Movie Club: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE RELAUNCHED DISCUSSION THREAD OF THE NEW MOVIE CLUB, DESIGNED TO RUN PARALLEL WITH R.O.C.K.S. A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    The next few weeks, Movie Club and ROCKS are doing a tie-in. While ROCKS is focusing on the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, the corresponding Movie Club discussions will be on the various movies of the franchise.

    This week we're covering the 1990 movie.

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one).

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
     
  2. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    TURTLE TIME!!!!! I've been waiting a long time for our ROCKS and Movie discussions to feature the TMNT franchise and now it's finally here. :)

    When I first watched the 1990 TMNT movie I was already familiar with and a big fan of the animated TV show. So I naturally was quite jarred at first. The movie was MUCH darker than the show, the visuals were quite gritty and dark, and Splinter was just plain scary!!! But after I watched it a couple of times, I started to understand and even appreciate this "other side" of the Turtles universe.

    I LOVED the Turtles suits! I desperately wanted one for my birthday and even went to my parents' tailor to ask him to sew one for me. He laughed and said it was WAY beyond his skill level. :( I think Jim Henson's Creature Shop did a fantastic job of creating them. A few years back I stumbled upon a "Behind the scenes video" of the movie on Youtube and was even more impressed by the technical work that went into creating the Turtle suits and the animatronic heads. The actors who wore the suits have said on multiple occasions that it was not only difficult to see properly through them, but that they made them sweat a lot... and I mean A LOT!!!

    Shredder was equally terrifying and awe-inspiring, which is exactly how a movie villain should be. I also liked April's character. She had a very Lois Lane like vibe to her. I gotta say I wasn't too impressed with the Splinter puppet. It just seemed to stiff and very limited in motion. Personally I think they should have gone with a guy in a suit, just like the turtles. I also wasn't too crazy about Casey Jones. He was ok I guess but not great, IMHO. The story was pretty good.

    The only thing that I REALLY didn't like about the 1990 movie was the origin of Splinter. A rat who mimicks his master and becomes a great martial artist? That was just plain ridiculous, as was the scene of Splinter in his rat form doing kicks and punches in his cage. I think the cartoon's version of Splinter's origin is much better.

    I had the comic adaptation of the movie and in it there were a number of sequences that were meant to be in the movie but were ultimately not shot. I don't remember all of them, but there was one of Shredder fighting/training his foot soldiers and one of the Turtles training in the barn.

    A little bit of interesting trivia: Sam Rockwell has a small part in the movie. See if you can spot him! :biggrin
     
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  3. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I love this movie.
    This is one of the best movie adaptions of an 80's cartoon.
    I really lie the casting and story.
    The story is actually heavily influenced by the original Eastman and Laird TMNT comics and a little by the cartoon series.
    From the cartoon we have the TMNT's love pizza and the introduction of April O'Neil being saved from the gang.
    Inspired by the comic there are lots of scenes and story points:
    Splinter being Yohi's pet Rat and getting mutated.
    Saki killing Yoshi and his wife.
    Raphael and Casey Jones long fight scene (which in the comic was also a tribute tot he John Wayne fight scene from The Quiet Man).
    The Foot Clan attacking Raphael (in the comic it was Leonardo).
    The huge fight in the antique shop and the fire.
    Fleeing to the farm.
    Spending weeks/months training at the farm.
    Casey and Dontaello fixing the truck (in the comic it was Rapahel).
    The fight on the roof top and Shredder going into a garbage truck.

    Thankfully the DVD release of the TMNT movie is unedited. Unlike the original UK release I used to have on VHS. I didn't realise so many of the nunchuck scenes were cut. I still find it very funny that the nunchuck was the martial arts weapon there were so worried about and not the swords, sais, spears and axes etc.

    The gang kid that has cigarettes.

    I learned about this movie through a magazine which I still have in my collection. Around the time this movie was released I used to get the UK/Archie TMNT comic at the local news agents. I still have UK #1. When I was in getting my comics I spotted a magazine all about the movie with behind the scenes photos and pictures with notations of the movie and various pictures of the TMNT fandom around the world.

    Around 1995 I also found the movie novelization which I still have in my collection.

    I will take and posts some pictures of the magazine and book.

    @Wilycub do you have any pictures of the movie comic adaption? I never knew there was a comic adaption of the movie.
     
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  4. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    I read that bit of information somewhere that the plot of the story was made up of a number of different TMNT comic short stories.
    Yeah, I never quite got the UK's aversion to nunchucks either. As you pointed out, there are so many other dangerous weapons featured in movies and cartoons that they didn't bother about. Even Panthro's nunchucks scenes were cut from the "Lost Intro". I wonder if Bruce Lee's movies also faced the same censorship.
    Correct! :thumbsup
    Yes, please do! I'd love to see those behind the scenes photos. I think I too once used to own a film magazine which had a one-page interview with the actor who played Leonardo and it also featured some behind the scene photos. Too bad that magazine got torn.
    Unfortunately I haven't seen that comic of mine in decades! :( I don't know if it's hidden under some of my other books or lost. But here are a few pics that I found from the net:

    This is the cover
    [​IMG]

    This is the last page, which I found quite funny and was actually one of the scenes that was in the script but was not shot.
    [​IMG]

    The Turtles were drawn well but the humans were drawn pretty badly, as is evident in this page.
    [​IMG]

    This is another scene that was scripted but not shot.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Wow, that comic version of April looks like a cross between Rhea Perlman (Carla from Cheers) and Susanna Hoffs (from the Bangles)!

