Monday, March 26, 2007

I felt weirdly weary all Sunday, like I had lead weights stapled everywhere, especially on my head. I didn't, and still don't, feel up to especially complex activities or thoughts.

It was in this spirit that I went to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Which, as Ninja Turtles media go, was probably the best piece of work so far, except for maybe the comic. I haven't read a lot of the comic, but it seems so far the only version where the writers relaxed and didn't seem to feel like they were trying very hard to hit certain notes before they finished.

The new movie had this problem, seen in the kind of overreaching sentimentality that makes you want to spend a few days eating oatmeal and playing Solitaire. But, as all the positive reviews have been saying, the tension between Leonardo and Raphael actually manages to be genuinely interesting and their climactic confrontation is impressive and absorbing. The movie mostly looks good, too, with shadowy city nights, burnished brick walls, flaring fluorescents, and realistically textured turtle skin. The character designs look similar to those of The Incredibles, with Mr. Winters, the villain voiced by Patrick Stewart, a near dead ringer for Mister Incredible. The design scheme seems to've benefited the turtles themselves the most--usually I don't like the slightly oversized hands and feet that seem to be in vogue nowadays, but it works for the heroes as it is somewhat turtle-esque. Unfortunately, part of this design scheme seems to be an edict that all women need look like eight year-old twig girls. I'm not just speaking as a guy who likes voluptuous women. April O'Neil just looks wrong.

I was a huge Ninja Turtles fan as a kid, and the movie did please that kid who's been dismantled and compacted for storage somewhere in my freezer heart. I'm sort of in the mood now to dig out the old Nintendo games and action figures . . .

But I think for now just I'll find something beautiful and slow to watch and hope this funk I'm in is gone when I wake up to-morrow.

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