The PoP! Stars narrow it down to the cream of the crop in categories ranging from (but not limited to) Comics, Movies, Toys and Geek Culture in general. This is the PoP! Top 6-Pack.
The brand-new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flick debuts in theaters starting tonight. If you’re a lifelong Turtle fan, or you’re simply a fan of comics, superheroes, or sci-fi in general, you might feel obligated to plunk down your hard-earned money at the box office this weekend. I’ve got 6 Reasons why you don’t have to, and frankly, shouldn’t see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on opening weekend.
1. Michael Bay
All of you Turtles movie apologists can take your argument that Michael Bay is merely a producer, not the director of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sit on it and spin-a-roonie. Sure, Wrath of the Titans‘ Jonathan Leibesman is “credited” on IMDB as the “director” of this reboot, but who’s name and film-making style are plastered all over the trailers? Michael F—ING Bay, that’s who. Michael Bay has managed to crap out four…FOUR…laughable Transformers movies…arguably some of the worst big-budget blockbusters of all time, simply because audiences have zero will-power. And there’s at least two more Bay-formers movies on the horizon. Had audiences finally given up on Bay’s Transformers, and Age of Extinction debuted to less than 50 million dollars on opening weekend, I’m not entirely sure Paramount and Hasbro would keep Bay on board, and we might instead be treated to a less ham-fisted, brainless big-screen Transformers than we’ve seen in the past 10 years. And this Ninja Turtle reboot? It looks, walks, and quacks like a Michael Bay Transformers movie. This is why it’s imperative: if you don’t like what you’ve seen of the Michael Bay’d Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, you have to skip it this weekend, because a huge opening will only encourage him. Before you know it, we’ll have a trilogy of Bay-produced Ninja Turtles movies that make the Transformers movies look like Transformers: The Movie.
Before Guardians of the Galaxy SMASHED box office expectations, it was viewed as Marvel Studios biggest risk to date. That risk has paid off in full, and Guardians of the Galaxy not only broke records, but has now entrenched itself into popular culture and the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audiences seem to agree that Guardians of the Galaxy not only carries on the proud tradition of high-quality Marvel Studios films, but affirms that you don’t necessarily need Iron Man, Thor, or Cap to anchor a Marvel movie. While there were a few skeptics, reaction by-and-large to Guardians, from the initial announcement to concept art to casting to trailers to the final film, has been overwhelmingly positive. Compare that to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which has been dogged by issues and criticism from the jump, and Guardians didn’t seem like such a huge risk after all. Ninja Turtles will still be in theaters next week, and the week after that. If you really want to send a message to Hollywood, buy another ticket to Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend. Hell…bring a friend who might have been reluctant to see a movie about a talking space raccoon. If by some chance Guardians is able to squeak out the #1 spot at the box office against the premiere of Ninja Turtles, it’s highly likely we’ll guarantee more lesser-known characters headlining Marvel Studios films, and we’ll possibly encourage studios to hire more James Gunns and less Michael Bays.
We at PoP! have made no secret of our love for the Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles television show. At first glance, we were all a little wary about this new incarnation of the Turtles, but from the debut episode in 2012, we’ve been hooked. Some would argue that it might just be the BEST Turtles in the 30-year history of the Heroes-in-a-Half-Shell. The Nick Turtles have not only found their own voice and style, but reference past Turtles with the utmost love and respect. It begs the question: if the Nick Turtles are so incredible, why would you lower yourself to what is seemingly an inferior adaptation? If you’re one of the few Turtle-fans within the reach of our voice who hasn’t checked out the Nick series, avoid the theaters this weekend and get yourself some Nick Turtles, by any means necessary. Episodes have been released on home video in affordable chunks, and Nickelodeon has full episodes available for streaming, including the fantastic “Wormquake” two-parter featuring a cameo from the original cartoon Turtles!
4. IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I resent the claim that I’m resistant to the new Ninja Turtles movie because of all the changes to the Turtles‘ backstory. Sure, the initial announcement by MICHAEL BAY HIMSELF that the Turtles would be alien in origin confused and angered me. You can update the Turtles without going so left-field with it, as shown by IDW‘s Ninja Turtles comic. While a little more hard-edged than the Nick TV show, IDW’s comics offer similar strokes of innovation as well as reverence for what has come before. By my count, that’s two vastly different takes on the same property, running concurrently, receiving similar critical acclaim and relative commercial success. Are we lucky enough to make it three? From what we’ve seen from the Ninja Turtles movie…it’s not very likely. So, instead of settling for sub-par Turtles, pick up some IDW Turtles comics. Either start with the first collected trade, or if you’re feeling bold, jump right into the Secret History of the Foot Clan mini-series, easily one of the top-to-bottom best arcs from IDW’s current Turtle run.
Reviews are slowly starting to trickle in, but we won’t have a clear picture of critical and audience reaction to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles until Monday at the earliest. No need to rush out to the theater blindly only to find out first-hand what a terrible life decision you’ve made. Use those opening weekend audiences as the guineau pigs in your own twisted lab experiment to gauge if Ninja Turtles is indeed worth your time and money. If the response is overwhelmingly negative, or simply indifferent, you can make the mature decision to wait for home video or skip it altogether. If, and this is a big IF….IF the prevailing opinion of critics and fans alike is surprisingly positive, you can still catch it in its second week in theaters. Whether the movie is a supreme pizza or a sh– sandwich, you know for a fact the theaters will be packed with awful children and their equally terrible parents this weekend. Avoid the insane opening weekend crowds and prevent yourself from contracting the ebola virus at the same time!
Michael Bay. The (debunked) alien origin. Megan Fox. The Turtles character designs. Johnny Knoxville. WHOOPI GOLDBERG!? Through every step of production, the Ninja Turtles reboot has frustrated fans. There is a small subsection of apologists who assert that the movie doesn’t look as bad as we all expected, but it certainly doesn’t look great. If you’re like me, and you’ve agonized over this movie for the past 2 years, greeting every new tidbit with ever-growing complacency, then why would you see it on opening weekend? Megan Fox essentially told us to f— off if we don’t like it, and asserts that we’re all going to see it anyhow. The only way they’ll learn is if we stay at home. Don’t buy a ticket. Don’t buy the toys. Don’t buy the product tie-ins. Don’t give them a single cent. If you’re reading this, even if you lack the emotional maturity, you’re most likely of an adult age. You make the decisions in your life. Not Michael Bay. Not Megan Fox. Not Whoopi f—ing Goldberg. A lot of us are in abusive relationships with the franchises we love, and eventually, we need to say “Enough is Enough, and it’s time for a change!”
Filed Under: PoP! Top 6-Pack