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

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Turtle Power - The Older, Better TMNT Movie

MovieBob takes a gander at what he feels was the right way to bring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the silver screen.

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I remember genuinely digging that movie when it came out. Well, when it came out on video anyway. Small town, we didn't have a multiplex to partake of cinematic delights without driving for about 50 miles north or south to one of the bigger cities. (Wichita Falls or Fort Worth, respectively)

Great video Bob. I hate to be the old man in the group (though I certainly am), but it's nice to remember a different time when things didn't seem so bleak regarding pretty much every nerd-centric property that doesn't have a MARVEL STUDIOS tag at the front.

Awesome nostalgia-trip! Think I might watch this tonight, been a long time!

Personally my favorite version is actually the current CGI nickelodeon cartoon. I'm old enough to remember the 80s cartoon, and it was definitely great at times, but I've yet to see a bad episode of the latest one.

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

I remember my mum having this movie on VHS recorded from TV. Man, those were the days.

It's been fucking years since I saw it, but those snippets in the video were enough to remind me how much I liked it.

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!

OT: I watched the original TMNT movie as a kid at my cousin's house. I was a bit young to be a fan of the franchise at the time, but I remember enjoying the film. That said, there are a lot of clips in Bob's video that I just don't remember at all.

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!

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.

HEY! Where's the Howard the Duck movie episode?

. . . well, I suppose I can substitute an episode with one type of anthropomorphized-talking-animal(s)-with-a-beak-movie for another.

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)

On topic though, yeah, I really enjoyed the first live action movie. I thought I liked it because I liked it as a kid, but I went back recently to check it out and it still holds up pretty nicely.

Also the guy who voiced Nergal in Billy and Mandy and The Lobe in Freakazoid was in it, and that's pretty awesome too.

It was a really well presented argument in video form and it made me smile with much nostalgia... That said I do sometimes wonder at the generic nostalgia love of our childhood (Bob makes a strong case for this movie but there were so many others...)

My Question is this: If the characters in these new remakes were not so friggen ugly would they be every bit as appealing to todays kids as our stuff was/is to us?

I'm convinced that there is not a live-action film created that is not made instantly better with Jim Henson puppets and/or costumes. That movie was rad and I think that it and the most recent CG series on Nick are pretty solid pieces of media.

Yeah, that 1990 TMNT-movie was damn good for what it was. Surprisingly dark too; at least, that was the impression I got from it back when I watched it as a kid.

Bob have you watched the latest cartoon? Getting the impression you haven't gotten round to it. For anyone whos interested the first 5 episodes of teh show are kinda shaky but still good then it really picks up and feels like home the rest of the way through. I agree the original movie is still my favorite and most genuine, but as others have said the new series is pretty close to that perfect mix of goofiness and seriousness. Its even hit a climax at the end of the current season with karais past being reveal and shredder showing some strange mix of humanity in caring about but accidentally betraying his daughter with his own hubris. Its surprisingly emotionally deep for a kids show. After that Id say the 2007 CG is in 3rd. Great film.

I think we can all sense the pattern with Michael Bay sort of like Gearbox Software. They can't handle other intellectual properties without any problems to follow.

Back to something TMNT related has anyone else noticed how catchy the them tune to the 80'S and 2003 cartoons are because like Duck Tales once you listen to it it will be a while before it leaves.

Bob, you are definitely wrong this time. THIS, is the best rendition of TMNT:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJspVE355Do

Having been born in the late eighties, I never understood the other kids' obsession with the turtles and I never was interested in the cartoons or that particular movie. All the turtles looked and sounded the same to me, and they still do. I haven't seen the new film and don't intend to, but I have to give some credit to the makers of it just for making the turtles visually distinct from one another.

That said, from what I've seen of this, yeah, the plot does sound genuinely interesting, and I'm impressed at what fight choreography could be pulled off in those turtle suits. I probably couldn't sit through it though given that it's an 80s movie (yes, I know it was released in 1990, but that just means the decade had only begun and couldn't define itself yet), and 80s movies tend to have some pretty annoying aesthetic and acting qualities about them.

I remember bits and parts of this movie, as I'm sure I watched it on TV back when I was a wee sprout, but I definitely need to watch this one again. Considering that I couldn't even see Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods in the short time it hit theaters (who ever heard of a sold out movie?), I probably won't go see the new Ninja Turtles movie, so I can't say anything good or bad about it.

