Will Arnett

August 4, 2014

Early Returns: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Justin’s Take)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ludicrous
101mins – Action/Adventure – 2014

Why Ludicrous? Because Ludicrous: So foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous.
That sums up this film perfectly.

Just because Turtles can talk and are ninja’s, doesn’t mean there are THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

After the film begins with a somewhat enjoyable animated prologue that explains where the turtles come from, things begin to go down hill.

Unless your 6, then this film is amazing in every aspect and the horrific Transformers films are nothing but masterpieces. Sadly in those kids minds God is spelled Bay… Ugh.

If your not 6 and grew up with the birth of the greatness that is the Turtles then this film will leave a tear down your cheek, not a happy one.  That’s because that great time known as my childhood of Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is now dead. My reviewing partner and Transformers Gen. 1 fan DJ Valentine was right 4 years ago when he said, “Bay killed my childhood now he’s coming after yours.” It’s over and honestly if you want to believe those days are right around the corner again then Do Not Watch this film. Keep those happy thoughts of yesterday alive and well.

Before I get into things let me say, this is not the same TMNT I watched grow as I grew myself. Turtles of those days where fun, in words and looks. This movie kills that thought process and reimagines them as ugly hulks and not those cute Turtles in a half shell. This is a rebirth for a new generation. My generation is given a door. A door with crappy nods and abuse from the silver screen. The new generation of Turtles amazes me. They had a perfect formula that invited all ages to come and enjoy; yet they changed that formula for a version that, in my mind, is darker and unfriendly toward kids. I’m a guy who doesn’t give a crap about anything. Nothing will offend me and I love to curse. But when Michelangelo talks about Turtles getting aroused then I believe we crossed a line that didn’t need to be crossed. I would think we would of made a friendlier form of Turtles and not these horny hulk-like creatures.

There’s that word again, hulk. Yes the Turtles are horrible looking and again I wonder why this is the way they went. Oh yeah Bay, that’s right. The Hitler of destroying childhoods, yes he didn’t direct this film, but he did have input. A lot of input. His fingerprints are all over the place with over complicated fighting, over the top CGI, comedy that feels forced and over sexualizing the whole film. Damn there it is again! I feel like an old guy angry about where this film went and not where it should go…and I’m not that guy. I live in a R rated world, I mean listen to our podcasts, we do not hold back. But this is the Turtles. They’re better than this.

This film should have a tagline like, Plot holes galore!

There is a scene with Whoopi Goldberg (April’s Editor) laughing April out of the station due to her attempt to break the story of the Turtles. Here’s the kicker, she took a photo with her phone, and why she doesn’t show her that will make you run out of the theater alone. I mean if she wanted to break from the crappy exercise pieces she does, you’d think she’d show the photo. Don’t worry I’m not telling you everything.  There is more about Blood and Fire, but I’ll let you see that for yourself. The connection of April to the Turtles is also stupid.  Now they are her childhood pets. There that’s it, oh wait this is Bay, there is much more to that which will leave your head shaking.

Even though Megan Fox wasn’t as bad as Megan Fox usually is I still believe she wasn’t cast right. She killed the film for me, even before seeing it. I hated the idea of her being used mostly for her looks, but that’s how Bay is. There are other more qualified and prettier actresses out there that could have easily fit better. That said, she wasn’t that bad. However, there are worse choices in this film. The Turtles themselves aren’t what I expected. The voices are horrible. Michelangelo might have been the best but his dialogue is the worst. Never thought I’d want a Turtle to shut up more. Leonardo played by Jonny Knoxville (coming in late to replace the original Pete Ploszek) just felt lazy. Donatello was okay, though again bad dialogue comes into play, which hinders it. Raphael’s voice just doesn’t work for me. Being played by Smallville’s Aquaman, The hotheaded Raphael seemed kind of quiet and soft-spoken. I just didn’t feel it. Then again, I like my Turtles with Brooklyn accents and that’s just thrown away here.

If they can’t get the Turtles right I’m not even going to get into Shredder. I did like the way the Foot Clan looked, so that’s something. Will Arnett is Will Arnett. William Fichtner plays a William Fichtner scientist. Really wish there was more to say about ’em, but there isn’t.

