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PCR # 365  (Vol. 8, No. 12)  This edition is for the week of March 19--25, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

Munchkin Mall Mayhem!  by ED Tucker
"TMNT"  by Mike Smith
John Waters Goes to Court  by Andy Lalino
The Shark Is Still Working....The Rondo Controversy Update  by Matt Drinnenberg
Me And The Munchkins....Passing On....Happy Birthday....Words and Music....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 12: John Savage  by Mike Smith
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Warner Brothers     
Starring the voices of: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Patrick Stewart, Mako and Kevin Smith
Directed by: Kevin Munroe
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 30 mins

My first encounter with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was not pleasant. As a theatre manager I anticipated a busy weekend when the first movie came out. However, I was told by my district manager that "no one wants to see this" and not to overstaff. When I got to the theatre Friday morning, the ticket line stretched around the building and we sold out all five of Friday's scheduled shows - 2200 seats - by 2 pm. Guess what? They're back!

It's been awhile since the Turtles have been a team. Their master, Splinter (Mako), has sent Leonardo to Central America to develop his leadership skills. The rest of the group occupies their time in their own way. Donatello is now a computer IT guy. Michelangelo now appears at children's parties, ironically in disguise as a turtle who goes by the name of Cowabunga Carl. Meanwhile, wanting to keep his crime fighting skills sharp, Raphael moonlights as a vigilante crime fighter who calls himself the Nightwatcher. Things are pretty boring in New York City. At least until a group of ancient monsters show up.

A film both kids and adults will enjoy, "TMNT" updates the popular comic book/animated series/toy line for a new generation. Rather then four guys in turtle suits, the film makers have turned to computer animation, which gives the characters much more range in their emotions. Also, the process shows New York to be more then just a backdrop, allowing the city to become a character itself. The characters are also updated. The turtles have always had their own personalities (Raphael is serious, Mikey is the clown) and the film gives them ample opportunities to show them. My one complaint is that Splinter looks less like a rat and more like Chester the Cheetah. The voice actors also do a good job. Though the Turtles are voiced by minor (and by this I mean less known) actors, the rest of the cast is a fan boy's dream. Gellar (tv's "Buffy"), Stewart ("Star Trek"), Smith ("Clerks"), Chris Evans ("Fantastic Four"). All have their own legion of fans. Add in the "Matrix'" Laurence Fishburne as the Narrator and there isn't a genre the producers have overlooked. Special mention to the late character actor, Mako, who gives Splinter wisdom and dignity. The story moves quickly and the moral of teamwork and family is achieved without it hitting you over the head. Take time out this weekend and check out these "heroes in a half shell." Just get in line early!

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "TMNT"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "TMNT" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.