28 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze"

Rated: PG for unspecified reasons
Starring: Paige Turco, David Warner, and Ernie Reyes, Jr.
Released: March 22, 1991 (theaters)
Synopsis: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back! When their old nemesis Shredder reappears, he uses the same chemical that morphed Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo into their human/turtle form to create two monstrous fighting machines! With the Foot Clan also hot on their trail, it seems like this battle may get the best of the Ninja Turtles! Will they be able to defeat Shredder and his allies one more time?

My Review: I wasn't terribly impressed with the first TMNT movie.  It was too dark and scary; there was too much profanity; and, overall, it was a letdown.  However, this one is a vast improvement in every way.  The special effects and filming were much better! Not only that, but, the lack of profanity and the lighter, comedic tone made this much more enjoyable.  I though that the Turtles could have used their weapons a bit more, but, I nonetheless laughed and smiled all through this movie.  Even if you didn't like the first one, you should give this one a chance; you might be surprised!

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Mildly suggestive dance moves. 4.5/5
  • Nudity: None. 5/5
  • Language: Name-calling, at worst. 4.5/5
  • Violence: Light-hearted, comedic violence is the rule here.  Heroes and villains punch, kick, and throw each other around, all in a cartoonish way.  The movie does end with someone dying, however. 3.5/5
  • Drugs: Chemical-based transformation plays a big part in the movie. 3/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Though not as dark or scary as the first one, two mildly scary monsters do play a big part in the movie.  Also, a scene where the main villain becomes huge and insanely strong may frighten some kids. 3/5
  • Other: Burping is used as a gag more than once.  Also, one of the Turtles says, "Let us take a moment to reflect," which sounds like the start of a prayer, when they are actually sniffing the aroma of a pizza. 3.5/5
Final Score: 4/5

27 February 2014

Quickie Book Review: "The Last Jihad" ("The Last Jihad," No. 1) by Joel C. Rosenberg

Author: Joel C. Rosenberg
Published: 2002 by Forge
Synopsis: Several years after the 9/11 attacks, President-Elect MacPherson is celebrating his recent victory...when the unthinkable happens: a suicidal terrorist drives a plane into the motorcade. With the entire nation in an uproar, Erin McCoy and Jon Bennett, two personal friends of the Chief Executive, are employed to ensure the security of the leader of our country. Between threats from Saddam Hussein, double agents within the United States government, and the nationwide panic that ensues, Bennett and McCoy are in for the ride of their lives.
First in a series of five novels.

My Review: What a rush! A great premise, excellent writing, plenty of action and suspense, and an ending that will leave you breathlessly waiting for the next installment! However, I did have one issue: This is supposed to be the first in a Christian end times series, right? Well, some discerning readers may take issue with the usage of profanity and a gag involving homosexuality. That right there prevents me from giving this a perfect score. Other than that, this book is excellent; if Mr. Rosenberg cleaned up his act with the later books in the series--and it seems like he did--then, the next installments should be even better.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A brief "PG"-level gag involving homosexuality. 4/5
  • Nudity: The gag mentioned above involves two women being in the shower together, though no graphic terms are used. 4/5
  • Language: The d-word is used about three times each; the h-word, about five times. God's name is misused once or twice, and name-calling, as well as euphemisms ("freaking") are present as well. 3/5
  • Violence: Though not all that graphic, violence is pretty much in every chapter. People are hurt or killed in terrorist attacks; characters shoot at other and/or get shot at; and, there are discussions of using missiles and other military weaponry. 2/5
  • Drugs: Alcoholic beverages are mentioned. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The whole book centers around terrorists attacking people and heroes trying to thwart their plans. If that's too much for you...don't read it. 1/5
  • Other: Another gag involves flatulence. 4/5
Final Score: 4/5 

20 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "Adventures in Appletown"

Rated: PG for violence, thematic elements, and language
Starring: Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, and Victoria Justice
Released: March 19, 2013 (DVD)
Synopsis: When the fair comes to rural Appletown, cousins Will and Clay (Dylan and Cole Sprouse, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) hear a tale of a boy who died on the Ferris wheel, and whose ghost still roams the fair's haunted house.  The two cousins investigate it, only to witness a murder.  They decide to just keep it between themselves...when their friend Betsy's (Victoria Justice, VICTORiOUS) father is wrongly accused of pulling the trigger.  Will and Clay know that he is innocent...but they've already denied that they know anything about it! Can they prove who the real perpetrator is?
Also starring Charlie Stewart (The Word of Promise: Next Generation).

