action, adventure, comedy, movie, movie review, superhero

January 29th, 2018 Movie – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

teenage mutant ninja turtles 3

Ok, I honestly don’t remember if this movie actually appeared in theaters or not. I mean, it obviously did, because it had a box office return, but I just don’t remember seeing it. Then again, after the debacle of the last movie, I doubt I would have gone to see this in theaters anyways. However, the fact that I never saw it in theater didn’t make a difference as I would wind up seeing bits and pieces of it on TV over the years before I wound up buying it on DVD. So let’s see how good of a movie it is in it’s entirety as I watch today’s movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.

The plot In 1603 Japan, 4 samurai are chasing after Prince Kenshin and when they corner him in the woods, the samurai demand he come back to the palace. Kenshin refuses and attempts to fight his way free but the samurai disarm him and take him back to the palace, unaware that a young woman was watching them. In the present day, the Turtles are practicing in their lair but after a while, Raphael throws a sai into the radio and questions why they are still training, as the Foot is defeated and nobody knows they are down there. As he storms off to sulk, April shows up with some presents for the guys before she heads off on her vacation. After handing the Turtles their gifts, April starts unwrapping her gift to Splinter, a strange antique Japanese scepter. Back in ancient Japan, Kenshin is scolded by his father, Lord Norinaga, and when Norinaga moves to kill Kenshin for insulting him, he is stopped by the appearance of Walker, a British merchant who has brought more men and weapons to aid Norinaga in his war. Kenshin is dismissed to the temple to reflect and after chasing out the scholars, he sees a scroll, depicting the Turtles, which he calls “Kappa”. He then sees the scepter and reads the inscription printed on it, “Open wide the gates of time”, and the scepter begins to light up. In the present, the scepter April is holding begins to light up and as the Turtles watch, she is enveloped in electricity and disappears, only to be replaced by Kenshin, wearing April’s clothes. Meanwhile, April finds herself in ancient Japan, where she is captured by Norinaga’s guards. April is brought before Norinaga, who believes that she is a witch that spirited Kenshin away. After they destroy April’s walkman, Walker approaches April to serve as a translator and April tries to bluff her way out but Walker sees through it and tells Norinaga she should be killed. Norinaga decides to imprison her instead and while there, another prisoner, Whit, is brought in, who April thinks looks like Casey Jones. In the present, Kenshin faints after seeing Splinter and the Turtles and when he revives, they are able to figure out what happened. The Turtles make plans to go back in time to rescue April, enlisting Casey to help Splinter watch over Kenshin and whoever shows up in their place. When the Turtles use the scepter to travel back in time, they are replaced by Norinaga’s honor guard, not the priests they expected, and Splinter is able to calm the guards and Kenshin down so they don’t start fighting. In the past, the Turtles find themselves in a battle, during which Michelangelo gets separated from the others and is knocked out by Mitsu, the woman who had watched Kenshin being captured, and she has her rebel forces carry him away. The other Turtles head back to Norinaga’s castle, and try to hide when Norinaga summons them. Meanwhile, Walker and Norinaga are discussing whether Norinaga needs Walker’s guns and after Norinaga leaves, Walker sends his assistant Niles to fetch April. Niles and two men head to the prison, encountering Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello along the way, and the Turtles follow after him and manage to free April. When Norinaga’s guards show up and begin attacking them, April frees Whit, who shows her a way out through a drainage tunnel and they make their escape. April and the Turtles go looking for Michelangelo when they are suddenly attacked by Mitsu and the rebel forces. Whit ends up saving April and when Mitsu attempts to shoot them with an arrow, Raphael throws a sai at her and breaks her bow. Mitsu calls off the attack and when Donatello and Leonardo take off their helmets, Mitsu says they look like the other one, and the Turtles realize she knows where Michelangelo is. Mitsu and her forces lead the Turtles, April, and Whit towards their village where Michelangelo is being kept but they find it under attack by Walker and his men, who are looking for the scepter. Michelangelo is set free and encounters Walker, who approaches him and prepares to shoot him but the Turtles manage to save him and Walker is driven out of the village. When a young boy named Yoshi is trapped in a burning house, Michelangelo risks his life to grab him and Leonardo performs CPR to save his life, causing the villagers to befriend the Turtles. With the scepter missing, the Turtles try to figure out another way to get home, with Donatello having a blacksmith fashion a new scepter. Meanwhile, Raphael starts to bond with Yoshi while Michelangelo develops feelings for Mitsu. At the palace, Walker describes the Turtles to Norinaga, who shows him the scroll with 4 Kappa that resemble the Turtles, and he decides to purchase Walker’s guns and cannons. A spy for Mitsu informs her of this and she tells the Turtles that they will attack the village in the morning. Raphael goes to comfort Yoshi, who doesn’t want Raphael to die so he gives him the scepter, which was hidden under the house. Raphael calls out for the others and when they see the scepter, Raphael realizes that Mitsu made sure to hide it so they would be forced to stay and fight, and Michelangelo questions if it is true but Mitsu leaves without answering. As the Turtles and April prepare to use the scepter to leave, they hear a commotion outside and see that Whit has grabbed Mitsu and is holding a knife to her throat. Whit demands they hand over the scepter, which the Turtles reluctantly do, and then rides off with Mitsu, telling them to being Kenshin to the temple. At the palace, Walker brings Mitsu to face Norinaga, who demands she tell him where Kenshin is but she tells him that he is on a magic journey and only the scepter can bring him back, which Walker now has. Walker has Mitsu placed in the prison as April shows up at the palace and heads towards Walker and Whit, yelling at Whit for betraying them. However, April was meant as a distraction, as the Turtles head up the drainage ditch into the prison and free Mitsu and the other rebels. They then begin fighting with Norinaga’s guards and, after being joined by the rest of the rebels, they are able to capture Norinaga. Suddenly, Walker appears with April as his hostage while his men show up with their guns and the order the rebels to surrender. Walker then tells his men to shoot the Turtles but Leonardo dares him to do it himself so Walker decides to use a cannon but misses when Leonardo ducks into his shell. Walker runs away and the rest of his men are quickly chased off by the rebels. Walker grabs the scepter, and his pet bird, and tries to escape from the Turtles, throwing the scepter away to aid in his escape. Michelangelo manages to catch the scepter while Whit fires a catapult at Walker, knocking him off the castle wall where he falls to his death in the water’s below. Later, April and Donatello are ready to use the scepter to leave but Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo are hesitant to leave ancient Japan. April manages to convince Raphael and Leonardo, while Mitsu says that Michelangelo promised to bring Kenshin back. In the present, Kenshin grows impatient and decides to use the scepter to head back to the past, with Splinter managing to convince him to take the honor guard with him. In the past, Michelangelo is saying goodbye to Mitsu and races to join the others but they disappear before he can reach them. In the present, April, Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello arrive back in the lair and realize that Michelangelo did not make it, while the honor guard that is still there has the scepter and runs off. April and the others give chase but as the guard exits the lair, lightning envelopes him and Michelangelo appears, climbing back down the ladder to the lair. In the past, Kenshin approaches Mitsu just as Norinaga is escorted towards them. Kenshin hands Mitsu the scepter, who gives it to Norinaga, and after he heads into the temple with it, Kenshin approaches Mitsu and kisses her. In the present, Michelangelo is depressed over leaving Mitsu and the past but Splinter and the other Turtles cheer him up.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III met with poor results from the critics, holding a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, ” It’s a case of one sequel too many for the heroes in a half shell, with a tired time-travel plot gimmick failing to save the franchise from rapidly diminishing returns.” A fourth movie was planned called The Next Mutation where the Turtles would undergo a secondary mutation, as well as a 5th Turtle being introduced, but the movie ended up being scrapped but the idea was used in a live action TV series produced by Saban. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $42.2 million off of a $21 million budget.

