Necrozius

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I absolutely agree with all of that.

With one exception.

The original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film holds up to this day as not only one of the best superhero films ever made, but one of the most perfect adaptions of a comicbook to film that is exactly as faithful as it's possible to be while changng exactly what needed to be changed to make it work in a new media. As a film, it is a wonder. And not just because it was the last film that Jim Henson ever worked on, which makes Splinter, quite literally, The Ultimate Muppet.
I think you misunderstood me. I always loved that film. Still do. But as a child, it was so much better than anything else related to TMNT that we had. When the sanitized sequel came out, I was let down. I had tasted the Forbidden Fruit, nothing was as good as the first movie.

That movie was peak TMNT. Hence “downhill” ever since, to me.
 

Necrozius

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In other words, seeing the Ninja Turtles as highly realistic creatures wielding weapons that looked REAL (wrapped in black hockey tape), in a setting that also looked real (my parents had taken me to New York City the summer before I saw the movie) and a villain who was not only scary, but doing something also believable: creating a cult of neglected teens.

Brilliant film.
 

David Johansen

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lol, I make no claims to rarified taste. I still enjoy watching the '67 Spidey cartoons, and the media from the last decade that I most enjoyed was the very lowbrow Power Fantasy Isekai anime Overlord. But my tastes have changed over the years, greatly. And while some stuff I enjoyed as a kid I still enjoy (Galaxy High, Jem & The holograms, and The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon all hold up for me), other stuff just no longer pushes my buttons.

Sometimes it REALLY depresses me. I think the one I find the most heartbreaking is Mystery Science Theatre 3000. I LOVED that show the moment I discovered it, way back in the mists of time when it was an unknown public access show. I found it gut-wrenchingly funny. But my sense of humour has changed. It no longer makes me laugh. I try to watch it - so many times - and it just bores me, but I fight against that, try to convince myself I still find it enjoyable, because it was such a huge source of enjoyment when I was younger. I wish so much that I could recapture that, gain back whatever visceral reaction to it that I used to have.
I think there's a type of humour that really depends on the unexpected and it never works once you've seen it. There was a lot of just bad children's media in the eighties. The censorship of the seventies was flaking away slowly. What TMNT did was completely throw that bowlderized preachy nonsense under the bus. It was raw, transgressive, funny, and violent. The sequel wasn't just bowing to mad mom pressure, it no longer took itself or its audience seriously.
 

Gabriel

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I wouldn't say the 90 TMNT movie was amazing, but it is definitely a good movie. Or maybe I should just say that I like it despite being too old and not being into the turtle craze of that era at all.

I think TMNT's charm is that it's tongue in cheek for older viewers while simultaneously being played straight for younger viewers. Watching as an adult, you notice all the sly winks the the movie is giving you. It's kind of like it's saying, "chill dude. This is for the kids. Kick back and try to remember what it was like to be a kid." And when you take the movie's advice, it's a lot of fun.

I've never watched any of the sequels. They clearly lacked any of the effort and artistry that went into the first one. They were very clearly for young TMNT merchandise crazed children and no one else.

And to tie this back into Star Wars.

I don't think Lucas Star Wars provides any sly winks to the audience. I think it is just flatly earnest entertainment meant to appeal to a childhood sense of wonder and adventure. In fact, many reviewers commented on exactly that quality when the original movie was new. It was seen as something that set it apart from the cynicism of the time.

Disney Wars lacks that earnestness. It's fully cynical and blatantly belittling. Lucas Wars is the original TMNT. Disney Wars is TMNT 2 and 3.
 

Voros

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I think there's a type of humour that really depends on the unexpected and it never works once you've seen it. There was a lot of just bad children's media in the eighties. The censorship of the seventies was flaking away slowly. What TMNT did was completely throw that bowlderized preachy nonsense under the bus. It was raw, transgressive, funny, and violent. The sequel wasn't just bowing to mad mom pressure, it no longer took itself or its audience seriously.
I'm not sure what censorship you're referring to in the 70s, American film was much wilder, more sexual and violent in the 70s. Films that got PG ratings in the 70s had content that would have netted an R in the 80s.
 

Dumarest

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I'm not sure what censorship you're referring to in the 70s, American film was much wilder, more sexual and violent in the 70s. Films that got PG ratings in the 70s had content that would have netted an R in the 80s.
Presumably he is referring to self-censorship by TV networks who wouldn't let Superman throw a punch on Super Friends, for instance, or He-Man actually use his sword's cutting edge, etc.
 

Chris Brady

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Presumably he is referring to self-censorship by TV networks who wouldn't let Superman throw a punch on Super Friends, for instance, or He-Man actually use his sword's cutting edge, etc.
That's Cartoons, and that's based off the criteria that Disney was imposed with.
 

Voros

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Presumably he is referring to self-censorship by TV networks who wouldn't let Superman throw a punch on Super Friends, for instance, or He-Man actually use his sword's cutting edge, etc.
Yeah but that was on TV not film, the TMNT he is referring to is the film correct?
 

