Weekend Watch: 'TMNT' Gets the 'Transformers' Treatment

The new Ninja Turtle reboot goes for flash and swagger over story and substance.

Paramount

The return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles headlines a relatively quiet week at the movie theaters. It's the second reboot of the franchise since the original live action film in 1990 and this one only stands out for looking like a Michael Bay version of the beloved comic book characters (Megan Fox and all). There's nothing new or original about this version.

Kids will probably enjoy the new Turtles as they defy gravity and smash into everyone with their shells and weapons, but adults will have a hard time sitting through another special effects-driven commercial film with the same old jokes and stylized swagger. It's a shame the TMNTs aren't treated with a little more respect because a serious movie that targets adults (you know, the people who actually grew up with the characters) would be pretty cool. It's already happened for Batman, Superman, and every other comic book character. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Noel Fisher

Anyone familiar with the Turtles already knows the story. This reboot, helmed by Wrath of the Titans director Jonathan Liebesman, slowly reveals the heroes after April O'Neil (Fox) witnesses them kicking butt and records them with her smartphone. The mutant amphibians climb out of the sewer and take New York City by storm, battling crime and coming face to face with the criminal mastermind, Shredder. See it? No.

Weekend Watch:
Paramount

Into the Storm

Starring: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Max Deacon

The Perfect Storm on Land might be a better name for this special effects cash grab from Warner Brothers. With 2012, Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, and scores of other weather-related disaster movies, how is Into the Storm necessary? It's not, but I'm sure there are enough action film junkies looking for a quick thrill this weekend to help it make money. The story follows a bunch of different people who all try to document a sudden onslaught of tornadoes in the quiet town of Silverton. See it? No.

Weekend Watch:
Warner Brothers

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon

Cultures clash yet again in a Lasse Hallström movie (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) as snobby proprietress Madame Mallory (Mirren, with a French accent) rejects a new Indian joint that opens across the street from her Michelin Starred restaurant. But their chef has talent and they're soon working together in harmony. This quaint story seems like a crowd-pleaser, especially for older audiences, but I just can't see spending two hours watching something I already know the end to. See it? No.

Weekend Watch:
DreamWorks

What if

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver, Rafe Spall

The indie rom-com of the week stars pixie dream girl Kazan as a girl in a relationship who tries to keep a male best friend, Wallace (Radcliffe), at arm's length. They meet and have an instant connection, but Kazan's Chantry (how perfect is that name?) is attached to her successful live-in beau (Spall). Wallace falls for her, but goes along with the charade and bides his time, hoping she'll change her mind. The movie has some good ideas about male/female friendship, but it's not smart enough to really delve into these characters. It's essentially a 102 minute sitcom, a worse version of HBO's Girls, and a very written one at that. See it? No.

Weekend Watch:
CBS Films

About Alex

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Jane Levy, Max Minghella, Nate Parker, Jason Ritter, Maggie Grace, Max Greenfield

A modern ode to The Big Chill, About Alex follows a group of college friends who reunite after one of them tries to kill himself. It's a drama with quippy dialogue and he said, she said chit chat about relationships and dating that will sound very old in 10 years. There's even a character named Siri. The cast is talented though and there are plenty of worse ensembles to spend your time with, but I think you'll find this one pretty contrived with little to say about the real world. See it? No. 

Weekend Watch:
Screen Media Films

Senior Editor at Zimbio. I'll take Johnny Clay, the Rev. Harry Powell, and Annie Savoy. You can have the rest.
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