Movie Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Review 8/10 (mild spoilers)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

     The movie starts out with a terrible Sin City-esque type of moving comic book pages story telling that really feels out of place at the beginning of the movie as Splinter narrates. This is really my only gripe about this movie, that if you asked me  months ago I would have told you I wasn’t even going to give this movie a chance.

     Aside from a few canonical changes this movie was absolutely fantastic. It had everything from action to comedy (and a lot of it). The development of the Turtles was a unique twist on their origin being slightly altered from the comics but you will expect that from a major motion picture. The different take on Splinter and Shredder was more in line with the movies from the 1990’s than the comics so that wasn’t anything really new. The Shredder armor was not as terrible as the Toy makes it out to be, quite awesome actually. Vern and April were off and on ultimately serving a purpose.

     We are introduced to Vern and April at first and both of the characters seem a bit clumpy but as the movie goes on they both really hit their stride. Vern played by Will Arnett trips over some dialogue at the beginning of the movie when we are first introduced to him, but it works itself out as the movie wears on and he ends up being quite and endearing character.

     We are introduced to Karai who has a very shallow character development. In fact we see her throughout the movie as a henchman but never introduced in any other way or mentioned by anyone in particular. I was disappointed in that because I enjoy that character in the comics and cartoon but I understand what this movie was meant to do. There is always room in the sequel.

     Eric Sachs played by William Fichnter is introduced as the head of a company similar to TCRI in the comics and cartoon and is the normal character that is portraying a protagonist hiding an antagonist within. Its a little stale but that is kind of how Fichtner plays his characters. There is a nice reveal that the original spoilers and rumors of this movie were false and that was a wonderful surprise. I was however waiting for this movie to Iron Man 3 me, so I was worried most of the movie it would let me down, but it didn’t!

     The Shredder Armor was pretty damn cool, and a great take on the armor itself. The Foot Clan’s back story was a great one with ties to ancient Japan. But the current Foot Clan was terribly represented and kind of boring henchmen types. Sachs tells April a story about the origin of the Mutagen and the Shredder in ancient Japan that builds respect for this installment of the mythology; that if you take this movie stand alone and any sequels it is a good story.

     Splinter and the Turtles have a pretty good flashback montage where it goes through the development from baby turtles and little splinter to adolescent turtles and then into teenagers. This is reminiscent of the 1990’s TMNT movie where Splinter narrates their origin in that one as well. It is very similar to that in the first movie too. An aspect of how they came to be and their owner was a smidgen off putting but again if you can take this movie and anything after as stand alone then its a good fresh twist.

     Each turtle brought a different weight to the movie, and the director didn’t stray from tradition. Donnie was super smart, Mikey was a space cadet, Leo was the leader that Raph always second guessed until the end when he learned a lesson. Pretty much every version of the turtles ever. I didn’t hate what they were wearing, again I think that they were poorly portrayed by the toys that came out prior to the movie and then the online backlash that included myself that chose to judge before seeing the movie. I was wrong and I admit it.

     This movie was highly marketed to kids by Nickelodeon and even though there was no sex or foul language there was a lot of violence and there were a lot of kids crying becuase they snuck a jumpy moment into this movie. Over all I will give this movie an 8 out of 10 because there was so much action that was fantastic to watch. There was so much comedy, Mikey stole the show. Meagan Fox wasn’t as terrible as she normally is, and there is an Arrested Development Easter Egg in this movie and that is worth seeing! I highly recommend seeing this movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles = 8/10

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Mikel’s X-Men: DOFP Review (Spoilers)

X-Men: Days of Future Past 10/10 GO SEE IT!!!

Going into this movie, with all of the hype and hoopla being made over it; and even the Hardee’s ads featuring some of the cast, I still had high hopes. That sometimes is a scary thing to do; going into a large budget movie with high hopes makes you feel a bit like Icarus. But I will tell you what, these wax wings held up! This movie starts off intense and continues to hold you until don’t even realize that you just set through 2 hours and 15 minutes of the Best X-Men Movie EVER! Yep, better than X2!

The movie started off in a fight sequence with some new characters mixed in with some old favorites from the original X-Movies. Bishop, Blink, Warpath, and Sunspot were all introduced. And I might add, were 100% accurate to their comic book counter parts. I have no idea, if that has ever happened with ancillary characters in the X-Men Franchise of movies. Iceman and Kitty Pryde were 2 of the original X-Men who were leading that team. The fighting sequence in this was tremendous. The future Sentinels were so great and masterfully designed.

After the initial fight and you can see that Kitty has the ability to send people back in time, the future groups of mutants are joined in China by Professor X, Magneto, Storm, and Wolverine. They go through the spiel about needing to go back in time and save the world, more specifically to stop Mystique from killing Trask and causing everything that is surrounding them.

This movie at this point has a great narrative throughout it. That narrative is redemption. Everyone wants to redeem their past, in order to create a better future. A great narrative is one that can transcend multiple story lines and reveal itself in many different moments of the movie. We see it with Professor X, we see it with Beast, we see it with Magneto in the future, we see it with Mystique at the end of the movie, and we see it in Wolverine in every single scene in the movie. Redemption is a heavy sword through out this movie, and the post credits scene with Apocalypse shows that because in the comics he can travel through time, to redeem himself anytime he fails.