The sequels just keep deteriorating in quality every time. This movie was definitely not good and probably would have been better suited as a direct-to-video rather than a theatrical release, regardless on if it did earn a profit. The acting was honestly weak, and even the voice actors just didn’t seem really enthusiastic over being in this movie. The story was boring, trying to revitalize the series some by adding a time travel twist but it just felt lame and kind of fell flat on it’s face. The fight scenes were not that impressive while the suits themselves, due to being created by a different company, looked different, and not necessarily in a good way. They honestly should have quit while they were behind and skipped this movie cause it really isn’t worth watching.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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January 28th, 2018 Movie – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze

teenage mutant ninja turtles 2

As expected of any superhero movie, if the first one is successful, then a sequel is sure to follow. That was definitely the case for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as it seemed like the studio almost immediately got to work on a sequel when they realized how big of a hit the first movie was. When I first saw the trailers for this movie, I remember thinking that it didn’t look as good as the first one, seeming to focus more on the comedy, and making it seem stupider as a result. I didn’t go to see this in theaters but I do remember renting it on video so my little brothers could watch it. So let’s see how today’s movie stands up as I watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze.

The plot: In New York City, a pizza delivery boy name Keno is delivering some pizzas to April O’Neil’s new apartment when he notices some vans with several boxes parked across the street. Heading to the shopping center, he finds 3 guys stealing some stuff and after attracting their attention, uses his martial arts skills to knock them out, only to see several more men show up. Suddenly, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show up and place Keno in a trash can to keep him out of trouble, then proceed to deal with the crooks. When they are finished, they send Keno to call the police and when he gets back, he finds the Turtles gone, as well as the pizzas but the money for them is placed in the bag. April returns to her apartment just as the Turtles come back and asks if they have had any luck finding a new place to live and Raphael suggests they go to their old home but Leonardo says that would not be smart since the Foot knows where that is. As Raphael and Leonardo argue over why that matters, since Raphael believes the Foot isn’t a problem since Shredder is dead, Splinter shows up and says that they must return to the underground. Meanwhile, the remains of the Foot Clan are meeting in the junkyard and Tatsu, expressing his anger over the situation, says he is in charge now but they are all shocked when the Shredder appears. The Shredder tells Tatsu to send his best ninja to follow April, as she will lead them to Splinter and the Turtles, so that he can get his revenge on them. The next day, April is doing a report on TGRI’s (Techno Global Research Institute) efforts in cleaning up a toxic spill and interviews the head scientist, Professor Jordan Perry. At the apartment, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo are watching the news report and Raphael wants to change the channel but Splinter tells him not to touch the TV, as he stares intently at the screen. After the interview, some of the TGRI workers find some dandelions that have grown to gigantic proportions and go to alert Jordan, who says a canister must have been buried there and leaked, but unknown to them, Freddy, the Foot soldier that is undercover as part of April’s camera crew, finds one of the flowers and takes it to the junkyard to show Shredder. When Shredder sees the flower, he says that whatever caused this might be useful and orders Tatsu to gather his best men and grab Jordan. At April’s apartment, April returns to her apartment and the Turtles tell her that Splinter has been on the roof ever since he saw her report when Splinter comes down and asks that they join him. On the roof, Splinter reveals the broken canister that contained the ooze that transformed them and when he puts the pieces together, they learn that it came from TGRI, and Splinter says they have to find out if there are more canisters, as it could cause great trouble to the city. At TGRI, Jordan is working on getting rid of the remaining canisters of the ooze and as he prepares the last canister for disposal, Tatsu and the Foot show up and grab it and Jordan. The Turtles show up at TGRI and Donatello discovers that all of the canisters have been disposed of except for one. Suddenly, the see Tatsu and the Foot with the canister and they attempt to get it back from them but fail. Returning to April’s apartment, the Turtles decide to go ahead and move out, as they feel April isn’t safe if the Foot are still around and looking for them. Before they leave, Keno shows up with a free pizza and manages to get inside her apartment and discovers the Turtles and Splinter. Splinter explains how they came to be and Keno says that the Foot is recruiting any teenager that knows martial arts. He offers to infiltrate the Foot and find out where the ooze is and Raphael agrees with him but Splinter and the others say it is too dangerous. The Turtles head down into the sewers to find a new place to live but Raphael gets fed up and decides to leave. As the others keep looking for a new home, Michelangelo falls into an abandoned subway tunnel, which they feel will be perfect as their new home. Meanwhile, Shredder has Jordan use the ooze on a wolf and snapping turtle, causing them to mutate into giant creatures. However, the two creatures have the intelligence of infants, imprinting on Shredder as their surrogate mother. Shredder orders Tatsu to destroy them but Jordan appeals to Shredder, saying that they might not be smart but their great strength could be useful to him. The next day, Raphael meets with Keno and has him go try to sign up to be part of the Foot Clan, helping him pass the test to get in. Keno is taken to the Foot’s headquarters in the junkyard and Raphael says they should go tell the others when he sees the Shredder in a nearby building. Not believing what he saw, Raphael goes to take a closer look but they end up being spotted by Tatsu, so Raphael starts fighting the Foot to allow Keno to escape and tell the others, but Raphael ends up getting captured. Keno runs back to April’s apartment, where he meets her outside and tells her about Raphael being captured. The Turtles head to the junkyard to rescue Raphael but end up getting captured, and Shredder reveals himself and has them maneuvered over a bed of sharpened metal scraps. Splinter uses a bow and arrow to free the Turtles from the net, and they begin fighting the Foot to rescue Raphael when Shredder yells out for his new creations, Tokka and Rahzar. The two creatures easily overpower the Turtles and during the fight, Donatello is thrown into the building where Jordan is being held and he manages to rescue him. Michelangelo finds a manhole cover and the Turtles and Jordan manage to get away from Tokka and Rahzar. Afterwards, Shredder decides to send Tokka and Rahzar out into the city and have them begin destroying the area. The next day, April is interviewing Police Chief Sterns and afterwards, she is grabbed by a Foot soldier and dragged into an alley, where Freddy reveals himself and gives her a message for the Turtles. April contacts the Turtles, who bring her to their new home, and explains that Shredder wants them to head to a construction yard to face Tokka and Rahzar or else Shredder will unleash them on Central Park. Realizing they have no choice, the Turtles prepare to head to the construction yard but Jordan stops them, saying he has an idea. Having Keno go pick up some supplies, Jordan fashions an anti-mutagen to use against Tokka and Rahzar but says that they have to eat it. Michelangelo comes up with an idea and the Turtles head to the construction yard, where they find the Foot surrounding the open area. Shredder calls out Tokka and Rahzar but before they start fighting, Michelangelo offers them a pre-fight doughnut. Tokka and Rahzar each eat one but when Tokka grabs a second one, he discovers the frozen anti-mutagen inside it and begins fighting the Turtles. The Turtles are thrown out of the construction yard and into a nearby club, where Vanilla Ice is performing. As the crowd reacts in shock at the fight, Vanilla Ice begins singing about what is going on, calling it the Ninja Rap. Jordan shows up and speaks with Donatello, and realizes that Tokka and Rahzar’s burping is slowing the anti-mutagen’s affect but grabs a fire extinguisher, saying they can use that to introduce more CO2 into their system to speed up the anti-mutagen. The Turtles manage to knock Tokka and Rahzar down, then spray the extinguishers into their mouths, rendering the two unconscious. The Foot shows up and the Turtles easily defeat them, as well as Tatsu, then start dancing and make their way on stage. Shredder appears and holds up the last container of ooze, saying that he will make more mutants to fight the Turtles but Keno shows up and kicks the ooze out of his hand, which Jordan quickly grabs and leaves the club with it.. Shredder grabs a hostage and threatens to douse her with the small vial of ooze that he has but Raphael throws Keno into him, causing Shredder to release his hostage, and Michelangelo uses a keytar, with the speakers turned up, to send Shredder flying out of the club. The Turtles follow after him only to discover that Shredder has drank the ooze, turning him into a Super Shredder. Super Shredder begins to tear down the docks that they are on, sending it crashing down on top of him but the Turtles dive into the water and mange to swim to safety. Later, Splinter is watching the news, where April reads a note from Jordan thanking the Turtles by name. When the Turtles return home, Splinter asks if they were seen and they tell him no, as they practice the art of invisibility, but he holds up a newspaper, with their picture on the front page, and tells them to practice harder, quoting the Ninja Rap song as they start their punishment.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze met with negative results from the critics, holding a 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Not only is the movie’s juvenile dialogue unbearable for adults, but the turtles’ dopey and casual attitude towards physical violence makes them poor kids’ role models.” Ernie Reyes Jr. was the fight double for Donatello in the original movie and the producers liked him so much that they wrote the character of Keno into the sequel just so they could have him in it and replace Casey Jones, who they felt was too violent. While it had a bigger budget, the movie was not as successful as it’s predecessor, earning $78.6 million off of a $25 million budget.

This movie is such a disappointment compared to the original one. I did like Paige Turco, who replaced Judith Hoag as April O’Neil, and I loved Ernie Reyes Jr. (Keno), who matched up incredibly well with Raphael in attitude and personality. The story honestly felt a little weak, as if they wanted to try and create Rocksteady and Bebop, the mutated villains from the cartoon, without actually using those characters. The fight scenes with the ninjas was pretty good, and Ernie Reyes Jr. was fantastic in his fight scenes, but the scenes with Tokka and Rahzar were just so slow paced in comparison that it wasn’t even funny. And of course, we have the whole scene in the club and “Ninja Rap”. Pardon my language for a minute but, fuck this movie for giving us that fucking song. Ok, got that out of my system. Anyways, there are some good parts but on the whole, it doesn’t come close to the original.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 27th, 2018 Movie – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

teenage mutant ninja turtles

Cowabunga dudes. Honestly, was there a more popular cartoon in the late 80’s than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I know that my younger brothers certainly loved it, and they had the toys to prove it. However, everyone’s favorite quartet of reptilian ninjas got there start in comics before they ever hit the small screen. I honestly never read the comics and only got my introduction through the cartoon but when I heard that a movie was being made, I was excited to see it. So let’s get a dose of Turtle Power with today’s movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).

