by jimmy_009

    "+ANIMATION: it is miles ahead of any animated movie I've ever seen. the level of detail" Appearently they are advertising a different movie than they are actually showing, because NOTHING in the trailer even hints at a level of detail, animation, lighting, or anything else that matches other CG movies out there. To me it looked a lot like video game cinematics.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Turtles=

    by Dr Gregory House

    Hella lame

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    This gonna rule

    by LittleDudes

    But Hogan better be the baddie next time. My people tell me his schedule is free.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:46 p.m. CST

    T 1000 xp professional

    by justcheckin

    It is cool with me that TMNT takes your money... buy a video game for your game boy advance so you don't get bored at the theater. hehe

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Unless your 13 or under

    by kingoflight

    why would you care ? If your old enough to witness the first wave of turtles, then you'll know the horror of vanilla ice and the annoyingly catch baseline we all loved but now cringe at. To some up its been done ! just like the mullet !

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    He liked Turtles 2?

    by Nodwick

    That seems odd given the complaints about the lack of violence (I concur with that, actually. These are ninjas with bladed weapons in two cases, after all). Turtles 2 was the one after the studio was emasculated about violence in the first film, so Leonardo used his swords more as props for vaulting, and IIRC (it's been a while) Michelangelo abandons his nunchuks to use link sausage as a weapon.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:55 p.m. CST

    He's Legit

    by crackerfarmboy

    He's been posting over at http://forums.thetechnodrome in the "TMNT Movie Section" and he's answering specific questions. Is he a plant? It seems unlikely judging by his relative honesty. This review seems 10x more reasonable than the last jackass' review: "Where's Bebop, Rocksteady, and Krang..." Barrffffffff!

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:47 p.m. CST

    skip it in theatres

    by vintown

    wait for the unrated dvd

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST

    not a plant

    by Freakemovie

    He gave way too many specific dislikes. the guy sounded sincere. too bad about Casey Jones's lack of edge, but I'm still pretty excited about it.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 4:17 p.m. CST

    I've already seen this and Ghost Rider...

    by W3bzpinn3r

    And both are decent films that work. Are they up to par with Spider-Man 2 or Batman Begins? No. They are, however, solid adaptations. TMNT is definitely geared towards kids (as it should be. Too few kids movies these days), but it is an entertaining romp down memory lane. Ghost Rider was good, considering the source material has been retconned and altered so many times, there really is no continuity for anyone to follow. It took a decent 2nd tier character and made an entertaining movie out of it (like Blade).

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 4:25 p.m. CST

    unsurpassed animation

    by Evil Hobbit

    right...

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Are they up to par with Spider-Man 2?

    by IForgotAbout19

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Sounds good

    by stvnhthr

    Does anyone know if it is the same animation house which is doing the Gatchaman computer generated film for next year?

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST

    80's NOSTALGIA GOTTA EAT!!

    by Unkle

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 6:25 p.m. CST

    You all know a sequel would be even fluffier

    by performingmonkey

    They'd never up the content for a sequel. Anyhow, who says it will get one. I can seriously see this making no money, only Turtles fanboys will see it.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 8:03 p.m. CST

    As long as...

    by NubtheSquirrel

    the action doesn't feel neutered the way it did in the second TMNT movie, I will be happy. Leonardo not using his swords at all but a pair of sticks instead? Give me a break! All I want is that they perhaps hint at something to happen in the next movie where they perhaps fight Shredder. That would truly make the movie for me.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 10:02 p.m. CST

    I say the next movie should cover......

    by Doc_Strange

    The whole thing behind their mutation. They're fighting it out with the Foot Clan then come upon the TCRI building while looking for Splinter who has been missing. Splinter is injured and found by a few of the workers and taken into the TCRI building. Once inside the turtles find Splinter and set out to release him, however, they mistake the TCRI guys who are actually aliens (a bunch of Krangs) and fight them, inadvertently setting off a transport machine that sends them through space to another galaxy. The movie should focus on the Turtles trying to get home, meeting up with the robot that has the means, and make the climax, the epic battle between the turtles and the Triceratons. Seriously, they should take from the comics for the next film if there is one.

  • Feb. 11, 2007, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Animation and design???

    by Johnno

    Well from what I've seen in trailers, the animation is good during action, but otherwise just okay, as for the designs, other than the turtles and backgrounds, the human characters look cheesy, and frankyl I could never say this is the 'best' I've seen... judging from the trailer of course... There's been much better stuff in anime and games in my opinion... Either way, I'll check this out on video.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 1:35 a.m. CST

    the biggest thing the movie has going for it is the ani

    by Thoreau

    This guy is a plan and a moron. Let's see... Cars, Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Final Fantasy, The Animatrix, Shrek... and a about a million more...

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 1:31 a.m. CST

    I never call plant but...

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    I'm thinking this guy is greener than the turtles he is shilling for. It's not that I think the movie will suck, (I'm actually looking forward to it) it's just that the structure of this review doesn't seem legit. The positives are over the top. Either this guy hasn't seen a CGI movie since the first toy story, or he is delusional, because from the trailers it is obvious that this films design is well below the standard set by Pixar. Also, the negatives aren't really negatives, but rather positives in disguise and the one actually negative thing he says (while still being a positive for parents) is hidden down at the bottom of the reivew instead of at the top of the gripes so that anyone scanning the bullet point style writing will probably miss it. but, I hope I'm wrong and this film is every bit as good as this guy says.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 1:36 a.m. CST

    the second flick was my favorite

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    but then, I was about 7 when I saw it and havent seen it since.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    My review's not a "plant"

    by Mr Arctic

    first off, my review is not a plant. im just a regular guy who saw TMNT at a test screening last week, wednesday in Westlake, CA. second, to everyone one who says, "'greatest animation'? well, ive seen the pictures! ive seen the trailers!"-- well guess what you HAVENT seen? THE MOVIE! if you want to contact me, you can find me on myspace with the same user name. i do also post at thetechnodrome.com forums, but i dont necessarily want to be bugged there so if youre just gonna be stupid, dont expect an answer.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    This doesn't smell like a greenhouse

    by Doctor_Sin

    Thanks for the review. I've been semi-curious, but I think you've talked me into taking the kidlets.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 12:59 p.m. CST

    NOT A PLANT

    by Lewster3000

    you fucking idiots. this shit is legit. and i understand when he says the animation is really good. TRY THIS: Watch The Incredibles Trailer, then watch the TMNT Trailer (the second one). And youl see what hes talking about.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST

    back in the day

    by porkchop_Xpress

    when the original movie came out, i was in 3rd grade & i loved it (even #2...didn't dig 3 though)!! kids that are the age now that i was then will love it, i think. and i hope it becomes the legacy to them as it was to me...though it won't be quite as cool without the shredder and all the other baddies. sure, i wish there was a more "grown up" version being released to suit the tastes of we tmnt maniacs, but whattayagonnado? no theatre for me. i'll netflix the dvd when it comes out.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Will there be a porn parody?

    by Doctor_Sin

    'Cuz that's the sign you've made the big time.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST

    you said mako

    by yeah i'm a jerk!

    now i'm gonna have to see this. i love mako's voice. r.i.p. mako.

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 6:20 p.m. CST

    I don't get the "plant" paranoia

    by TheRevengeOfBayouWilly

    What, like you nerds aren't going to see/rent/illegally download TMNT and Ghost Rider and The Adventures of Baron Von Douchebag?