After this reboot, the idea of a sequel seems extremely unappealing. I’m going to bet we get one, which sadness me. I honestly think this film will bomb. I’ve been very good at guessing which films would fail and which ones would succeed. But in a world where Transformers 4: Age of Extinction can be the first film of 2014 to rake in $1 billion, nothing makes sense anymore.

I feel I should say goodbye to the memory of my beloved Turtles for good.  However I’m lucky that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lives on with Nickelodeon. It’s not the greatest but it’s been getting very good lately. If you would like for your child to get into TMNT, give them that option and skip the ludicrous movie that has nothing to do with those hero’s in a half shell.

So, for now I’m going to raise my hand in defiance of this forgone conclusion failure of a film and yell, “Turtle Power!

February 12, 2014

The LEGO Movie

INSPIRED
The LEGO Movie – Inspired

The magic of movies, at least for me, is where a film can take me back to a time in my life where I was happiest and made me feel joy.  It’s important that a filmmaker(s) be able to connect with an audience at not only an intellectual level, but also a human level.  Going to the movies is as much an experience as it can be a sanctuary for young and old.  Usually, as we get old, we get more cynical and jaded and there are times that are few and far between where we can remember what it’s like to be a kid and simply have fun.  That’s how I felt with “The LEGO Movie” an extremely inspired film-going experience that had me laughing, smiling, and nearly crying when it was all said and done.

“LEGO” from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the guys that brought us the hilarious “21 Jump Street” in 2011, channel their inner child and have created a “kids” film that will keep the little ones entertained throughout with explosions, but are still able to create an intelligent film that will have LEGO collectors, or even casual builders, in stitches throughout it’s entirety.  The film follows Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, as a stock LEGO-man piece; he loves to follow rules, watch “Where Are My Pants?” (which needs to be a real show by the way) and builds things like couch bunk beds.  Emmet’s world is thrown out of whack when he discovers that he’s a part of a prophecy to save the world from the evil Lord Business, voiced by Will Ferrell.  To say the least, hijinks ensue, and things blow up a lot.

What really makes “LEGO” special is the attention to detail.  You can tell that Lord and Miller really went out of their way to make the ultimate meta LEGO film.  From the obscure LEGO figurines, to the way things explode into fiery LEGO pieces, and especially how things are built.  We can all remember how awesome it was the first time we built our first spaceship, or even that weird creation that was the cross between a taxi cab, and a bathtub, its all in “LEGO.”

Aside from the incredible attention to detail, the voice cast is incredibly impressive.  You can tell that Lord and Miller have an great Roll-O-Dex of people they can contact.  From Nick Offerman to Allison Brie, with a few surprise voices thrown in for good measure, the cast simply seems…..again……inspired.

As I mentioned before, what really gets you as a LEGO fan, or just a fan of storytelling, albeit the overall plot is rather cliche, which I’m sure was the point to begin with, is how the third act of the film is something you really don’t see coming.  Again….inspired wouldn’t even do it justice.  Just when you think you are simply dealing with a film that just stars yellow building blocks, you’ll get the feeling you might have gotten in “Toy Story 3.”  Something deep down inside you will tell you “hey, it’s okay…..let it out.”  I’m not saying that I did, cry that is, but the message is beautiful, and it would be a real shame to ruin it in this review.  It’s an unexpected scene that really makes “LEGO” such a great film for not only kids, but the kid inside each and every one of us.

Yes, I’ll be one of the first people to say that I scoffed at the notion of a LEGO movie.  Personally, between video games, theme parks, and the actual toys, I was reaching a LEGO saturation point.  Boy was I wrong.  Not only is “LEGO” one of the more thoughtful kids films to come out in a while, but it’s also a film that gives you a little hope.  Some hope that people still care about making quality films and still have some original ideas left out there.  Of course this is ironic that both Lord and Miller also helmed “Jump Street,” which I also had reservations about before it came out, but it’s the way that they paid homage to the original, while still creating a funny and “original” concept.  They do the same for “LEGO” which is by far my most enjoyable film-going experience since “Pacific Rim” in 2013.  Well done guys, and keep UniKitty happy…..you wouldn’t want to see her when she’s angry.

Fun Fact:  LEGO began manufacturing interlocking bricks in 1949 in Denmark.

Welcome to the new home of SimplisticReviews.net - We're currently still working on the site. You might notice a few issues, please be patient with us. Thanks! (Store also in testing — no orders shall be fulfilled.)
Scroll to top