(HD DVD and DVD Combo Format) + Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles – Season 5 (3 DVD Set)
Picture: A-/B/C Sound: A-/B/C+ Extras: B/B- Film: B
COWABUNGA! They’re Rad! They’re Bad! And they’re BACK! That’s right, now on DVD is your favorite
heroes in a half shell in their first feature film in almost 15 years with TMNT, their first in the computer
animation world. In addition, their
original hand-drawn animated TV show is now out in its fifth season set. First, the new feature.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return to their old sewer and Big Screen stomping
grounds with TMNT to continue the
chronicles of four turtle brothers (Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and
Donatello) and their surrogate father Splinter (who happens to be a human sized
rat) as they kick, flip, and slice their way through crime. The story takes off a few years after the end
of the third film (1993) despite the switch from liver action to CG.
brothers have seemingly found their own comfy niches in life since The Shredder
has been defeated and most supernatural crime has disappeared from the streets
of Manhattan. Leonardo is found training
in Central America on Master Splinter’s orders, but seems to spend an equal
amount of time protecting the locals.
Raphael has become a vigilante crime crusher known as the Nigh Watcher;
somewhat departing from his true ninja past and having much angst about the
lackluster life that has been cast upon him.
Michelangelo is a birthday party clown, while Donatello is a computer
help hotline manager; going a long way since being ‘a party dude’ and a guy
‘fixes machines.’ April O’ Neil, who
remains a close counterpart to the turtles, now runs a shipping business with
her awesome Boyfriend Casey Jones, presumably leaving her reporter past behind.
the turtles may have changed the world had not; evil was still lurking around
the corner. 3,000 years ago a Warrior
General lead a military campaign across the globe, becoming more powerful with
each and every step. As victorious as he
was, it was not to last. In an attempt
to become the most powerful man to ever live the general opens a portal that to
his dismay released a barrage of evil and magical beasts upon the world and at
the same time made him immortal while turning his army to stone. In present day New York this same general has
managed to reassemble the portal as well as retrieve his stony companions. The last piece of the puzzle remains to recapture
all of the beasts and restore his friends.
This General, having taken on the name Max Winter (voiced by Patrick
Stewart), enlists the help of the infamous Foot Clan to help him on his
mission. With beasts running the streets
of New York and evilness afoot (no pun intended) you know the TMNT are sure to save the day.
was great! Hard to say whether or not
this film was any better than the previous releases, due to it being CGI as
opposed to the previous live-actions stylings.
One thing that can be said is that this reviewer finds it comforting and
excellent that the writers managed to keep the turtles movies a continuous
storyline. With so many films today
attempting to makeover classics, it is nice to know someone still cares about
the diehard fans. The film did great in
the box office kicking 300 out of its top spot and fans can almost be assured a
sequel is in the works. From beginning
to end this reviewer found the film gripping, enjoyable and fun. Also the plethora of nostalgic cameos didn’t
there is the now vintage show. In this
review is the series that started it all (besides the comic book) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season Five. Maybe it was to promote or due to the success
of the new TMNT film (either way
this reviewer does not care), but the new 3-disc Season 3 Set of Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles is awesome. Let’s
start off with the fact that it is in fact a Season Set and not another moronic
Volumized hack job, AMAZING! Secondly,
though not as many episodes as Season 4
(only containing the full 18 episode run of Season 5) it does stay true to the Fifth Season Airing Run and
comes in an awesome (no pun intended) pizza box. There are words to describe how cool this set
is, but this reviewer will try. The set
comes in a nice plastic cover to protect and stabilize the innards. Next inside the plastic is a 5.5 x 5.5 inch
square box that resembles a pizza box and inside are the three DVDs shaped
(obviously) and designed like pizzas.
Overall an impressive attempt to make a DVD set memorable, collectable
and just plain (maybe pepperoni) fun!
After Season 4 the network must have thought
the turtles lost some ground because they started cutting the number of
episodes per season. Season Six had 16 episodes, the Seven had 14, and then the last three
seasons each had 8. Ten Seasons is
nothing to look down on, but this reviewer just loved those turtles; no matter
how corny the episodes got.
epic opener, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a household name, and 20
years later they are still kicking but and scarfing down pizza. With an
updated animated series on television and a brand new CGI feature film entitled
TMNT that ninja kicked top
competitor 300 out of its box office slot and got rave reviews on DVD. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aren’t going
anywhere. Though it is nice to see
another season set, the technical features of the DVDs remain disappointing as
picture is presented in its original 1.33 X 1 Full Screen aspect ration, but
looks like an undigitally remastered analog VHS. The picture’s colors
again are off balance, the animation seems to bounce at times, there is obvious
debris, and some light/dark issues. Fans better hope that this is not the
best quality masters that are available or even HD may be in trouble.
Let’s hope they fix these huge problems. The sound once again has a
slightly better quality than previous DVD releases, with a simple 2.0 Dolby
Digital Stereo, but nothing fantastic. The sound is improved over the
single disc volumes but still shows age and sounds compressed and distant at
times. Extras continue on this 3 disc set with a look back at the series
with the original voice actors of all four turtles, which to this reviewer was
quite interesting. Also an extra
included on this set is a featurette entitled ‘Under the Shell’ an interview
with Usagi Yojimbo (Baxter Stockman).
Overall, a tubular set!
technicals features on the HD DVD and DVD Combo format version, on the other
hand, were quite impressive. The 1080p
digital 2.35 X 1 High Definition image on the HD-DVD side is sharp and clear on
the lines of Chicken Little, can be
as three-dimensional and is color consistent throughout. Though not the best CG feature to date, it
knows how to run with what it can put on screen resulting in a necessary
upgrade for the characters that work.
The anamorphically enhanced standard DVD-Video side was crisp, clear,
and color balanced for that format, though no match for the HD side. The sound is presented in a booming Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix on both sides (dubbed Plus on the HD side with a bit more bite)
that truly highlights the films action sequences and could only be slightly
improved with the dialogue being a bit low/light at times, but the Dolby TrueHD
5.1 exclusive to the HD side overcomes these limitations and shows why TrueHD
simply makes regular Dolby obsolete. All
are certainly better than the lame Dolby Mono from the old show.
the HD Combo disc are pretty solid offering fans of the film insight into a
process that took almost 15 years to arrive at.
Features include a interesting and jam packed audio track with
writer/director Kevin Munroe, Alternate Openings that neither would have added
nor detracted from the already excellent CGI feature, one deleted scene that
neither adds nor detracts, storyboard/CGI comparison featurette and a good
interview feature with most of the voice talent that this reviewer personally
enjoyed. Overall, great features that
are definitely worth a look at, but to some degree lack rewatchability.
allusions to a sequel at the end of this film this reviewer can only hold his
breath as he waits for another dose of Green nostalgia. The film was no Oscar winner but it was fun
and held true to the comic ideals the original films and cartoon series had in
mind. TURTLE POWER!
- Michael P. Dougherty II