Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Release Date: 16 February
2014 | 12 | Blu- ray/ DVD Director: Jonathan Liebesman Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard
At one point
during Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, William Fichtner’s Eric Sacks declares, without a hint of irony, “We will drain every last ounce of their blood to get it… even if it kills them.” Savour the moment, because it’s the only memorable thing about this half- witted reboot.
April O’Neil ( Megan Fox) is a reporter who discovers the story of a lifetime: anthropomorphic ninja turtles living in the sewers of New York City. At the same time, villain Shredder is planning to unleash a chemical weapon on New York. Cue empty eye candy.
Despite dispensing with the planned extra- terrestrial origins after fan outcry, TMNT still botches
Release Date: 16 February
2014 | PG | Blu- ray/ DVD Director: Jorge R Gutierrez Cast: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Kate del Castillo
Less a movie,
more an animated celebration of every Mexican cultural cliché you could think of, The Book Of Life is a trad Disney- style fairytale given a manic mariachi makeover. Catholic nuns, Mexican wrestling priests, a troubadour bullfighter, moustache obsessions, bandits, the Day of the Dead, Mayan gods… they’re all cheerily thrown into a mix that’s spicier than an extra- hot quesadilla.
The tale of two friends who fall in love with the same girl, whose fates are bound to those of two bickering gods who can’t resist a wager, this Guillermo del Toro- produced toon looks stunning, with marionette characters and a Tim Burton vibe ( though with more repulsive noses). It’s so beautiful at times, you wonder if director Jorge Gutierrez Turtles lore to the point that the nonsensical story only serves to annoy. It provides a threadbare connective tissue between glossy but dull setpieces and fights rendered incomprehensible by lightning cuts and gymnastic camerawork.
The CG Turtles lose all the charm of their cartoon counterparts, thanks to a grotty “realistic” redesign and trite dialogue. They’re effectively invincible too, leaving the film without any discernible sense of peril beyond the thought that you’ll never get those 101 minutes back.
On Blu- ray ( rated): an extended ending, 18 minutes on the effects, two featurettes, an odd mini- doc about real- life turtles and ninjas, and a music video. The DVD has nothing. Jordan Farley Turtles co- creator Kevin Eastman worked as a consultant on the film and provided animation for the opening sequence. has actually invented a couple of new colours.
Tonally, it’s more Genndy Tartakovsky or The Lego Movie than Pixar/ Disney – fast- paced, slapstick and fizzing with ideas. It’s a shame, in this day and age, that the lead female character – ass- kicking kung fu setpiece notwithstanding – basically sits around waiting for someone to marry, but that aside, viva El Libro De La Vida!
The DVD has a director’s commentary, “The Adventures Of Chuy” ( a three- minute animated short by Gutierrez), a compilation of musical highlights from the film ( 25 minutes), a music video and galleries. The Blu- ray ( rated) adds three featurettes ( 29 minutes). Dave Golder Famous Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo voices Skeleton Jorge, a dead bullfighter with a secret desire to be an opera singer.
Release Date: 9 February
2013 | 15 | DVD Director: David Frazee Cast: Ty Olsson, Patrick Gallagher, Michelle Harrison, Christine Horne
made its gogglebox debut two years ago – except it wasn’t called Survival Code then. The more alluringly monickered Borealis was originally a pilot for a never- pickedup Canadian TV series that pitched itself as a futuristic Deadwood, or an earthly Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Now it arrives on this side of the pond, with an agonisingly generic Syfy movie- like title and a DVD cover that makes it look like Andy McNab has finally gone genre.
Set in 2045, Borealis ( let’s call it that, okay? None of this Survival Code silliness) focuses on an Arctic town in an area where Russians, Canadians, Norwegians and the League of Nations are all trying to claim sovereignty. By this time the ice cap is melting, and the town of Borealis is home to the last untapped oil, gas and mineral deposits on the planet.
There’s a lot to love in this one- shot, and a lot to mourn. It sets up a politically complex world and lines up a gaggle of morally grey and conflicted characters. It feels desperately overcrowded though, with few of those characters given enough space to make a firm impression. No doubt a full season would have filled them all out, but in a single 90- minute blast it feels a tad overwhelming.
Despite wearing its sci- fi lightly, Borealis is definitely worth a gander. Prepare to ask yourself, “Whatever came over the execs to put the kibosh on this one?”
None. Steve O’Brien Star Ty Olsson says SPACE wanted to pick up the series, but it didn’t happen due to changes at the network’s parent company.
It’ll drive you up the wall.
Yeah, but it’s not a Commodore 64.
Maud’s coffee mornings got increasingly bizarre.