Got a long journal head of you. I tried to break it up a bit so you can skim parts.
It appears some people were a little less than happy with the idea that I’m not going to see the new TMNT movie, yet have already formed a negative opinion about it. Some people, who don’t understand what the word means, are calling this “hypocritical” since I often ask that people try to see both sides of an issue, so taking a definitive stance here with (what appears to be to them) incomplete data is wrongheaded of me. So now I gotta write this journal to explain my actions better. Hope you’re happy ‘bout that...
It’s just a movie! Why does it matter?
Because it’s not JUST a movie. Movies do not exist in a vacuum. How well (or bad) a movie does informs YEARS of upcoming movies and careers. Thousands of people’s jobs are dictated on the whim of what the box office rankings are for opening weekend. A now famous example is Guillermo Del Toro:
Del Toro wanted to make a passion project film called “At the Mountains of Madness.” He was courted by Universal Studios to do the film, got everyone on board, spent years researching and creating the effects... only to have the film NOT be green-lit because Scott Pilgrim failed at the box office. A movie he wasn’t even associated with.
And similarly related.. Michael Bay wanted to do a passion project film called “Pain and Gain,” but studio executives wouldn’t greenlight the project unless he did the Transformers sequels. Despite Bay not really giving a crap about them, he was forced to slog through the 2 sequels before being allowed to make the ONE movie he actually DID care about.
So that’s why “it matters.” Bad movies succeeding can cause potentially good movies to not even make it to the screen.
It’s just for Kids, so of course there are dick jokes!
Fuck you if you think this is a good excuse. The whole “it’s just for kids, so we shouldn’t even bother trying to make something decent.” Fuck that whole mindset. What a load of crap. You know, you can have dumb humor without resorting to immature humor. You can make kids movies without being disrespectful of their intelligence. Just look at pretty much every Disney movie in existence as proof.
You can’t judge a movie you haven’t seen!
I absolutely can. That’s what trailers are for. That’s what critics are for. That’s what clips and interviews are for. They’re all tools studios use to help influence your JUDGEMENT trying to persuade you to put money down on their product. And movies are entirely different from Video Games (where the gameplay affects your judgement) or books (where a single sentence at the end of a good book can completely change the meaning of the whole story). Movies exist in a space where for about 2 hours you sit there and passively absorb thing shown to you.
And it’s not like I’ve come to this conclusion on a whim either. I’ve been following the development of this movie SINCE IT WAS ANNOUNCED. I’ve followed the troubled script, the bizarre casting choices, had to sit through the disturbing character designs, watching as the studio flubs their intentions, etc etc. I’ve actually spent probably more mental attention to this film than nearly everyone combined has going to see it in theaters.
I don’t NEED to see the film to know what I think about this movie, just like I don’t NEED to see Guardians of the Galaxy to know what to think about THAT movie. Movies are one of the rare exceptions where you usually CAN “judge a book by it’s cover.”
BTW: as a side note (because I know someone will bring it up) I would expect the same of people viewing MY content as well. I do not by any stretch of the imagination expect people to read the 300+ comic strips of SYAC to know if they “like” it or not. That would be asinine of me. You should not, nor do I expect you to, have to go through everything I’ve ever produced to get an idea on if you like my work or not. So why should a movie be any different? If I’ve seen enough clips and behind the scenes things to determine “nope, this is not for me,” why is that “not enough” for some of you?
You’re one of those “this movie ruined my childhood memories” people
No I am not.
See, this is the part getting ignored about my criticisms against this film. I do not begrudge it existing. If producer Michael Bay wants to make a TMNT movie, then by all means let him. My problem isn’t that they “butchered my nostalgic memories” of TMNT... my problem is that it’s just a BAD MOVIE IN GENERAL.
The general consensus from critics is that this is the WORSE iteration of the TMNT franchise to date, including TMNT 3: Turtles in Time. I don’t begrudge Michael Bay for making a movie. I begrudge Michael Bay for making a BAD movie.
You just hate Michael Bay
No, actually, I do not. In fact there are a couple movies of his that I ENJOY. I liked “The Rock” and I liked “Armageddon.” I also even enjoyed the first “Transformers” movie to a degree. I think he has a unique and recognizable style and I do not hate the man since he’s usually very passionate about what he DOES like.
But Bay can be lazy at times. Like mentioned before, he didn’t really want to do the other two Transformers sequels. He only did them because the studios pretty much forced him to do them... and it shows. Go watch “Pain and Gain” and compare it to the transformers sequels and tell me which one has more passion put behind it.
(Also it should be noted that Michael Bay didn’t even MAKE this movie. He only produced it, which means he funded the film. He wasn’t directing it. So I don’t even really “hate him” for doing TMNT since he didn’t really have much to do with it.)
If you want to make fun of it, go see it.
I’ve asked people to not see the movie this opening weekend because I want the movie to suffer as a result. I am NOT asking for a boycott, because I know people WILL see the movie anyway. I am only asking that people not see it for opening weekend because that is where the most money will be made and determine if the movie is a hit or a flop. If you want to spend money to see the film, by all means do so. That’s your choice.