My Review: I have to say, this film did not get off to a very good start.  It's not really realistic for kids to stay up all night and still be alert during daylight hours, and the haunted house scene was freaky.  It got better after a while...but only somewhat.  As much as I like Victoria Justice, her character of Betsy was a jerk, as she didn't act like much of a friend to Clay or Will, even when they did the right thing.  I don't imagine even big mystery fans will watch this more than once; like a telefilm, it's one of those you see one time and never bother with again.  I spent years waiting for this one with baited breath, and can't help but feel a bit disappointed.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A husband and wife kiss. 4.5/5
  • Nudity: Part of a guy's back is seen. 4.5/5
  • Language: The d-word and h-word are used two or three times each; one b-word is used about as often.  God's name is misused about four or five times, and crude terms such as "suck" are sprinkled in a bit. 2.5/5
  • Violence: A man is murdered, though nothing graphic is seen.  A blind woman shoots a gun at a boy, but she misses every time.  Betsy slaps one of the guys in the face.  A guy is hit with an axe, but no blood is seen.  3/5
  • Drugs: It is said that the accused has a drinking problem.  (Spoiler: He shows signs of recovery towards the end.) A woman is seen drinking liquor two or three times. 3.5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with what was listed under "Violence," the haunted house scene is rather freaky.  One scene involves a boy holding his breath while under water, and he is feared to be dead.  (Spoiler: He pops up unharmed.) 3/5
  • Other: The haunted house scene references Lizzie Borden, which may prompt uncomfortable questions from kids about who she is. 4/5
Final Score: 2/5

18 February 2014

Quickie Book Review: "Against the Wind" ("Zion Diaries", No. 2)

Authors: Bodie and Brock Thoene
Published: February 1, 2011 by Summerside Press
Synopsis: During World War II, Elisa Murphy and a group of children evacuate London on a lifeboat during German air raids. The sea holds many dangers, and Elisa's heart yearns for her American husband, as well as her children who were sent to the US for safety. When things start looking bleak, will she give up all hope, or remain faithful until the end?

My Review: I usually prefer to read book series in the proper order, but, I did not know this was the second in a series until I finished it. Still, knowing what I did about John and Elisa Murphy, who appeared in the previous Zion stories, helped me to understand this one. The Thoenes write wonderful historical fiction, and, it's books like this that prove their talents. Anyone who has read and enjoyed their other series will definitely like this one.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: None. 5/5
  • Nudity: None. 5/5
  • Language: None. 5/5
  • Violence: Shootings and bombings are discussed. 3.5/5
  • Drugs: A song mentions "whiskey". 4.5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Children die. The whole book centers around World War II and Hitler, which was, by most accounts, a rather unpleasant time in history. 3/5
  • Other: It is mentioned that a woman wants her marriage annulled, and that her wedding was a sham. 4/5

Score: 4/5

17 February 2014

Quickie Book Review: "The Courtship of Princess Leia" ("Star Wars") by Dave Wolverton

Author: Dave Wolverton
Published: April 1994 by Bantam Spectra
Synopsis: After the death of Darth Vader and the Emperor, what is left of the Empire is still fighting against the weakened Alliance. Leia finds a cluster of planets known as the Hapes consortium that could give her aid, but, in order to seal the deal, she must marry the Queen Mother's son. None too happy about it, Han takes her to the planet of Dathomir, which appears beautiful, but has some dark secrets that will threaten not only the two of them, but also Luke.

My Review: This was relatively mediocre. Nothing spectacular, but, still a mildly entertaining Star Wars adventure. Though there was a lot of suspense--more than I was expecting, given the romantic nature of the title--it was a bit light on action, which may disappoint some fans.