    OK, as to my thoughts on the movie. It's the only one I saw as a kid. I also had the novelisation of it - which I read before I saw the actual film. So it goes without saying that I noticed a few scenes in the book were missing from the film!

    Certainly the introduction is pretty much the same as in the cartoon, we start off with April doing a story and getting attacked, and the Turtles coming to her rescue. Although their personalities are a little different in the film to the cartoon. Raphael is moodier here, as opposed to the flippant wisecracker that he is in the show. He's the only one with a real distinct personality in this one. It's hard to tell the others apart by their attitudes. OK, maybe Donatello sounds more like Number Five and Michelangelo sounds more like Bill & Ted, but it's not much.

    Splinter's origins are rather different, and I'm not a fan of his voice here. Also why would Shredder carry on such a personal feud against the rat if he was always a rat?

    Casey Jones - hmm, not sure about him. I don't know whether it's the character or just Elias Koteas' performance. I don't know him from anything else, maybe that's a bad sign. It's difficult to sympathise with his character.

    Overall the story is passable I guess, a little formulaic perhaps, but it all fits together OK.
     
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  6. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    LOL! :laugh
    I've never heard that comparison before but it is spot on! :)
     
  7. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    It's even more analogous in the series!
     
  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    In the comic Casey was far more violent and ruthless. Personally I liked Casey and his character.
    The plot mostly covers the first issue then with a few bits from other issues.
    I'm not sure about the Bruce Lee movies lol.

    As far as the art goes sadly the art was spread out among the artists at Mirage Studios. In this case the art was done by Jim Lawson and I am not too keen on his art style for TMNT.
    It's a shame the issue wasn't done by Eastman, Laird, Ken Mitchroney or Chris Allen.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
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  9. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    It wouldn't surprise me if she was drawn to look like Susanna Hoffs. :D
    Susanna Hoffs has been the inspiration of other comic characters. ;)
    https://tfwiki.net/wiki/Susan_Hoffman
    In the UK Transformers comic the character Susan Hoffman.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    So that's how she spends another manic Monday . . .
     
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  11. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Finding and helping Transformers and G.I. Joe/Action Force is a lot more exciting than walking like an Egyptian. ;)
     
  12. The Drifter

    The Drifter Berbill

    Confession: I've never been a TMNT fan. However, growing up in the '80's & being a comic book fan at the time, I do remember the original independent black & white comic TMNT series - I never read/collected this, but apparently it was fairly popular when it came out:

    http://www.vulture.com/2016/06/turtles-speculation-bubble.html

    I was aware of the 1990 film, but never saw it....until this past week. I was inspired to finally check it out because of this thread. Great movie! Very entertaining & amusing. Interesting story & concept; the film definitely had a cheesy B-movie feel, and I mean that as a compliment. Enjoyed the fight scenes, bad puns (LOL), costumes, etc.

    TMNT also had more of an '80's vibe, which is because it was almost certainly filmed in 1989. I especially liked the "Turtle Wax" scene; to the uninitiated (ha ha), Turtle Wax was/is used to wax/polish cars:



    Yes, a young Sam Rockwall makes an appearance towards the end of the film, as one of Shredder's "gang". Rockwall went on to star in the great bio-pic. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2003), which focused on the life of Chuck Barris (the host of the '70's/'80's game show "The Gong Show") ; the amusing drama Matchstick Men w/Nicolas Cage (2003); and most recently the Academy-award nominated Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) ).
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  13. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    @The Drifter glad you enjoyed the movie. It will be interesting to here your thoughts on the sequels we are covering this week and next.
     
  14. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Pics of the novel adaption.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Some pics of the movie magazine. Not sure of the title of the magazine as the cover for it got ripped and destroyed. I think it was Moxie Pix.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So many TMNT toys!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  16. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Another TMNT magazine I got around the same time.
    [​IMG]
    This and the other magazine is where I got my first real look at the 80's original comic TMNT with the red masks.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I also used to have this issue of Fantazia.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  17. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Great pics, Mark! Thanks a lot for sharing. But the pics in the first magazine post are very small. I think you may have accidentally posted the thumbnails instead of the full sized pics.
     
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  18. The Drifter

    The Drifter Berbill

    Great pics. - Thanks for posting.

    I'm actually somewhat surprised that TMNT ended up becoming so mainstream; by that I mean that the franchise definitely achieved more than just a "cult" status. I.e., in less than ten years after the debut of the independent b&w comic series in 1984, it had gotten popular enough to spawn a cartoon series, a major motion picture in 1990, a series of action figures, etc. This is despite the fact that the storyline & concept is so incredibly bizarre - i.e., little turtles becoming radioactive & increasing in size, speaking, and kung fu fighting - LOL.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  19. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    @Wilycub I re-uploaded the pictures their original size along with a couple more pics for you to look at. :D

    @The Drifter it was Mark Freedman who upon discovering the comic and RPG seen TMNT's marketing potential.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  20. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I think the same can be said for Transformers nowadays too. We did the original show in ROCKS about 18mths ago. We'll have to get round to doing the movie franchise at some point, but not just yet. I'll be putting up the new Movie Club and ROCKS threads up tomorrow btw.
     

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