Even now i remember Raphael getting pissed and going to train on the roof and being attacked by the clan. Getting his ask kicked and dumped through a ceiling window. An the shock from the other turtles. Even from Bobs vid you can see all the personalities of the four turtles - they have real character you can relate to. They act like brothers would, they argue and fight, laugh and joke and deal with serious issues - they love and care for each other. But the new version - i just dont get that same feeling. Though i was 13 when i watch the original movie, and the new movie was made for kids same as the original, so its probably nostalgia for the original and that im judging the new one as 37 year old man. :-)

Even now im impressed with how fast those guys could move in those suits. Thats the only problem with CGI, just because you can do anything, doesnt me you have to.

Read there is a sequel to the new movie on 3rd June 2016. Hopefully they get a better writer to add better character interactions with them....although part of me would love a Be bop and Rocksteady in the movie. Or Krang. :-)

petef201:
Awesome nostalgia-trip! Think I might watch this tonight, been a long time!

Personally my favorite version is actually the current CGI nickelodeon cartoon. I'm old enough to remember the 80s cartoon, and it was definitely great at times, but I've yet to see a bad episode of the latest one.

I loved the original comic, and didn't start to like the cartoon series until after the first movie came out. My Nephew and I went to out for pizza and went out to catch the movies, it was a great experience.

Also, I'm surprised Bob didn't have good things to say about the 2007 movie. It was good fun.

Bob brings up a good point: The series has gone through so many interpretations. And I'm all for updating the turtles if it's done well.

Anyway, as far as the movies go, my rankings are:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles > Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze > TMNT >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

I did enjoy the original cartoon series, but I was born in '89, so I was a bit late to the party there. Also, I couldn't see any of the live-action films until later when I saw them on VHS at my local library (and now I feel really old).

Funny thing, though: I could only see the second and third movies, because my library didn't have the first one. Maybe they couldn't find a copy at the time, I dunno. In any case, the second one I thought was funny and enjoyable, but even when I was little, I thought the third one was bad.

When I got older, I finally found the first one on DVD for rent at a nearby Blockbuster (again, old). I thought it was AMAZING.

The second movie to me has the same feelings I now have for the '87 series. Yes, it's corny and its age is pretty easy to see, but I still enjoy it. Had some great lines, too:

Even though I didn't see the 2003 series when it was airing (though I heard it was good), I did enjoy the 2007 CGI film. And I even like the 2012 series currently airing on Nickelodeon.

Haven't seen the new one, and I really don't want to.

Also...I haven't read any of the comics. *dodges barrage of tomatoes*

Oh Bob's New England accent, why must you add an "R" so as to say "Ninjurs" only 25% the time.

I was about 10 or 11 when the first turtles movie came out. Right smack dab in the target audience at the time. I've always assumed I liked it due to nostalgia.

I showed it to my children (5boy ,7girl ,10boy ,13girl) all of them having recently seen the Mike Bay movie (which was just... weak) agreed that they liked as they said "the classic" version much better.

Next week the sequels... we'll see how that goes.

Yeah, can't agree with you (or anyone else in this thread for that matter). Look, I absolutely LOVED the Turtles when I was a kid and still kinda do (seriously, the current show on Nickelodeon is fnuggin' awesome) but I watched the first movie a couple of weeks ago and... yeah, I should've left that one to nostalgia. It's bad, plain and simple. Maybe it was a decent movie when it came out, but now? It has aged poorly I'm afraid.

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)

On topic though, yeah, I really enjoyed the first live action movie. I thought I liked it because I liked it as a kid, but I went back recently to check it out and it still holds up pretty nicely.

Also the guy who voiced Nergal in Billy and Mandy and The Lobe in Freakazoid was in it, and that's pretty awesome too.

To be fair these episodes tend to be explorations into why things work and don't work on the big screen and why wouldn't you use the more recent readily available sources that you already have fresh in your mind. It's a little weird to say oh wow he's talking about that recent movie he didn't like given that a deconstruction of media based on Bob's perspectives is one of the main reasons for this show. No sense dragging up an old movie re watching it finding relating it to modern cinema and condensing your thoughts and opinions on it when you already have a working film and theme to riff off of ready to go. It's not really a narrow focus it's just properly using the readily available materials at hand. Still Howard the Duck let's get on that one too. It's just too bizarre to ignore.

