Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Old vs. New Live Action movies

RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,367 ✭✭✭
Specifically this thread will be making comparisons between the 1990 movie vs. the 2014 movie and Secret of the Ooze vs. Out of the Shadows. It's ok to mention other franchises and movies but they're not part of the main discussion so keep it brief and only when absolutely necessary.

The goal here is to compare the individual movies first. That's why it's set up to be original vs. original and sequel vs. sequel.

Then to determine which live action Turtles franchise is the best over all... totally ignoring the third movie existed because the new version doesn't have a third film to compare it with... yet...

I have not seen Out of the Shadows yet so I'll talk about the sequels at a later date. For now though 1990 is clearly the better movie.

First of all, both movies made changes to the characters origins. However the 1990's movie made changes to their origins that actually improved the story while the 2014 version made changes that made their originals even more confusing than the original version.

Original: The mutagen causes people and animals to mutate into the last thing they had contact with. The turtles became humanoid because they had contact with Hamato Yoshi. Hamato Yoshi turned into a rat because the last thing he had contact with were the rats that lived in the sewers. And if you haven't noticed the huge plot hole in that already let me explain. If the turtles became human because they were in contact with Hamato Yoshi then Spinter should also be a turtle because the last thing he touched was the turtles not a bunch of rats. If Yoshi turned into a rat because he was in contact with them then the rats should of mutated into humanoids not four random turtles. And if there's three species involved here that all had contact with mutagen at the same time then shouldn't they all be human/rat/turtle hybrids? The way the mutagen works makes no sense.

1990 changes: Rather than Splinter being the mutated form of Hamato Yoshi they are instead separate characters. Splinter was the pet of Hamato Yoshi. They also changed how the mutagen works so all animals just become humanoid. This eliminates all the confusion of how exactly the Ooze actually works. This is a change from the source material that actually improves the story.

2014 changes: As far as I can tell Hamato Yoshi never even existed. In both the source material and original movie it's Hamato Yoshi who either directly or indirectly teaches the turtles to be ninjas. Directly when he is Splinter, indirectly when Splinter is his pet. But in this movie Splinter learns martial arts from a book he found in the sewer... WTF? Technically he's not even qualified to teach them as he's just learning himself. In every other version he was already a master before he met the turtles... as unbelievable as it is for a pet rat to learn martial arts it's actually far more acceptable than someone throwing away a book and an illiterate rat some how being able to learn from it. Not only that but this new origin makes it so this Splinter originated from New York rather than Japan like the other versions... so why does he have a Japanese accent and look like a Japanese stereotype if he's never even been outside of New York? This Splinter is just racist. Another change they made here... the original movie kept his rivalry with the Shredder because they knew each other back in Japan. This version... they've never met before. Every other version of this story there's a reason why Splinter and Shredder hate each other but in this version their history is completely non existent. These changes don't make the story better, it makes it worse.

The only thing those changes actually fix is that no version of this franchise has actually explained how Splinter came to New York from Japan. The origin story always skips over that part. Just he use to live in Japan and now some how he's living in the sewers of New York. I don't think it's ever even been explained why he left Japan at all. This movie eliminates that problem by making him a New Yorker to begin with but creates a whole new set of problem by keeping him Japanese despite having no Japanese origins. A change I would of liked to have seen that would of made the origin story better rather than ruining the movie... would be if they actually for the first time explained why and how Splinter left Japan and ended up in New York. Seriously I don't know of any version of this franchise that has actually told this story and I really want it to be told. Instead we got this crap which is the worst retelling of the turtles origin ever made.

Moving onto the rest of the plot... 1990 had some holes... it was not perfect... However you have to seriously look for those flaws. With the 2014 movie the plot holes are so big you can't miss them. Dude leaves behind a turtle because he thinks he's dead. He needs their blood, they don't actually need to be alive for that. They also never bother to take Splinter even though he also has mutagen in his blood because... I don't know the movie never even tried to explain that one. And the whole goal of the bad guy's evil plan was to make him rich even though he's already rich. And Shredder doesn't actually seem to have a reason for helping this guy... he's just in the movie because he's suppose to be in the movie. Technically speaking the rich white guy was originally going to be the Shredder but people complained so much revisions were made at the last minute which is why the Shredder seemed like such a undeveloped throw away character rather than the main bad guy.

