4 Film Favorites: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collection
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4 Film Favorites: TMNT (BD)(4FF)
Cowabunga, Dudes! Blu-ray Collection Includes All 4 Films with Radical Extras and Collectibles! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time, and TMNT. Plus Awesome Collector's Items: Comic Book, Sketch with Co-Creator Peter Laird's Autograph, Radical Beanie Hat, 8 TMNT Character Cards, All 4 Movies!]]>
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TMNT1: This movie was a big risk that almost didn't get off the ground. The animatronics are amazingly done, especially for their time. The actual plot of the villain Shredder is a little bit silly, training a lot of ninjas to steal what would effectively work for a pawn shop, but it's somehow working until the turtles start to interfere. This is really a solid family feature with real character growth & conflict. For those highly conservative people out there, you might have an issue with the scene introducing the villains' lair. The majority of the kids in there are gambling and/or smoking, but it's essentially a similar scenario to Pleasure Island from Pinocchio in that sense. This is also easily the darkest TMNT movie in existence, both in tone and general lighting. It almost makes you think this is what Tim Burton would've designed for TMNT. There are moments in here that will touch you for the rest of your life. If your family loves martial arts, you absolutely can't go wrong here.
TMNT2: Now you're playing with power. Yeah, this was right from the time when anime starting hitting America and Power Rangers were in their prime. Of course this means Shredder's plot is to make his own mutants loyal to him, and their power is definitely no joke. This movie also plays it much safer in content. Weapons are basically unused throughout the whole feature, possibly due to concern over kids imitating them and/or certain countries hating on the nunchaku used by Michelangelo (but turning sausages into nunchaku is just fine). It's much jokier than its predecessor, obviously trying to appeal more to kids than the overall family this time around. That said, it does still have its serious moments, such as Donatello literally questioning his existence (can easily spark a religious discussion with your family). This one works for people who are already fans of TMNT, but if you're not into it already, this won't change your mind. The final climax with Vanilla Ice is way catchier than it deserves to be.
TMNT3: This is the one TMNT movie I'd generally avoid. For rather silly reasons, the turtles are thrust back in time into feudal Japan. You'd think this would make for martial arts being much more prominent, but no, all the fight scenes just involve dumb dummies who exist for little more than getting beaten. This is also the jokiest of the bunch, and a lot of the jokes were topical for the 90's. Kids now would have no idea of Wayne's World or Don King. That's not to say the movie's indefensible. Since the turtles are on their own, far from home & their mentor Splinter, they end up coping in their own way, such as Raphael working with a kid's anger management that has always troubled himself. When things resolve, the turtles even debate with each other if they should go back home, in the shadows, or stay here as a venered part of society. These potentially strong moments are ultimately lost within all the silly action, though. This is strictly for young children who love TMNT and not much else. Good parents who watch with their kids can probably get some solid discussions out of it. Otherwise, it's a TV babysitter.
TMNT (4): This entirely CGI feature is a later age of TMNT, working on an entirely different backstory. It's established that these turtles have been at it for a long time, to the point I'd say they're probably far from teenagers at this point. They've all pretty much retired from protecting New York, but of course circumstances force them back out of the shadows. As usual, the main character growth is the conflict between Leonardo & Raphael, but this actually comes to a head as the two actually fight each other for real. The lengths they go to in this feud actually shocked me as a long-time fan of TMNT. The actual plot takes a while to really come out, despite it getting heavily frontloaded. When the main conflict does finally come together, you really start to feel for the villains, which I certainly wouldn't expect from children's entertainment like this. It makes you see all the characters as genuine people. The family theme is much stronger here, perhaps a little too strong, but it still has a solid place as a good family movie.
Ultimately, is this worth $25 & up? Probably not. The movies are mostly solid, but they're also all easily available in some form. $25 itself might be reasonable for a Blu-Ray, but don't let yourself go above that. As of this writing it sits at about $15, which is perfectly reasonable. $5 for 3 good movies (TMNT 3 isn't really worth a purchase) is very justifiable.
Anyway, this 25th anniversary edition set has become a collector's item and people are selling it for absurd amounts now...I think the lowest new price I'd seen for it was like $100.00. I had been wanting the set for a while but had not been able to yet, but my wife told me to go ahead and get it as a Christmas gift, (and ironically it showed up on Christmas Eve). I couldn't spent no $100+ on it though, but I happened to find a used one in decent shape for $50. Upon receiving it, I looked over the packaging, discs, and collectibles and I was uber excited! Those first 3 movies were childhood favorites of mine and I very much enjoyed TMNT too, and just having those all together in a cool set like this was just amazing. Even if I started converting some things to a future format, I seriously doubt I'd ever sell this set unless I absolutely needed too financially, because I love everything about Blu-Ray anyway and this set is just awesome!
Firstly, the packaging...super cool! The case is designed to look like a pizza box, and it even has a makeshift grease spot on the back much like a pizza box would. The discs are all made up to look like pizzas, which I thought was pretty clever. The collectible cards and the collectible artwork are all really cool, and I like the collectible comic a lot too...all cool stuff. The only thing about mine was that the plush beanie was not included in it, and the seller was up front about that, but in all honesty I wasn't as concerned with the beanie...I mainly wanted the discs and the other collectibles. If you're a fan of the Ninja Turtles movies, if you can manage it, you really ought to try and acquire this set! It's super awesome!
As for the movies, well...as I mentioned above, the original 3 are childhood favorites. Ninja Turtles is simply one of my favorite things, and I use to watch the original cartoon show as well. It's almost a shame that a handful of the original episodes wasn't included in this set, but not a big deal...I own a few of the volumes anyway. TMNT obviously came along later on down the line, but it was quite enjoyable itself...I'd honestly wished they'd made a trilogy from that one but I'll take it as is. Here are my individual ratings for each film:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 5/5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II Secret of the Ooze: 5/5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III Turtles In Time: 4/5
Again, if you are as big a fan of the Ninja Turtles movies as I am, definitely try and get your hands on this set. I have not looked at any features yet in this set, but I've never been a real big feature kinda guy anyway...only occasionally do I watch any features. I'm really more about the movies, and these make great marathon material. These are great movies that I love love love, and I'm super stoked to have this set!