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 →
Let's face it: At this point, you're either in for the overamped, Saturday-morning-cartoon lunacy of a Fast and Furious movie or you're not. Building from its humble roots as a 2001 street-racing Point Break riff to the gargantuan action tentpole it's after a whopping ten movies (eleven if you count Hobbs & Shaw), the series has built quite the convoluted lore over the decades. There are dead characters who come back to life (Sung Kang's Han), living characters who can never come back because their actors are no longer with us (see: Paul Walker's Brian), sworn enemies who join the familiar just one film later. It's dudebro soap opera, fueled by nitrous oxide and every weird, bonkers thing the filmmakers can think to do with a car. Continue Reading →
It’s apparent that anyone at Disney or 20th Century Studios wanted with Vacation Friends was a 100-minute movie to accompany a thumbnail of John Cena and Lil Rel Howery on the front page of Hulu. That’s it. There’s no other purpose to this film’s existence. It’s just another piece of “content” that can gather dust on Hulu. Save for Space Jam: A New Legacy, you won’t find a more fitting representation in the summer of 2021 of what hollow cinema the age of algorithms and monopolistic streaming services has wrought. Put simply, Vacation Friends makes Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates look like Safety Last! Continue Reading →
The Suicide Squad
In the last decade, there have been numerous shitty attempts to replicate the success of the Marvel Studios formula, but Suicide Squad (2016) may be the worst of the worst. Writer/director David Ayer’s dark and gritty tone clashed with the pop music-heavy trailers, marketing that included songs already used by – and meant to remind viewers of – Guardians of the Galaxy. In the end, the studio hired that same trailer company to re-cut the movie, which was released into theaters as an incomprehensible mess. Noticeably missing a “2” in its title, The Suicide Squad is essentially a 200 million dollar do-over. It’s the movie Warner Brothers should’ve made five years ago. Continue Reading →
At this point, the mechanics of a Fast and Furious movie are no secret. Running on an engine of blistering sincerity, the over-the-top action inevitably finds Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) pulled in for “one last job.” You’ll see a street race populated by women in bikinis. Fancy cars will defy the laws of physics as they inevitably crash, fly, or crash while flying. Roman (Tyrese Gibson) shall vamp and riff to kingdom come. Coronas will be consumed and, in the end, family will emerge victorious. Continue Reading →