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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (4 Movie Boxset)  Print E-mail
Blu-ray Action-Adventure
Written by Noah Fleming   
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Article Index
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (4 Movie Boxset) 
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Overall rating (weighted)
3.3
Movie Rating:
3.5
Audio Quality:
3.5
Video Quality:
3.5
Supplements:
1.5
Purchase: Buy from Amazon.com
Was this review helpful to you? yes     no
The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is perhaps one of the only action adventure sagas that is limited to a couple generations, in terms of the originals.  I grew up on the turtles animated series, the original cartoon, not the plethora of remakes that have gone around.  I collected all the action figures and still have them in mint condition.  I played the Turtles game on my Gameboy and Nintendo systems.  I believe I even have some of the original collector's cards.  When the movies came out in consecutive years, 1990, 1991, and 1992 they were hit among my age group.  Then, the turtles disappeared, not to be heard from again until just a few year ago.  The cartoon was resurrected and a CGI feature was created.

This rebirth has inspired the younger crowd of today.  The youngsters have even become aware of the original start to the turtles saga.  Just the other day I saw my niece, 15 years of age, wearing a Turtles T-shirt referencing the original turtles animated cartoon.  It was very nice to see that not all has been lost from my adolescence on future generations.

Anyway, New Line has answered my nostalgic sensation with the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Boxset.  This set contains the three original turtles movies as well as the 2007 CGI feature, which has previously been released on HD DVD and Blu-ray.

Because the films speak a lot to me, despite the pitfalls incurred by the sequels, all four films get 3.5/5 stars from me.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

The original feature was released in 1990, though it may as well have been the 1980s as that is what the cinematography looks like.  In the original, the four turtles, along with Splinter, begin their journey from the sewer into the human world.  When news reporter April (Judith Hoag) gets into trouble, the turtles are there to help her out.  Their not so ninja-like stealth factor leads to an investigation by April as to who these creatures are.

Meanwhile the Foot Clan, led by Master Shredder, is on a crime spree around New York City.  When the Foot discovers where the turtles hideout is located, they ratnap Master Splinter.  The turtles will stop at nothing to get Splinter back.  However, before they can move into action, they and April are caught in the middle of a Foot attack.  With the apartment building in flames, everyone escapes to a farmhouse.  Having joined in, Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) helps the team plan to rescue Splinter.  Stubborn Raphael got himself knock unconscious, slowing the team's progress.

Upon returning to the city, Casey follows a traitor to the secret hideout of the Foot.  The turtles go back to fighting the Foot, waiting to take on the Shredder.  Casey rescues Splinter from the Foot's hold.  The final battle between Turtles and Shredder is not full of fancy action, but has a solid foundation that it is enjoyable.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze"

This sequel is disliked by a great many.  I for one find it almost better than the original.  It is much more smartly paced and the adventure is better.  Not too mention is has a terrific cameo by Vanilla Ice (ok, just kidding about the "terrific" part.  Although I must admit "Ninja Rap" is catchy).  The sequel digs up the past, in which the turtles try to figure out where they came from.  April, played by a much better Paige Turco, leads the way by doing a story on TGRI, an experimental lab company is secretly trying to cover up the remnants of the toxic spill 15 years ago.

Master Shredder is back and out for revenge.  His spy on April's news crew retrieves information about this secret ooze with mutating properties.  They kidnap the professor (David Warner) along with the last active bottle of ooze, all despite the turtles' valiant attempt to stop them.  Shredder uses that ooze to create Tokka and Rahzar from a dog and a tortoise.  The two are not the brightest bulb in the shed, but that have tremendous strength.

The turtles are able to rescue the professor and he helps them to create an anti-mutagen.  I believe the final showdown in this film is better than the first.  It has more martial arts and adventure.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time"

Many view this film as a complete disaster.  Yes, it does diverge from the New York City scene, but the adventure is interesting nonetheless.  It is probably just because I was a fan of all things turtles.  I will admit that I am not the most objective when it comes to this saga, but it really isn't that bad.

In Turtles III, April (Paige Turco) unearths a Japanese relic that transports her back to Feudal Japan, and brings the Master's son to New York City.  The four turtles journey back in time to rescue April.  Casey is left in New York to take care of the five misplaced time travelers.  Meanwhile, in Feudal Japan, Lord Norinaga (Sab Shiimono) is convinced that April and the Turtles are witches and demons.

With Walker (Stuart Wilson), an Englishman, trying to arm the Japanese with guns, the Turtles must hurry in order to keep the upper hand.  Lord Norinaga is prepared to attack a village in order to destroy his so-called demons.  The turtles are unable to leave until they find the magic scepter that brought them there in the first place.  It was lost when they first transported back in time.  Rest assured, the turtles will not leave the village in danger.

As a note: The voices of the four turtles change from movie to movie.  The voice of Leonardo remains the same the first and second movies.  Other than that, each of the four turtles have different voices in each of the three movies.  The most notable voice is Corey Feldman, who voices Donatello in the first film.

"TMNT"

The fourth disc in the bunch is the 2007 CGI feature, "TMNT."  This is my least favorite of the bunch personally, only because I am stuck on the original turtles.  However, taken for what it is, it does have a decent adventure story.  I only get distracted because I do not like the modern animation of the turtles.  It strays way off the original animation's path.

In the CGI feature, Leonardo is off in solitary, trying to become a better leader.  Raphael remains stubborn tries to contain the turtles' crime fighting agenda.  When April locates Leonardo by accident, she persuades him to come home.

Meanwhile, monsters have been terrorizing New York City.  These monsters stem from an ancient civilization of immortal warriors.  Winters is a powerful CEO that has artifacts from every era.  He holds a big secret though that puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy.

The animated feature has much bigger voice character actors including: Sarah Michelle Gellar as April, Laurence Fishburne as the narrator, Patrick Stewart as Winters, and Chris Evans as Casey.  Personally I love the live action movies a whole lot more than this CGI film.  Still it is an interesting addition to the turtles saga.


 
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