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Movie Moments- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -

Written by Jon Lance  

It has a long wait for fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.The previous incarnations of the turtles featured several cartoon television shows, a 1990’s live action movie trilogy and a 2007 CGI animated remake that seemed to resonate with most fans.

Seven years later, summer blockbuster movie producer Michael Bay teams up with relative newcoming director Jonathan Liebesman in a live action remake of the turtles for a modern generation of children. At first glance the new TMNT is a mixed bag at best. The CGI of the turtles is phenomenal. The high contrast Bay uses throughout most his films works perfectly with the tone and texture of the turtle’s clothing and skin. The motion capture details of the actor’s faces is also a spectacle to behold. A viewer will have no problem believing a 7 foot talking turtle is walking around New York City.  Casting of the movie was also well done. Megan Fox plays a young television reporter April O’Neal with Will Arnett playing the comic relief as her camera man sidekick. Fox has grown as an actress since her blockbuster debut in 2007 with “Transformers,” which was directed by Michael Bay. Fox and Arnett held a chemistry that floated the second act of the film.  Voice actors of the turtles also did a extraordinary job capturing the feeling of a teenager still learning to becoming an adult. The turtles made mistakes, hasty decisions and pop culture references abound to instill the youthfulness of each character. After the first meeting of the turtles in the film, the fans will feel nostalgia of previous incarnations of the team.  Looking a little deeper, the script is by far the worst part of the film. The movie was clearly written for younger teenagers much like the original TMNT trilogy of the 1990s. The toilet humor of the movie undeniably makes kids in the theatre giggle but there is no deeper adult humor to make parents enjoy the film as well. Many of the jokes seemed forced and the silence in the movie theatre was noticeable.  The biggest issue with the movie is several fluctuations in the laws of physics. Genetic experiments are plausible in the TMNT world but some aspects of the film contradict itself. The turtles would be able to withstand a barrage of bullets to the chest, falling off buildings and being thrown through vehicles but a standard medical needle can pierce their flesh to draw blood. Furthermore, viewers will find traveling by foot through an old city sewer is much faster than a helicopter moving at maximum velocity, everyone in New York is somehow connected to each other and scientists label clear viles of material with “liquid” and “gas” with no other description.  Bottom line, viewers with fond memories of the 1990s film, the cartoon television shows and young teenagers will enjoy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtes. Everyone else will find it difficult finish the journey with the heroes on the half-shell.    Sulphur Springs Starplex cinemas is showing TMNT Friday through Sunday at 4:05 p.m., 9:20 p.m. and Monday through Thursday at 4:05 p.m. TMNT 3D is showing Friday through Sunday at 1:50 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and Monday through Thursday at 1:50p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

TMNT- two out of five stars


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