Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Big and Buffed TMNT 2014!


They're green. They look human. They're ridiculously ripped. In ripped clothing.

Oh, wait… were you expecting something like this?
To avoid further shell shock, let's do a rundown of the changes Paramount's 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has to offer, shall we?

The new character design is about the most glaring a change this reboot did. The Turtles' faces were very human. Make them flesh-colored and deprived of shell and they can easily blend in with mankind. The WWF-intense work out-celluloid-pumped mankind.The muscles on these teenagers were insane! Specially Raphael who jumped from the hot-headed member to the group's ultimate bruiser… in a frakkin' do-rag, yeah!

I LOVE the origin change! April O'Neil plays a bigger role in the lives of Splinter and the Turtles as their original pet owner and saviour during the lab fire, Not just a random over-eager reporter. Crossing the Turtles' paths and past with Shredder and Saks was awesome! How Ninjutsu got introduced to the Teenagers was cool, too. And showing them in their preteens… was insane.

The sewer rat sensei had an upgrade in his fighting skills and drama skills. Thank you for making full use of his tail in the battlefield. Shredder had an upgrade, too. He was a samurai robot. With flying knives that boomerang right back at will. I guess it's okay. It reminded me of The Transformers. Then again, Megan Fox did, too.
Both martial arts masters engaged in hand-to-hand combat --which to me was the best, heart-wrenching fight sequence in the film.

Ok, this change completely infuriated me. The Foot is a formidable force of Japanese Warriors! They are NOT a gang of ski-masked, gun-toting hooligans! UGH! I felt so deprived of my youth just then. It made me want to break stuff. I overate popcorn instead.

There were some pretty cool nostalgic bits made specifically for the oldies in the audience. So you know the flick still gave the original cartoon due respect despite the massive alterations made.

Still there. So happy. Just like pizza.

Yes, please! If they had thrown in Casey again, I would've retched. Hockey stick vigilante Jones never really did it for me. I mean, the grit belongs to the Turtles. So he can just step back and wait for his own movie.
Whoa… harsh.

Of course!

HOLY SHITAKE! I was NOT expecting that! So you can just imagine how much I utterly geeked out when the ammo-loaded party van from the '80s cartoon rolled in! *still hyperventilating*

Of course, the movie had its ups and downs. Here's our grocery list:

Spreading a deadly chemical from atop the highest building has been done in Spiderman. Making the antidote a business venture has been done in Mission Impossible.

I don't even know what to make of that. So I'll just pretend it didn't happen.

Semi-downside. There was an attempt to de-sexify Megan Fox a tad to make her fit better into the April O'Neil mold. Uh, no. The cinema-going, hormonal teens still saw The Transformers' Megan Fox. You can't just shake that sultry off.

This flick was loaded with it! It oozed Michael Bay! But the best to note was the car chase/shell toboggan scene on a snow-capped mountain. The fight scene choreography was, likewise, a sight to behold. It wasn't Rurouni Kenshin, but hey, I'm not complaining

The Turtles were made to look dirty and scaly and moist *cringe* --which is actually very realistic when living in a sewer. The tattered Indian-esque manner of clothing and accessory was cool, too. It gives you that 'living underground hippie-style' vibe.

Donnie's toys were severely amped! Glad the movie kept the reptilian genius up with the times.

The. Best. Part. Ever.

Now, some movie reviewers will tell you that TMNT 2014 was way too kiddie and too fantastic to create enough depth and substance. Dude, they're teenagers. They're mutants. They're ninjas. And to top it off, they're turtles. Drop the depth and have fun!

Cowabunga yourselves to cinemas now!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy

Let me begin by admitting that Guardians of the Galaxy was never really in our masterlist of movies to watch this year. Hence, the late movie review. When we saw the trailer back then, we were just "Oh ok. That looks fun.", and that was it. But then, as soon as the movie came out-- and days after that, I might add-- my Facebook page was flooded with status updates bearing the intriguing words, "I am Groot." It was freaky. Later on, peer pressure settled in when my boys got "I am Groot.' fever from their classmates. So, moving forward, we found ourselves in the movie house lining up for Guardians of the Galaxy.
And here is what we think.

First off, two words: Zoe. Saldana.
Woman, you fight so fine! And your boots will invade my dreams forever.

Moving on, the characterisation of the film's heroic misfits was spot-on. I love how bad they all were. But bad in a hilarious way. I also dig how all of them have family issues, and eventually finding family in one another. It was done subtly so as to avoid the danger of cheesiness, and I thought that was cool.

The 'super weapon in the hands of a power-hungry maniac' plot isn't new. It's been the formula for Marvel since like forever. But it's the fact that this time, criminals are the ones out to save the day that made this movie worthwhile. It's a good twist. Although on the overall, the story wasn't something entirely out of the box.

The action was the bomb though! My kids loved the fight scenes, aerial battles, explosions, fighter ships, and the weaonry (they want me to buy them a Ravager's Whistle Dart… le sigh).  They enjoyed Rocket Racoon's genius and cunning. They liked Starlord's helmet, Gamora's hand-to-hand combat skills, Drax's tattoos and deadpan humour, and Groot… for having a heart, fireflies in his branches, and for being reborn as a dancing sunflower.

My husband and I, on the other hand, geeked out on the make-up and costumes. Drax's tattoos sincerely rock!

The downsides are few. For one, the number of characters thrown into this film was just insane! Geez. I got dizzy with all the enemy hierarchy there. It was hard to keep up with the planet jumps and character names, unless you've read the comics… which we didn't.

Another mind-boggling thing thrown in was the big news that Peter Quill's father wasn't at all human. It wasn't even explained. It felt like an afterthought the writers cooked up upon realising that Peter Quill should've died after touching the weapon, but didn't. But, like I said, we didn't read the comics. So there.

I did like it that the flick employed big-named stars in its line up. Although I'm still wondering why Vin Diesel had to be casted as Groot. He wasn't really there, and I doubt if he's the only one who can say the line, "I am Groot" so perfectly. Ah, one of life's mysteries.

Guardians of the Galaxy is still showing in cinemas. If you're coming in late to the "I am Groot." bandwagon (like we are), then I suggest you get with the program and watch the movie, ASAP.