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Filmwhys #54 Surviving Desire and TMNT

Episode #54 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film podcast where my guest is Alia Miller from the Super Zero Podcast and What She’s Having Podcast who asks me why I hadn’t seen Surviving Desire, one of Hal Hartley’s early films that takes a unique look at a specific type of relationship. And in return, I ask her why she hadn’t seen TMNT, the 2007 animated film in between the original live action turtle films and the recent live action/CGI hybrid film-soon-to-be-films.
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TMNT 2007

It’s already April of 2015 and I still haven’t followed through with finishing up the 100 Essential Superhero Movies that I finalized back in June of last year. I still have a few more to get to and will also be updating the list for 2015 to include some significant films that came out last year and remove a few that just barely squeezed their way onto the list. This film is often overlooked nowadays as the original 1990 live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the one looked at through nostalgic eyes, and any newer fans of the franchise can look to the current Nickelodeon series or heaven forbid, the Michael Bay produced franchise starter. It was a modest success with a moderate budget but plans for a sequel never materialized. It’s a bit of an oddity in itself, it loosely sequelized the original three live action movies from the 90’s and yet was entirely animated, it also shied away from using the full title and instead opted for just the initials. Something that was akin to the early reports of the Michael Bay version dropping the “mutant” part of the equation and opting for “alien”. And while the story isn’t very deep, it was a lot of fun to revisit these characters an a relatively updated format while still holding true to most of their roots.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time 1993

It’s Thursday night, and we’re halfway through our stack of movies from the rental store. All that’s left is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Jena was ready to watch this one and enjoyed it a lot. I fell asleep during the last 20 minutes of it and had to rewatch it a few days later. This movie was tough to really figure out what they were trying for, it seemed like it was pulling itself in too many directions. It felt like it was trying to be more dramatic, and yet it also seemed a lot more childish and cartoonish in its humor. The nostalgia definitely wore off on me by this point, as I found the jokes to be less funny, and a lot of the action to be less interesting. But there were still a few spots of fun to be had here.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze 1991

It’s Wednesday night, we had just watched the first live action Ninja Turtle movie the night before and I thought it would be easy to get Jena interested in watching the next movie in the series, The Secret of the Ooze. And at first she seemed really into it, but about halfway through the movie she lost interest, and then towards the end we convinced her to come back to finish the movie with us. Like before, she liked all the fighting and overall thought the movie was “great”, her favorite turtle was “the red one” also known as Raphael. Compared to the first movie, I thought the fights were much better, I could tell that it had a larger budget, though I wasn’t quite as fond of all the humor in this movie, especially the Vanilla Ice cameo. Maybe the nostalgia is starting to wear off. I imagine it will be almost completely gone by the time I finish the last movie.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990

It’s Tuesday night and our stack of movies from the video store is not getting any smaller so I decided it was time to put in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie. I have seen all three turtles movies when they first came out, probably in theaters but I don’t remember for sure. I had also watched and loved the cartoon series, so the worse parts of this movie may very well get glossed over with nostalgia, just a fair warning to anyone looking for a hard hitting review. And this movie has a lot of nostalgia and some surprises to my less than stellar memory. It’s a lot more violent than you may first expect, but it still has a lot of that late 80’s and early 90’s style humor.

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