I know I should be taking the time to discuss the Monster Fest and the movies involved with it but I wanted to speak about the TMNT for a moment.
It’s still a toss up in the air if we’ll ever see a TMNT 3 from Paramount Pictures due to Out of The Shadows’ lackluster intake from the box office. Unfortunately I missed seeing its theatrical run (was busy with other interests at the time), and I really don’t remember it being promoted as heavily as the first installment from 2014. Now that it’s on the home release I do know that it’d be a real cop-out to pull the plug on a movie franchise cause of a horrible sales weekend. Even on holiday weekends you know some people just aren’t taking themselves to the movies like they used to. Regardless The Turtles still have a strong market appeal and despite the evolution that has taken place regarding their designs and everything the reboot movies tend to have the heart of the beloved 80s series in mind in addition to the attitude of the 2012 animated series. I don’t think we’ll see a movie made in the vein of the classic black & white comics because of the dark tones and really the only movie that came close to that style is the classic 1990 movie.
Even the classic series of movies had a few bum steers but even then it was steady, uneven but steady until that large gap between Turtles 3 and TMNT (2009). Remember no film franchise is perfect and then when we found out that they were rebooting the Turtles for the big screen again, many a turtle fan was joyful. That is until we found out whom was at the head of the production regarding the movies (-cough- Michael Bay), and remembering full well what this man did to Optimus and Co. Many Turtle fans went into a frenzy and yelled out their venomous hate for the man and his childhood destroying ways. I too was among them especially when one of his premises dealt with aliens…bah…although the ooze did come from the TGRI Building and the subplot with the Utroms but that’s not important right now. Many of us wanted to see the Turtles done well as we envisioned in our minds for the new production but since Paramount already picked their guy to be in charge of the production, marketing, and gameplan. We all had to wait and see what would happen in 2014.
We saw four huge turtles battling about a cyber shredder, sure Splinter was there and Megan Fox was April but it didn’t matter. As superficial as we humans can be, we saw the redesigns, casting choices, and reacted accordingly with increased hatedom to the new franchise. Plenty of people were hating more but I started to change my mind a bit because I started to see signs from the new trailer that perhaps the action sequences are good. Maybe there’s something positive in this circle of negatives because people tend to hate what they don’t understand (especially in the movie process).
Why did they design the Turtles in the reboot to look the way they do?
I have no clue but I could see through their interactions with each other and the way they do their job of protecting the city.
They were the same turtles in Spirit and that was good enough for me, plus Bay wasn’t even directing this movie. It was all from Jonathan Liebesman and this isn’t Transformers. This is something new, something fresh to watch, and as it isn’t the Turtles designs I’ve grown up with, it shows that the TMNT have to evolve with the times too. So when I went to see the 2014 movie with Guardians of the Galaxy as a double feature, I had a great time. I’ll admit the designs took some getting used to, and the plot really wasn’t important to me. I got to see the turtles battle the foot mercenaries, and eventually battle Shredder while showing how powerful they are as a team and a family. There was charm in this film, I didn’t expect to see a unique take on the Turtles and I was entertained which is what movies should be about in addition to money.
(How could you not laugh at this clip?)
2014 came and went, there were several sequel hooks to let you know that a new film is coming soon. So I was psyched to hear that it the movie that eventually became Out of the Shadows was coming to theatres in 2016. The thing is, there were so many superhero movies coming out at once so that it was hard to catch up. You had Batman v.Superman coming out in March, Captain America: Civil War in May, and Suicide Squad in August. Right in the middle was the TMNT coming out with an April release during Easter weekend for goodness sakes. In my opinion, the reason why the 2014 film was a sleeper hit is because August is the end of the Summer Rush. The series has market appeal but during the last times of summer people are just running to the movies or the beach to get that last bit of fun. The franchise was well marketed in the previous outing because it’s trying to establish an audience and product placement from Crush sodas, commercials, and toys were there so people just had to go see this movie. The 2012 animated series was running at full steam so that was enough fire to push the first movie. The reviews haven’t been that great from mainstream critics but they never are for any movie these days.
(Results are courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes)
As 2016 rolled around, it was questionable on what happened in TMNT 2’s results? Perhaps they didn’t have a good spot to push it or maybe they felt that having it on Easter Weekend was a marketable strategy as it is Spring Vacation for kids and families to go to the movies. I knew the movie was coming but during the time after the DCEU’s appearance and knowing full well Captain America: Civil War was coming in May, I wasn’t thinking about the next TMNT outing.
That’s the thing about Marvel movies you know? None of us expected something like the MCU to take off and carry well into mainstream filmmaking. You’re always wondering what’s happening next but you have to bid your time and wait but you’re too excited to care unless you get Superhero fatigue.
If Paramount were to do what Disney did regarding Star Wars by keeping the films marketed in the same slot (for the year’s end in December). It gives that charm and sense of something big is going to tie up the last month. They could’ve done this with the TMNT regarding the last two weeks in August. It would’ve made a spectacular ending to a potential summer rush but as it was placed in the middle between DC and Marvel both armed by WB and Disney’s marketing it got lost in the crowd. Even if most people claim that BVS sucked, they weren’t thinking highly about about the next TMNT adventure as Team Cap/Team Iron Man was stuck in the brain.
I will say that by looking at both films on the home release they were both quite enjoyable, and not every film is the Revenant or a box office smash but they’re good in their own way. I think that Paramount should try again and not leave the current/new gen TMNT fans hanging. See us in the elder Gen Y realm, we already know what our ideal Turtle film would be like (The original prime Turtles) but we shouldn’t ruin it for the next generation. The big wigs at Paramount should try to see if a third film could work, they had the actors signed for three films and they may as well complete the trilogy. Next to Universal, Paramount seems to be having a hard time outside of the Transformers films to find a steady shared universe for their properties. Universal is going to attempt to create a new one with their classic monsters line-up, and eventually we’ll have nothing but shared universes on the movie platform and it’s just getting to the point where people are getting tuned out but this is another subject to cover at a later time.