The plot: In New York City, Channel 3 reporter April O’Neil is doing a news story about the recent rise in criminal activity, and how they seem to be organized into one single gang. As she walks home that night, April is assaulted by a group of punks who try to rob her. Suddenly, a sai goes flying into the street light, plunging the alley into darkness and when the police show up, they find April is unharmed while the punks are tied up. As the cops cut the punks free and take them into custody, April notices the sai on the ground and quickly grabs it, unaware that someone is watching her from the sewers. In the sewers, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello, three humanoid turtles, are celebrating their victory over the punks but the 4th turtle, Raphael, is upset over losing his sai. When they return to their lair, they tell their master, a humanoid rat named Splinter, about their victory and he congratulates them on remaining unseen, as he has been teaching them the art of ninjitsu. Feeling down over the lost sai, Raphael decides to go see a movie and as he leaves the theater, he stops two kids from stealing a purse. The would-be purse snatchers run into the park, where they are confronted by a vigilante named Casey Jones, who begins to attack them with a hockey stick. Raphael stops Casey from seriously injuring them and the two begin fighting briefly before Casey knocks Rapahel into a trash can and runs off. The next day, April’s boss, Charles Pennington, shows up to check on her and as they are talking, he comments about his son Danny’s recent behavior, unaware that Danny is part of the criminal gang and swipes some money from April’s billfold when they aren’t looking. April goes to interview police chief Sterns about the gang and asks about the involvement of a criminal organization known as the Foot Clan, which angers Stern. As April is conducting her interview, a shadowed figure is watching her report and tells his men to go silence her. After leaving the interview, April heads down to the subway, where she is confronted by members of the Foot Clan. April tries to defend herself with the sai but the knock it away and knock her unconscious. Raphael, who was following April, grabs his sai and attacks the Foot Clan, then grabs the unconscious April and carries her down the subway tunnel, unaware that a member of the Foot Clan is following him and learns where their lair is. Inside the lair, Raphael explains to Splinter and the others why he brought April there and when April regains consciousness, she screams out at the sight of Splinter and the Turtles. Splinter tries to calm April down and after she sits down, he explains how they came to be. Splinter tells April how he was the pet rat of a ninja master named Hamato Yoshi and shortly after coming to America, Splinter found himself living in the sewers scavenging for food. One day, he found 4 baby turtles crawling around in a strange, glowing ooze and he scooped them up into a coffee can but the next day, the turtles started growing and becoming more human, as did Splinter. Splinter then decided to train them in ninjitsu, as he had mimicked Yoshi’s movements from his cage over the years, and decided to give them names. Later, the Turtles escort April back to her apartment, where she offers them some frozen pizza for dinner. When the Turtles return to the lair, they find the door broken open and quickly head inside to find that the lair is trashed and Splinter is missing. The Turtles return to April’s apartment and after telling her what happened, she lets them crash there for the night. The next morning, the Turtles are forced to hise when Charles stops by April’s apartment with Danny, having picked him up from the police station for stealing. Charles tries to talk April out of continuing with the story and while they argue, Danny sees Michelangelo in a mirror but when he turns around, Michelangelo is gone. After Charles and Danny leave, Charles starts to lecture Danny about stealing but when they are stopped in traffic, Danny quickly gets out of the car and runs away. That night, at the warehouse that serves as the hangout for the teenage criminal gang, as well as the training center for the Foot Clan, the leader of the Foot Clan, a man known as Shredder, addresses the assembled ninjas and teenagers. After promoting one of the teenagers into the Foot Clan, he tells them to let him know if they see or hear anything about the Turtles and Danny comes forward with information. The next day, April does an interview talking about the Foot Clan, which causes Sterns to call and yell at Charles. The Turtles are watching the interview and afterwards, Leonardo and Raphael argue over what there next move should be. Raphael goes onto the roof to blow off some steam, where he is seen by Casey from a nearby rooftop, when some Foot ninjas appear and begin to attack him. Meanwhile, April returns to the apartment and gives the other Turtles a tour of the antique store that she lives over. When they get back to the apartment, they are shocked to see Raphael come crashing down through the skylight, with several Foot ninjas following after him. The Turtles begin fighting with the Foot, with the floor giving way underneath them and they end up in the antique store. When Tatsu, Shredder’s lieutenant, arrives with more Foot ninjas, the Turtles find themselves becoming overwhelmed but are saved when Casey shows up and begins helping them. During the fight, a fire breaks out and April has Leonardo help her uncover a trap door to the basement garage and the Turtles start making their way out of the store. Casey covers their escape just as the April’s answering machine picks up and he hears Charles calling to tell April that she is fired. The group escape in April’s van and make their way to her family’s old farm. Meanwhile, Shredder questions a captive Splinter about where he and the Turtles came from. After he leaves, Danny approaches Splinter and Splinter starts talking to him, sensing the boys’ uneasiness over what he had caused. At the farm house, Donatello and Casey work on getting an old truck running, as April’s van is no longer working. Leonardo keeps a vigil over Raphael and when he finally regains consciousness, the two make up for the fight they had. With Raphael now awake, the Turtles begin training again so they can fight the Foot and find Splinter and while he is meditating, Leonardo is able to make contact with Splinter. Rushing back to the farm house to tell the others, Leonardo has them head out into the woods and as the meditate around a campfire, they are able to summon an astral projection of Splinter, who congratulates them on achieving this final lesson and tells them that if they work together as a family, then nobody can defeat them. The next morning, the Turtles tell April and Casey that it is time to head back and they make their way back to the city. Heading down to their lair, they find Danny hiding down there, and he tells April that he ran away and not to tell his father. That night, Danny sneaks out of the lair and returns to the Foot hideout but Casey, who was sleeping in the truck due to his claustrophobia, sees him and follows him there. Inside the hideout, Danny approaches Splinter, who comments about Danny’s hiding from his surrogate family and begins telling him about his family. In Japan, Splinter was the pet of Hamato Yoshi, whose only rival in ninjitsu was Oroku Saki. The two competed against each other in everything, especially for the love of a woman named Tang Shen. Not wanting to see them fight over her, Tang Shen decided to run away to America with Yoshi but Oroku Saki followed them and killed both Tang Shen and Yoshi. During the fight, Splinter’s cage was broken and he leapt onto Saki and begin bighting and scratching his face but Saki threw him to the ground and sliced off part of his ear before leaving. Danny asks what happened to Saki and Splinter says he doesn’t know but his mark is on the headband that Danny wears. Danny is confronted by Shredder, who finds a picture that April drew of Leonardo in Danny’s back pocket and realizes that the Turtles are back. Shredder sends the Foot to deal with the Turtles and then tells Tatsu to kill Splinter. Danny hears this and tries to go free Splinter when he is grabbed by Casey, who is disguised as one of the Foot ninjas, and Danny tells him about Splinter and they rush to free him. The unchain Splinter but are confronted by Tatsu, who proceeds to beat up Casey but Casey manages to grab a golf club and uses it to beat Tatsu. Afterwards, the gang of kids want to attack Casey, saying that they are loyal to Shredder, but Splinter says that the Shredder is simply using them and doesn’t really care about them as Casey and Danny help him leave. Meanwhile, the Foot head down to the Turtles lair but the Turtles set a trap and easily defeat the first wave of ninjas. As more ninjas start to show up, the Turtles continue fighting them and eventually manage to beat them all, with the fight making it’s way out of the sewer and onto a rooftop. On the roof, the Turtles are confronted by Shredder, who easily outmatches them, though Leonardo is able to slice his arm during the fight. As the Turtles fight shredder, Casey, Danny, and Splinter show up on the street below, with the gang following behind him, and Casey takes out some of the straggler Foot ninjas. On the roof, the Turtles ask Shredder where Splinter is and he mocks them by saying he is dead, causing Leonardo to rush at him in anger. Shredder easily disarms Leonardo and holds his spear at his throat, telling the others to drop their weapons or else he will kill Leonardo. When they do so, Shredder calls them fools and goes to kill Leonardo but stops when Splinter appears. Splinter calls out Shredder by his real name, Oroku Saki, and Saki takes off his face mask to reveal the scars that Splinter gave him. Saki charges at Splinter, who uses one of Michelangelo’s nunchucks to snare the spear and flip him over the roof. As Shredder is dangling over the roof, he attempts to throw a knife at Splinter but Splinter catches it, causing him to let go of part of the nunchucks. Shredder falls into the dump truck that Casey had moved earlier and Casey pulls the lever activating the compactor, crushing Shredder inside. The police show up and question the gang about what is going on and the leader tells him to check out the warehouse, saying that he will get all his answers there. Meanwhile, Charles shows up with a news crew and Danny races up to him and apologizes for his actions. After making up with Danny, Charles approaches April and convinces her to come back to work, with the offer of a raise and a corner office as incentive. As April gets ready to go on the air, Casey approaches her and they two end up kissing, with the Turtles cheering them on from the rooftop before they start cheering their victory over the Foot.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) met with mixed to negative results from the critics, holding a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is exactly as advertised: one-liners, brawls, and general silliness. Good for the young at heart, irritating for everyone else.” Robin Williams is a fan of the franchise and gave Judith Hoag information on her character through his comic book collection, as the movie went into production while they were finishing working on Cadillac Man. The movie was a box office smash, earning $202 million off of a $13.5 million budget, making it the highest grossing independent film at the time and spawning 2 sequels.

