Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Uh oh. Told you these outfits would get us in trouble.

Even though I run a pretty crappy movie blog, I do feel it's my duty to keep up with the films that everyone is talking about. What worth would I really have if I didn't? So, this past weekend - like most of you - I was completing the trilogy of an epic comic book movie franchise. I loved the first one, liked the second a lot, and was eagerly waiting to finally see the conclusion that would make me feel like a fourteen year old boy, one last time. Not too mention getting to see one the best actors of a generation own a role despite being hidden by some of the most dazzling armor ever seen on the big screen.

This is the answer to the question what's the worst tattoo anyone has ever got?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is a terrible, terrible movie. But somehow, it's delightfully terrible. As a kid, I watched the first two flicks probably 900 times. Each. Likely until the VHS tapes were completely unplayable (though in Hawai'i, it wasn't all too uncommon to find that a visible nest of ants had spawned inside a VHS cassette). But for whatever reason, I had never seen the third one until this past Sunday. I'd like to say that when it was released, back in 1993, a fourteen-year old version of myself was too busy playing sports and making out with chicks thereby missing its theatrical run. The truth is, I was probably too busy with a slightly nerdier endeavor, like playing pogs or collecting Marvel cards. Or maybe I just couldn't get a ride.

Anyway, I knew by reputation that this one was a dog, but picked it up at Best Buy anyway. My son Matthew is obsessed with the new animated series on Nickelodeon (which is all kinds of awesome, by the way), so I figured maybe we'd throw caution to the wind and try a little live-action action.  Initially (and rightfully) he wasn't impressed.

Me: Whoa. It's Splinter.

Matty: He looks pretty bad.

Shockingly, he stuck it out. And by the end, he was actually kind of enjoying it. One the one hand, that brought me an impossible amount of joy, to see my son interested in something that I loved as a kid. On the other hand though, a wee bit of shame, as I realized Man, I loved some dumb shit. So while Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michaelangelo went on a truly bogus journey, ours wasn't so bad. We laughed. We cringed. And in a gesture that's a little bit of both, we might have even high-fived once or twice.

On that note, let's check in with the Yays and Boos, or as they were known in the late eighties, Bebop and Rocksteady.

It's been hours. I still can't figure out which one I hate the most.
  • April mystifies feudal Japan with her Walkman. Much like it would likely mystify contemporary Japan.
  • Oh man. My favorite line? Likely intended as the setup for a zany punchline, would have to be, How'd you get into April's pants? Awesome.
  • Elias Koteas. Dude, you embodied the early 90's to perfection as the awesomely grungy Casey Jones. Bonus points are awarded on account of the fact that Jones was the best action figure ever.
  • Okay, this might be a Boo, but April, played by the moderately hot Paige Turco, shows some leg in one scene. The needle doesn't move. But...then Donnie and Leo yell SCWHING and gesture lewdly and it's officially Awesometime.
  • Pretty sure Mikey goes all Johnny Cade and jumps into a burning building to save some bratty kids. Cool. But better? He then drops a pretty killer Backdraft reference. 
  • Matty (remember, he's three): I don't like Raph's talk. I like everyone else's talk. Son, I couldn't agree more.
  • And finally, no matter what kind of heartless jerk I claim to be, there are few things better than watching an awful movie with a great kid.
For that kid, years of therapy couldn't undo the emotional scars of this scene.
  • Wow. That was an inexplicably lame horseback sword fight.
  • The only thing worse than generic early 90's generic rock? Four guys in turtles suits dancing to it. In sync.
  • While they may have spent nearly a hundred dollars on special effects for the turtle suits, they definitely cut corners on ol' Master Splinter. He seriously looks like the malfunctioning keyboard player in an abandoned Chuck E. Cheese house band. It's legitimately terrifying.
  • They use the phrase unjust war. In a Turtles movie. The third turtles movie. Just stop it, jerks.
  • There is entirely too much time without the turtles and their ridiculous hijinks. More than once I heard, Dad, where are the turtles? 
  • Not only do I hate that when you time travel, you trade clothes with the person's place you take, but this movie then has the nerve to devote at least ten minutes explaining why such stupidity occurred in the first place.
  • The only thing worse than a punch in the nose resulting in a Honk! or Boink! is when instead of the aforementioned fisticuffs, bad guys are deterred via the wet willy. Check that. The double wet willy.
  • Did I mention this one deals with time travel? Oh well, it's awful, who cares. Anyway, in 1603 Japan, there's this horrible sub plot with Yoshi, or Angry Young Asian Boy.  At one point, Yoshi is thought to be dead due to smoke inhalation. Guess how they save him? Yep. You got it. The most awkward mouth-to-mouth resuscitation scene ever.  Maybe April could have done it? Instead of, you know, the giant f--king turtle from the future.
  • Speaking of Ms. O'Neil. She does manage a shower in this one. Yay! A fully-clothed shower, that is. Boo!
  • It's somewhat mind-boggling that every person in feudal Japan speaks impeccable English. Somewhat.
  • And finally, I'm going to give myself a Boo. When we were at Best Buy, they had the second movie, you know, the one with Vanilla Ice in it. It's infinitely better than this one. But being the selfish jerk that I am, I wanted to see the one I hadn't seen yet. C'mon, Dad. Think of the children.
I've got another bad movie to write up, but then I will see that movie that everyone's talking about. The one with the famous guy doing that thing he always does, with the guns and explosions and such.

I think it's called Oblivion or something?


  1. Ha! Very nice. I haven't seen this one in a very long time, but I don't remember it being good. And your movie blog is not crappy, it's hilarious.

    1. Even if you remember it being awful, it's still probably worse. But as we get older, that somehow makes it better.

      Thanks for that! I take shots at accomplished filmmakers and actors all the time, so I try to keep it fair!

  2. You need to stop dissing your movie blog. Seriously. You're in danger of insulting your readers. :-P If what you say is true, since this blog is one of my favorite things to read, what does that say about my I.Q.? Hah! :-D

    On a side note, "delightfully terrible" is a phrase that isn't used nearly often enough. I will make a point of using it in conversation soon.

    1. First of all, I appreciate the fact that you went with the s on reader. Classes it up tremendously. And heeding your advice, I'll drop the self-deprecation bit for as long as I possibly can.

      And, let me know how 'delightfully terrible' works out. And what possible context you found an opening for it.

      Oh wait, I got one. You can recommend this blog to a friend. You should read this blog, Two Dollar Cinema. It's delightfully terrible.

      Shit. Does that count?

    2. Well, as much self-deprecating humor as I direct at myself, I'm in no position to judge. I'll get back to you on the "delightfully terrible" thing. I'm actually thinking it might make an excellent tagline for a blog header or movie poster.

    3. I might put it on my résume.

  3. Great write-up. That girl hugging the turtle (and with your caption) is hilarious.

    1. Thanks.

      This movie is ridiculous. After this, I can't my son to watch the first two. Damn.