Content Concerns:

Sex: Kissing at worst. 4.5/5
Nudity: None. 5/5
Language: The d-word and h-word are both used twice. 4/5
Violence: Action sequences are present, but there's nothing graphic. 3.5/5
Drugs: None that I recall. 5/5
Frightening/Intense Scenes: The end battle is a bit freaky. 4/5
Other: Some may object to some characters being known as "witches". 4/5

Score: 3.5/5

16 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "The Encounter: Paradise Lost"

Rated: Not Rated (Dove approved for ages twelve and up)
Starring: Bruce Marchiano, David A. R. White, and Robert Miano
Released: September 18, 2012 (DVD)
Synopsis: A mother and father who lost their only son in the 2004 Asian tsunami.  A drug lord and his heroin-addicted wife.  A cop with a wanton desire to stop any and all drug lords at all costs.  When a massive storm threatens their area, they find themselves in a room with a mysterious stranger (Bruce Marchiano, The Visual Bible: Matthew), who claims to be Jesus Christ.  Is this guy who he says he is? If not, how does he know all this information about everyone in the room? Before the night is over, everyone is going to be in for some big surprises...
The sequel to The Encounter.

My Review: What was the whole point of this movie? That's the question I had when the credits rolled.  It's sort of a morality play, but the movie itself takes too long to get anywhere, and the sequence at the end seemed pointless.  The original Encounter movie was great; this follow-up is poor.  Stick with the original.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: It is mentioned that a woman was sold into and later rescued from a brothel. Kissing is seen. 4/5
  • Nudity: A female character's outfit shows cleavage. 4/5
  • Language: A bit of name-calling. 4.5/5
  • Violence: People are shot at quite often; one person is shot dead.  A guy points a gun to his own head, but doesn't pull the trigger.  Another guy is seen with a gash on his face.  Two guys get into a brawl. 2.5/5
  • Drugs: One of the main characters is a drug lord, which leads to many discussions about how addicting drugs are.  It is also mentioned that one character got his wife addicted to heroin, and that another character's sister died of a drug overdose. Smoking is also seen; drinking alcohol is mentioned.  The drug content alone could easily earn a "PG-13" from the MPAA. 2/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: See "Violence". 2.5/5
  • Other: Some people may not like the fact that this movie makes light of the 2004 Asian tsunami. 4/5
Score: 1.5/5

10 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "Come Dance at My Wedding"

Rated: Not Rated (Dove approved for ages twelve and up)
Starring: Brooke Nevin, John Schneider, and Roma Downey
Released: January 19, 2010 (DVD)
Synopsis: The father she didn't know...the love she never knew she needed.  Despite the loss of her mother, Cyd (Brooke Nevin) is marrying her high school sweetheart.  When she looks to sell her dance studio, she finds out her long-lost father (John Schneider) is a co-owner, and re-establishes a connection with him.  Finding each other helps Cyd and her father uncover what's really important in life...and, together, they discover a reason to celebrate the joyful wedding.  As seen on the Hallmark Channel.
(Adapted from the back cover of the DVD; first sentence taken from the front cover of the DVD.)

My Review: In a word: Mediocre.  Though there's nothing terrible about this movie, there's nothing all that great either.  It's a bit enjoyable while it lasts, but, despite its touching moments, it's not one that most viewers are likely to remember in the years to come, unless you are fanatical about dance flicks.  Probably the most negative aspect of the film is the character of Cyd's father, who is far too perfect.  Seriously: He is a handyman, a great chef, an amazing dancer, great with kids, and adored by all the women? Can you say, "Mary Sue"? As for the film as a whole: Couldn't John Schneider and Roma Downey find something better than this in which to have a starring role? Either watch Come Dance at My Wedding on TV or borrow it from the library, but don't purchase it.  (I did, and wish I hadn't.)

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A few kisses, and mention of an "action-packed honeymoon". 4/5
  • Nudity: Right many scenes have women wearing low-cut dresses; short dresses/shorts, off-the-shoulder tops, and bare midriffs are also seen a time or two each. 3.75/5
  • Language: One usage each of the d-word and h-word; God's name is also misused once. 4/5
  • Violence: A guy crashes to the dance floor, but isn't badly hurt. 4.5/5
  • Drugs: Alcoholic beverages are consumed on two separate occasions. 3.75/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: A guy gets upset and storms out of the dance studio. 4.5/5
Score: 2.5/5

09 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World"

Rated: PG for mild action and rude humor (US)
Starring: Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Rowan Blanchard, and Mason Cook
Released: August 19, 2011 (theaters) / November 22, 2011 (DVD / Blu-Ray)
Synopsis: On her last mission before giving up being a spy to be a stay-at-home mom, Marissa (Jessica Alba) stops a crook known as the Timekeeper, who uses time-altering gadgets as his weapons.  A year later, while at home with her baby daughter and her stepchildren Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), she gets a call from the agency she used to work for, forcing her back into action.  Problem is, her kids don't know that she was ever a spy, and neither does her husband (Joel McHale).  With the Timekeeper intent on bringing about the end of time, it's up to the members of the Wilson family to stop him...but they end up getting assistance from some very unlikely sources.