To be honest, this movie didn’t age that well but it is still an entertaining movie to watch. The acting was pretty decent, with Judith Hoag and Elias Koteas doing good jobs as April and Casey. The story was pretty good, following more along the lines with the version of the Turtles from the comics, which had a darker tone than the cartoon, but the studio added some humor into the movie to make it fit more with how the kids viewed the cartoon. The suits the Turtles actually looked pretty good (which isn’t too surprising since they were done by Jim Henson’s workshop) and I also liked the look of Splinter, which made the fact that this was a low budget movie that much more impressive. I also liked the fight choreography, which was pretty good during the scenes with the Foot ninjas, but not as impressive during the fight with Shredder. All told, this is still a fun movie and does bring back some nostalgia when you watch it.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, animation, movie, movie review, superhero

January 26th, 2018 Movie – Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

teen titans the judas contract

Another day, another superhero movie. One of the main reasons that the DC animated films have done so well is that there is so much history to use for the stories. Take today’s movie for instance. “The Judas Contract” is probably one of the best stories involving the Teen Titans to ever be written and is notable for Dick Grayson dropping the Robin identity and becoming Nightwing. The funny thing is that this isn’t the first time that this story received an animated telling, as almost the entire second season of the Teen Titans cartoon was loosely based on this story. However, that telling was more of a kid friendly version, so let’s see how they do with a little more adult version as I watch today’s movie, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.

