For weeks, a friend of mine had been asking if I’d attend Marvel Universe Live with him. For weeks I had been saying “no,” because I had little interest in attending a two-hour production geared for kids that mainly consists of people running around in costumes on the floor of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The mistake I made was mentioning this to my editor, who then insisted it would be a good idea for me to attend.
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“You sit in New York and say, ‘That’s a piece of junk. Why do they make movies like that?’ Then you come out here, and you can begin to understand how they can make movies like that. The fact is, people pay money to see them.” I was reminded of this Brian De Palma quote from ‘The Devil’s Candy’ -- Julie Salamon’s 1991 expose on the making of the box office bomb, ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities – while reading some of the vitriol spewed toward ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ after it, kind of surprisingly, grossed $65 million this past weekend.
With a female-led 'Ghostbusters' reboot in the works and the recent announcement that Marvel has turned Thor into a woman, it seems that taking male characters and gender-swapping them could become the latest trend. While it's great to show audiences that it shouldn't matter if their heroes are male or female, it would also be great to see more women taking the lead in their own franchises or original properties. But maybe gender-swapping is the gateway drug; maybe this is the way to train audiences to accept women in leading cinematic roles.
Earlier this year, for some odd reason, a TMZ cameraman was stalking the famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. The first question that the TMZ cameraman asked Tyson was about which movie was the most scientifically inaccurate. It’s almost remarkable how quickly Tyson answered this question. It was almost as if all time and space merged at the particular moment, because Tyson’s answer seemed to come before the question was even finished – as if the sheer weight of Tyson’s answer was so heavy that even light itself couldn’t escape. Tyson’s answer, “The original Disney movie, ‘The Black Hole.’ It was embarrassing!.”
You may remember a TV series from the early 2000s that resurfaced on Netflix in 2013 for a fourth season, bearing the amusingly ironic title of 'Arrested Development.' People had heard of it. The understandably disjointed reunion of one of TV's most beloved casts proved somewhat unsatisfying in the end, but in a world where 'Community' hangs onto a sixth season by the skin of its teeth, surely 'Arrested Development' will reach its own inevitable movie, yes? Let's find out what 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' star and Hollywood soothsayer Will Arnett has to say on the matter!
The latest entry to the “I need your blood but I’m not a vampire movies” genre is ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ a movie I would probably have simply watched and forgotten almost immediately – just like all of the other ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movies -- if it wasn’t for it’s awfully familiar plot point: The villains (I’m being vague on who the villains are as to avoid spoilers) (Also: ha!) needs the Turtles’ blood. Of course the villain needs the Turtles’ blood because what why else would anyone have any interest in English-speaking human adult-size turtles?
If something seems strangely familiar about the new 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' reboot opening Friday, that’s not too surprising, since Jonathan Liebesman’s film is little more than a thinly veiled remake of the 'Transformers' movies. Sure, the nominal source material for this latest ninja-turtles adventure is Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s 1980s comic books, as well as the cartoon series and three live-action films from the early ‘90s, all of which led to a merchandising bonanza built around the characters’ good-natured valor, love of pizza, and fondness for exclamations like “gnarly!”, “radical!” and “cowabunga!” Yet a closer inspection of Liebesman’s adaptation reveals that, far more than those predecessors, the real inspiration for this wannabe-blockbuster is its producer Michael Bay’s four robot-centric extravaganzas. As proof, here’s a rundown of the many clues that 'TMNT' is nothing but 'Transformers' in a half shell.
The Turtles' transformation from cult comic book characters to mega-popular cartoon superheroes began in 1987 and was overseen by writer David Wise. If you're a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are strong that Wise is the man you want to thank. As a writer and story editor for the original animated series, Wise was present from the show's inception to its conclusion, writing and overseeing the vast majority of the series. To listen to his version of events is to understand where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came from.
Ahead, Oscar-winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne takes us through a handful of the major characters from 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and explains the trials and tribulations of dressing the most infamous band of a-holes in the galaxy.
As much as ‘Guardians’ is a modern Marvel money-making machine, it’s also a tribute to a genre that died in the mid-‘80s. A genre that includes those very movies that people around my age think of fondly – in other words: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is more a tribute to movies like ‘The Last Starfighter’ than it is to ‘Star Wars.’