Film Review: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

Starring: Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek and Alan Ritchson
Directed By: Dave Green
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 112 minutes
Paramount Pictures

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Let’s be honest. In fact. Let’s be blunt. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is garbage. Many expected it to be garbage. I don’t know why you would even expect me to say otherwise when you came here to read this review. So. With that out of the way. The latest “TMNT” is the “Batman V. Superman” of turtle movies. It’s devoid of any plot, meaning, or logic. But just like DC’s misstep, it’s a somewhat entertaining waste of time.

The pizza eating, 90’s slang slinging; ninja turtles are attempting the latest comic book movie trend, overstuffed spectacles. Donatello (Ploszek), Leonardo (Howard), Michelangelo (Fisher) and Raphael (Ritchson) have to save the world in this movie. Without any interesting new villains, the movie falls back on Shredder (Brian Tee). After escaping a bumbling NYPD police force, Shredder is working with a super scientist, played by Tyler Perry (yes, that Tyler Perry), and an intergalactic alien named Krang.

Yep. You read that right. After Shredder escapes from jail, he goes through a time portal and talks with a giant talking snaggletooth brain attached to a robot. Shredder isn’t scared or concerned about traversing dimensions to talk with a slobbering, drooling alien. Instead they chat really quickly about exposition and Shredder goes back to Earth like nothing happened. Sandwiched between the two supervillains are Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) and Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams). Has no one in Hollywood learned from “Spiderman 3”?

There’s way too much happening in “Out of the Shadows” for anything to truly make sense. The rest of this review could be all the nagging questions I have. Generally kid’s movies aren’t supposed to have a lot of loose ends and confusing narrative when the target audience needs a little bit more clarification about what exactly is happening. But the CGI spectacle steps in where the script is missing, providing mouth silencing eye candy for the kids. So if you’re in need of a two hour daycare, this might be your best bet.

It’s kind of shocking that the kid’s network, Nickelodeon, would be willing to slap their name on this. There’s not any graphic violence, but “TMNT: Out of the Shadows” still tries really hard to earn its PG-13 rating. Outside of some four letter words, there’s the gratuitous sexualization of “reporter”, April O’Neil (Megan Fox), and the even more gratuitous flirtation of O’Neil by nearly every guy she encounters, including one of the turtles. Of course I don’t have kids and don’t have to worry about what they watch. It just irks me a little that the one female in this movie, who’s a journalist, is never doing her job and is ogled at by someone of a different species.

So what’s actually good about this? Besides being insulting to viewer’s intelligence, it’s amusing. The overused line, “Just turn your brain off,” comes in handy this time. But there are moments that are so disparaging and stupid that you’ll probably just want to leave the brain outside or at home, less it wakes up in a blind rage. This movie does benefit greatly from the viewer ignoring rationale and accepting that its pure popcorn nonsense. The strongest attribute is the turtles, which is ironic that the CGI characters are more human than the wooden actors.

Outside of a few cheesy lines, they’re lovable goofs who want to fit in and be heroes. It’s kind of like watching an Oscar winning actor starring in a bad horror movie, you know they can do better, but you’re still rooting for them because they haven’t sunk to the level of everything and everyone around them. They capture a certain essence about sibling arguments, growing up, and learning to recognize the differences and acceptance of one another.

I’m very conflicted on recommending this movie. I would say your children have to be a certain age and maturity level, but I’d also like to say that if you’re expecting deep storytelling like the Marvel Universe, you apparently don’t know who Michael Bay is. The producer has added all his hallmarks to nearly every aspect. It’d be nice if Bay could be pushed into the shadows so someone with a love for the “TMNT” franchise can make it as good as I keep thinking it can be.

MediaMikes 2016 Summer Movie Preview

Written by Mike Smith

As Memorial Day approaches you can count on two things: a lot of furniture stores will have sales and the multiplexes will be full. It seems like every year “summer” comes early. The first volleys have already been fired, with “Captain America: Civil War” jumping out of the gate and earning an amazing $355 million world wide in its first two weeks. Heck, even a movie based on a PHONE APP has made over $40 million in it’s first week. What’s next? Pull up your popcorn and big box of DOTS and let’s find out. As always, opening dates are subject to change at the whim of the studios. Some synopsis information courtesy of our good friends at the Internet Movie Data Base. If you want a more in-depth look at this summer’s offerings, give a listen to our special edition of the “Behind the Mikes” Podcast here. If you notice a set of initials after a title, that tells you that the film in question is highly anticipated by one of our critics (MG – Mike Gencarelli, LL – Loey Lockerby, MS: Mike Smith, JW – Jeremy Werner)

MAY 27

“Alice Through the Looking Glass”

Starring: Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp. Directed by: James Bobin.
-The continuing story of Lewis Carroll’s young heroine. Director Bobin has an extensive background with Ali G and the Muppets.

“X-Men: Apocalypse”

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Directed by: Bryan Singer
-The original big, bad Mutant (Oscar Isaac) visits 1983 to settle some scores.

JUNE 3

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” JW

Starring: Andy Samberg, Imogen Poots and Bill Hader. Directed by: Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.
-The Lonely Island guys, who have given “Saturday Night Live” some of it’s best shorts in the last few years, tell the story of a former boy band member trying to remain relevant.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

Starring: Megan Fox and Will Arnett. Directed by: Dave Green
-The Turtles are back and this time they’re bringing Casey Jones with them.

