"Hey dude - This is no cartoon!"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Well imagine my surprise when box office headlines from the last weekend screamed about the success of Platinum Dunes' recent blockbuster revamp Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles broke records to be a financial success and the production company hurriedly releasing statements about a sequel already being in the works... It is so difficult to put irony into text, but please believe me - it is there. As usual, the internet became awash with blue language and violent threats (it always amazes me how tough people become when they think they are cloaked in anonymity, thanks to the Web) - aimed primarily at brain-free film juggernaut Michael "The Bayhem" Bay. Not since the days of Ed Wood has so much vitriol been spouted in the direction of one film maker.

Now before I go any further, I must make a statement for any defense I must put forward letter on.

I am in no way a Bayhem fan or supporter in any respect... I do not share his views, politically, ethically - whatever. So please do not hold it against me when I say this:-

IT IS ALL YOUR OWN FAULT.

Now before you all reach for the keyboards and re-direct that Bay-hate towards me, please let me explain. I am sure that not EVERYONE is responsible for what I'm about to discuss. And yet I strongly suspect that the majority will realize that they are guilty of aiding Mr. Bay in his quest for your hard-earned pennies.

Many movie-goers in the present day seem to attend screenings of all the big blockbusters from Hollywood with the intense suspicion that they will dislike the film they are about to spend a fair chunk of cash on. It can't have escaped anyone when people talk about going to see "Marvel DC Comic Adaptation IV: The Scraping of the Barrel" and exclaim to their friends that, "It's probably gonna be crap!" This is completely baffling to me... Why would you go pay a ridiculous amount of money on a cinema ticket and a stupid amount of popcorn, candy and fizzy pop if you are not going to be entertained?

The only answer that I can fathom is that people LOVE going to see movies they will hate! Now this sounds awfully self-defeating, but it would explain so much. If there is one thing the Internet has taught us, it is that people love to throw their two cents into the ring about anything and everything. I mean, even I am guilty of this - how could my blog even exist if that was not the case?! With the ease that blogs and comment pages are set up these days, we see an explosion of opinions and arguments everywhere we look. So it is hardly a stretch of the imagination to suggest that an inflated sense of self-importance and vanity is easily filtered into pop culture and music, with film and TV producers feeding that demand with glee.

Film making is a business as well as an art (perhaps it is more business than art, but that is another argument entirely!). The world is still recovering from a catastrophic financial downturn and so savvy film producers have taken properties already out in the zeitgeist and remade or "re-imagined" old movies, comics, whatever - happy in the knowledge that they are in a "Win-Win" situation... The lovers will come to see the film and love it, the haters will come to the film so they can hate it. This cannot be an alien concept (especially if someone like Megan Fox understands this)? And can you imagine what will happen if a sequel is put out? Think of the money that can be made!

The funniest thing about this situation is that the viewers have the power to make or break these films more than ever! If all those Michael Bay haters had just left TMNT alone and seen something else, the threat of a sequel would have become laughably small! But this is Michael Bay's true gift - he knows that no matter what he does, people will come see his movies regardless. Not one of his films have lost money - that is a cold, hard fact. So when people lament about how they cannot believe that Bay keeps getting movies madden, perhaps a little inward attention would give you the reasons as to why.

It really isn't too difficult. I remember the discussions that came around when José Padilha's remake of Robocop came around earlier this year. People were coming up to me and telling me it is gonna be garbage but they would still go see this. When I was asked if I had seen it, I stated that I had not. This was something of a surprise to people, as they knew how much I love the movies and they couldn't grasp why I was so un-interested. And yet my response was easily explained - for me, a remake of Paul Verhoeven's 80's classic cannot offer anything that I cannot get from the peerless original. I believed it to be a pointless exercise and I still stand by that. To this day I have still not seen it, and so I cannot say whether the remake is any good or not. But thanks to the relatively weak showing the film had at the cinemas (it made a little money, but not nearly as much as people had expected), a sequel would appear unlikely.

You see how you can stop all this? If all the haters just temper their curiosity and stay in for a change, perhaps we could all be spared the travesty of so many producers running slipshod over some of our personal favorites? It certainly is food for thought, at the very least.

It is certainly something I will be thinking about when I go see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Bayhem Redux in October!

(Please don't hate me - I enjoyed the 1990 original movie as a kid, but it was hardly a classic, so I wanna see what Bay's boys have done... And I reckon I'm gonna enjoy it!)
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"DIck, I'm VERY disappointed..."
 


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