HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
HTS Overall Score:90
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was a huge part of my formative years. My mother still fondly recalls memories of a 5 year old boy running into her room with nothing but whitey tighties on and homemade mask proudly declaring that he was shredder after watching episodes of the 90s TV show. Being that this is the decade of remakes and comic book movies, it comes as no surprise when the Michael Bay produced “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” came to the market 2 summers ago. If you remember my REVIEW, you remember that I was NOT a fan of the movie. In fact I pretty much eviscerated the film as near abortion level. Still, the movie had its charms, but the quick announcement of a rushed sequel didn’t bode well for the franchise. Color me VERY surprised when I was drug kicking and screaming to the theaters this summer only to come out LIKING the sequel. Yes, you read that right. I actually LIKED “Out of the Shadows”. It still had plenty of stupidity and not everything was done correctly, but there were some major fixes to characters and the inclusion of some AWESOME side characters that really saved my enjoyment level.
Changes have been made since the end of Shredder (Brian Tee for this movie). The criminal is locked up behind bars, and the turtle have been playing it safe in their underground lair. That all changes when Shredder is broken out from maximum security transportation with the help of Dr. Baxter Stockman and a teleportation device. A device that actually belongs to none other than Commander Krang (Brad Garrett), an alien creature intent on dominating the world. Teaming up with Shredder the two concoct a plan to bring in Krang’s battle station, the Technodrome, into Earth’s atmosphere, but ONLY if they acquire the other parts of the teleporter. Providing Shredder with a purple ooze biogenic ooze, Krang sends him back to Earth to wreak havoc on humanity and prepare for his coming.
The ooze is stolen by April O’Neill (Megan Fox) and given to the turtles, Mikey (Noel Fischer), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Leonardo (Pete Poszek), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson), in order to find out just what Shredder has going on. But before April could steal the material, Dr. Stockman and Shredder has used the purple gunk to turn a couple of ex-cons nicknamed Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) into a giant Warthog and Rhino (as fans of the animated show and comics from back in the day, I was already eagerly awaiting their transformations just from hearing the names). Using them as his personal two “animal” army, Shredder tears apart the globe trying to find the last two pieces to the intergalactic transporter. Realizing the potential of the teleporter and the potential of the purple ooze, The turtles have to do what they do best. Try and stop Shredder and Krang before the end of the world and hopefully get a slice of pizza along the way.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=78906[/img]As I said. I actually LIKED “Out of the Shadows”. There were some thematic and character changes that allowed for the movie to become a walking, talking comic book on screen, which had a TON of appeal to this viewer. There is still plenty of stupidity and moronic directing here, but it is more overshadowed by the fun parts and forgiven rather than dominating like it did in the previews film. We still have the turtle infighting going on (which is actually a staple from the comics), with Leonardo (now no longer voiced by Johnny Knoxsville, which was always an odd choice for the fearless leader) now having to figure out just what it is to BE a leader, including some stumbles along the way as he learns what to tell his brothers and what not to. The plot is still paper thin and the movie CHOCK full of action (which isn’t always a bad thing), and some characters are as cheesy as they can be. Laura Linney’s addition really didn’t do the film any favors (I’m still shocked a fantastic actor like her agreed to the film), and once again Will Arnett as Vernon Fenwick is the weakest character on the screen. He’s annoying in every scene and this time doesn’t even have the MILD humor of ogling Mega Fox in her fan service type skimpy outfits.
Now for the positive additions. Stephen Amell as Casey Jones works rather well, and while I’ll always seen him as Oliver Queen from “Arrow”, he fills the role of the hockey mask wearing vigilante quite well. Even Shredder has been given an upgrade. If you remember, my biggest complaint with Shredder last film was that he wasn’t the big ninja he was in the comics. Instead they made him into some sort of Mech suited freak that was simply terrible on all levels (and actually hinted at turning him into super Shredder at the end of the film). Now he’s given much more his classic armor and while he’s not a MAJOR character, fits the role a bit better. However it’s Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady that steal the show. Brad Garrett (the gangly older brother in “Everybody Loves Raymond”) plays the whiny little Alien with a gleeful sense of humor that brings a smile to ones face, but the REAL knockouts are Bebop and Rocksteady. They nailed the personas so perfectly and so magically that I was laughing hysterically eery time they came on screen. The scene in the plane where Rocksteady pretty much destroys the transport with a tank’s turret mounted .50 cal just wraps up the two’s personalities in a nutshell. Simply put, they were scene stealers and made the movie better than it honestly should have been. Looking back after seeing “Out of the Shadows” a second and third time, without the two mutants, this sequel would have been a bit more forgettable.
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=78914[/img]I didn’t get to see the 4K version of the film at the time of this review, so I can’t comment on the uptick in quality there, but the 1080p viewing that we have here is nothing short of spectacular. The 2014 “Turtles” film was shot similarly, and the stunning video presentation then has been copied to now. Shot using Arri Alex cameras and given the kid glove treatment by Paramount, “Out of the Shadows” is nothing less than digital perfection from start to finish. Colors are bright and vibrant, ranging from the neon purples of alien devices, to the reds, blues, greens and purples of the turtles and their attire. Fine detail is absolutely staggering in its scope, with razor sharp clarity and CGI that almost looks real in many places. Intimate details on the CGI turtles face is amazing, with long shots of New York City looking just as stunning. White levels and black levels are brilliantly white, with deep deep inky blacks that just suck up light without obscuring details in the shadows either. I couldn’t detect a single bit of artifacting on my screen, and I REALLY looked, making this one perfect picture..
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=78922[/img]Just like last time, Paramount has given us a reference quality Dolby Atmos track that just pulsates with raw energy. The aggressiveness of the 2014 film has been tamed JUST a hair, but still maintains that ferocity and intensity that made it a blast to listen to. Vocals are crisp and intelligible at all times, and centered right where they should be in the center channel, while the surrounds are given full range to just tear up the soundscape with awesome directional moments as well as nonstop action from beginning to end. The track is simply awe inspiring with its immersiveness, drawing the listening right into the battle with tanks blasting shells over the left hand side of the screen, and the whirling of katana blades while the turtles tear it up between the foot clan. LFE is punishing and simply BRUTAL with deep powerful waves of bass that just beat the listener straight into their chair. Personally I feel the overwhelming Bass from the first movie has been fine-tuned just a bit, and the tones are a bit more distinctive and nuanced, with more accurate replication of different scenes. Still, it is a fantastic track that just stuns at every turn.
• We Are Family
• Whoa! Expanding the Turtleverse
• House Party
• It's Tricky: Inside the Van
• ILM—The Effects Beneath the Shell
• Did You Catch That? Turtle Eggs!
• Deleted Scene
Is “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” a great movie? No way. However it is a goodly bit better than the annoying and frankly underwhelming predecessor from 2014. It’s goofily fun, more lighthearted than the first entry into the franchise and has some memorable characters that really made the movie into a walking, talking comic book. If you loathed “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, but had hope for the next one, then definitely check it out. If you have a movie being “too comic booky”, then this might not be for you, but the incredible audio and video scores may be enough to entice the demo material geek in all of us to give it a watch nonetheless.
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry
Directed by: Dave Green
Written by: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 Core) French, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1
Runtime: 112 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Buy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows On 4K UltraHD Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 3D On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Recommended for a fun Watch
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