JUNE 10

“The Conjuring 2”

Starring: Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. Directed by: James Wan
-The further adventures of Lorraine and Ed Warren, who seem to have nothing better to do then find places and things that scare us!

“Now You See Me 2”

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. Directed by: Jon M. Chu
-The Four Horsemen are back, as is apparently everyone from the first movie. And Dave Franco. You’ve been warned.

JUNE 17

“Central Intellegence”

Starring: Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber.
-After he reunites with an old pal through Facebook, a mild-mannered accountant is lured into the world of international espionage.

“Finding Dory” MG

Starring the voices of: Ellen Degeneres and Albert Brooks. Directed by: Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane
-Everyone’s favorite blue tang is lost and her ocean friends set out to find her.

“Swiss Army Man” JW

Starring: Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. Directed by: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
-A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

JUNE 24

“Free State of Jones”

Starring: Matthew McConaughey and Keri Russell. Directed by: Gary Ross
-As the Civil War rages, a poor farmer from Mississippi leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army.

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” LL

Starring: Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Directed by: Taika Waititi
-A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

“Independence Day: Resurgence”

Starring: Bill Pullman and Liam Hemsworth. Directed by: Roland Emmerich
-They’re back. Well, not Will Smith or Randy Quaid, but Judd Hirsch is still around.

“The Shallows” MG

Starring: Blake Lively and Brett Cullen. Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
-A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills. I love “Jaws” as much as the next guy…ok, maybe more…so I’m hoping this doesn’t stink.

JULY 1

“The Purge: Election Year” JW

Starring: Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell. Directed by: James DeMonaco
-After two successful movies, it only makes sense that they would complete the trilogy, promising more bloodshed. This time around you get to see if a U.S. Senator can survive the deadly night.

“The BFG” MS

Starring: Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill. Directed by: Steven Spielberg.
-Meet Sophie and her friend, a Big Friendly Giant who is an outcast because he won’t eat children!

JULY 8

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”

Starring: Adam Devine and Zac Efron. Directed by: Jake Szymanski
-Two brothers need dates for their sister’s wedding and end up running an on-line ad.


“The Secret Life of Pets”
LL, MS

Starring the voices of: Jenny Slate and Lake Bell. Directed by: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney.
-Ever wonder what Baxter and Charlie are up to when you go off to work. Wonder no more!

JULY 15

“Ghostbusters” MG

Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig. Directed by: Paul Feig
-This time it’s up to the ladies to tell us that they ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

JULY 22

“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” LL

Starring: Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders. Directed by: Mandie Fletcher.

Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi.

“Star Trek Beyond” MS

Starring: Chris Pine and Zachary Qunito. Directed by: Justin Lin

J.J. Abrams has moved on and turned the reins over to multiple “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin. I’m intrigued that Simon Pegg helped write this film.

JULY 29

“Bad Moms”

Starring: Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell. Directed by: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
-When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.

“Jason Bourne”

Starring: Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander. Directed by: Paul Greengrass
-The Jeremy Renner experiment a failure, Damon returns as Jason Bourne, a man who now remembers who he is trying to discover his past.

AUGUST 5

“Suicide Squad” MG JW

Starring: Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Directed by: David Ayer.
-A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. As much praise as Heath Ledger got for his stamp on the Joker, word is that Leto takes it a notch higher.

AUGUST 12

“Pete’s Dragon”

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford. Directed by: David Lowery.
-A retelling of the classic 70’s Disney musical. And no, Redford is NOT the Dragon!

“Sausage Party” MS

Starring the voices of: Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
-An animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. Coming from Seth Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, I’m expecting one long 90 minute dick joke!

AUGUST 19

“Ben Hur”

Starring: Jack Huston and Haluk Bilginer. Directed by: Timur Bekmanbetov
-A falsely accused Jewish nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his Roman best friend, who betrayed him. I’m not big on remakes, but the Chariot Race looks amazing.

“Kubo and the Two Strings” MG

Starring the voices of: Rooney Mara and Charlize Theron. Directed by: Travis Knight
-Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta.

“War Dogs” LL

Starring: Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. Directed by: Todd Phillips
-The true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan. This is the third time that Jonah Hill has played a real person on film, earning Oscar nominations the two previous times. I’m just saying.

AUGUST 26

“Blood Father”

Starring: Mel Gibson and Erin Moriarty. Directed by: Jean-Francois Richet
-An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.

“Hands of Stone”

Starring: Edgar Ramirez and Robert DeNiro. Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz
-The legendary Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel change each other’s lives.

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

Media Mikes has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to give (40) lucky readers and a guest a chance to be among the first to see the new film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” which will be shown on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 at the Cinemark Merriam Cinema. The show begins at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is go to http://www.gofobo.com/wovyr78835 and enter. On May 30, (40) random entries will be chosen and those chosen will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. Good luck!

Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Cinemark Merriam Cinema, Merriam, Kansas

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” opens nationwide on Friday, June 3.
Official Site: www.teenagemutantninjaturtlesmovie.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TMNT
Twitter: @TMNTMovie #TMNT2

Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.

Synopsis:
Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael return to theaters this summer to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). After supervillain Shredder escapes custody, he joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE Superstar Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly), to unleash a diabolical plan to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder and his new crew, they find themselves facing an even greater evil with similar intentions: the notorious Krang.