REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE

CAST

Paige Turco (The Stepfather)
David Warner (Black Death)
Ernie Reyes Jr. (Red Sonja)
François Chau (Lost)
Kevin Nash (The Punisher)
Vanilla Ice (The New Guy)
Toshishiro Obata (Demolition Man)
Michael McConnohie (Naruto)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Kevin Clash (Sesame Street)
Raymond Serra (Bolero)
Robbie Rist (The Brady Bunch)
Adam Carl (The Monster Squad)
Brian Tochi (Space Academy)
Laurie Faso (Summer Student)
Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight)

A young pizza delivery boy named Keno inadvertently encounters burglars on his route and tries to stop them. Seeing him as a witness, the burglars attack Keno, who proves to be an expert martial artist, but he is soon overwhelmed before the arrival of the Ninja Turtles. They vanish after rescuing Keno, tying up the burglars, and taking the pizza he was delivering, leaving money to pay for it.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeLeonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael, along with their master Splinter, are living with April O’Neil while they look for a new place to live following the events of their last adventure. Splinter wants to remain in the shadows, while Raphael thinks they should live out in the open. At a junkyard where the remnants of The Foot and Shredder’s second-in-command Tatsu are hiding out, they are met by their master, who has been disfigured by his previous defeat but did not die as they thought. April interviews Professor Jordan Perry of Techno Global Research Industries (TGRI) about a possible toxic waste leak. He assures her that everything is fine, but at the same time their scientists discover dandelions which have been mutated by the contaminant. Freddy, a spy for the Foot posing as April’s cameraman, discovers this and reports it to his master, who decides to have Perry interrogated. Back at April’s apartment, Splinter reveals to her and the turtles that TGRI was responsible for their mutation more than fifteen years prior, and they too decide to talk to him. The Foot gets to Perry first and kidnaps him, salvaging the last vial canister of ooze in the process. The turtles attempt to get the canister back, but ultimately fail. Afterward, Keno gets into April’s apartment under the guise of delivering pizza and discovers Splinter and the turtles.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeAt the Shredder’s hideout, Perry is forced into using the remaining ooze on a wolf and a snapping turtle, which mutate into Tokka and Rahzar. With the imminent threat to April’s safety by the Foot, the turtles start to actively look for a new home. After an argument with Leo, Raph breaks off from the group, while Mikey, who soon discovers an abandoned subway station, deems it a perfect hideout. Raph and Keno defy Splinter’s orders and implant Keno into the Foot Clan to find their hideout. However, they are caught and Raph is captured, while Keno escapes to warn the others. When they come, they are ambushed by Shredder and the Foot; Splinter saves the group, but leaves as they face Tokka and Rahzar, who prove too strong to defeat. Donny finds Perry and the five of them make a tactical retreat. Once back in their hideout, Perry explains that the creation of the ooze was an accident, disheartening Donatello, who saw a higher purpose for their existence.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeShredder unleashes Tokka and Rahzar into a nearby neighborhood to cause damages. The next day, Freddy sends a message to April that Tokka and Rahzar will be released into Central Park if the Turtles don’t meet the Foot Clan at the construction site. Perry develops an antidote to the mutations and when they confront the two, Leo and Mikey trick Tokka and Rahzar into eating it. They discover the trick and brutally attack, throwing Raph into a public dance club. A big fight ensues among hundreds of witnesses and eventually the turtles turn Tokka and Rahzar into their natural state, while Vanilla Ice improvises the “Ninja Rap”. Shredder attacks, threatening a citizen with a final vial of ooze, but Keno intervenes and the turtles overload an amplifier, causing Shredder to be blasted out onto the docks behind the club. They follow and discover that Shredder had drunk the last vial, becoming a “Super Shredder” who begins to destroy the support structure holding the dock up. Not caring about his own life, Shredder attempts to kill the turtles by collapsing the dock on top of them, but the group escapes the collapse and surface in time to witness Shredder’s last breath.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeIn a press release, April reads a note from Perry, thanking the turtles for saving him, and when they return home, they deny being seen by the humans, but Splinter holds up the evening’s newspaper on which they are plastered across the cover. He then orders the four of them to do flips as punishment, chanting the theme song they were dancing to at the club “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!” exclaiming he made another funny as the scene freezes.Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeThe second movie was lighter in tone to the first, it may not be as good as the first, but i liked it, I liked the introduction of the new mutants, it is a shame that super shredder is only on screen for a short time as it would of been nice to see him more.

