TMNT 2014 Movie Review (Mom & Dad Edition)


It's been over 2 weeks since the Turtles movie hit theaters. Critical reviews were mostly negative, but the film exploded at the box office.

While recently visiting my parents, we escaped the summer heat with a trip to the cinemas. Sure, you've read reviews from critics and Turtle fans, but what about my parents? They're two people who didn't grow up with TMNT, but witnessed their son & his generation get taken over by the phenomenon.

Check out their quick, spoiler-free reviews.

The Good.
- The origin story was fresh, connecting the Turtles & April when they were both younger.
- Product placement success! The Pizza Hut pizza looked tasty & using it as a form of torture was funny.
- The prominent personalities & distinct looks of each Turtle were cool.
- The slice of pizza landing on Splinter's head was humorous & a nice homage to the first film.

The Bad.
- April looked too unscathed after nonstop action scenes.
- The lack of Casey Jones. Will Arnett did not make up for it.

The Ugly.
- The Turtles were too big and too ugly on the eyes.

Best MOM quote: "During the film, I thought to myself, 'I'm not bored!'"

The Good.
- Entertaining, fast-paced action.
- Megan Fox was surprisingly pleasant as April.
- Splinter's fighting style (with his tail). A fresh take on an old character.

The Bad.
- A worn-out plot. It was as if the filmmakers didn't have a unique script so they simply took another film's story.
- Splinter's voice. He didn't sound wise or Asian.

The Ugly.
- The Turtles. They looked best as cute toddlers, but otherwise were too battle-worn.

Best DAD quote: "What was up with Shredder in this movie? He was not the guy I know."

The Parental Conclusion.

Overall, Mama & Papa Sewer Den thought TMNT was a fun summer flick. They were entertained and happy they saw the "big, ugly Turtles" on the big screen. I was hoping they would yell "cowabaunga" when the credits rolled, but I guess I'll have to wait until the sequel for that.

TMNT 2014 Movie Review


Turtle Power hits theaters this weekend for the first time in 7 years. I had the opportunity to catch an early screening. My brief, spoiler-free review.

The Good.
- When the Turtles are on screen, they're very fun to watch.
- April O'Neil has a decent character arc rather than being the typical damsel in distress.
- Lots of winks & nods to the original film & tv series.
- Michelangelo steals the show.
- Megan Fox (April) & Will Arnett (Vernon) are surprisingly great.
- Call me crazy, but I liked Donatello wearing glasses. Ninja nerd alert!

The Bad.
- The overall story. Plot holes galore.
- Maybe I'm getting old, but the action is too fast. The shaky camera & jarring editing make it hard to see the Turtles getting their ninja on.
- Except for Michelangelo, the Turtles are dull. Their characters are one note & barely developed.
- Splinter & the Turtles learn ninjutsu from a book. A book?! Com'on, dude...

The Ugly.
- Shredder. Although he starts off promising, the iconic villain is nothing more than a generic bad guy. His relationship with the Turtles & Splinter is completely forced. Their legendary rivalry feels wasted.

The Conclusion.
The film isn't the best Turtles movie, but at least it is a Turtles movie. Seeing our green heroes on the big screen is a gift. This silly franchise could have easily been abandoned as their popularity waned. But, TMNT is once again a phenomenon. Every moment this success continues feels like a bonus, more Turtle Power I never thought I'd get. For a longtime fan like myself, experiencing the Turtles in theaters evokes a nostalgic joy. If you're on the fence, go see it. It's a trip to the cinemas that may not provide the perfect film, but you're guaranteed a dose of nostalgia and a slice of cowabunga.

Issue 45: Radical Reading (Comic Book Adaptations)


In honor of the new TMNT movie that hits theaters Friday, I wanted to pay homage to the classic films that came before it. I've discussed in detail my favorite moments from the original live action films here at The Sewer Den. Hopefully, the new movie can find a place among the 90's classics. Like every TMNT fan, I have lofty expectations. But once I see it, then what? I'll head home craving more cowabunga...

That's why my fingers are crossed for a comic book adaption. Back in the 90's, the Archie Adventure Series released an adaptation for each film in comic book form. And they were great! Fans were given an opportunity to revisit the movies without making another trek to the theater.

Before we flock to theaters this Friday, let's take a peek at the classic comic adaptations from The Sewer Den library. No ticket required.

Issue 44: Summer Bugs


The woes of winter have subsided. Heavy coats are being phased out and replaced by sandals and sunglasses. Warming rays of sun burst through the clouds, bringing out happiness in everyone. A trip to the beach or a dip in the pool keeps you cool and calm. Barbecues, blockbusters, and the endless sunshine make summer a magical season.

But, don't forget about the bugs. An invasion commences when the weather warms. Growing up in New Jersey, insects swarmed in the summer season. My home was situated in the Pine Barrens, a wooded area riddled with pine trees and underbrush. Protection was needed if you were going to survive the onslaught of insects that lingered there. Spraying repellent became a daily routine. But, even that didn't help at times. Often I'd come home from a day of playing in the woods, covered in bug bites. My summer nights were spent applying ointments to the infected areas, battling the urge to scratch my wounds.

Those vexing pests weren't exclusive to the woods of New Jersey either. Many insects made their way into the TMNT universe too. Several still lurk in The Sewer Den. No need for bug repellent, these dudes are made of plastic.

Totally Tubular Treasures: 3D Mug


When the Turtles returned to television, I wrote a wish list. A grand lineup covering all my dreams and desires that I hoped Nickelodeon would achieve with the new series.

One of my requests was the creation of a legitimate coffee mug. No paper or plastic, something fun and brimming with Turtle Power. I wanted the real deal. A mug for us old school TMNT fans who have mutated into coffee-guzzling adults.

Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!

Through a work event, I had the awesome opportunity to meet the king of cool, Vanilla Ice. The man is a living legend for any kid growing up in the 90's. He crafted classic hip hop jams and took the world by storm.

He also ranked number 1 on my Top 10 - A Turtle Tribute (to Secret of the Ooze).

After Ice and I tackled our work endeavor, I mustered up the guts to ask him the big question, "can I see your TMNT tattoo?" Being a super rad guy, he was eager to show off his passion for Turtle Power. After a quick hike of his pant leg, I got a glimpse of his awesome ink that paid homage to TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze.

Like me, the man embraces his TMNT past. Although I consider myself a TMNT superfan, Vanilla Ice has me beat. He was in one of the movies and has a Turtle tattoo. I can't say the same!

Vanilla Ice, a big THANK YOU for taking the time to chat and snap a photo with me. #NinjaStrong

Issue 43: Green Machine Gardening


The weather is warming and sunbeams are returning to the sky. Mother Nature is finally putting winter to bed. What's next? Spring, baby. The rebirth of everything beautiful. Unless you're living in the sewers, stop and smells the roses.

In honor of the spring season, I wanted to get my green thumb on. Equipped with TMNT gardening gear, it was time for cowabunga cultivation.