Reviews with Pizzazz: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

Boss-Bot is back! Please enjoy his newest post in “Reviews with Pizzazz”! 🙂

 

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” Review

Wow.  In a good way, though.  All that needs to be said about this movie is that if you like the Turtles, the certain aspects of the movie at the very least will put a smile on your face.  If you don’t like the Turtles, you won’t like the movie.  It’s as simple as that.  This movie is truly fan service at its best.  I’ve been a Turtles fan since the ’03 4Kids series and have loved the heroes in a half shell ever since.  That being said, the movie isn’t perfect, so here are the good and bad.

Good:

Compared to the 2014 predecessor this film really nails the characters; all of them.  We really see the Turtles struggle and eventually grow as a team throughout the picture.  Their goofy personalities are still there, while the crude humor is toned down from the 2014 movie; which no one is complaining about.  Rather than the cliché Leo vs. Raph drama which has been really overdone at this point, the turmoil between the brothers does not seem forced and it works.  That’s what is important: it works.  Turtles aside, Splinter has a much smaller, more fatherly role which worked for his character.  Rather than being a major player, he’s in the shadows and gives advice and wisdom when necessary, as a sensei should.  The human protagonists are not as heavily pushed as the last film.  As much as I loved the 2014 reboot, at times it felt more like the adventures of April O’Neil than a movie dedicated to the Turtles.  That being said, I did like Fox’s April and loved Will Arnett’s new character of Vern Fenwick during the 2014 film.  I had the same feelings towards their roles in “Out of the Shadows”.  While we saw less of them, they were used much more wisely.  April seemed much less of the focus character, but did important detective work with the Turtles.  Vern was still a great comic relief and his “Falcon Breath” scene was one of the funniest moments in the picture.  Onto the villains, we have an array of fan favorites including Baxter Stockman, Shredder, Krang, and even Bebop and Rocksteady.  Shredder was more of a traditional ninja rather than the last film’s Iron Man suit, which I liked, but I digress.  He was silent, intimidating, and seemed like a convincing Shredder.  Tyler Perry was surprisingly great as Dr. Stockman.  He was quirky, funny, and nailed the character, which seemed based off of the 2012 show’s incarnation of Stockman.  Krang was done well, too.  While not as memorable as the last villains that will be discussed, he was eerily humorous and again, most importantly, it worked.  Last but certainly not least, the best characters done in the film were Bebop and Rocksteady.  Sheamus and Gary Anthony Williams nailed the duo.  They were hilarious throughout the film and took the goofiness of the characters so seriously that you would truly believe the two were Bebop and Rocksteady.  The film’s tone and plot was much lighter and more cartoony than the 2014 film.  The Turtles are goofy and not meant to be taken seriously, so the light, comedic tone of the film was perfect for the franchise.  Most importantly, it was fun.  The script was corny, but it should be.  It’s a Turtles movie.  Call it a popcorn movie or just a fun movie, but for what the Turtles are it worked.  Not to forget, the film truly had heart.  The moral of one accepting who they are against what society believes is powerful to the casual viewer, fan, and incredibly important for the young viewers to understand.  This movie was for the fans of the franchise, to put it simply.  Not to mention, if you looked really closely when Shredder was frozen in the Technodrome, there was a frozen Triceraton next to him.  #BattleNexus

The Bad:

Well, there isn’t much bad for me to say.  I’m biased as I loved the film, but for general audience goers there could be some issues.  One could find the script too cartoonish, but as a nonfan it would make sense how not everyone will appreciate the film’s script.  The only other negative would be bathroom humor, but there was not much.  There was only one fart joke, which was not as cringe worthy as it could have been.  Other than that, I really did not find that many faults with the movie.  Before watching, one must remember “Out of the Shadows” is meant to be a fun, summer popcorn film.  It’s not meant to be taken seriously and torn apart.  It’s meant to simply be an enjoyable way to spend a few hours during a summer day.

Overall:

Out of a star rating, I would definitely give it a 5/5.  This rating is coming from a fan.  The good outweighed all of the bad for me and it was a fun movie.  It succeeded at its purpose: being an enjoyable film.  Coming from a more critical perspective, I would give it a 4/5.  The humor and plot may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that changes from person to person.  While some really hate this movie, all I can say is it’s at the very least, better than the last one.

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Crafts with Pizzazz: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

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Hello again from Bee!

A couple of days ago, Boss-Bot and I had a movie night, where we re-watched last summer’s blockbuster, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

When it was first announced that Michael Bay would be directing a new live-action version of another favorite comic/cartoon from the 80s, Boss-Bot and I definitely had some mixed feelings. On one hand, Bay’s “Transformers” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” had us hopeful that he’d make our beloved “heroes in a half-shell” look good on the big screen; on the other, his two middle sequels had us questioning whether the Turtles and their allies would be recognizable.

After seeing it, Boss-Bot commented that this was one of those movies that’s just plain fun – and I agree! Despite the new CGI look, they were still the same four ninja-styling, pizza-loving teenaged brothers we love. And it was really nice to see that April O’Neil wasn’t relegated to the sidelines – she was out there in the midst of the action right alongside her reptilian pals. Favorite parts: Mikey (of course!); the Turtles’ banter; the Usagi reference; April and her exasperated, hopelessly crushing cameraman; and Mikey singing “Happy Together” (by the Turtles!) at the end.

So yes, we enjoyed it – and it was great to see it again the other day. That’s why I decided my Crafts with Pizzazz post today would feature my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crochet.

When I was first learning how to crochet, I found a pattern for a regular amigurumi turtle that looked fairly easy to do. I followed the instructions, and then customized it into a Ninja Turtle by adding a felt mask. It turned out pretty well, and I gave it to Boss-Bot, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for style-wise.

Then a couple of months ago, I made up my own pattern for a pocket-sized turtle I gave to a friend as a gift. I was really pleased with the way it looked (as was my friend), so after finishing that present, I decided to see if I could modify my pattern and make the TMNT.

While keeping the basics of my pattern – a rounded head and a two-colored rounded body for the green front and brown shell – I added an extra row to the legs, plus elbow/knee pads, the yellow underbelly of their shells, belts, and of course, the masks in their signature colors. The results: four “turtley cute” little crochet Ninja Turtles ready for action!

As Mikey would say, “Cowabunga!” 🙂