Trucken:
Yeah, can't agree with you (or anyone else in this thread for that matter). Look, I absolutely LOVED the Turtles when I was a kid and still kinda do (seriously, the current show on Nickelodeon is fnuggin' awesome) but I watched the first movie a couple of weeks ago and... yeah, I should've left that one to nostalgia. It's bad, plain and simple. Maybe it was a decent movie when it came out, but now? It has aged poorly I'm afraid.

Well most of us aren't saying that the 90's movie was the best THING ever, when it comes to the turtles, but when it comes to TMNT 'movies' yeah...it is (ignoring numbers 2 and 3...ugh). Especially when you compare it with something like the Bay TMNT Train-wreck that we all know is going to be watched but a ton of little kids and thus is going to make tons of money because in the end that's all Bay wants, tons of cash, he has gone on record stating that's what he wants and sadly, that's what he often gets. I'm sorry, but if a Rat learning marital arts while watching his master, whilst in his pet cage makes more sense then what Bay did, then you're doing something wrong. Oh and the only thing I will disagree about with Bob, is that last scene, a lot of people thought it was anti-climactic, what with the basically cartoony sidestep, but it sure beats how they 'ended' the shredder in Bay's movie.

It's been a while since I watched this film, but now I feel the need to watch it again. I also see this episode as a kind of weird parallel to Superman Revisited in that it's a analysis of the original film in the "x" series but unlike Superman Revisited this is after the film which Bob thought turned out to be crappy (though I don't hate Man of Steel as much as some).

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.

tm96:
I think we can all sense the pattern with Michael Bay sort of like Gearbox Software. They can't handle other intellectual properties without any problems to follow.

Back to something TMNT related has anyone else noticed how catchy the them tune to the 80'S and 2003 cartoons are because like Duck Tales once you listen to it it will be a while before it leaves.

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.

I see your point, but this is the best movie ever made on the subject.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdtM66SxZeI

I watched the original movie today (before seeing Bob made a video about it).

It is still awesome today. No, more than awesome, I think it is a perfect mix between original comics and original cartoons.

There is a thing... In last years, I keep hearing that "critics" keep talking about same thing over and over:
- 80's popular cartoons were not faithful to the source material.
- Hey did you know that there were comic books before the cartoon?
- 2003 TMNT cartoon was better than 80s cartoon series.
- 2000s cartoons were faithful the comics.

OK, the year is 2014, and I am sure that the people watched and liked original cartoon series, definitely knows or heard the cartoon series were adapted from comic books. So, it is kinda pointless that is continously getting mentioned.

Back to the movie. That movie is still amazing. Why? Because it sometimes moves slow, give personilites to the characters, and goes aggressive whenever the action scenes come. You can see every scene has its own identity, there are some details here and there, and they use grunge style of 80s/90s. Sometimes the movie is calm, sometimes dramatic, and sometimes funny.
You can find different emotions in that movie.

OK, I know 2003 series were very very popular in USA, 2000s. However, I always loved the first season of original cartoons.
When critics start to talk about the original series, they only talk about the later seasons of the series, and how goofy, cheesy or watered down they are.
I am not against that, but the first season had a very different style than those later seasons.
And I think first movie carried out that unique style very well (and combined elements from comic books.)

The new movie doesn't contain anything above.
It is just a marketing ploy to appeal "GEARS OF WAR" generation.
The movie just contains action. Scenes are fast, faster, more faster and much more faster. Thinking, dreaming, and imagination have no place in them.
Michael Bay loves to make the CGIs very detaily, however they don't actually contain any "meaning".
While you watch original movie, every detail gives you another emotion and feeling.
The new movie, don't give necessary time for appreciating the details.
OK, You can put millions of details into CGI, but they don't have meanings, or don't look as "realistic" as the original movie.

I think new Nickelodeon cartoons are hundred times better to combine original comics, original cartoon, original movies and that 2003 cartoons, than this meaningless thingy.
Turtles are steroided goliaths, they are very loosely based to the source materials, and it has no respect to original fans...

But, it has economical success... Great, today Hollywood thinks only about money, it is successful if it sells in theaters. Don't care what happens to it after one year...

I always thought secret of the ooze was better.

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.

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.

No Bob, you're wrong!

I think the only turtle thing I've ever watched is the animated show there's a glimpse of in the episode.

I personally liked the way Shredder went out in the movie.

I don't think we needed this big, huge fight scene between Splinter and Shredder. Splinter being able to beat Shredder with one quick move made Splinter seem all the more badass and mysterious.

It's kind of like how Yoda became much less interesting when we saw him leaping around with a lightsaber in the prequel movies.

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