My Review: The Spy Kids movies may be action/adventure flicks only intended for children, but, honestly, if the makers of the original were going to do something like this, they should have made a TV show for Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.  As such, this movie by itself is a bit underwhelming.  Some of the moments are humorous and charming; others are just ridiculous, especially the opening, which features a woman beating up bad guys while she is in labor.  (What were the makers thinking?) Hardcore fans of the Spy Kids series up to this point will likely enjoy this one, but more casual fans might not like it as much.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: It is discussed that a woman is in labor, is having contractions, and that her water broke. 4/5
  • Nudity: Marissa wears some outfits that show cleavage and/or part of her back, and a random, nameless woman is seen in an off-the-shoulder outfit. 4/5
  • Language: God's name is misused about three times; the euphemism "geez" is used just as much.  Terms such as "butthead" and "shut up" are heard once each, as is a euphemism for the s-word. 3.75/5
  • Violence: As expected, there is TV-Y7-style "fantasy violence" throughout.  Characters get hit, kicked, punched, and tossed quite often.  A house is seen in shambles after an invasion. 2.5/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The main villain could be scary to younger kids.  Also, seeing a one-year-old kid put into dangerous situations could be upsetting to some people. 3.5/5
  • Other: Bodily functions--flatulence, vomiting, baby diapers, etc.--are often used as a source of humor. 3/5
Final Score: 2/5

Quickie Movie Review: "Christmas With A Capital C"

Rated: Not Rated (Dove approved for ages twelve and up)
Starring: Ted McGinley, Brad Stine, and Nancy Stafford
Released: 2011 (DVD)
Synopsis: In the small town of Trapper Falls, Alaska, mayor Dan Reed (Ted McGinley) is happy to see Christmas decorations all around.  Out of nowhere, his old high school rival who went on to become a big shot lawyer, Mitch Bright (Daniel Baldwin), moves back into town.  No sooner does Mitch arrive than he files a complaint with the city's government over a traditional Nativity scene and signs that say "Merry Christmas".  Dan and his family don't want to take Christ out of Christmas, but they end up in a legal battle with Mitch over the issue.  All the while, Mitch is also promising to help the town's businesses, and to run for mayor, possibly taking Dan's spot.  Will Dan be able to still display the true reason for the season, or will Mitch take over with his secular holiday traditions?
Produced by Pure Flix, makers of Marriage Retreat, Jerusalem Countdown, and What If...?.

My Review: This movie does a great job of showing what the spirit of Christmas is truly about: loving others, even your enemies or opponents.  It also vilifies the selfish Christmas traditions, such as selfishly buying a big-screen TV for your family in honor of Jesus' birth.  Even the acting is better than usual for a film like this; Ted McGinley reminded me of John Travolta, and Brad Stine was appropriately zany.  Unfortunately, the ending was a little too pat, the subtitles lagged and were full of errors, and the production values weren't as polished as they could be.  Still, fans of Christian cinema might want to at least give this a rental.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: The details of Jesus' birth are discussed, though in a lighthearted way. 4.5/5
  • Nudity: A shirtless guy is seen briefly. 4.5/5
  • Language: The euphemism "gee" is used once.  An erroneous English subtitle crudely uses the term "screw," though the person speaking only says the word "forget".  4.5/5
  • Violence: A girl falls while skiing and hurts her knee, but the injury is mild, and no blood is shown. 4.5/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: A comic monologue involves a guy making a scary face. 4.5/5
Score: 3.5/5

04 February 2014

Movie Review: "Merlin" (1998)

Rated: Uncertain, but likely TV-PG for sexual scenes and violence
Starring: Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, and Isabella Rossellini
Released: 1998 (NBC premiere / DVD and VHS)
Synopsis: The wicked Queen Mab (Miranda Richardson, Harry Potter) fears the "old ways" of magic and wizardry are about to go by the wayside.  To prevent that, she uses a spell to bring forth a son, born to another mother, named Merlin (Sam Neill, Jurassic Park).  Though Merlin has magical abilities, he defies the woman who spawned him, and seeks to bring about peace to the land of ancient Britain.  Unfortunately, he and his comrades seem to have one fatal failing after another.  Will Merlin ever complete his mission, or will Queen Mab continue her reign of terror?

