Very rarely do the things we cherish as youth hold up over time. By the 1980s, the cartoons my generation watched were mostly extended commercials to sell toys. Nevertheless, the lasting ones all seemed to have a good spirit. There were lessons to be learned about teamwork, camaraderie, and leadership. And, then we would go buy some toys.
The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action reboot is a hollow Makerbot rendering of a movie. It is a garbled pastiche of disconnected pop culture references crudely assembled, as if by not-yet-ready-for-Skynet A.I. trying to calculate the best ratio of human enjoyment vs product placement.
So, all of Nerdom is up in arms over the new Michael Bay Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Here’s my stance: “Bring it on.” I am a comic book geek, if you cut me, I bleed four color ink. So, when Hollywood wants to make a movie that’s based on a comic book, I’m all for it.
Listen, I know this TMNT is not “your TMNT.” Heck, it’s not even the Turtles cartoon from the late 80s or the movies from the 90s. It’s not based on Eastman and Laird’s revolutionary vision of four radioactive turtles that were raised by a rat who knew martial arts. No, this is different. And that’s okay.
In case you missed it, the trailer for the latest iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise has hit the web.
If you’re a fan of ‘90s pop culture, and you appreciate hip hop music and quality comedy television, then you were probably a fan of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The show, which aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996, was an entertaining display of humor, culture clashes, and broken stereotypes that almost always ended with a message about the importance of family. Although Will Smith was undoubtedly the star of the show, and Carlton had the best moves (see The Carlton Dance), one of the most memorable characters was Uncle Phil, played by James Avery with a deep love and seriousness that all fathers should possess. More than that, Avery’s Uncle Phil also had a sense of humor that made him the ultimate cool uncle.
Sadly, Avery passed away on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 from open-heart surgery complications. He was only 68.