Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shredder no Shredding! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles move to Nickelodeon.

According to Variety, Nickelodeon has just purchased the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for $60 million. This seems like a no-brainer as this 25-year old franchise absolutely cannot be killed. Despite hitting its peak in the late 80s/early 90s, with a terrific initial feature film and one of the greatest video games ever made, this empire still remains a popular favorite of kids and overgrown kids. We're still getting new mediocre cartoons and new terrible video games (that Super Smash Bros wannabee was a sick joke). Just as the Disney/Marvel deal was about getting to make T-shirts with Spider-Man and Mickey Mouse together, this deal is about seeing lunch boxes with Michelangelo and Spongebob Squarepants (or, slightly more awesome, Shredder and Swiper plotting together to steal the newest Dora-Oats or whatever in a cereal commercial).Here's hoping that Nick can do more for the franchise than 4Kids Entertainment and Mirage Group was able to accomplish.

Yes, this means that Paramount will be attempting another live-action TMNT adventure for 2012 (apparently, Paramount will be hitting up Dora the Explorer for a loan). Good luck to them, the first picture is still one of the best comic book films ever made. It's well-acted, well-paced, surprisingly dark and violent, and contains two spectacular action scenes (the apartment ambush and the climax). Sam Rockwell more or less made his feature debut as one of the head teens in the Foot Clan. Judith Hoag is both funny and hot as April O'Neil, and Elias Koteas, one of my favorite character actors, got his big break as Casey Jones, the hockey-mask wearing vigilante. And thanks to its general lack of topical pop-culture references and popular songs on the soundtrack, it's become a relatively timeless classic.

The franchise is also contains something of a rarity... Michaelangelo is the only character, other than Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, to successfully use nunchucks in combat during an American action picture. On the plus side, maybe, just maybe, Warner Bros will exploit this new version by putting out a half-way competent special edition of the original four adventures. Because that cardboard pizza case just didn't cut it.

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Movie was the first film I ever saw in the theatres. Subsequent viewings remind me that this film really is well-made.


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