Character designs... in regards to the turtles... I'm not going to make this a practical effects vs. CGI debate. I will mention that the originals were actors in costumes because this was back before CGI even existed. But that's not what makes them better. What makes them better is that the new Turtles are on steroids. These are the largest turtles we've ever seen before... which should actually make them even harder to be stealthy ninjas when they're that freaking big.

In regards to the Shredder... even though he was a pointless character he still has an awesome design. A lot of people have complained about how the Shredder looked in the 2014 movie but that's actually one of the better versions of him. The 1990 version was great at the time but looking back on it now, it's not the best look for him. Not the worst but the 2014 armor design actually did better.

Over all, the 1990 movie is clearly the better movie. There's very little in the 2014 version I actually liked and nothing that is significant enough to save it from being a terrible movie.

All this being said... judging from the trailers I have a feeling I might have the total opposite reaction to the sequels. I won't know for sure till I actually see Out of the Shadows but considering the cast of villains we got is something I've been waiting to see since 1990 which we never got, it might be a bit hard to make the sequel as bad as the original. For those that don't know who have never seen the original trilogy... Instead of Bebop and Rocksteady we got Tokka and Rahzar... They were in one episode of the cartoon and I don't even remember them but Bebop and Rocksteady were main villains who appeared in every episode of the original cartoon and those are the villains I wanted to be in Secret of the Ooze... they never appeared in a live action film until now. Another character who never showed up in live action before is Krang. Instead the original movies had a large bald man who vaguely resembled Krang's mandroid body except he was never revealed to be a mandroid and communicated only in a series of grunts. There's also the scientist who helps the Shredder create his own mutants... Originally it was Baxter Stockman who was intended to be a villain and he's in the new movie. However in the original trilogy this character was changed so that he wasn't actually evil but instead was being forced to help the villains and after being rescued ended up helping the turtles instead. Not only did they change him from being a villain to a hero but they didn't even call him Baxter Stockman... which is weird because even with the changes I always thought he was Baxter Stockman. So as far as I can tell from the trailers at least, Out of the Shadows is actually closer to the source material than Secret of the Ooze which is odd considering the first movies in the franchises are just the opposite. Anyway, more to come after I have a chance to actually see the movie.
Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!


  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,367 ✭✭✭
    Splitting this up into three main sections, 1990 vs. 2014, Secret of the Ooze vs. Out of the Shadows, and over all old vs. new. Each section will also be split into different sub sections as I break down the different aspects of each movie that are comparable to each other. With that said...

    1990 vs. 2014

    Origins: While ninja turtles was originally a comic book, most people including myself remember it more for the 80's cartoon series. Movies often make changes to the story, some time for the better, other times making things worse.

    The origin in the 1990 version while drastically different from the cartoon, was actually an improvement. In the cartoon Splinter and Yoshi are the same character. The mutagen causes you to mutate into the last thing you touched. The problem with this is that the Turtles then became humanoid because Yoshi was human but Yoshi turned into a rat because the last thing he touched were sewer rats.... which makes no sense. If the turtles turn into humans because of Yoshi then Yoshi would mutate into a turtle. If Yoshi mutated into a rat then it's the rats who should of become humanoid not the turtles. This being said, and I've gotten conflicting information online, some say that the movie was changed to be more like the comics others claim that the cartoon was already accurate to the comics. Either way the movie origin makes more sense. Splinter was Yoshi's pet rather than being Yoshi himself. The mutagen simply caused them to grow larger, more humanoid, and more intelligent.

    The only hole in this story... how did a rat from Japan end up on the streets of New York? Even in the other version they never explain why or how Yoshi moved from Japan to New York.

