Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Viewed – 09 January 2015  DVD

I remember being quite heavily into these characters when I was a kid.  I especially liked the comics and the animated TV series.  However I don’t recall being that fussed by the movie and don’t even think I saw them all (were there three in total?).  Yet a friend recently recommended this reboot and so I thought I’d give it a go.

tmnt

Transformers’ Megan Fox plays plucky reporter April O’Neil who is hungry for a story that will further her career.  One night she stumbles upon the latest criminal activities of The Foot Clan just as they are stopped in their tracks by a mysterious vigilante.  Thinking this may be her chance April decides to track down the vigilante for herself in hopes of impressing her boss Whoopie Goldberg.

Coming from Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes this feels and looks very much like Transformers, and that’s good or bad depending on your liking of that franchise (think garish high contrast cinematography and lots of things going boom).  Personally I loved the first one and this origin tale is perfectly entertaining and packed with well executed action and heaps of style.  The Turtles themselves are brilliantly realised, full of personality and although entirely CGI, it’s good CGI so that’s ok.  Fox also proves a little bit more than just eye candy even if her comedy sidekick / potential love interest pervs over her more than is strictly necessary.  Alas, the movie’s villains are very basic and not really all that interesting or particularly explored – they’re just evil and power hungry and their big plan is nothing even remotely new.  It’s also very predictable, in way too much of a rush to get to it’s conclusion and at times rather silly.

I enjoyed myself however and it’s difficult to get too bogged down with it’s cliches or redundant plotting when it all looks good and has enough one liners, site gags and quality action (with great use of slow-mo) to leave your brain happily on auto-pilot.

Verdict:  3 /5

Jennifer’s Body


Viewed – 10 November 2009  Cinema

This is an easy thing to admit – Megan Fox is hot!  Ok, that’s out of the way, so what is this latest horror all about then?  Well, Megan plays super-hot cheer leader Jennifer who is the object of every guy’s fantasy at the high school she attends in a small town.  She also happens to be the unlikely best friend of class nerd ‘Needy’, a book-worm always living in Jennifer’s shadow.  Yet when we first meet Needy, she’s a bad-ass juvenile offender in a borstal, and it’s clear some bad shit has gone down.  Flash back to high school, and now be-spectacled Needy watches as her sex bomb friend drags her to a sleazy bar where a goth rock band are performing, with her mind set on boinking the lead singer.  Yet something goes horribly wrong and Jennifer ends up possessed by a demon, and is soon using her obvious womanly charms to lure high school jocks to their gruesome end and dining on their innards!

This funky little movie has plenty of personality, sharp dialogue, a stand out performance by Amanda Syfried as Needy and some decent jump-scares and messy effects work.  It all resembles (a little too closely) the much darker ‘Ginger Snaps’ from a few years back which had a similar premise but threw werewolves into the mix rather than demonic possession.  Yet saying that, this has plenty of good moments, with an eye catching girl on girl snog that has MTV’s best-kiss award written all over it, and enough shots of Megan Fox in her underwear to get any guy shifting uncomfortably in his cinema seat.  Also worthy of note is an appearance by The OC’s Adam Brody as the goth band’s slightly unhinged lead singer, and proves to be an actor to watch – as he has a knack of stealing any scene he appears in with his talent for quality dialogue delivery.  Some of the violence does come across a little amateurish and not particularly well staged at times, and naturally if you have watched the Transformers movies, Megan has no real talent beyond her looks, so doesn’t deliver a particularly menacing villian … but thankfully this is all masked with loud rock music, fancy editing and an energetic pace – meaning you should enjoy it anyway.

Verdict:  3 /5

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen


Viewed – 08 July 2009  Cinema

I loved the first Transformers movie, released to an unsuspecting cinema audience two years ago.  It was a surprisingly effective action sci-fi yarn based on the Hasbro children’s toys that, while not taking itself too seriously, still felt like a proper pop-corn movie.  Thanks in no short way to at-the-time new kid in town Shia LaBeouf and the commendable action credentials of director Michael Bay

This admittedly very quick follow up has much the same cast, including Lebouf’ and his unlikely girlfriend Megan Fox (who for some reason has become a bit of a name since the first movie, but remains tits & ass and nothing more here), and Michael Bay returning, albeit this time leaving his stabilizers off – as unlike the first film which had the sense to gradually build up to some jaw-dropping action set pieces, this movie is pretty much 2 and a half hours of explosions, robots, car chases and an overload of special effects.  I loved the first film because it was paced just right.  Pacing here is more akin to ‘throw everything at the screen and see what sticks’.  Well I can tell you this – it gave me a headache, and with a weak story about a long lost weapon and an old enemy thought to be dead laying the smackdown against the Autobots on Earth … this can’t match the first film.  Saying that the effects, if anything are even more astonishing, the action superbly realised, and the whole show does look the nuts.  But I dunno, I was just hoping Michael Bay would have remembered the personality and character interaction that made the first Transformers stand out.  A weak ‘say you love me’ sub-plot between Shia & Megan does not count!!  On a side note though, the Transformers did seem funnier (especially the ‘twins’ and that little jive-talking thing), but the Decepticons were almost side-lined this time around with much of the villainous showmanship blurring into one.

Still, as far as a trip to the cinema goes, this was still good fun.

Verdict:  3 /5