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The Making of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out of their Shells Tour
The Popular TMNT song from their concert tour: "Count On Us"
The Making of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Coming Out of Their Shells Tour
Director: Michael Danty
Writer: Michael Danty
Cast: Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Michael Pressman, Michelan Sisti, William Plant, Mak Wilson, Mark Caso, Kenn Scott, Leif Tilden, Rob Mills, Thomas K. Gray, Kevin Clash, David Chan, Pat E. Johnson, Ernie Reyes Jr.
Synopsis: This mockumentary treats movie fans to a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the live-action film adaptation of the popular comic book and animated series. Included are interviews with the cast and crew who share their experiences from making the film, as well as discuss the efforts that went into it.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Raphael and Michaelangelo explain how they became musicians
You Can Count On Us....to sell out...
As I said before in my previous reviews of the various "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" films, there used to a time when an advertiser could market almost anything off their name. Heck, at their peak of popularity, the turtles were pretty much an advertiser's wet dream, as they marketed anything ranging from toys, clothes, food, lunchboxes, movies, and etc. Hell, there was even a brief concert tour sponsored by Pizza Hut, but it doesn't end there. No, where would a concert tour be without a behind the scenes documentary about it, right? To be honest, I don't know, but I would like to think the end results would've been a lot better than what we got here. Instead of this film being an actual documentary, where audiences would know all the tech stuff that went into making the turtles perform on stage, the route they go here is more along the lines of a mockumentary.
Meaning, that the turtles are allegedly real in this movie, and we're just supposed to go along with it for the sake of cinematic fun. Okay, let's just pretend for a moment that the turtles are real, and we'll delve into this mockumentary closely. Anyway, the film starts off as the turtles explain how they became musicians in rock and roll to begin with. First of all, I know I said let's pretend the turtles are real for a moment, but I would like to point out briefly how ridiculously cheap the animatronics are for them before we address this film any further. Not only do they look obliviously fake, but the mouths on the heads of the costumes NEVER close at all whenever they talk. To make matters worse, the actors inside the costumes move around half the time like they're stoned, as they constantly lean back in sort of a dazed state. Of course, it doesn't help the eyes of the turtles never quite sync up with where they're supposedly looking, as you can almost tell they become cross eyed a few times while talking. Another thing that bothers me is that the voices of the turtles all sound exactly the same. Meaning, there's no defining characteristics, or personalities for the audience to tell them apart. In fact, it tends to make me wonder if the sponsors at Pizza Hut thought the turtles were all supposed to be brain dead morons or something, as that's definitely how they come across in this documentary. Oh well. At least, it's nowhere near as bad as what they did with Master Splinter in this movie. (Shudders)
Anyway, now that I've gotten that gripe out of the way, let's just move on and pretend these turtles are real for a moment. As I mentioned earlier, the turtles start off the documentary mentioning how they became interested in music, and how they inevitably got discovered. From here, we see a series of interviews ranging from the producers, set designers, and various other people involved in the production of the concert tour. Leonardo apparently writes the lyrics, while Donatello helps out with the set designs. And by helping with the set designs, Donatello just walks around saying "Yep", while supervising everyone else work. Gee, isn't that delightful? Oh wait, he does hand a person a power cord, so I guess he does do something useful after all.
However, among the various interviews, we get a word from their manager and publicist for the tour. Oh and you'll never believe this, but apparently....the turtles could be as big as Aerosmith and AC/DC. No, I'm not kidding, as they literally compare the turtles to those bands in this mockumentary. You think that's absurd? Well, you ain't heard nothing yet. Since the turtles only have three fingers to play their instruments, they do try to justify it to the audience; especially at their press conference where it's filled with nothing but little kids. And by the way, all these little kids look no older than six or seven years old, so you can imagine how uninterested they look, as the manager tries to explain in exact detail how they altered the instruments to where the turtles can play them...using only three digits on their hands. Gee, I never knew a bunch of seven to six year old kids would be that fascinated with the technical side of music so much...
However, in the spirit of pretending, the manager explains how the electric guitar, for example, has been modified to play the same type of music with only three strings. Oh, it gets better, as the base guitar only has one string, yet it plays exactly the same as a regular base guitar. Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a guru when it comes to music, but how in the scrupulous hell is it possible to play an electric guitar with only three strings; let alone even bother thinking how a base guitar would work with only one string. It's physically impossible, as far as I know. In fact, it is impossible, but they honestly expect us to buy that crap? First of all, if we're just supposed to pretend the turtles are real for the sake of cinematic fun, then I don't think we'll have a huge problem believing they can play ordinary instruments with only three giant fingers.
Plus, I doubt seriously their six to seven year old audience would care either. Besides, most six to seven year old kids are naive about music anyway, so this whole absurd explanation of instrument altering is unnecessary to begin with. Although, one could argue that maybe they were doing that for comical effect. It's a legitimate query, but if that was the case, then where's the punchline? If anything, it seems like there's hardly any jokes at all in this mockumentary, as it literally comes off as if the producers themselves were treating their audience like idiots.
And, that's not even the worse part about this documentary either. In the movie, the turtles' manager claims that when they were looking for sponsors for their concert tour, they didn't want to go with just any sponsor. No, no, no, the manager explicitly states that the turtles didn't want to sell out. Wink. Wink. But, thank god for Pizza Hut, as allegedly they were the ONLY sponsors that cared more about the music than making the turtles a commercialized commodity. You know, if I really wanted to be a jerk right now, there's so many things that I could say about that. However, since I'm such a nice guy, I'll simply call the turtles hypocrites, and leave it at that.
In the end, this mockumentary just plain sucks. Granted, I would never use that type of language to describe any film, but for this particular mockumentary, it fits perfectly. Even if I did suspend my disbelief to buy into the fact that the turtles are real, and believe that a base guitar can function with only one string, then this film still wouldn't be that good. Not only does the entire mockumentary come off as pretentiously absurd and boring, but they keep bringing up how the turtles want to convey a message on stage. That's good, but what's the message? They never say in the film, so why bring it up at all? Oh well, I guess they left it out intentionally to make the viewers curious enough to see the concert. However, it only leads to another reason why this behind the scenes documentary isn't that good. If they had made this into perhaps a REAL documentary versus a mockumentary, then maybe a lot of these gripes could be forgiven. Unfortunately, that's not the case here.
Overall, I'd have to give this movie a half star out of four. I'm sure a few kids might be thrilled over the novelty of seeing the turtles in this movie, but more than likely they'll probably get bored listening to all the fake technical stuff that went into the turtles' music.