RTTP - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

justin haines

Member
Nov 27, 2018
1,409
Which makes those bay movies such a heartbreak when they could be making some of the best movies ever, but they don’t even try.

hopefully we get some dark turtles again
 

DeltaRed

Member
Apr 27, 2018
3,313
Can you imagine how weird this movie would have been if they had gone with the animated version where Splinter was a mutated human? I hated the whole "lab rat" aspect of the Bay film, they had no reason to be ninjas! The reincarnation origin from the IDW comics is my fave, it's so elegant and adds a ton of texture to the family.
I love this film but I always hated the rat doing karate in the cage, even as a 7 year old. I'd prefer the mutated human.
 

ManCityX

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,899
Manchester, England
Random thoughts -

The look and tone of the film is perfect

Great soundtrack.

The Turtles look great.

Emotional moments are spot on.

The interpretation of The Shredder is perfect.

The fight scenes are very well done, especially the final fight.
 

HotHamBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
13,359
I love this film but I always hated the rat doing karate in the cage, even as a 7 year old. I'd prefer the mutated human.
I do think the 87 cartoon’s version is an improvement, it’s a lot cleaner in how it sets up the rivalry between Splinter and Shredder and there is an opportunity for more emotional stakes. Obviously the Turtles received a boon when they changed but for Splinter becoming a rat-man was a curse.

For example, in a very early episode Shredder has a ray gun that can reverse mutations, saying he can use it to restore Splinter’s human form. The catch is that it could also transform the Turtles back into ordinary pets and it’s obviously a trap. In the end, Splinter destroys the gun mid-battle to save the Turtles despite knowing it was his only hope to return to normal.

They could have done a lot more with that plot thread.

if i were adapting the stories for film, I would emphasize the duality between the Turtles’ power and Splinters’ affliction, how it strengthened them and weakened him, but he was able to bring out their strengths through his vast knowledge.

I think the 1990 film makes things even more convoluted and silly by presenting Splinter as a pet rat with a level of awareness and understanding to practice karate even before any mutant ooze is introduced. The filmmakers actively seemed to want to distance themselves from the cartoon universe as much as possible until the sequel, and even then they went with their own bootleg henchmen instead of the iconic Bebop and Rocksteady.

The decision to go with the comic origin for Splinter is probably the biggest mis-step of the movie, but I think I see how they got there.
 
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Dec 6, 2019
409
This is a great post. I love how closely the movie keeps to the original Mirage run. It's such an elegant adaptation, skipping past the cosmic stuff right to the City at War/Return to New York arc and shifting the ICONIC rooftop showdown to the end. The Mirage books immediately go from gritty Miller pastiche to adorably amateurish Kirby-esque interstellar action, it's great stuff but they're like, battling Triceratons and chilling with Fugitoid before the cathartic return showdown with the Foot.

It's not as faithful as the MCU, but the emphasis on father/son themes, more fleshed out personalities borrowed from the animated series, etc. reminds me of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies in the best way possible. The 2003 series also did a GREAT job taking elements from the comic and fleshing out the Purple Dragons, Stockman, etc.

It makes me wish they had gone in the direction of a (reasonably toned-down) Utroms/TCRI arc for the sequel, TGRI was pretty damn mundane in comparision. We never got to see the OG movie turtles take on Krang/Utroms, which have become a huge part of the mythos.
When I explain to folks that the Kraang are actually a benevolent race, it blows their minds.

Had The Powers That Be channeled the time & space travel element through Renet instead of just "the scepter," I think TMNT III would have been a much more successful film.

Man, Shredder has a bottom bitch who unfurls his cape off his shoulders for him before his men roll out the carpet so he can make a grand entrance for the underlings. Modern movie villains ain't got shit on this bad mother fucker.
That's...an interpretation.
 

OrIok

Member
Oct 12, 2019
489
Thinking back on it, the entire segment of the film at the farm is fucking phenomenal. Donnie/Casey bonding, Leo never leaving Raph's side, April and Casey getting closer, Mikey and Donnie hanging out and making fun of them, the scene around the camp fire...that whole stretch is just perfect.
 

MisterHero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,212
There was a soundtrack released in 89 but the entire score was released on vinyl and later on CD. The whole thing is on YouTube right now.
 

ManCityX

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,899
Manchester, England
This is a great post. I love how closely the movie keeps to the original Mirage run. It's such an elegant adaptation, skipping past the cosmic stuff right to the City at War/Return to New York arc and shifting the ICONIC rooftop showdown to the end. The Mirage books immediately go from gritty Miller pastiche to adorably amateurish Kirby-esque interstellar action, it's great stuff but they're like, battling Triceratons and chilling with Fugitoid before the cathartic return showdown with the Foot.

It's not as faithful as the MCU, but the emphasis on father/son themes, more fleshed out personalities borrowed from the animated series, etc. reminds me of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies in the best way possible. The 2003 series also did a GREAT job taking elements from the comic and fleshing out the Purple Dragons, Stockman, etc.

It makes me wish they had gone in the direction of a (reasonably toned-down) Utroms/TCRI arc for the sequel, TGRI was pretty damn mundane in comparision. We never got to see the OG movie turtles take on Krang/Utroms, which have become a huge part of the mythos.
Utroms were originally planned for Turtles 2.


 
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Kor of Memory

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,135
I've been on this big Turtles kick lately and I'm loving it.

