**Note: This is a long-winded post about my personal feelings on the upcoming film. If you just want to see the pictures I took scroll to the bottom.**
Wow, it's been almost three months since my last update. Christmas vacation and several other factors (mostly my own laziness) have all but killed Turtle A Day, but that's not the reason I decided to rez this blog. I'll write another post later today, maybe tomorrow, on where I've been and what the future holds for TaDblog, but the reason for this post is simple...
If you're here you've probably heard about the new Ninja Turtle movie set to release on Christmas Day of 2013 and all of the controversy surrounding it. If not allow me to summarize. Michael Bay is producing the movie and a video was recently released where he revealed that in his movie the Turtles would be aliens, not mutants. The internet predictably went ape-shit. Then after a day or two of letting everyone get really worked up (including the original theatrical voice of Michelangelo) he released another statement telling the fans to relax and chill out. If you want more in depth reading on this massive pop-culture clusterfuck I suggest this article from The Mary Sue. It combines most of what's happened so far and the author is a big TMNT fan so I support it.
Not surprisingly several people have asked for my opinion on this whole debacle and I have been kind of eager to make a general statement about this for anyone that cares (mostly my friends and family) because I'm not all that upset to be honest. Don't get me wrong, I would kick Michael Bay and his terrible ideas off the project if I could in hopes of getting a legitimately good Turtle movie, but I don't have that power.
My feelings are, at best, conflicted. I am an obsessive fan of things (Turtles definitely included), but I rarely turn fanboy over anything. In general I'm content to kind of let studios and creators do what they want with my favorite franchises under the belief that they can't ruin what I already love and sometimes they really are trying to make something awesome and unique. I don't get a say in the creation of most of my favorite things so mostly I just like to go along for the ride. It's for this reason I don't get so worked up about canon vs. non-canon material and I can enjoy (on a terrible terrible level) things like Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.
Did you ever see the movie Jumper? The movie was based on a novel and it was OK, but not great. I don't remember being really impressed by the film, but I do remember an interview with the author of the book and he said something that's stuck with me. I'm going to paraphrase a bit here, so don't crucify me if I misquote. He said when people ask him, "Aren't you afraid the movie will ruin your book?" he replies, "Why would it ruin my book? My book is right there on the shelf. The movie doesn't change that. If the movie gets more people to read the book that's a good thing, but the book will always be the same no matter how the movie turns out." When I heard that I thought, "Wow, that's a good way to look at it."
Basically Michael Bay can do whatever he wants in his Turtle movie; it won't change the comics or cartoons or other films. All those things we all loved about the Turtles will still be intact allowing us to either accept or reject (most likely reject) this new version. That's why I'm not actually all that upset about the changes he's making.
Now, let me tell you why I am pretty upset. Do you know how long it's been since the last Ninja Turtle movie? Five years. You know how many people saw that? Not many. I actually liked it, but like I said, I'm content to go along with the ride. This franchise hasn't really been taken seriously or given a legitimate budget since the early 90's. That's a long time for a series about giant talking turtles to hang on. Then out of nowhere there were talks of revitalizing the franchise with a big budget movie! This could have been Batman Begins for mutant reptiles! Then it all went to crap. When Michael Bay was attached I tried to stay positive. At least it was clear this movie would have a big budget and lots of exposure. It might be OK if they hired decent writers and a good director. However over the past few days it's become painfully clear this isn't going to be what any of us hoped it would be. Mostly I'm in mourning over the premature death of what really could have been the beginning of a new and awesome era in Ninja Turtle history.
I guess I should be thankful. Michael Bay, with a single sentence, has alleviated all the doubt and anxiety I would have surely suffered over the next two years wondering if this movie might be something amazing when it would have ultimately probably turned out to be a huge disappointment. Instead of giving us a Spider-Man 3 he's given us another Transformers; predictably bad from the beginning and therefore not technically a let down at all.
Now, the fact that my expectations have been set somewhere just above "non-existant" on this film doesn't mean I can't have some fun with it. I had a brainstorm yesterday about what the Turtles might think about this new origin story and from there things got a little ridiculous. Here's the proof. Special thanks to my wife for taking the pictures. She's a professional and way more talented with a camera than I am. Enjoy and for more on the anti-Bayification front be sure to follow @JudgementBay and @handsoffmyTMNT on Twitter.