The plot: 5 years ago, the Teen Titans (Robin (Dick Grayson), Beast Boy, Bumblebee, Kid Flash, and Speedy) are patrolling their city when they see a portal in the sky, and Starfire being attacked by some flying lizard men. When the lizard men capture Starfire, Robin leads the Titans into rescuing her, then has Speedy fire an explosive arrow into the portal, causing it to turn into a vortex that sucks the lizard men back into it. Robin manages to save Starfire from being sucked into the vortex and she thanks him in her native language before kissing him, then thanks him again in English, explaining that she can learn languages through kissing. Starfire tells him that her sister, Blackfire, staged a coup and she was forced to flee her homeworld but she vows to return and free it. As she has no place to call home, Robin offers to let her stay with the Titans and when she accepts, he introduces her to the rest of the team. In the present, Nightwing rejoins the Titans (now led by Starfire and consisting of Beast Boy, Raven, Robin (Damien Wayne), Blue Beetle, and Terra) to take down a hive base. Inside the base, Mother Mayhem is warned of the Titan’s approach by Deathstroke but, seeing no signs of them, dismisses his warning at first but when the Titans attack, she orders the base abandoned, taking the equipment with her. During the battle, Nightwing heads to the computer room to download the data, with Starfire covering him, and the two discuss their relationship. With the battle over, Nightwing asks Starfire to move in with him and she accepts. Returning to Titans Tower, the group unwinds, with Beast Boy trying to get Terra to open up to him, while Beetle has a video call with his family, which doesn’t end as well as he wished. Nightwing is going over the data recovered from the mission, adding it to the data they collected from other raids. As he lets the computer work, he watches an interview on Brother Blood, a cult leader who also leads Hive, before he is interrupted by Robin, Starfire, and Terra. When they notice Beetle acting upset on the monitors, Starfire has Beast Boy and Terra go talk to him. The three end up walking around the city and when they come to a homeless shelter, Beetle decides to volunteer, as it reminds him of helping out at one in his hometown and it will help the scarab get better acclimated to being around humans. While she is there, Terra has a flashback to her own past, causing her to get uncomfortable and she leaves. That night, Terra has a nightmare which causes her powers to act up and when the others go to check on her, she gets defensive and tells them to leave her alone. Meanwhile, Mayhem approaches Brother Blood, who is bathing in the blood of the reporter that had interviewed him earlier, and expresses her concerns about the Titans but he says not to worry, as Deathstroke will take care of them when the time is right. They then head down to the lab, where an experiment takes place that infuses the life force of some volunteers into their test subject, a man named Jericho, making him stronger. Seeing the test is a success, Blood says it is time to move their plan to the next phase, while Mayhem shoots Jericho in the head. Blood then meets up with Deathstroke and tells him to move things up a week, which Deathstroke doesn’t like but Blood tells him he will double his pay and to make sure to capture all of the Titans. The next day, the Titans are doing some training exercises and when Beast Boy and Terra spar against each other, Beast Boy, as a snake, wraps her up but this triggers another flashback from Terra, who loses control and lashes out at Beast Boy. The Titans quickly rescue Beast Boy and stop Terra, who apologizes and is uncomfortable with the Titans showing such concern over her. Later, Robin and Raven express some suspicions about Terra to Nightwing and Starfire but Nightwing says Starfire thinks she is worth giving a chance and shoots there concerns down. That night, Terra secretly leaves the Tower and Robin follows her but she confronts him about tailing her. Suddenly Deathstroke shows up and starts attacking Robin but just when Robin starts to get the upper hand, Terra attacks Robin and captures him, revealing herself to be a double agent. Later, Terra visits Slade and attempts to seduce him but he tells her now is not the time and that they have to finish the mission, as the money Blood is paying them will allow them to start their own League of Assassins, with the two of them at the head. The next day, the Titans throw a surprise party for Terra’s one year anniversary with the team, catching Terra off guard with their kindness, and as the celebrate, the computer finishes it’s analysis of the data and points them to a hive scientist. The Titans head out to the scientist’s lab and find him deleting all his files so they try to stop him but he sends out some robot drones to attack them. The Titans manage to destroy the drones and Raven captures the scientist but before they can question him, Deathstroke, who takes control of a drone remotely, kills him. Seeing that the scientist had photos and files on all of the Titans, Starfire warns them to be careful as they go about their daily routines. Later, Terra is sitting on the edge of the island staring at the water when she is joined by Beast Boy, who talks to her and tries to explain that all of the Titans have faced hardships and she isn’t the only one that has had it rough. The two end up kissing, causing Beast Boy to get excited, and while he celebrates, Deathstroke contacts Terra and tells her that they will take the Titans down tomorrow. The next day, Nightwing goes to check on Beetle and Beast Boy only to find evidence of them being kidnapped. When he returns to his apartment to check on Starfire, he finds her missing just as Deathstroke bursts in and attacks him. The two begin fighting, with Deathstoke overpowering Nightwing, and as the fight carries them outside and onto the docks, Deathstroke ends up shooting Nightwing, who falls into the water. Deathstroke contacts Terra, who has captured Raven, and after he leaves, Nightwing emerges from the water, having used a block of wood as a makeshift kevlar to stop the bullet. After returning to the Tower, Nightwing figures out that Terra had double crossed them and tracks her phone so he can rescue the others. At the Hive base, the Titans find themselves strapped into Blood’s machine when Deathstroke appears and starts taunting them, then reveals that Terra is working with him. When Blood and Mayhem appear, Blood tells Deathstroke that their contract isn’t complete, as he failed to bring Nightwing’s body to him. When Blood suggests that he substitute Terra for Nightwing, Deathstroke agrees and Mayhem shoots Terra with a tranquilizer as she stares in shock at being betrayed. Terra is hooked up to the machine and as Blood gives a speech to his followers, he activates the machine and begins to absorb their powers and abilities. Nightwing shows up and disables the machine, saving the Titan’s lives but Blood begins attacking them with their own powers. Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Beetle begin attacking Blood, while Nightwing and Robin attack Deathstroke, who is easily able to beat them. Terra regains consciousness and her anger at being betrayed causes her to lash out, striking Blood as she heads towards Deathstroke and begins attacking him. While they are fighting, the Titans get the upper hand on Blood and Raven, using her demon powers, rids Blood of all their powers and Mayhem kills him to avoid having him captured. Meanwhile, Terra’s fight with Deathstroke continues and she eventually manages to bury him in rocks, then cries out in anguish. She sees Beast Boy staring at her and apologizes to him, then uses her powers to push him to safety as she starts to bring the temple down around her. Afterwards, Beast Boy digs Terra from the rubble and holds her as she looks up at him and smiles briefly before she dies. Some time later, Beast Boy is on Kevin Smith’s podcast and is discussing the Titans and how they deal with the pressure of being heroes and after Kevin brings it up, he talks about Terra’s circumstances. Beetle is shown to still work at the shelter and receives a visit from his family and he happily hugs them. Robin is on the roof of Titans Tower staring at Deathstroke’s mask when he is joined by Raven, who shows him a puppy she got while the Titan’s newest member, Wonder Girl, flies overhead, and Nightwing and Starfire are shown to be relaxing on their couch watching TV.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract met with positive reviews from the critics, holding an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that it was one of the best movies from DC’s animated line to date. An adaptation of “The Judas Contract” had originally been planned to be the third movie in DC’s animated universe, coming out after Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: The New Frontier but the project ended up being shelved. The movie had a bit of tragedy to it as on the same day Miguel Ferrer was announced as providing the voice for Deathstroke, he ended up dying of throat cancer.

This is a great movie and honestly makes me want to go get my trade and reread it. The acting was good, with Christina Ricci doing a great job as Terra, showcasing all of the various emotions she goes through during the movie. Just from what I remember, the movie seemed to follow the original comic fairly closely but there were some obvious differences, one of them being that Cyborg, who was a member of the Titans in the comic, was not in the movie, as he is a member of the Justice League in the current animated universe. I will say that the whole aspect of Terra trying to seduce Deathstroke, and his playing upon her feelings for his own benefit, was a little creepy. I mean, they never really say how old Terra is, or any of the other Titans for that matter, but it could be safe to say that it she is a teenager and she could be on the older side of that group but the scene where she is in lingerie and trying to get Slade to sleep with her was a little uncomfortable to watch. The animation was pretty good and I liked the design of Brother Blood after he had absorbed the Titans’ powers. A great movie that is definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi, superhero

