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‘Cowabunga dude’

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By Timothy Guy

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Splinter, April and Casey Jones face off with the villain Max Winters. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

By Timothy Guy

The Turtles are back, and they have brought action and, of course, pizza with them.

The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” started in 1984 as a comic book and then shot to massive popularity with the cartoon series of the same name in 1987.

A feature film followed in 1990, with actors in rubber suits and, for a few years, was considered the highest grossing independent film of all time.

But, as with most entertainment fads, the exposure went overboard and the world was flooded with turtle products like Ninja Turtle cereal, pizza flavored chips and a live concert tour (with the Turtles playing instruments.) Two sequels followed, and the material went downhill. Whose brilliant idea was it to have Vanilla Ice co-star and rap in the second film?

This film, with the abbreviated title of “TMNT,” seems to be a return to the original theme, without silly gimmicks of time travel or Corey Feldman doing voice work. The film is completely computer animated (sorry for those who enjoyed the rubber suits) and has a dark look and tone to it. Although Michelangelo is still cracking jokes and having a good time, which everyone loves.

“TMNT” takes place after the first three films and deals with the Turtles, their rat “father figure”, Splinter, and friends April O’Neil and Casey Jones out to stop an industrialist, Max Winters, and his army of monsters like Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil and other assorted creatures from taking over the world.

With a cartoon series currently on the air and the release of the film, the Turtles have a second chance at entertainment dominance… as long as they don’t start singing again.

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