(WARNING! Spoilers are included in the following sections!)

Artistic Merit

Plot: 5/5
I've always said that I'm not much for long movies; The Fellowship of the Ring was just too much for me to sit through at once.  Still, this movie engrossed me in a way few movies do; in fact, the last one that had such an effect on me was The Witches of Oz.  I had expected to finish this over a few days or so, but the convoluted plot and mostly great production values kept me glued to the screen, especially during the last half.

Production Values: 3.5/5
The acting was awesome; screen veterans Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, and Miranda Richardson did fabulously.  Action sequences were only interspersed throughout the film, but they were all amazingly choreographed and wonderfully filmed.  If there is one complaint in this department, it's the special effects, which were sub-par at times.

Moral Content

Positive Elements: 4/5
The whole story revolves around a flawed individual--that is, Merlin--who never gives up on overcoming unfortunate circumstances and his own failings to bring about the greater good.  He also remains faithful to his one true love, no matter what.  Other characters are vilified for their illicit sexual affairs, which also bring about ruin.  Two couples--one of which includes a villain--don't let physical deformities prevent them from loving each other.  A major conflict is resolved without violence.

Sexual Content: 2/5
As mentioned, a few characters have illicit sexual affairs, one of which involves incest, though one party involved doesn't know it.  However, each of those affairs bring about problems for the characters involved, as well as for people in general, and is also vilified.  Most of the sex is implied with a brief scene, but one does involve a scene with passionate kissing on a bed.  Elsewhere, other couples do some kissing.

Nudity: 4/5
As a boy, Merlin is seen bare-chested, and one sexual scene involves seeing part of a man's chest.

Language: 3.5/5
Name-calling is heard infrequently.  The b-word is used in reference to an illegitimate child, where as the d-word is used to mean "condemn."  Someone tells a person to "go to hell."

Violence: 1.5/5
The battle scenes in this movie were bloodier than I was expecting.  Kings and soldiers go to war, which involves plenty of clanging swords, and dead or dying men are seen with blood on or around them.  A jousting injury is seen close-up.  A woman is forced down a set of stairs to her death.  Between the sex and the violence, I can't see how the MPAA wouldn't have given this a "PG-13".

Drugs: 4/5
Alcohol is consumed at times.

Frightening/Intense Scenes: 1/5
Along with what I mentioned under "Violence," some scenes are emotionally intense, and there is a childbirth scene, though nothing graphic is shown.  Also, there are a few fantastical monsters that could be scary.

Other: 4/5
Merlin and other characters use magic, both for good and for evil, with which some people may have a problem.

Final Score: 4/5
I've been hearing about this movie for years, and even read a trilogy of novels based on it last year.  However, those books didn't compare to the actual event, which kept me glued to my seat like movies rarely do.  It's not likely one I'll be watching again, but, for what it was, it was great.  The themes in this film aren't for younger kids, but, if you're old enough...what are you waiting for? Check it out, now!

02 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "Marriage Retreat"

Rated: Not Rated (Dove approved for ages twelve and up)
Starring: Jeff Fahey, David A. R. White, and Victoria Jackson
Released: August 23, 2011 (DVD)
Synopsis: Mark Bowman (David A. R. White, Jerusalem Countdown) and his wife Claire (Andrea Logan White, In the Blink of an Eye) are at a standstill in their marriage.  She wants a family; he feels unprepared for fatherhood.  Bobby (Tommy Blaze, Me Again) and Melody Castle (Caroline Choi), friends of the Bowmans, feel the same way; Bobby's gambling addiction is ruining their lives.  Donna Harlow (Anna Zielinski, Jerusalem Countdown) is trying to control her soap star husband James' (Matthew Florida) every move, for fear of abandonment, which causes frustration for both parties.  While attending a church service, they hear of a marriage retreat center, run by Craig (Jeff Fahey, Lost) and Katrina Sullivan (Victoria Jackson, Saturday Night Live), which they all attend.  Will they figure out the problems with their marriages before it's too late?
Produced by Pure Flix, makers of The Mark, The Encounter, and The Imposter.