The acting in this movie was flawless, especially by Peter Dinklage and Michael Fassbender. Both portray their characters perfectly. I loved the anguish on Magneto’s face as you can tell he has no remorse for the things he is doing because he knows it is for the betterment of his kind. Peter Dinklage has the same look on his face as Boliver Trask knows what he is doing is for the betterment of all humankind. There is a point where is first introduced where he is reading an excerpt from one of Professor X’s papers where he says that humans drove Neanderthals to extinction because they were weaker. At that moment he and Magneto become the perfect embodiment of one another and their paths were to cross no matter what timeline that they fell within.

The final scene of this movie was the greatest, and as much as this movie was great, what Bryan Singer did was perfect. There are cameos be a few “X-Men” that wrap this movie up quite nicely with and basically say most of X2 and all of X3: Last Stand never happened. When they came onto the screen Oh Man it was so awesome. Jean, Scott, Rogue, and Beast all made their cameos. This movie wrapped up very nicely and from what I saw, the X-Men franchise is set for a very bright future!

10/10 Great! SEE THIS MOVIE!!!

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Midnight Release)

X-Men: Days of Future Past

     Well it’s finally here, the midnight release tonight of the epic follow up to X-Men: First Class. We have waited quite a while for Bryan Singer to come back to the helm and take the X-Men Movie Universe where it needs to go. We have gotten little tidbits of information about this movie bit by bit and then all of a sudden BOOM in your face!

     The Nerd Management crew are headed to yet another Midnight Release this year, and man have there been a ton. I am sure the review of DOFP will be up tonight right after we see the movie! There is supposed to be a stinger that leads into a movie I am looking forward to X-Men: Apocalypse. I just hope that it is different than what we were told about 6 to 8 months ago.

 



TMNT: Not As Terrible As We Thought?

Michael Bay’s Garbage Covered Oversized Kung Fu Turtles!?

 

Ok Ok Ok a little harsh, I know… Michael Bay only maybe knows this movie exists, and that he help render and design a couple of fight scenes; but man his name is polarizing in the Fan Boy world. Even if his name is attached people freak out! My first thought after seeing the trailer was… Ok yeah maybe this won’t be the train wreck we have been lead to believe it was going to be for months. Even though it has Megan Fox in it, it seems like they have a good ground base for their story and since they aren’t Aliens that is 100% better than initial information.

Ok as for the trailer, great action and great witty comedy. The man who becomes Shredder (William Fichtner)  is narrating the whole trailer and he reveals that April O’Neil’s dad and he created the Turtles. Throughout the trailer you see Eric Sachs [Fichtner] staring at the Shredder armor, like he was peering into the soul of himself.

We see April (A LOT) in the trailer as well as Leo and Mikey up close and Donnie and Raph in an action sequence. Mikey gets in a good joke at the very end, and we see April faint. The Turtles look just like the leaked pics of the Action Figures. All of them seem to be dressed in derelict clothes that looks like they found in the garbage cans.

Overall I still think this will be a disaster, but not because Michael Bay is attached to it; or because of the design; or even because of the storyline. There is just something about it, I can’t put my finger on it, that is just off a bit. It will definitely be worth going to in the theatre, but I don’t think it will be loved by true fans.

Thor: The Dark World Review (Spoilers)

 

Thor: The Dark World (Spoilers)

With a great mix of action and humor Thor: Dark World (TDW) was such a good Marvel Movie that it almost made you forget how terrible some of the Iron Man movies were. There was such a presence on the screen with Chris Hemsworth that you never forgot that it was a movie about Thor. You never thought are these Dark Elves really the villain or is there a twist? You had a slight sense that Loki might be good or might be evil, but this is the 2nd movie in a trilogy so you know exactly what Loki is in this movie.

TDW played light hearted at times, and at other times it brought the THUNDER and was action packed. The scenes with Eccelston as Malekith were great, because he is a great actor, and as always Sir Anthony Hopkins was a great Odin. Rene Russo as Frigga gave a great performance and branched out from the first movie where she was basically just for looks. She actually was similar to the Frigga we know and love from the comics.

The rest of the cast just were… well… there… They replaced the former actor who played Fandral with Zachary Levi from Chuck. Ray Stevenson was as always great, and we got to see the future Wonder Woman in action? Maybe? Portman as Jane Foster was great. Dennings as Darcy and Skarsgard as Dr. Selvig were as you would expect.

Not many times is a sequel better than the original movie, but they hit a home run with this one. I was at most times on the edge of my seat and I never once thought when is this going to be over. You can’t say that about most sequels and some Marvel Movies in general are boring. But TDW is great and I highly recommend you see this movie because it is a great tie in to Avengers 2, it anchors the direction of the Phase 2 of Marvel Movie Universe, and it has a nice Patriotic Cameo in it that is sure to make you laugh.

There are 2 end credits scenes in TDW and you immediately know when you see the Mid Credits Scene where they are going with it. The whole scene is out of place with TDW but it is intentional because it directly ties into another upcoming Phase 2 Marvel Movie that is out next year. The Post Credits Scene is awful, a great moment between Hero and Heroine is ruined by a slapstick maneuver on the part of the director. And much like the schwarma scene in Avengers, it has no baring or purpose to the film. I did not go to this movie to see a cold close post credit scene.

Over all this gets a 4.5 out of 5 from me.