January 10th, 2018 Movie – Spider-Man: Homecoming

spider-man homecoming

In 2016, fans eagerly awaited the first installment of the 3rd phase of the MCU; Captain America: Civil War. However, when the second trailer for the movie was released, fans got a thrill when it was shown that Spider-Man had been added to the line up. This was a major deal as even though Disney owns the rights to Marvel Comics, the film rights to several franchises still belonged to other companies; with Fox owning the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four and Sony Pictures owning the rights to Spider-Man. The fact that Disney and Sony worked out a deal for Spider-Man to be a part of the MCU was huge and taken as a sign that other deals could possibly occur. Anyways, since a new actor was cast as Spider-Man, Sony scrapped it’s idea for a third installment in the series starring Andrew Garfield and came up with a new movie, one that continued the adventures of the Spider-Man introduced in Civil War. I will admit that I wasa little bit hesitant to get my hopes up over a new Spider-Man movie but having enjoyed the brief glimpse of him in Civil War, I was actually looking forward to seeing what they would do. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The plot: After the Battle of New York, a salvage crew run by Adrian Toomes is working on cleaning up the debris left from the Chitauri invasion when there work is taken over by the Department of Damage Control, a joint effort spearheaded by Tony Stark and the U.S. Government to keep the alien technology out of the wrong hands. Later that night, as Toomes and his crew watch a news report and lament the death of their business, one of Toomes workers points out that they have a truck full of Chitauri technology that they had already salvaged and Toomes says to keep it instead of turning it over. 8 years later, Toomes and his men have used the stolen technology to manufacture weapons to sell, along with creating a set of flight wings that Toomes uses. Meanwhile, Peter Parker is escorted to Berlin by Happy Hogan and given a new suit by Tony Stark for when he helps in the fight with Captain America and his group of heroes that refuse to register under the Sokovia Accords. Peter makes a video diary of his trip, including some portions of the fight, and afterwards, Tony helps him make an alibi for his Aunt May before dropping off Peter at his apartment and telling him he will call when he has a new mission for him, telling him Happy will be his handler. Peter returns to going to school at Midtown School of Science and Technology but his mind is constantly wondering when he will get a new mission, which is interfering with his school life. After school, Peter changes into his Spider-Man costume and leaves a message for Happy asking for his next mission before he goes out to stop any crimes he can see. Later that night, Spider-Man sees some men using high tech weaponry to rob a bank ATM and tries to stop it but when an errant blast destroys a nearby corner bodega, Spider-Man goes to rescue the shop’s owner, allowing the robbers to escape. When Peter tries calling Happy about what happened, Happy tells him he can’t talk, as he is busy moving all of Stark’s things to his new place in upstate New York. Peter sneaks back into his apartment and is surprised to find his best friend Ned waiting for him in his room. Ned is shocked in discovering that Peter is Spider-Man and wants to know all about it and Peter tells him they will talk tomorrow at school. At school, Ned constantly asks Peter questions about how he became Spider-Man and the other Avengers and Peter tells him to keep quiet. When they overhear a classmate Liz, whom Peter has a crush on, mention that she thinks Spider-Man is cute, Ned blurts out that Peter knows Spider-Man. Peter tries to play it off as a joke but another classmate, Flash, taunts them into inviting Spider-Man to Liz’s party that night. Peter and Ned show up at the party, but Peter feels like it is a mistake to go there. When Flash proceeds to mock them for not producing Spider-Man, Peter heads outside to change into Spider-Man but notices a glowing light in the distance and heads out to investigate. He sees two men, Herman Schultz and Brice, attempting to sell some alien weapons and tries to stop them but Brice, who calls himself The Shocker, punches him with his sonic gauntlet and they drive off, with Schultz calling Toomes to explain what happened. Spider-Man chases after them but is grabbed by Toomes, in his Vulture gear, and flown up into the air before being dropped into a lake. A parachute deploys from Spider-Man’s suit but he becomes tangled up in it and almost drowns when he hits the lake but he is saved by a remote piloted Iron-Man suit. Tony chastises Peter via the suit and tells him that he isn’t ready to be an Avenger and he should continue helping the little guys before flying off and as Peter heads home, he discovers a piece of alien technology that Brice and Schultz left behind. Meanwhile, back at their lair, Toomes chastises Brice for being too flashy in selling the weapons and kicks him off the team and when Brice threatens to tell Toomes’ wife about what he is doing, Toomes grabs a weapon and accidentally kills him, then hands the gauntlet to Schultz and says he is the new Shocker. The next day, Peter and Ned are examining the alien device at school and later, Peter sees Schultz and another guy at the school looking for it. Peter manages to tag them with a tracer and when he and Ned discover that they have headed to Maryland, he rejoins the school’s Academic Decathlon which is heading to compete in Washington D.C., which pisses of Flash as Peter is given his spot on the team. As they head to D.C., Peter is contacted by Happy, who had noticed Peter leaving New York due to his suit’s tracking chip but when Peter tells him it is a school trip, Happy says it is fine. When they get to their hotel, Peter has Ned help him disable the tracking chip and Ned learns that Peter’s suit had been placed in training mode so Peter has him disable it. After donning his suit, Peter is contacted by the suit’s computer, Karen, who helps him locate the tracker and he finds them planning to hijack a S.H.I.E.L.D. shipment of items from the Triskelion wreckage. Peter sees the Vulture fly down and make his way inside one of the trucks and when he tries to stop him, Spider-Man ends up getting trapped in the truck and knocked unconscious. When he comes too, he finds himself trapped inside Damage Control’s storage vault. Spending some time learning his new suit’s capabilities with Karen’s help, Spider-Man learns that the Chitauri artifact that he had could be explosive due to exposure to his own radioactive blood. Spider-Man managed to get out of the vault and makes his way to D.C., trying to contact Ned and warn him but their call is disrupted when Ned’s cellphone goes through the x-ray machine. Ned and the rest of Peter’s class, except for MJ, are in the elevator going to the top of the Washington Monument when the device explodes, damaging the elevator and part of the monument. When Spider-Man there, Karen helps guide him to the quickest way inside and he manages to rescue all of his classmates. Back in their hideout, Toomes is upset at Spider-Man’s interference in his