However, it’s also MY choice to not spend money on it. I do not want my money going to the studios. I do not want to support this film in any way. So no, I will not be seeing the movie until it comes out on DVD when the damage is pretty much over.
This is the same reason I won’t watch movies like “Enders Game.” The writer of that particular film is big into the anti-gay agenda, and I can’t support him for it. Voting with my wallet is pretty much the ONLY choice I have in Hollywood.
I just wanna turn my brain off and watch explosions
First off, why the hell are there explosions in a TMNT movie? There should be kung-fu fighting with swords and weapons and lots of martial arts movies akin to a Jackie Chan movie. That aside, I still hate this mentality: The idea that a shitty movie becomes good if you turn off your brain. Fuck that.
Like I’ve mentioned before, pretty much all of the Marvel movies so far are popcorn mindless entertainment. You can watch practically every single one by shutting off your brain and having fun. You don’t have to think about deep meanings. Nobody working on them is gonna win an oscar for best “performance.” And there are a lot of explosions and crazy set pieces to keep everyone entertained.
They’re also just... well.. BETTER MOVIES.
Ya know... movies like Independence Day, 2012, and White house Down are dumb movies. But they're dumb movies that are WELL MADE. 2012 has some amazing set pieces and knows just how to wrangle the special effects to give you everything you could hope to see in a disaster movie. White house down is die-hard in the white house with obama. Independence Day set the precedent of the summer blockbuster experience. They're all stupid stupid movies... but they're WONDERFULLY executed. The people making them ENJOYED making them. They had FUN with what they produced... and it SHOWS!
That’s pretty much my issue here. I reject the notion that action films can’t be competently well made. I reject the belief that if an explosion goes off it automatically makes the movie “bearable” to watch. I reject the idea that we should settle for less when MILLIONS OF DOLLARS are being spent on these films. I reject the idea that bad acting should be given a free pass because “it’s for kids.” All of those things are toxic poisonous mindsets that only go to lessen the movie watching experience for everyone.
to borrow a quote from user NWolfman:
The "turn your brain off" mentality implies that the creators of something strictly entertaining can't take their project any more seriously than the audience. And it perpetuates the belief that making something truly great is too difficult or is too complicated for someone of average intelligence.
In the end, tho, the ones to blame for movies like Ninja Turtles are the people who go to see them, because all they do is prove the studio moguls right that they will be entertained by anything they're told to. When expectations are lowered, standards are lowered and effort become weaker and eventually it gets so bad that we hit rock bottom.
The Bottom Line
I am not saying you are stupid for liking the new TMNT.
I am not saying you can’t enjoy the new TMNT.
I am not saying Michael Bay shouldn’t be allowed to make a TMNT movie if he wants to.
I am not saying this movie ruined TMNT.
What I am saying is that it severely depresses me to see people bend over backwards and be apologetic towards a movie that insults your intelligence, wastes the talents of all the people involved, and ultimately produces an inferior version of things we’ve already got. I can see the ripple effect this movie is going to have on upcoming films, and it annoys the crap out of me. I don’t want this movie to succeed because I know what it means for future projects, and what it says about us collectively as a people.
This TMNT film is the movie equivalent of Rob Liefield and comics from the 90’s. Pumped up on testosterone to look “bad ass,” filled with vapid and stupid characters, women who are only there for attractiveness, and designed to play up the notion that this is a “mature” film when it’s actually grossly “immature.” Violence, muscles, adult speak, and sexual innuendoes are not inherently “mature.” Often times movies (and video games for that matter) add these elements because it makes it LOOK more mature than it actually is. This is not to say that a violent, sex filled, adventure movie can’t be good or mature... but that the way it’s often done is grossly immature.
It’s kinda like how The Dark Night and Watchmen were trying to make a point through their violence and adult themes... but comic artists at the time didn’t understand this so they just added violence to THEIR books in an attempt to emulate the same thing... losing all the context and substance that makes The Dark Night and Watchmen staples of comic book history today.
It depresses me that in the year 2014... this same mentality (that ultimately brought down the comic book industry in the 90’s) is STILL in effect today in mainstream movies. It depresses me that we can just throw money at special effects, ignore acting and editing and competent film making, and still make a “hit movie.”
THAT is why this movie offends me so much. THAT is why I won’t be seeing it. THAT is why I’m encouraging people to wait at least a week before seeing it. When shit like this does well... we’re only encouraging more of the same. Why bother making a Lord of the Rings or a Captain America 2: Winter Solider when dredge like THIS makes millions?
And by the way... something like this has happened before. Disney in the 70’s and early 80’s was failing with their films. Their movie The Dark Cauldron got killed at the box office by... The Carebears Movie. Seriously. And from that bad experience, Disney was thinking about closing their department and quitting doing 2-D films entirely. After all.. why bother putting money into something that can be beaten by a film that cheap and poorly produced?
So yeah... I’m not against this movie being made. I think we should have a new live action TMNT movie. I’m against a movie being put together this badly. With obvious script issues, bad acting, bad special effects, contrived plots, and shallow boring pointless moviegoing experiences. I WANT there to be EFFORT put into this type of movie. I want the actors to CARE about what they’re doing. When Megan Fox says “fans need to fuck off complaining because they’ll see it anyway”... she’s right. And that depresses me to my core.