Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Despite their hue, not all TMNT films deserved to be greenlit.
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in 1984. Now almost 40 years later, what started as a comic book has inspired seven movies, five television series, and countless amounts of merchandise. This week the four ninja tortoises return in a new animated incarnation, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Considering I’ve been a fan of the Turtles since six years old, this seems like the perfect time to put an official rating on four decades of movies. Some are gnarly, some tubular, and there’s always a whole lot of cowabunga.
Writers Note: This list doesn’t include the recent Netflix installment Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, a TV-movie crossover Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or the live recording of the 1990 Coming Out of Their Shells stage show. That one you can catch on YouTube, although I don’t know why you would. Continue Reading →
Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul is a tragedy. From the beginning, it focused on a rough-edged, yet decent man whom the audience knows will one day become an unrepentant merchant of death and destruction. What makes it so tragic, beyond the known destination, is that the series is riddled with missed exits. Time and again, Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) faced situations where -- if he’d just pulled back from the brink, if he’d only taken his lumps instead of wriggling out of them, if he’d simply chosen not to push things too far -- all of this could have been avoided. Continue Reading →
Every month, we at The Spool select a filmmaker to explore in greater depth — their themes, their deeper concerns, how their works chart the history of cinema and the filmmaker’s own biography. For March, we celebrate the birthday (and the decades-long filmography) of one of America’s most pioneering Black filmmakers, Spike Lee. Read the rest of our coverage here.
It’s been 32 years since the release of Spike Lee’s 1988 hit School Daze, a film that tackles the tough conversations and experiences of young educated black people through music, dance, and situational confrontation. It’s Lee’s third film, one where he’s still finding his footing, and yet he already has his finger on many of the issues that affected young black audiences at the time, and still do today.
Set in the fictional historically-black Mission College, viewers are first introduced to young black activist Dap (Larry Fishburne) when his boycott of apartheid in South Africa is interrupted by Greek life (and social order) leader Julian (Giancarlo Esposito) and his pledges. Throughout the film, the pair butt heads in more ways than one, but the confrontation at its core is who really brings power to black people. Continue Reading →