plans and he decides to kill him and Schultz points out how Spider-Man rescued the kids from Midtown. Back in New York, Peter is in detention for skipping out on the decathlon event but decides to leave and head back home. Once there, he has Karen replay the footage from the arms deal he broke up and while there is no criminal background on Brice and Schultz, she does find one for Aaron Davis, the man who was there to buy the weapons. Spider-Man goes to question Davis about the crooks and, since Spider-Man saved his life, he tells them that they are meeting on the Staten Island Ferry. Spider-Man heads out there and using his reconnaissance drone, spots Schultz speaking with Toomes before heading out to speak with Mac Gargan As Spider-Man is recording the arms deal going on, he is contacted by Stark, who congratulates him on his rescue in D.C. but Spider-Man cuts him off to try and stop the arms deal. As he deals with Schultz and Gargan’s men, the FBI show up and tell Spider-Man to stand down. Toomes, alerted to Spider-Man’s presence, quickly dons his gear and begins to attack Spider-Man. Spider-Man fights back and attempts to disarm him but the weapon suddenly discharges randomly and ends up cutting the ferry in half. Spider-Man attempts to save the ferry but his webbing breaks and the ferry starts to sink until Iron Man arrives and saves it. Afterwards, Tony meets with Peter and admonishes him for his actions, and when Peter argues that Tony didn’t listen to him, Tony reveals that he did listen and trusted him, which is why he contacted the FBI so they could handle it. Tony then confiscates the suit from him and when Peter argues that he is nothing without the suit, Tony tells him that if he feels like he isn nothing without the suit, then maybe he isn’t meant to be a hero. When Peter returns home, Aunt May yells at him for worrying her and sneaking out and Peter tells her that he lost the Stark Internship. Peter goes back to being a high school student, trying to get his life back on track, and ends up asking Liz to Homecoming and she accepts. When Peter goes to pick up Liz for Homecoming, he is shocked to discover  that Liz’s father is Toomes. Toomes offers to drive Liz and Peter to the dance and during the drive, he talks with Peter and as Liz comments about how Peter mysteriously vanished at times, he figures out that Peter is actually Spider-Man. When they arrive at the school, Toomes speaks with Peter alone and thanks him for saving Liz’s life, then warns him to stay away from him and don’t interfere or else he will kill everyone he loves. Peter heads inside the school but as he approaches Liz, he realizes he can’t let Toomes get away with what he has planned and apologizes to Liz before leaving the gym. Peter grabs his old Spider-Man suit from it’s hiding space and heads outside only to be confronted by Schultz, who Toomes had sent there in case Peter decided to try and stop him. Losing his web shooters, Spider-Man is knocked into a school bus and sent tumbling over but when Schultz goes to finish him off, he is distracted by Ned, who had grabbed one of Spider-Man’s web shooters and fired it at Schultz. Spider-Man knocks out Schultz, then explains what is going on to Ned and asks him to trace his phone, which he had left in Toomes’ car, and to contact Happy. Ned manages to contact Happy, who quickly hangs up on him, and when he tells Spider-Man where his phone is, Peter figures out that Toomes is planning on hijacking the plane that is transferring materials from Stark Tower to the Avenger’s new facility. Spider-Man heads into the warehouse to confront Toomes, who tries to reason with him but was merely distracting him to allow time for his flight suit to enter the bulding and destroy the support columns, causing the roof to collapse onto Spider-Man. As Toomes leaves and prepares to fly off after the plane, Peter panics and calls out for someone to help him until he sees his reflection in a pool of water and hear’s Tony’s words coming back to haunt him. Proving he has what it takes, Spider-Man frees himself from the debris and manages to snag Toomes with a webline, being yanked behind him as he flies into the air. Toomes reaches the plane, which is being computer piloted, and makes his way inside, copying the transponder to a drone which he sends flying to where the plane was supposed to go while he steers it on a different flight path.  When Spider-Man attempts to enter the plane, Toomes sees him and heads outside to fight him, battling him along the surface of the plane. The plane loses control and Spider-Man attempts to steer it away from the buildings while ToomesToomes breaks inside and attempts to grab something so the heist was not a complete waste. The plane eventually crashes on the beach outside Coney Island and as Spider-Man picks himself up, Toomes renews his attack on him. Toomes gets the upper hand and after knocking Spider-Man down, attempts to grab a crate with his damaged wingsuit. Spider-Man notices the wingsuit is about to explode and tries to stop him but fails, and as Toomes takes off, the suit explodes and he goes crashing to the ground. Spider-Man pulls Toomes from the wreckage and leaves him webbed up to the crates for Happy and the authorities to find. The next day at school, Peter thanks Ned for helping save his life then goes to talk with Liz only to find that she is moving with her mom, as her dad doesn’t want her in town during the trial. Happy meets Peter at his school and takes him to the Avenger’s facility, where Tony offers him a new suit and a spot on the team, saying he earned it and has a room full of reporters ready to greet the new member. Peter thanks Tony but turns him down, choosing to help the little guys for the time being. As he goes to leave, Peter asks if this was a test and Tony says it was but after Peter walks away, Pepper Potts exits the room and asks where Peter is. Tony tells her that he made a mature decision, which surprised him, and when Pepper asks what she should tells the reporters, as they are expecting a story, Tony asks Happy if he still has the ring and Happy says he had been holding onto it for years, then tosses it to Tony as he and Pepper go to announce their engagement. Peter returns home and finds that Tony had left the Spider-Man suit for him in his room and as he tries it on, Aunt May sees him from the doorway and yells. Meanwhile, in prison, Toomes is approached by Mac Gargan, who says he heard a rumor that Toomes knew Spider-Man’s identity but Toomes lies to Gargan, saying if he knew who Spider-Man was, he would be dead.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was highly praised by the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.” Originally, Nick Fury was going to play the role of Peter’s mentor, mirroring the dynamic in The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, but the change was made to have Tony Stark fill the role instead. J.K. Simmons had expressed an interest in reprising his role of J. Jonah Jameson from the Sam Raimi trilogy but it was scrapped when he took the role of Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. The movie was a box office success, earning $880.2 million off of a $175 million budget, with Sony and Marvel both agreeing to make a sequel, which is slated for a 2019 release.