I just bought this: IDW TMNT series Volume 1

I read through the whole thing in about 3 days and thankfully I bought Vol 2 and 3 at the same time because I am loving it.

I watched the first season of the '87 cartoon just recently just to see if it's anything like I remember from my childhood.

As a side note, if you've never seen these statues from the Good Smile company, I strongly recommend. I personally own the Leo one, but I'd love to have the full set at some point.


 

cj_iwakura

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,940
Coral Springs, FL
Thinking back on it, the entire segment of the film at the farm is fucking phenomenal. Donnie/Casey bonding, Leo never leaving Raph's side, April and Casey getting closer, Mikey and Donnie hanging out and making fun of them, the scene around the camp fire...that whole stretch is just perfect.
Funny how as a kid, that section dragged, but it's one of the best parts as an adult.
 

Kevers

The Fallen
Oct 29, 2017
8,339
Syracuse, NY
I've been on this big Turtles kick lately and I'm loving it.

I just bought this: IDW TMNT series Volume 1

I read through the whole thing in about 3 days and thankfully I bought Vol 2 and 3 at the same time because I am loving it.

I watched the first season of the '87 cartoon just recently just to see if it's anything like I remember from my childhood.

As a side note, if you've never seen these statues from the Good Smile company, I strongly recommend. I personally own the Leo one, but I'd love to have the full set at some point.


oh wow, I want these now.
 

BebopCola

Member
Jul 17, 2019
592
I've been on this big Turtles kick lately and I'm loving it.

I just bought this: IDW TMNT series Volume 1

I read through the whole thing in about 3 days and thankfully I bought Vol 2 and 3 at the same time because I am loving it.

I watched the first season of the '87 cartoon just recently just to see if it's anything like I remember from my childhood.

As a side note, if you've never seen these statues from the Good Smile company, I strongly recommend. I personally own the Leo one, but I'd love to have the full set at some point.


Holy SHIT these are badass

I remember seeing it in theaters as a lad and my mind exploding when Raph yelled "DAMN IT!" on the roof. Only Ultra Magnus dropping the D-WORD shocked me more as a youth.

Rewatching it a few years ago, it is still a really good film all things considered. And for the longest time, I got Elias Koteas confused with Christopher Maloni, and thought it was awesome that Casey Jones really hit the gym and was in Law & Order: SVU. Kind of a letdown when I was educated that they were different guys
 

Yossarian

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,782
Genuinely great movie.

Took some interesting risks too: Shredder beating all four of them in the climax, tackling teenage ennui and radicalisation (albeit not in a particularly profound manner), and having one of the key characters in a coma for what seemed like a third of the film (I genuinely love the farmhouse stuff).

I remember the moral panic and headlines at the time: “101 acts of violence!”

Also: SAM ROCKWELL!
 

JuicyPlayer

Member
Feb 8, 2018
1,899
The first Turtles movie is still the only movie I’ve seen 3 times in the theater when I was a kid. I remember being so hyped when I saw the trailer on that Burger King tape that had an episode of the cartoon when you bought a kids meal.
 

New002

Member
Oct 25, 2017
526
Just finished watching my VHS copy again thanks to this thread. What a great movie. My wife got me the 7" NECA movie figures for my birthday this past year and they are absolutely amazing.

 

Zetta

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,892
I've been on this big Turtles kick lately and I'm loving it.

I just bought this: IDW TMNT series Volume 1

I read through the whole thing in about 3 days and thankfully I bought Vol 2 and 3 at the same time because I am loving it.

I watched the first season of the '87 cartoon just recently just to see if it's anything like I remember from my childhood.

As a side note, if you've never seen these statues from the Good Smile company, I strongly recommend. I personally own the Leo one, but I'd love to have the full set at some point.


Holy shit I need these in my life. I remember watching the first movie with my three brothers and tearing up during Raphael's healing scene with Leo, I was 6 at the time.
 
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OP
OP
Lightning Count
Jan 27, 2019
1,466
I’m trying to resist the temptation to buy the NECA figures from the film, been checking them out, trying to find a full set of all four turtles for a decent price.
 

Genesius

Member
Nov 2, 2018
1,868
I've been on this big Turtles kick lately and I'm loving it.

I just bought this: IDW TMNT series Volume 1

I read through the whole thing in about 3 days and thankfully I bought Vol 2 and 3 at the same time because I am loving it.

I watched the first season of the '87 cartoon just recently just to see if it's anything like I remember from my childhood.

As a side note, if you've never seen these statues from the Good Smile company, I strongly recommend. I personally own the Leo one, but I'd love to have the full set at some point.


Hoo lawd I NEED the turtles, especially Donnie

Yeah the IDW series is great. I’ve been collecting the hardcovers, I think volume 10 is coming out soon.
 

Phoenom

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
677
The NECA figures are fantastic, so happy I got mine. Can't wait to grab the Shredder and Splinter ones when they get released too.
 

DMczaf

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,064
Las Vegas, NV
Thinking back on it, the entire segment of the film at the farm is fucking phenomenal. Donnie/Casey bonding, Leo never leaving Raph's side, April and Casey getting closer, Mikey and Donnie hanging out and making fun of them, the scene around the camp fire...that whole stretch is just perfect.
So perfect that Whedon tried to rip it off in Age of Ultron