September 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
How do I start? How do I start? Well, I kinda foreshadowed it on my review to Transformers: Age of Extinction so how about way before that. You all heard these words before – Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – and you all heard the outcry from TMNT being aliens and not teenagers to Megan Fox playing April O’Neil. And when a draft script has leaked, the mass has declared that this is as worst as TMNT as either rockers or with a female turtle. But my point of view to that is pretty meh. So to suffice, this is not a review that falls to the line of “Ooh, Hollywood is raping my childhood” because really, that notion has been done to death. Instead, it’s actually a review of a movie directed by Jonathan Liebesman and oh boy, how do I start with him?
Well, be surprised about this but I have never seen any of his full-length works. I say “full-length” because I did see Rings when it was packed as a special feature to The Ring DVD once and I barely remember anything about it afterward. The good reason is because despite never seen his movies, I know of criticism towards him when it comes to Battle: Los Angeles and Darkness Falls. From shaky cam techniques to clichéd script and dialogue to even the editing, his name reeks of “hack” director all over it and has been accused of that many times before. And then came to me seeing his (and Michael Bay’s) take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which ultimately ticks him off the “avoid directors” checklist that I’ve just made at the top of my head… Don’t ask.
The movie primary focuses on April O’Neil (Megan Fox) as she is tired of doing reports on fun stuff like jumping on trampolines for exercise and possibly interviewing one of the Kardashians so all she wants is the hard stuff. So as she investigates the local terrorist events caused by the Foot Clan, she also discovered four vigilantes that aren’t human-like so she tracks them down left and right before she discovers that the vigilantes are… Alan Moore’s Mystery Incorporated! Yeah, I was kidding so like the previous interpretations, she discovers the turtles. However, this one is a first for the franchise since her discovery ignites her previous times in the childhood when… do I have to spoil this one? Whatever, it’s back to spoiler alert territory.
The four turtles – Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michaelangelo (Noel Fisher), Leonardo (Pete Ploszek and voiced by Johnny Knoxville) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) – and a rat known as Splinter (Danny Woodburn and voiced by Tony Shalhoub) are laboratory experiments conducted by Eric Sachs (William Fichtner) and April’s father (Paul Fitzgerald). As powered by mutagen (which is an alien ooze and before anybody rant about this, the alien ooze thing is actually based upon the comic books), they survived the explosions that is started by April’s dad as little April drops them to the sewers. Flash-forward to now and she still wants the hard stuff so she needs help from Eric. However, Eric is a villain and working for Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and the foot clan so yeah, the turtles and Splinter are in deep shit.
With Splinter dying and the three turtles kidnapped, Raphael decides to save them and stop Shredder and Sachs from contaminate the big apple with toxin and April along with Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) help out. The turtles have escaped, the city have been saved (but with few damages) and Vern lost two company vehicles in a week. Well, movie over and I survive the Jonathan Liebesman experience for the first time so maybe I look into Battle: Los Angeles in about… several years time? But other than that, this movie is not that bad.
Granted, it’s not great either but it is watchable in my eyes and I don’t mind seeing this again. The acting is fine (even for Megan Fox which is something), the comedy is cool (except Eric’s “april coming this year” line, that one is uh, not funny) and there is moments in this movie. As for the negatives, there is shaky cam and lens flare involved but only to few action scenes so it’s basically “in your face” but to a minimum this time around, the origin changes is not much for me but that’s just a little thing and the plot somewhat resembles The Amazing Spider-Man in parts and really, I’ve seen that movie, I disliked that movie and I prefer not to bring this movie up. It is such an unfinished mess.
So Platinum Dunes’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it’s not as bad as say as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and that one I can deal with from this point on. Now what is next on my “reboot review” list which I just made up in this review? RoboCop! Well, this movie has to wait for a little while.
September 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
You all might already noticed that I’m fan of Time Travel stories when it comes to me reviewing movies like 12 Monkeys, Time Under Fire and even Quantum Apocalypse. Yeah, I’m somehow counting that last one as “time travel” movie now so that is something I thought I’ll never say. So anyway, while I’m preparing myself to give thoughts to something that I’m not looking forward to, I might as well hold those thoughts and review a time travel movie released this year that I am hoping is getting a cult following because… oh god, this movie is so awesome that I honestly don’t know how to handle a review without spoiling it even by a small piece.
And it’s all thanks to Martin and Peter Spierig which is already a good sign if you’ve seen Undead and Daybreakers. Now I actually know the story before seeing the movie since I read All You Zombies by Robert Heinlein a few years ago and it’s an interesting time travel story that is worth a read so do check it out (but after you see the movie, trust me on that part). So when I heard that they do this movie after their plans for Dark Crystal sequel didn’t work, I am hoping they won’t mess it up and go the Sound of Thunder direction of novel-to-film translation.
Taking place in 1970, it follows the bartender (Ethan Hawke) who has a chance encounter with John (Sarah Snook) who is passing his time while the city is having an alert involving the mysterious Fizzle Bomber. John explains his story on how he was a female who has lost her love and child in separate occasions while looking for ways to get a job from Mr Robinson (Noah Taylor). It was at that point, the bartender is revealed to be a time traveler from the future and he helps John find the love of his life and that is as far as I’m gonna tell the plot right here, what happens beyond that is for you to see for yourself.
Again, this movie is good and might be the sleeper hit of the year. Ethan gives a good performance while collaborating with the Spierig brothers for the second time. Noah also deserves a performance here but keep in mind that he is somewhat channeling his role in Vanilla Sky which I hope doesn’t take you out of the movie (or connect this movie with the other one canonically which is a sound theory but moving on) but the best performance throughout is Sarah Snook playing both Jane and John. It is her first starring role since Not Suitable For Children and it depends if she might be the next best thing to hit Hollywood but other than that, she stole the movie through and through.
As for the plot, it’s faithfully adapted save for minor changes. It has its time settings from the short story while expanding it with a plot to give the movie somewhat a unique alternate history approach. It does starts off as an average “bar story” approach before it slowly cuts to time travel approach so do expect that to happen. I don’t know what else to say about this movie other than recommending it so really, do check it out and you won’t feel disappointed but do prepare for asking questions about what you just watched (that is unless you know time travel lingo for a while like me).