REVIEW: RED SONJA

CAST

Brigitte Nielsen (Terminal Force)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan The Barbarian)
Sandahl Bergman (Xanadu)
Paul L. Smith (Dune)
Ernie Reyes Jr. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Ronald Lacey (Raiders of The Lost Ark)
Pat Roach (Willow)
Terry Richards (Star Wars – Episode V)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)

Brigitte Nielsen in Red Sonja (1985)It is hard to revisit the 1985 sword and sorcery film Red Sonja with any sort of freshness. The movie, historically, has been comically criticized for decades and stands as an example of Hollywood´s eagerness to cash in on previous genre successes. There is even a quote from the films “star,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, about Red Sonja being the worst film he has done and is now used as a punishment for his kids. Where do I go from here? Where does anyone go from here? My previous review of Fire and Ice basically lauded the sword and sorcery film genre as an escapist vehicle unfettered by story and conceptual flaws. Could the same sentiment hold up under the weight of a poorly executed blockbuster? Could the same sentiment hold up to probably one of the worst fantasy films ever made?Brigitte Nielsen and Ottaviano Dell'Acqua in Red Sonja (1985)Red Sonja is a character best defined by comic books written by Fire and Ice / Conan writer Roy Thomas along with one of my favorite fantasy artists Barry Windsor Smith. The character was loosely based on a variety of pulp heroines pioneered by short stories from Robert E Howard. Red Sonja, now, stands as the female equivalent to Conan and shares the same fictional universe during the Hyborian Age. The important thing to remember about sword and sorcery is that despite instances of brutal violence carried out by demonic aggressors and less than favorable clothing for both genders, females have a surprisingly fair amount of power. Barbarian heroines are just as strong as males and can make decisions and carry the plot without male involvement. Despite a ridiculous amount of sexual exploitation, sword and sorcery breaks the majority of female stereotypes and did so years before other fantasy genres. This is important to remember when watching the cosmic disaster known as Red Sonja.Red-Sonja-movie-700x300To investigate why Red Sonja is so bad one has to look at individual aspects of the film. The story is not the problem as Red Sonja’s plot is standard sword and sorcery revenge involving magic, immediate scope, and visceral adventure. In fact, I am trying to think of a film genre less simplistic than sword and sorcery. A green glowing magical orb is sought after by a group of roving warriors while an evil Sorceress, Queen Gedren, uses it to conquer kingdoms. The film´s heroine is hellbent on revenge after seeing her family slaughtered by the aforementioned sorceress. Pretty simple. There may be a comic duo planted for laughs but all in all standard. While the costume design is silly bordering on psychotic and its action sequences are quickly approaching narcoleptic, Red Sonja could have been an enjoyable film. Its critical weakness does not rest in any one part, but rather many aspects executed together cause its downfall. One of the most cited examples of Red Sonja´s ineptness is the acting, which oscillates between laughable and embarrassing.Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen in Red Sonja (1985)The wooden exchanges between characters merely drag the plot further much in the same way a mortally wounded human would lurch across a floor gasping for air. Scratch that. Dungeon. Bridget Neilson, who has the muscular build of a fine heroine fails to outact an 8 year old side character and the underwater machine serpent sent to kill her. Take this and combine it with a universal battle over which antagonist, the evil Queen Gedren or her smarmy advisor Ikol, is more uninteresting and ridiculously dressed. Do not forget characters placed on set with no logic or reason or ones that would have made the series more interesting if more was known about them and you have a colossal trainwreck of a film. Scratch that. Horsewreck. It is also important to realize this does not make the film truly terrible. what makes this film truly terrible is the attempt of a feminist agenda. Scratch that. Sabotage.Aside from the already stated sword and sorcery base of a strong female character, Red Sonja, the film, continuously undermines any instance of a female lead doing anything without the help of a man. This aspect is seen in most fantasy films but becomes more obvious when Red Sonja is supposedly centered around the plights of a strong female. Whether or not saved at the last second by Lord Kalidor from Lord Brytag´s men or narrowly escaping the collapsing castle saved only by the combined brute strength of two sweaty men holding up heavy things, Red Sonja fails to convince the audience she wouldn’t choke on her food or stab herself with a fork if not fed by a strong male. It is important to note that I do not strive to pick out themes of feminism within fantasy films.It is an interesting field of thought, but a film can exist without critical analysis. My cross section into this film is because Red Sonja’s waffling between feminism and misogyny is so abrupt the analysis is almost inescapable. Rather than silently attempt to create a female Conan, Red Sonja stmblefucks its way to the winners circle taking the trophy for the strangest blunder one has ever put to film. The universal orphanage fire that is Red Sonja has not, however, derailed any longevity of its protagonist. Red Sonja, the character, is still seen in better written media and fawned over at comic and fantasy conventions by both men and women.