It wasn’t by choice I ended up at the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE (TMNT) premiere on Sunday. I was asked to attend in a technical capacity, I tried to get Kernels on the red carpet for interviews but we received reply or even an invite to see the film. I noticed there was no press on the carpet besides photographers and have come to the conclusion that the guests in attendance, probably Megan Fox, did not want to answer press questions. I was feeling ill, I was not in the mood, I was nearly kicking and screaming on my way there, but you know what? I had a ball and have to say the entire premiere event was handled incredibly well, technically one of the best I have seen in Sydney and the film, it is what it is and it is made for its target audience, not for critics, and I applaud this. TMNT is out tomorrow 11th July in Australia from Paramount Pictures Australia, it is rated M and runs for 101mins.





Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo are all back for a massive blockbuster, Michael Bay produced, Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles) directed ride of fun. I loved the film and I have to say that after the ridiculous TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXCREMENT Michael Bay has dropped way way way down my list of love. The film was dreadful and I was expecting the same from this but I had so much fun watching this film, my 80s came flooding back, the Turtles were SOOOOO huge back then and I had mostly forgotten about them, but this brought them and all their silliness back to big bold coloured 3D.

The film may be directed by Liebesman but this film is all Bay, although, there are less explosions than you would expect:). The high contrast colours and lots of colours, the high-octane action and the objectification of women are all there. In fact, surprisingly the lead is Megan Fox, weird she was allowed to be in this film given her falling out after the “Nazi” comment about Bay. And I have to say it, I detest Fox with a passion, I think she is a Playboy centrefold at best with limited to no talent what-so-ever……BUT – I actually enjoyed her as April O’Neil, I mean she is playing a journalist, but be serious here, she is playing a journalist in a movie, which is really just a live action cartoon about teenage life-size turtles, who are ninjas and love pizza and have a giant sensei rat as their leader and are chased by an evil mastermind who is part cutlery drawer, part transformer. She can easily pull it off and I actually found her likable.




One of the problems I think most critics have when watching a film, they compare everything to the same rule, the same measurement, TMNT they would gauge and judge on the same scale as THE GODFATHER, or BOYHOOD (had to squeeze another plug in for it). And this is their mistake and their downfall, do you think parents of an 11yr old boy give a shit what they think about a TMNT film? Nope! When watching the film you have to try to watch it from the target audience’s perspective and here, ladies and gentleman is what makes most snotty nosed critics idiots and separates Salty from them. When watching this you really have to think from a pizza eating, zit faced skateboarder’s point of view. HE WILL LOVE THIS FILM!!! In fact, I may have momentarily reverted back to a multiple tissue using pizza loving, chocolate addicted zit faced teen 🙂

I keep reading comments on Rotten Tomatoes about the film and laughing – “‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Transformers’ is a hollow shell of a movie.” “It’s essentially a Transformers movie – a Michael Bay production complete with mass destruction, urban panic, white-hot lighting, inane quips, product placement, explosions and, well, Megan Fox.” “I’ve seen Real Housewives with greater range, and making Fox the film’s emotional center is, in the words of another Arnett character — a huge mistake.” – and my answer to this is – PLEASE READ THE PLOT OF THE FILM – this one sums up my thoughts – “If you’re a child, or a particularly undemanding adult with an inexplicable weakness for fluke popular culture of the 1980s, you’ll be delighted with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”” – huge credit to Gabe Toro from The Playlist.




No point in fully describing the plot – it is of little importance, things of note though are that they have slightly changed the origin of the turtles, and I actually like the changes. The action and graphics are amazing – I think the best way to describe this film is like Transformers 1 – it is big, it is new, it is bold, it is predictable, it is no Oscar winner but it is worth it. They will no doubt get worse, like Transformers, but enjoy it while you can.

Now, the acting, Fox is fine, the first time I have liked her onscreen since Transformers 1. She is cute and does not need any depth to act in a Turtles film and speaking of that, the Turtles, they are amazing!! Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Leonardo (Pete Ploszek plays him but Johnny Knoxville voices him) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) – all great, all as the turtles should be. William Fichtner is fine as generic-bad-sell-out-rich-guy-meglomaniac Eric Sacks. Danny Woodburn as Splinter is fine, I did not like Splinter’s face and thought those graphics could have been better – it looked almost slightly robotic? He was basically rat Yoda. My one casting issue – Will Arnett? I just don’t get it, he was too old, too odd and way out-of-place. Someone much younger would have been preferable. I also have to mention the small part of Bernadette Thompson – it is a Perry White styled but wayyyyyy underutilised character played by bigger than biggest hairdo wearing Whoopi Goldberg – I really do miss her on film, wanted more of her in this.

I also have to talk about the “teenageness” of the turtles, you have to remember they are teenagers – the innuendo directed at and love for April from Michelangelo will make some people squirm – lines like – “she is making my shell swell” – adults may find crass but to a 13yr old boy it is awesome – I lolled at the audacity. And I have to be honest, Michelangelo is easily my favourite Turtle after seeing the film (prior it was Leonardo – because of DiCaprio haha). And I have to add it – in the words of Tom Ballard post premiere “for a film about teenagers there was very little masturbation going on” – if you are turned off by that humor – this film is not for you :).




TMNT is what it is, it is not something I would take my parents to, we will watch it when it comes out on Blu Ray, I actually think they will love it – the action is amazing and FAST just as they love and I do have to say that the film should be seen in 3D – it is made in 3D and the graphics suit it – quite a few wow moments.

If you love your Turtles, your hero films and abundant action in bright colours and limited plot – then this film is for you – if not – go and watch BOYHOOD :). I have no shame in saying it – TMNT will get a spot in my Blu Ray collection – it is getting freaking big!!


3 and a Half Pops



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