My faith in movies was restored as this was a great movie to watch. While I think Spider-Man 2 is probably the best overall movie in the franchise, this is definitely a close second and might end up topping it down the road. The acting was great, with Tom Holland doing a great job as Peter Parker, while Michael Keaton was equally good as Adrian Toomes. I loved Jacob Batalon as Ned, who made for some great comedic sidekick material, and I honestly didn’t get the hate directed towards Zendaya, who was really good as Michelle (though I guess the hate was directed to her wanting to be called MJ at the end of the movie). The story was really good and did a good job showing the emotional growth Peter went through; from being the impulsive teenager that wanted nothing more to be an Avenger and felt like everything else was beneath him to realizing that if he wanted to become an Avenger, he would have to do some growing up first. The one thing I was glad that didn’t occur in the movie was the origin/killing of Uncle Ben. At this point, everyone knows how Spider-Man got his powers and he was spurred to becoming a hero by the death of his Uncle Ben. Since the series was rebooted less than 10 years ago, there was really no need to have that rehashed. Besides, since we were introduced to an already powered up Spider-Man, it made no sense to try and rehash it. I also liked the interaction between Spider-Man and Karen, his suit’s on-board computer system, and the chemistry they developed in the short time Peter had the suit. The one thing that I thought was interesting was how the director decided to make this something of a tribute to John Hughes as far as the high school aspects of the movie went. The funniest part was the deliberate nod to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off during the scene where Spider-Man was chasing after Schultz and Brice through the neighborhood. The special effects were great and while the Vulture suit wasn’t quite like the comics, which honestly is kind of a good thing, it was unique enough to look good on camera. A great movie that is well worth it’s spot in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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