Saturday, June 8, 2013

Coming Next Year: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I have only hazy memories of the original The Transformers TV show from the '80s, and so never had any real opinion about the resentment harbored by many toward the live-action film series about it Michael Bay directed (a modest sample of which you can find in the comments section of this post from io9). I simply found the first film satisfying on its summer blockbuster terms, the second less so (as the college scenes grated, and the affronts to geographical literacy so severe they actually contributed to the third act's confusion). The third movie was more watchable than the second, but ultimately undermined by a bloated third act.

I do have a fairly strong recollection of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, however - strong enough to think of April O'Neil as always wearing a yellow jumpsuit.

The set photos from the Michael Bay-produced reboot of the film circulated earlier this month made clear, this is not what fans will see in the upcoming movie (to the disappointment of many, and the Schadenfreude of at least one fanboy-hating commentator).

In fairness, it may have been unreasonable to expect the jumpsuit's return given the difference between how things look in cartoons, and how they appear in live-action film and television. Certainly that particular article of clothing was left out of the live-action movies of the early '90s - a point that I don't remember coming up in discussion of those movies at the time of their release (and which few seem to be making now). Perhaps it was simply that the space in which such sentiments could be aired was more limited in that pre-Internet world, but perhaps we also had more limited expectations regarding the aesthetic faithfulness of live-action film to our cartoons and comics, with big-budget films based on them still a comparative novelty.

If so, it would seem we have become more demanding in that respect, and perhaps too demanding.

Reflecting on that possibility it seems to me that while I feel that pop cultural icons should not be lightly altered (as my responses to the reboots of franchises from James Bond to Star Trek make clear), and would look favorably on news that it has not been completely left out (bringing it back in one scene, even ironically, could be a nice gesture), I'm neither particularly surprised, nor particularly dismayed. Not everyone is so forgiving, however, as we will be reminded during the inevitable nit-picking of every detail escaping the scene of the production in the year to come.

My Posts on Star Trek
My Posts on James Bond
New and Noteworthy (Planet of the Turtles, Facebook, YA Saves the Economy)

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