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 →
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe got bigger and bigger and bigger, it was downright refreshing to see something as fittingly small and low-stakes as the Ant-Man films break up all the universe-ending tension. It was nice; after watching the Avengers punch through an exhausting sea of robotic baddies and set up a bunch of Infinity Stone dross, along came Paul Rudd as a smirking, kinda-dumb thief who lucked his way into a shrinking suit he used on a tech heist. After Thanos snapped half the universe away, we flashed back to good ol' Scott Lang on a caper to bring his mentor Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) wife Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) back from the Quantum Realm. They were lighter, more carefree, a much-needed sitcom wing of the MCU. Continue Reading →
The Bob's Burgers Movie
Expanding a television show that usually runs for twenty-five minutes into a full-length feature film can be patty hard. Sorry, I mean pretty hard. After spending so much time in director Loren Bouchard’s colorful, sardonic world filled with enough burger puns to fill a McDonald’s ball pit, it’s hard to resist that sort of thing. Continue Reading →
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
The more things change, the more they stay the same. For the latest example of this phenomenon, notice how, 34 years after Who Framed Roger Rabbit? changed movies forever, moviegoers are getting another comedic mystery hinging on live-action humans interacting with famous cartoon characters. The shadow of Zemeckis' revolutionary blend of filmmaking styles looms large over its modern-day thematic successor, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Continue Reading →
One of the few moments of genuine humanity from Ghostbusters: Afterlife comes before the movie starts. In the press screening intro video, director and co-writer Jason Reitman shows up to tell everyone to please enjoy the movie. Then he briefly mentions the high stakes pressure of taking up the mantle of a beloved film property from his father, Ivan Reitman. Continue Reading →
The Shrink Next Door
If I were to tell you that Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd were starring in a comedic miniseries about a hapless, neurotic man whose entire life is taken over by his overbearing psychiatrist, you’d be forgiven for assuming that (a) Ferrell plays the psychiatrist and Rudd his patient, and (b) it’d be a pretty funny movie. In fact, the opposite is true: Rudd, in a rare villainous role, is the doctor, and the series, Apple TV+’s The Shrink Next Door, isn’t particularly funny. Oh, there are some amusing moments, but they’re more likely to elicit laughs of the uncomfortable kind, as the viewer is torn between sympathizing with its protagonist and wanting desperately to shake some sense into him Continue Reading →
Night at the Museum
The thing about guilt is that it can wear you down until you’re more a cluster of exposed nerve endings than a human being. That, at least, is the premise behind The Night, a new psychological horror and debut film from director Kourosh Ahari. Set in Los Angeles and spoken almost entirely in Farsi, The Night is a wonderfully odd mix of being spare and a bit too much all at once. Continue Reading →