TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES got nothing to worry about. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES doing quite well, thank you very much. Got the big-budget, Michael Bay treatment (he’s the producer on this one; Jonathan Liebesman directed); came in #1 at the box office this past weekend; has the almost inevitable sequel already in the works. Yup, life is good for TMNT. Unless, of course, the attending audience happened to see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY last week. In which case, there might have been quite a few people coming out of the theater thinking, Nice try, but it doesn’t quite cut it.
In two weeks, we’ve had two films that want nothing more than to entertain us with some adrenaline-packed, fantastic storytelling. How each goes about the task, and how successful each is, says a lot about the filmmakers, how they regard this genre, and what they think of their audience. I explore the issue a bit in my review of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES for Jim Freund’s HOUR OF THE WOLF. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the title to download.
* In Dossier Fantastique 5:30, Lawrence French reviews TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and INTO THE STORM; Steve Biodrowski offers a 50th anniversary look back at THE LONG HAIR OF DEATH (1964), starring Barbara Steele; and the podcasting duo team up to discuss the week’s home video releases, including A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 and ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE.
Here’s the International Trailer for DYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT.
Directed by Kevin Munroe (TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES), the comic book adaptation stars Brandon Routh (SUPERMAN RETURNS) as the titualar hero, and Sam Huntington (also SUPERMAN RETURNS) as Dylans’s sidekick Marcus.
Also starring Anita Briem (JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 3-D), Taye Diggs (DAY BREAK), Peter Stormare and Kurt Angle.
DYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT was written by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (A SOUND OF THUNDER, 2005), based on the Italian horror comic book series Dylan Dog, created by Tiziano Sclavi.
No specific U.S. premiere date has been announced. However, IMDB indicates that Hyde Park Fims hopes to release it this year.
This mediocre computer-generated action flick is packed full of monsters and sword-fights, but the story-telling is about as deft as a turtle turned on its back, struggling to get up but going nowhere fast. It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s not terribly much fun either, even taken on the level of its own modest ambitions. Those seeking the real-deal would be better advised to watch THE INCREDIBLES again.
The big problem is that writer-director Munroe makes the fatal mistake of taking the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles too seriously: he really seems to believe he is making a whiz-bang superhero thriller; he forgets that the Turtles are basically a joke and no amount of CG pyrotechnics will ever turn them into the Dark Knight. So we get a ponderous story about a 3000-year old conqueror trying to round up his old comrades (turned to stone – don’t ask!) and some monsters he unleashed upon the world during his quest for global domination. This intersects with a rather tired tale of turtle sibling rivalry as Leonardo returns from a trip to South America where he was supposed to learn how to become a better leader for his brothers, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Read More