My Review: This is better than usual for a Christian movie! The acting is great, the production values are good, and it doesn't have the fake, cheesy feel you get from some other "inspirational" flicks, such as C Me Dance.  It may have the same theme as Fireproof, but its take on marriage is completely different.  Unfortunately, viewers might not get what they expect, and for two reasons: First off, the cover--as seen in this post--makes this appear to be a comedy, when it really isn't.  Some silly moments may elicit a chuckle or two, but that doesn't keep this film from falling into the genre of drama.  Not only that, but, even though Reginald Vel Johnson's (Family Matters) name and likeness appear both in the trailer and on the cover, he gets a mere few minutes of screen time; he appears not long after the flick starts, only to disappear completely until right before the credits roll.  Maybe those are just gimmicks to get viewers to watch this film who usually wouldn't bother, but, it felt a bit disappointing.  Other than that, and an annoying song on the soundtrack, I enjoyed this movie.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Married couples are seen kissing, and one couple's sex life is discussed. 4/5
  • Nudity: None. 5/5
  • Language: Some name-calling is present. 4.5/5
  • Violence: A trust exercise involves wives shooting their husbands with paintball guns. 4.5/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The arguing within and between couples gets a bit intense.  (SPOILER ALERT!) A woman gives birth, and, though nothing graphic is seen, she screams a lot, which may be unsettling.  Also, a guy showing a scar left by his abusive father is a bit disturbing. (END SPOILERS!) 3.5/5
  • Other: Young kids may not understand this movie anyway, since it largely deals with marriage. 4/5
Final Score: 4/5

01 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1990)

Rated: PG for unspecified reasons (US)
Starring: Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, and Josh Pais
Released: March 30, 1990 (theaters)
Synopsis: A band of criminals known as the Foot Clan is invading New York City, making off with countless items leaving nary a trace behind.  The citizens and police are both baffled, not even sure where to start.  When reporter April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) is attacked, she gets saved by a mysterious stranger...who she later finds out is one of four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Along with their over-sized rat mentor Splinter, they have been living in the sewers of NYC for a while...and, now, it seems that they're the only ones who can put an end to the Foot Clan and their master, Shredder...but will they?

My Review: This is a good example of a movie that would be better with some remastering.  I watched this DVD partly on my computer and partly on my Blu-Ray player, but the video was really grainy, particularly during the two flashback scenes.  I know that the DVD format is capable of better quality video than this; this is almost like an EP VHS tape.  Other than that, the plot was engaging, though it felt a bit slow at times.  The fight scenes and animatronics were well-done, and much less cheesy than I was expecting.  I was a bit surprised by the language--see below--but, it was still a good movie overall.  I sure hope the Blu-Ray version of this flick has better video quality.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A bit of kissing, and April is referred to as a "babe". 4.25/5
  • Nudity: April wears a short skirt in most of the scenes she is in, and a girl's bare midriff is seen twice. 4/5
  • Language: Not as clean as I was expecting.  The d-word and h-word are used at least four or five times each; God's name is equally misused.  One b-word is heard, and euphemisms such as "gosh" and "heck" are heard about two times each.  The term "spaz" is heard three times.  Most of the problematic language is used by the Turtles themselves. 2/5
  • Violence: Of course there would be some ninja action, right? Most of the violence isn't bloody or graphic; still, heroes and villains are punched, kicked, hit with various objects, and thrown through buildings throughout this film.  A scene shows a man's face being scratched by a rat, and it is implied that the rat's ear is cut off as a result.  A flashback involves a man killing a woman.  A fire destroys an apartment. Splinter is seen with what appears to be blood on his face. (Spoiler: The flick ends with the main villain being crushed in a trash compactor, though not graphically.) 2.25/5
  • Drugs: A kid is seen chomping on a cigar. 4.5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The whole feel of the movie is dark, as much of it takes place underground and/or at night.  The main villain is also scary.  This probably isn't for younger kids. 1.5/5
  • Other: The movie is a bit commercialized, as product placement is seen throughout. 4/5
Final Score: 3/5