Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (DVD) (25th Anniv. O-Sleeve)
Four baby turtles come in contact with a mysterious substance called ooze and then are transformed into human sized crime fighters. The leader of the turtles is a human size rat who has come into contact with the same green ooze. The rat was a former pet of a ninja master and therefore uses his skills to train the four turtles in martial arts. They befriend a local journalist and with her help attempt to find the group behind a crime wave in New York City. Starring Josh Pais ("The Station Agent," "A Beautiful Mind"), Elias Koteas ("Zodiac," "Fallen"), and Judith Hoag ("Armageddon," "Cadillac Man").]]>
You can chalk it up to good timing and a heavy dose of video-game synergy, but this 1990 hit remains the box-office champ of independent films, with a total gross of $135 million. Of course the Turtles, who hatched as comic book characters, are also the stars of a phenomenally successful Nintendo video game, so it was a given that the movie would be a hit with its target audience of rabid young video addicts. This is what comic books fans call "the origin story," in which we learn how a foursome of small turtles were mutated by a green radioactive goo and turned into human-sized turtle crime fighters. Their large rodent mentor, Splinter, teaches them to master the martial arts. They're also gifted pop musicians, by the way (think of them as amphibious Spice Guys), so they can rock the house while they're cracking a crime wave with the help of their cute friend and television reporter April O'Neil (Judith Hoag). The script is terrible, of course, but countless millions of children don't seem to care, as long as the Turtles keep ordering pizza and dispensing their wisecracking brand of justice. --Jeff Shannon
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Parental Advisory: This is a martial arts film so expect violence, though thankfully it's all mild and no blood, the turtles don't kill anyone, just render their foes incapacitated. The only blood you'll see is storywise when Splinter tells his story to one kid, where someone kills another, you'll see it for a brief nanosecond. The language is mild too with Raphael mostly coming from saying D***, plus G*D, and B****in'. The sex is limited to a relationship between April and Casey which includes massaging the shoulders and a passionate kiss. Lastly Shredder could frighten youngsters.
If you can put aside a lot of dated production elements and in-your-face product placement, this is a great, odd little movie that really captures the spirit of one particular generation of kids. Glad I rewatched it after all these years.
Top international reviews
But this review isn't about the praises of the film itself, but on the Blu-Ray transfer. I own an old DVD copy of this film and it retains everything that is fantastic about it. However, the Blu-Ray version of this movie sacrifices the dark gritty tone for a brighter contrast and spit-polish on the picture, effectively removing a lot of the visual appeal; unearthing costume lines, etc the viewer isn't meant to see. The best analogy to give would be what happened to The Justice League: a movie that was designed to be visually dark, but when you up the contrast it reveals all the magicians tricks.
The bottom line being, save your money on this and hunt down a DVD copy of the film as it's still superior to this.
However it is still a great film and by far the best Turtles movie ever made.
Yes, some effects techniques & technology are a little dated, but I'll take the more realistic genius of the great Jim Henson's Creature Shop over the exaggerated, oversized, ogre-like frightfest that is the soulless Michael Bay 'update'.
Even the brilliant Nickelodeon animated series draws inspiration from the 1990 movie, keeping it arguably as relevant & influential to the TMNT franchise as the source comics themselves
The behind the scenes appears to be from the second movie but it’s a really interesting insight into the making of it. Much prefer to cgi turtles