Set Your DVR: 70s Sci-fi Extravaganza 4/21

It’s a treat when I get to talk bout my favorite period of filmmaking the 1970s and it’s a dboule treat when I get to talk about my favorite genre in my favorite era of filmmaking. This Saturday Night on TCM (April 21) there is a must watch block of Sci-Fi from the 1970s. This block contains 5 movies starting at 8:00pm that are must see if you haven’t or must rewatch if you haven’t watched in a long time. It’s a long block so unless you plan on sipping on Jolt cola all night you’ll need to Set Your DVR.

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Change Can Be a Good Thing: Addressing the TMNT Fan Reaction

In light of recent news about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot or the Robocop reboot, I feel that I should re-emphasize my point about expectations and movie going.

If you haven’t heard, there’s a bit of hubbub about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot coming out next year. Turns out that the filmmakers are altering the story of the turtles so they have alien origins. Many, many, many people have taken issue to this. The response has been vitriolic and quite nasty to the filmmakers. This is partially because Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, is producing the film. Another big reason for the outrage is that the TMNT franchise is very dear to the 20 somethings of today. For many of us, it was the first big pop culture obsession and movement in our lives.

I’ll admit that I’m a little leery about this news, but I think everyone should relax and just wait for the movie to come out before bashing it. This is because There hasn’t actually been any concrete description of how aliens are exactly going to factor in to the story. Many people have written nasty op-ed pieces and angry internet comments about this reboot without knowing one iota of the real story. They’ve latched onto this one piece of information that has been released about the movie without knowing any further context.

The director, Jonathan Liebesman, released a statement that the ooze the turtles come in contact with is of alien nature. So perhaps this ooze is collected by scientists and then four turtles are exposed to it. That’s not that big of a change. It’s really just changing the origin of the ooze, not the turtles.

The reaction so far to this TMNT reboot has been particularly damaging — not to the filmmaker’s, but to the fans. This reaction is immensely immature.

All it really shows to Hollywood is that what we really want is the same thing rehashed over and over again. Obviously this isn’t the case. People nowadays have major gripes with the filmmaking industry for constantly rehashing old material instead of coming up with something new.

But when you angrily declare the filmmakers are “raping your childhood” by not sticking to the source material 100%, you are just sending the message that you don’t want change. It’s saying all you’d really want is for the first movie to be re-released in theaters. And considering the reaction to the Phantom Menace re-release or the Titanic re-release, that’s not something audiences want.

Look. This movie might be bad. It might be good. That’s the point. Until the movie is released, until you watch the movie, you’re never going to know its quality. You have a 50/50 shot at liking a movie until you see it. There’s been great movies that had horrible trailers or starred actors who had less than good reputations. There’s also been bad movies that had amazing premises or a great cast.

Michael Bay’s reaction to the fans was to “Chill out.” That’s not exactly a tactful way to say it, but he’s right. As a TMNT fan, you need to accept that there has been a change. The filmmakers might come up with a brilliant script that really pushes the TMNT franchise into a great direction. They might not. But the hyperbolic reaction to the news of the reboot does not help anyone.