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  • Writer's pictureTori Sipe

Heroes In A Half Shell

Welcome to the inaugural post for Let's Talk Pop! For my entire life I've always engrossed myself in pop culture. There are a lot of things that peaked my interest when I was a kid. Whenever I was into something, I really got into it. My undying love never wavered for those most special things I held dear to me. During the quarantine I've been rediscovering movies and also catching up on some new ones. Something that I've always cherished, always loved, are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I've re-watched each movie from the original trilogy from the '90s. Such nostalgia, such unexpected joy from watching them all again, I even really enjoyed the one where they went back in time to Japan. On a quick note, I have seen the Michael Bay versions, and as a lifelong fan I was sorely not impressed. It didn't even matter to me that they weren't puppets, because no one could resist CGI for those movies, but they just didn't live up to my high expectations of what I expect from the turtles. This also isn't to say they are the worst thing the turtles have done, because let's face it, it got reallll weird in the mid '90s for our ninja friends. I mean, real fucking weird.

But the original movies are magical. It made me want to be a ninja. I have a Ninja blender now, so that's about as far as I got with that. I was Raphael for Halloween when I was a kid and Sexy Raphael when I was in my early 20's. My Raphael/Casey Jones tattoo is in the works, mega excited dudes, and my guest room is littered with TMNT artwork I've bought from different comic-cons.

There's even more artwork in my house, which will eventually get hung up in a bigger space one day. What's that old saying, I'm a kid at heart? It's extremely true. I love wrapping myself up in nostalgia like a warm blanket, and I have about as many throw blankets as I do nerdy obsessions. Watching the originals made me feel safe, happy, and gave me that old fashioned warm and fuzzy feeling. If there's any time to feel that way it's definitely right now. A Turtle escape was definitely long overdue for what's been going on in this world lately. I actually ended up watching the trilogy backwards so let's start with the third one.

It had been awhile since I watched this and I was afraid of ruining childhood memories of quoting it at home, practicing "ninja" moves, and reminiscing about one of my first being in a movie theater memories. But my worries were in vain, because I loved it! I loved it in all its ridiculous, we're about to go insane with this franchise, glory! Casey Jones is back! Corey Feldman is back! April O'Neil got a haircut! They finally gave Michelangelo some depth, and apparently Raphael has a soft spot for kids. Who knew? That big lug. The more I watched the more I didn't understand the hate for this one. Maybe it's because the guy who made the puppets apparently wanted them to look high on cocaine the whole time, or how they time traveled without a Delorean. Major party foul dude. In any case I give this one 3 out of 4 shells.

Go Ninja, go ninja, go ninja, go! (That is my movie poster hanging in my house.) The Secret of the Ooze. I think most turtle fans from the ages of 30-40 would agree that this was their favorite. I don't know if it was Vanilla Ice, their sick turtle dance moves, Super Shredder or Tokka and Rahzar that made fans want to make this their Turtle movie, but it still holds up. The puppets don't look like crack babies, and hey this one had a different April! The only sad thing is that they do not use their weapons at all, because Jim Henson did not like how "violent" the first movie was. To be fair Kermit the Frog has never killed people with ninja weapons, so I'll give him that. 3 out of 4 shells and 1 slice of pizza for this one.

At long last we've come to the movie that started it all. I mean, after the cartoon, comics, and toys that is. I always forget Sam Rockwell is in this movie, YES, Oscar winner Sam Rockwell as one of the Foot Clan/teenage thief guys. Also, the original April. Casey Jones being bad ass as hell. Raphael struggles with all the teenage angst from everyone. Seriously, just put on some My Chemical Romance or Linkin Park next time he paces back and forth. This movie is dark, gritty, funny, and if it teaches you anything it's to never pay full price for late pizza. Except you should, and tip too. I would barely call this movie a comedy, even though I feel like it gets categorized in that field. It's not even much of a kid's movie. Nix the turtles and add a gang war and some curse words you probably have a soft R on your hands. What a wonderful movie, and the first time I

fell in love with the turtles. So for that, 4 out

of 4 shells and one large pizza, hold the anchovies.

Overall, the turtles have been solidified in pop culture since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird solidified them into our stratosphere. If you want some interesting, and fun new Turtle content check out The Toys That Made Us on Netflix. Season 3, episode 1, to be exact. Enjoy your quarantine dudes! And remember, Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!

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