Tag Archives: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

More Ninja Turtles News [And Why Not To Be Mad]

Way back in April of last year I wrote a post called “Mashin’ It Up” [titled after something Harley Morenstein says on Epic Meal Time] that mentioned the new upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. You don’t have to read it if you don’t you want to, and I can sum it up with the following sentence: the turtles will now be aliens.

Oh, and Michael Bay will be directing, but you knew that from the title.

Over at the aptly named michaelbay.com the following was announced just yesterday:

TMNT: we are bringing Megan Fox back into the family!

Michael Bay

To be more specific, Megan Fox will be playing April O’Neil, the Turtles’ ladyfriend. Prompting rage from all corners of the internet [not that they weren’t already upset about the “alien” thing].

As you all probably know, Megan Fox played a pretty pivotal role in his first two Transformers movies, until the two had a falling out and she was replaced in the third film by a blonde goldfish [looks are subjective, but that’s just how I feel about Rosie Huntington-Whiteley]. Now it appears that the two have patched things up and the actress will have moved on from hanging out with alien shapeshifting robots to hanging out with ninja turtle aliens.

She managed to beat out starlets Jane Levy, Anna Kendrick, and Elizabeth Olsen, who were all also in the running. I can say for a fact that the latter two, at least, are very talented actresses and that I am very glad they didn’t make it. Allow me to explain myself.

No one out there expects this to be a good movie. I mean, sure, co-creator of the original TMNT comic Kevin Eastman thinks it’s going to be “a fantastic film,” but I’m not buying it. We’ve all seen Transformers, we know what to expect: a testosterone-fueled explosion-fest that will include at least one decent fight scene that you’ll have to find on YouTube after you’ve seen the movie because there was too much detail in too short an amount of time. It won’t be good.

And because it won’t be good I don’t want Anna Kendrick in it. If it’s going to be a train wreck of a movie I don’t want decent actors and actresses to be involved in it. Megan Fox can be April O’Neil because if I watch this film I want to enjoy it like I do a triple bacon cheeseburger, knowing it does nothing good for me whatsoever. Casting a truly gifted actress would be like putting spinach on that burger; it’s not where it should be, and in spite of being healthy would actually hinder my enjoyment of it as a whole.

So I’m not mad, personally. It’s just a Michael Bay movie, something we’ve all had to get used to at some point this past decade. You can be upset about it if you want to, but that’d be like being mad that an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo doesn’t have better cinematography.

Apocalypse Wow

There is, if sources are to be believed, going to be a rebooted Left Behind movie coming out sometime next year.

Your reaction should be as follows:

If it isn’t, then you probably aren’t familiar with the series (and should count yourself truly fortunate), so for you blissfully innocent, here’s the basic run-down.

The Left Behind series is based on the book of Revelation in the Bible, as well as certain (delectably) apocalyptic verses in Old Testament books. I say “based on”, but that’s more to demonstrate the authors’ intentions. Left Behind is “based on” the book of Revelation in the same way that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on Vasari’s biographies of Italian Renaissance artists.

In the sixteen-novel series, all true (cough, Protestant, cough) Christians have been “raptured” (removed from the world and taken directly to the after life), leaving behind the unsaved protagonists of the story who find themselves contending with the oncoming “tribulations” (the host of hardships and catastrophes marking the end times) and the rise of the antichrist, who walks the earth in the form of a Romanian politician who takes control of the UN (because, you know, there’s no one more powerful than the UN).

Things more powerful than the UN:
The Student Government of MLK Jr. Middle School,
A Junior Sales Rep from Prescott Pharmaceuticals,
Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua

Needless to say, I don’t think very highly of the series. But hey, if we’re looking for badly written fan-fiction, why not haul Twilight to the guillotine?

It’s because of the fan part. That’s what really gets me. We’re not talking about someone fawning over the idea of stalker-veggie-sparkle-vampires, we’re talking about someone fawning over the idea of millions- billions– of human beings undergoing agonizing deaths. Think I’m reading into things? Take a look at this passage from the series:

The riders not thrown leaped from their horses and tried to control them with the reins, but even as they struggled, their own flesh dissolved, their eyes melted, and their tongues disintegrated. As Rayford watched, the soldiers stood briefly as skeletons in now-baggy uniforms, then dropped in heaps of bones as the blinded horses continued to fume and rant and rave.

Seconds later the same plague afflicted the horses, their flesh and eyes and tongues melting away, leaving grotesque skeletons standing, before they too rattled to the pavement.

You might say “Sure, that’s violent, but that isn’t exactly glorifying it, is it?”. Let me continue on.

…Jesus nudged His magnificent white charger and descended to the top of the Mount of Olives.

As He dismounted, Carpathia shrieked out his final command, “Attack!” The hundred thousand troops followed orders, horsemen at full gallop firing, foot soldiers running and firing, rolling stock rolling and firing.

And Jesus said, in that voice like a trumpet and the sound of rushing waters, “I AM WHO I AM.”

At that instant the Mount of Olives split in two from east to west, the place Jesus stood moving to the north and the place where the Unity Army stood moving to the south, leaving a large valley.

All the firing and the running and the galloping and the rolling stopped. The soldiers screamed and fell, their bodies bursting open from head to toe…

So much for turning the other cheek, eh?

And here’s what gets me about the series. It’s not the generally bad writing or the twisted theology- it’s just how freakishly popular the series is. Popular enough not to spawn just one movie attempt, but two. It’s hard enough for good stories to get a second chance at something like that, let alone this junk. And it’s the implication of that popularity which gnaws at me. There are people out there- a lot of people- who genuinely look forward to this supposed apocalyptic scenario, or an apocalyptic scenario, anyhow. People who fully expect the end of the world to be a plague and hellfire ridden Armageddon, complete with WWIII and genocide of unheard of proportions. People who look forward to this- and not in a “in the sweet by and by” way, I’m talking about a “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” kind of way.

You can’t deny that this blood-thirsty anticipation does exist. If you’re even only vaguely familiar with the Christian (American-Christian, more on that in a second) subculture, you’ll almost have certainly run into this. There’s plenty of other lousy Armageddon fantasies out there.

And what makes it all the worse is just how utterly undeserved all this hidden vitriol is. This vengeful glee isn’t coming from people who have been mercilessly persecuted for their faith. This isn’t coming from the families of martyrs or the congregations of assassinated priests and pastors in the third world. The churches of Africa, Asia, and South America have enough problems combating war, poverty, and disease to be drooling over prophesied war, poverty, and disease. No, this is the bitter vindictiveness that only comfort and safety can breed. All this body-bursting leering isn’t a result of imprisonment (not that it would be justified there either), it’s a result of being snubbed by Bill Maher or portrayed as yokels on some sitcom.

That’s just messed up.

Now this isn’t Shame Day, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all gather ’round and ruthlessly mock something that so richly deserves it, and if this drivel doesn’t deserve it, I don’t know what does.