Voros

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I liked the comicbook as a teen and the cartoon as a kid but although I saw the first film I can't remember it.

I just think the cartoon and films are totally seperate from the comic, one is for kids the other isn't.

When you try and mix the two you get creepy stuff like this (check the kids reactions at the end, priceless).

 

David Johansen

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Yeah, I'm talking about the way the parent's groups freaked out over violence in cartoons. And television censorship. The eighties were prime time for the think of the children crowd. Adult movies certainly got more violent and sexy but the kids shows generally got tamer and tamer. (Transformers and GI Joe movies notwithstanding) I'm not quite sure if the TMNT kids show or movie came out first but the Playmates toy contract came before either. I remember being a bit disgusted when they were previewed in the comic. The TMNT movie was a breath of fresh air.

The comics were by a couple Heavy Metal Magazine freelancers and were a loving parody of the darkening tone in comics. And, while they weren't always perfect they had that underground comix kind of weirdness. They'd go off the rails and into strange places, like the time travelling little girl or the hauntingly beautiful story by the Japanese artist, they had a Richard Corben cover or two but they were worlds away from the Marvel and DC mainstream style.
 

Voros

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The 80s were certainly a time when American popular culture became more conservative both in film and TV.
 

Giganotosaurus

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I'm not sure what censorship you're referring to in the 70s, American film was much wilder, more sexual and violent in the 70s. Films that got PG ratings in the 70s had content that would have netted an R in the 80s.
Funny story, in high school my English teacher was showing us the 1968 Romeo and Juliet. Boy howdy was she suprised when there was a brief scene of full frontal nudity! Her defense was that the VHS tape said it was rated PG.
 

TristramEvans

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I wouldn't say the 90 TMNT movie was amazing, but it is definitely a good movie.
The fact that it's good is really what I find amazing. It's not my favourite comic book film (but probably is in my top ten, I think). But I would say that it is the perfect adaption of a comicbook to film. The comic isn't amazing either. But if you wanted to take the comic and adapt it as a film, you couldn't have done a better, more faithful job. And that's why it holds up, for me.

That and, holy crap, the introduction of The Shredder...

 

TristramEvans

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The TMNT never did anything for me, even the comic book.
It's really a very specific moment in time. I think of Pokemon and Power Rangers, and how I was never interested in them, but they seem to occupy that same childhood moment for kids of the generation after mine that TMNT did for mine.

I haven't held onto any lasting affection for TMNT the way I have for, say, Spider-man (or Star Wars, before the dark times, before the Special Editions...), I don't collect the toys , or read the comics, or have any interest in the new cartoons (and the less said about the abominations recently put to film, the better), but I still appreciate that era, that time in my life. The first friends I collected Ninja Turtle toys with are also the first friends that I played roleplaying games with. There's a 3 year period 1988 - 1991 that was an especially "important" time period in my childhood and I hold pretty much everything from then with a level of affection - that was the time of the first Batman film, the first Aliens vs Predator comics, my introduction to Warhammer, the time I amassed the most GI Joes that I could never get from stores when I was younger, at garage sales. The time I earnestly got into comicbook collecting and began frequenting comicshops as opposed to picking up issues at the corner store. It's when I really started getting into music. In many ways that brief turn of the decade is where most of my tastes were formed. And the first TMNT film will always be one of the high points of that era for me.

And, interestingly, it's alsoalways tied to this commercial...

 

Shipyard Locked

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There's a 3 year period 1988 - 1991 that was an especially "important" time period in my childhood and I hold pretty much everything from then with a level of affection -
There is research that I can't pinpoint at the moment that strongly suggests your most critical tastes are established from ages 11-14. I'm going to guess that's about how old you were at the time. The sights, the sounds, the textures, the cultural touchstones of that age range are what your brain is designed to absorb for the long term: "Imprint on these. They are your natural environment, your home. These are the things that will matter to your life as a social animal."

Of course, our brains evolved in a pre-modern time when things in our environment were pretty static. The trees, hills, buildings, stories and songs that mattered to your great grandfather still probably mattered to you.

Now our society is being radically transformed from decade to decade, and markers that instincts say should last forever are either swept away into irrelevance or morph into something only half recognizable.

Nostalgia and homesickness were once synonyms, and I can see why:
 

Voros

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There's a well known truism:

'The Golden Age of sf is 12 years old.'

I find because I came to sf literature in my late teens/early 20s I have a much different view of the genre than those who discovered it as kids.

In terms of the 80s I have a fondness for a lot of pop trash that I didn't even care for back then because of nostalgia but I do find the younger generation's pseudo-nostalgia for the decade strange but then I remember as a kid in the 80s a lot of us were obsessed with the 60s (until we discovered punk rock, metal, hip-hop, electronic music, etc.).

It seems that cycle of false nostalgia among young people has sped up or become fossilized more recently though..
 

Gabriel

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