Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

UPDATE: Due to the request by Paramount Pictures Corporation, I am respectfully removing and replacing  unreleased “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” motion picture(s) with generic, fan made TMNT images to represent and hold the place where those images were. 

Be prepared to be shell shocked! Wait, that's a bad pun but it's not as bad as the new designs that are being leaked for Michael Bay's rendering of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ok, so sure, the TMNT have almost 30 years of history to be worked with. But how much of it is actually important enough to be made into the movies? 

Primary TMNT from Mirage's launch goes as this: 
Volume 1: 1984–1993
Volume 2: 1993–1995
Volume 3: 1996–1999
Volume 4: 2001–2010

So that's... 26 years of Mirage's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? But Volume 3 has no importance. Peter Laird decided that Volume 3 is not "canon" or "official."That brings us to to 1984-1995 (11 years) and 2001-2010 (9 years). Most of those story lines and arcs were small and isolated. Shredder himself wasn't even a big deal. Hell, he was even killed within the first night he fought the TMNT. He actually wasn't even to hold much ground against them and committed Seppuku rather than die by their hands. The Foot Clan would use clones, Karai, and other means to haunt the Ninja Turtles with the shadow of the Shredder, but he remained dead. Don't believe me? Check it here. 
"In truth, though many TMNT fans who became fans via the first animated series see the Shredder as a REALLY important part of an ongoing, long-running battle with the Turtles, I don't think Kevin or I ever did. Yes, he was an important part of their history, and they probably would not have come into existence without his involvement in their world (or more accurately Splinter's world)... but that's about it. Other than bringing the Shredder back for "Return to New York" (and the few issues preceding that set that arc up), I never missed him in any of the other TMNT books I worked on."  - Peter Laird
The Fred Wolf Films and Playmates toyline made Shredder into a cartoony version of himself and that's where he managed to become an ongoing threat. The Archie Comics run was based on the cartoon but even in that, he wasn't the biggest threat they dealt with. 4Kids did a relaunch with an alien posing as the Shredder where was an ongoing threat and Dreamwave made a small series of comic books adapted from those stories. Nicktoons currently is doing a pretty great CGI series that pulls elements from both the Mirage, Fred Wolf Films, and the old live action movies. But Michael Bay's take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Let's begin... 

The original image that was here was Michael Bay's Transformers Megatron plus Power Rangers' Lord Zedd equaling this new movie Shredder because that is what the image looked like to me.

Shredder looks like Michael Bay's Transformers Megatron and Lord Zedd from Power Rangers had a child together. It's cool that Michael Bay's TMNT is pulling from fan favorites over source material to create a whole new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but the design just seems like he is trying too hard. The next image is even scarier...

The image that was here was the original Jim Henson's studios Leonardo plus Turok the Dinosaur Hunter equaling the new movie's Leonardo because he wears a strikingly close set of armor. These knock off Ninja Turtles are almost a fair and accurate representation of what the new TMNT look like though!

I'm hoping that this is a final assault... "City at War" design. To me, the TMNT never really war armor unless it was for a final showdown, last resort, all chips are in... kind of battle. With that menacing looking Shredder? It can work. But if that's the look for the whole movie? It's going to be taking away from the elements that I like about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; that there plastron is their armor. Besides that, what is bothering me? The nostrils? The over muscular designs? The scales? The too human looking face? Yes, all of the above. I'm afraid to see what Splinter is going to look like. 

This article is pretty much a knee-jerk reaction to the images I am seeing and the information I keep hearing about how and where Michael Bay and his team plan on altering the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I grew up with. I know it was not a perfect movie, but TMNT from 2007 was great. It was for kids, had limited back story about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so anyone can enjoy it, and it kept the Green Team true to their forms. What I see right now? This is making the Bayformers series look great. While the robot form designs may have lacked, at least the concept of alien robots that turned into vehicles kept, the important characters (Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, etc) stayed almost true to their source material.

</end rant>

Monday, January 27, 2014

GeeksAgainst!: Justice League - War

I had the privilege of being able to view this before it gets out for the public next week. Mainly as a Marvel fan, I don't pretend that I am an authority of DC; especially when it comes to the Justice League. I know a lot about Batman but that's from what I was exposed to thanks to Batman: The Animated series and Batman Beyond. Heck, I enjoyed the altered Batman history for the Bale/Nolan run.

Summary: I'll start off without any spoilers because I feel that is pretty fair... especially since this set to be officially released on February 4, 2014. (For those who want to pre-order a copy...) The story takes place before the formation of the Justice League. Green Lantern runs into Batman and the two end up dealing with a Parademon; the Darkseid's monstrous shock/invasion troops from Apokolips. After deciding that the Parademon is of alien nature, they decide to finally meet Superman to see what he knows. Meanwhile, the Flash is has already aware of the alien activity and has been in touch with a lab. During this time, Wonder Woman confronts a mob of anti-superhero protestors. The rest? It's packed with pretty great action. I am not going to spoil or reveal the rest of the plot.

The Pros: With this being a first of possibly more animated Justice League movies, I really like how it wasn't filled with too much backstories that hardcore comic fans already know and also not too many references for new fans to be overwhelmed. The designs of the characters were great. The personalities and mannerisms were pretty much spot on. With a line up of Darkseid and his forces against Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, Shazam, and Cyborg, there's plenty to enjoy. Dialogue was great as well.

The Cons: Flash needed more screen time as well as some more with Shazam. Cyborg could have used some more time adjusting. Other than that, I really enjoyed the direction of this movie.

Overall: 10/10 Stars

Conclusion: As a PG-13 movie, the animated violence and language definitely takes it to the more mature audience. It was nice to not see an animated "kiddie" movie from DC. Marvel has cancelled Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and replaced it with Avengers: Assemble and Hulk: Agents of SMASH, it's nice to actually see and feel like comic book movies are for my age range again.  I would definitely recommend watching it; especially if you have been anti-DC before in the past.