Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

TMNT

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: PG

Starring:
Chris Evans as Casey Jones (voice)
Sarah Michelle Gellar as April O'Neil (voice)
Mako as Master Splinter (voice)
Kevin Smith as Chef (voice)
Patrick Stewart as Max Winters (voice)
Laurence Fishburne as Narrator (voice)
Ziyi Zhang as Karai (voice)
Mitchell Whitfield as Donatello (voice)
James Arnold Taylor as Leonardo (voice)
Mikey Kelley as Michelangelo (voice)
Nolan North as Raphael/Nightwatcher (voice)
John Di Maggio as Colonel Santino (voice)
Paula Mattioli as General Serpiente (voice)
Kevin Michael Richardson as General Aquila (voice)
Fred Tatasciore as General Gato (voice)

Special Features:
Commentary by Writer/Director Kevin Munroe
Alternate Opening - Splinter Tells the Back Story - and Alternate Ending with Casey and April
Deleted Scene: Mikey Sneaking Food to Splinter
Mikey's Birthday Party Full Sequence
Raphael's Rough House Fight Test
Monsters Come Alive
Donny's Digital Data File
Still Wanna Fight?! Temp/Scratch Test
TMNT: Internet Reel
TMNT: Voice Talent First Look
Roof Top Workout
Side-by-Side Comparison of Storyboards and CGI Action

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 87 Minute

Synopsis:
"TMNT" is based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

Some years after the previous Ninja Turtles films, Leonardo has been ordered by Splinter to travel the world to learn to become a better leader. But while Leo has been fighting crime in Central America, things have not gone so well for his brothers back home. Michelangelo entertains children at parties, Donatello is tech support for a computer company, and Raphael has become a lone vigilante going by the name 'Nightwatcher.' Realizing he has a duty to lead his family, Leo returns home to attempt to revitalize their team.

At the same time, the mysterious billionaire Max Winters has hired The Hand, now led by Karai, to hunt down 13 monsters that are running loose in the city. But how is his plan tied to an ancient evil and an interdimensional portal? And can the "TMNT" reconcile their differences and act like a team to defeat the menace?

"TMNT" is rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language

The Movie:

"TMNT" is yet another great reboot of a comic book franchise. Kevin Munroe has rather successfully taken all the best elements of the Ninja Turtles stories and combined them into this new film. The result is something that should please all "TMNT" fans and hook new fans.

As someone familiar with the very first "TMNT" comics, I was impressed how Munroe was able to capture the dark and violent aspects of the comics. In fact, the opening scenes of the movie started to make me wonder if the film was going to be too intense for my preschooler. From the look of the eyes to the dark mood to the action packed martial arts sequences, it was all there. But at the same time, the film was able to capture the lighthearted aspects of the cartoons and the live action films. The turtles still eat pizza, skateboard, and act silly. But it's all equally balanced with the darker aspects of the stories. The final product is a film that both dads and kids will enjoy together.

The animation really looked great. While there was nothing technically groundbreaking with it, the style of the CGI was a perfect blend of live action realism, the look of the animated series, and the dark look of the original "TMNT" comics. The colors, character designs, and backgrounds are all perfectly done. And the action was especially well choreographed. Every fight scene in this movie is as good as any fight scene in a movie this year.

I can't say I had any real gripes about this film. I was a little worried that the scary moments were going to freak out my 5 year old, but he got over it pretty quickly. And showing April and Casey Jones living together was an interesting choice for a children's film, but most kids won't even notice.

The Extras:
You'll find a decent amount of bonus features on this DVD. First up is your standard commentary by Writer/Director Kevin Munroe. This is followed by an alternate opening sequence which features Splinter telling the back story of the turtles. It's a bit more mundane than the epic opening battle in the final version. An alternate ending is also included and it features Casey and April actually getting engaged. A big batch of deleted or alternate scenes is also included. "Mikey Sneaking Food to Splinter" shows Splinter sneaking some birthday cake to Splinter despite a diet. "Mikey's Birthday Party" shows the full sequence that was actually previewed at the San Diego Comic-Con where he gets kicked in the crotch by the birthday girl. Rounding out the bonus features are a few more animation test sequences, an animatic version of the Turtles playing a game of tag, and interviews with the cast and crew.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, "TMNT" was not just a fun family film but also a movie that all comic book fans are going to want to check out. There's something here for everyone.

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