Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Release date: August 8, 2014 (USA) Director: Jonathan Liebesman Production companies: Nickelodeon Movies, Platinum Dunes Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Whoopi Goldberg PG-13. 1 hr 41 minutes I love Comic Books. I love Video Games. I love reading. I love watching films; both Hollywood slush, Indie- I’m there! I’m no film critic. I don’t write reviews nor do I get paid to do so . What I do know is that the Internet is filled with supposed angry TMNT fans and the Michael Bay hate is strong. You’d think that many of these people are film critics themselves. There’s something going around called the “bandwagon disease.” There are people out there that’ll bash anything without either experiencing or witnessing it for themselves. It’s a catchy disease but have no fear! There’s a cure. It’s called open mindedness. When I first heard about the reboot or remake or whatever word fits your fancy, I was neither angry nor surprised. After all, it’s Hollywood. I also didn’t expect much. I learned that lesson the hard way after viewing X-men Origins: Wolverine and being totally disgusted by not only the movie itself but how Gambit (my favorite X-Man) was portrayed. Oh, and don’t get me started on the Street Fighter movie. From that moment on I decided to not get over hyped when it came to movie adaptations of comic books and video games. Hollywood will never get it right. It’s just not part of their DNA. So I bought my ticket and went with a few friends. I sat in my seat, with an open mind (that’s more than I can say for those who still complain about the movie and haven’t seen it yet.) After the movie was over, I left with a smile on my face. The basics of the story is pretty much the same. The Foot Clan, led by Shredder, are in New York doing bad things. April O’Neil (Megan Fox) happens to magically stumble into them and finds out that vigilantes are fighting back. She’s determined to find the story which will help her ever stagnant career and she gets her wish. The Turtles come, she meets them, she passes out . . . I think you can figure out the rest from there. Of course there are a few changes in the movie that probably won’t sit right with hardcore fans (besides the Michael Bay ruins everything he’s associated with bandwagon belief.) The storyline had its fair share of plot holes and ‘wha?’ and laughable moments. 1. The Foot Clan aren’t ninjas. Well, they didn’t look like ninjas to me. They seemed better equipped to fight with guns in their hands rather than going the pugilist route. 2. Shredder looked like a mini Transformer. I absolutely couldn’t stand his outfit. Every time he was on screen, I waited for the moment when he’d transform into a plane and just fly away. 3. I did not like how April O’Neil’s character. I felt as if they pushed her history into the plot line to make her more relevant instead of just sticking with the reporter gig even though in the original, black and white comic, she’s a former lab assistant. (Her history has been changed more than once so it’s hard to say what’s considered accurate and what isn’t.) I don’t want to give away spoilers but if they would have cut out 95% of the scenes that showed her, the movie wouldn’t suffer. April and her cameraman, Vern, on screen = boredom Turtles on screen = exciting parts in the movie 4. The Turtles were strong as all hell. I mean, they’re awesome fighters but brute strength seemed to save the day plenty of times. Jumping out of plastic (or were they glass?) cages, Ralph busting through the side of a truck, punching enemies so hard that they flew through the air. 5. They looked like their personalities. To me, this was a great thing. I liked how they looked and I mean, I really liked how they looked! If you don’t remember, let me remind you a little: 6. CGI was great. Some of the actions scenes were, well . . . action scenes. I did see a little Transformer influence in them but it wasn’t enough to ruin the fun. 7. The Elevator Scene For me this scene captured just one of the many things that the Turtles represented. Not only was it funny but the tune was catchy. I’ve seen both good and bad posts about this scene. I think what we fail to realize is that this isn’t the black and white comic book Turtles that drank beer, swore, and killed their enemies. This is the classic 80s, fun loving, children loving Turtles who love music, pizza, and having fun. 8. No Casey Jones. I know it’s the first reboot/remake whatever. If they do make a second film, I hope they include him in it. Overall I enjoyed it. I found it entertaining and funny and I was also able to relive my parts of my childhood in the process! Although there were a few things that irked me, it wasn’t enough to totally take away from the movie.
Recently I’ve been on a Netflix binge. I caught up with shows like Teen Wolf, Being Human and I’ve tried watching other shows like Breaking Bad (I still can’t get through the first two episodes) and Walking Dead (I’ve decided that I’m just not going to like that show.) Searching Netflix on my Xbox, I came across a documentary which caught my eye. I’m a huge Bob Marley fan. Along with The Doors, Bob Marley and the Wailers are, have been, and will be among my favorite bands of all time. Before watching, I thought I already knew enough about Bob Marley that this documentary couldn’t tell me. Boy, was I wrong. First, I had no idea that his father was white. I know this shouldn’t mean anything but for me, it means everything. It’s part of his identity and I could somehow relate to the how he was treated because of his race growing up. My father is Nigerian and my mother is from Missouri. Her ancestors are a mixture of black, white, and Native American but when I look in the mirror, I see black. My father used to tell me that some Nigerians from his area looked down on what they called “half breeds.” This didn’t make sense to me. For one, I considered myself black. However, because my mother wasn’t Nigerian, I was a half breed.Now, I don’t know if that attitude is the same today. I personally think that’s changed. But it was something that always stuck with me. So when the documentary talked about his white side (they even created his melanoma to his “white side” which I found really odd,) I immediately remembered the things my father told me. Besides his history, the documentary also covered his wife and his children, and his multiple girlfriends- some who also had children. I did find it a little disturbing that his wife dealt with his girlfriends and their children by accepting them. I don’t know if I could ever do that. However, she said that their goal was getting the music out into the world and I felt like if she did confront his cheating, it would’ve jeopardized the band and the music. They did explain the Rastafarian movement, why he grew dreadlocks, and smoked marijuana. I knew that the word “Jah” was mentioned in some of his songs (Could you be Loved for example) but again, I didn’t really understand the purpose. After watching this documentary, I finally understood. I found myself singing along to some of the songs played in the documentary (one of my favorite “High Tide Low Tide” wasn’t played but I found myself humming the tune anyway) The ending was really touching. It showed people from all walks of life; from India to Japan to Jamaica to America singing Bob Marley songs, wearing clothing with Marley’s image, and Bob Marley graffiti. This was one of the best documentaries I’ve seen by far on Bob Marley. It left me thinking about his music, his message, and the life that some live. I highly recommend it for Bob Marley fans around the world and for anyone who wants to understand the man that is Bob Marley.