    The 2014 version seems to have decided that the best way to solve the issue is to make it so Yoshi doesn't exist and Splinter isn't even from Japan. Originally he learned karate either as Yoshi or from Yoshi but now he learns from a book that he found in the sewer... Why would someone throw away a book? How was he able to read? How can he teach the turtles if he's still in the process of learning himself? This is actually more confusing. This also completely removes his rivalry with the Shredder considering their past history together prior to the Turtles no longer even exists. This gets even worse but I'll talk about this more once I get into characters.

    Point goes to the 1990 version.

    It's also stated that April as a little girl saved them from a fire... and for some reason thought it would be best to release them into the sewers where as originally they started out in the sewer. Give another point to the 1990 version for that.

    Plot: In the 1990 version, the Foot clan is stealing things... and that's pretty much it... The movie never actually explains what the Shredder's goal is with that. Maybe he didn't even have a larger goal, maybe he's just a common thief. The reason why he targets the Turtles however is a bit more complicated. April O'neil is reporting on the Foot which poses a threat to the Shredders plans... whatever that is... so he tries to have her eliminated. She gets rescued by the Turtles but the Shredder recognizes their fighting style as being that of Hamato Yoshi. Because of this he changes his focus to hunt them down instead. This becomes the primary focus throughout the rest of the movie.

    In the 2014 version again, April is covering a Foot clan news story... or rather trying to... however in this version rather than being saved from the Foot by the turtles... she takes a photo of them and then they attack her and basically threaten her... not a good way to show the heroes for the first time in the movie. They do try to lighten the mood in this scene but even when Micky apologizes for "sounding creepy" it doesn't make it any less threatening. Anyway, Eric Sacks plans to use the mutagen in the Turtles blood to mutate the entire city and sell a cure. Basically he's a rich guy with a plan to get more rich. There are multiple plot holes in this plan. Why do they only care about the turtles? Splinter has mutagen in his blood too. Why do they abandon Raph just because they think he's dead? He doesn't need to be alive for their experiments to work and they were planning on killing the Turtles anyway. Having an actual goal doesn't really improve the movie if it makes no sense.

    I'm going to give this one to the 1990 version. The plot may have been simple but at least it made sense.

    Action: The 1990 movie has a lot of moments where guys are just standing around waiting their turn to fight. It seems really slow and obviously choreographed. The 2014 version the action scenes are WAY BETTER... Point 2014.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,367 ✭✭✭
    Characters: April O'Neil is the first character you see in both movies so it seems fitting to talk about her first. She's suppose to be a red head. Megan Fox doesn't really fit this description. Judith Hoag was much better in the role. Also when it comes to how she's portrayed... The original April was actually a serious reporter who was smart enough not to tell her boss about four giant turtles with no evidence... 2014 April is a freaking idiot. How did she even become a reporter in the first place trying to sell a story with absolutely no proof what so ever? Point goes to the 1990 movie.

    However that being said, both versions of April were fired from their news jobs. The original version was fired seemingly because she constantly made the police chief look terrible at his job... which he was... Danny, or Dan, is the son of April's boss, he was working with the Foot clan and got himself arrested. It's implied though never directly stated that the police chief would agree to release Danny and drop all his criminal charges so long as his father agreed to fire April. April does eventually get her job back though seemingly for no reason at all... In the 2014 version April is fired because she's legitimately a terrible reporter. I'm going to have to give the point to the 2014 version on this one because the original movie isn't clear why she was fired and never even makes an effort to explain why her boss suddenly wanted her back.

    Now lets actually talk about the stars of the movies... or rather what should be the stars. In the original movie they were... April may have been on screen first but the majority of the movie was focused on the Turtles. In the 2014 version... it's focused on April for the majority of the movie. Point to the 1990 movie.

    How the turtles are actually portrayed. Well Donatello doesn't really have much of a personality in the original. Every time he speaks it's likes he's saying lines that were meant for other turtles. He has some goofy lines that make him sound like Micky, and then there's a whole scene with Casey Jones that seems better suited for Raph to be there... except Raph was unconscious at the time. Being the smart one of the group, the movie doesn't really give him any opportunity to show off his intellect. All the other turtles are portrayed really well in both movies. Micky is goofy, Raph is a jerk, Leo's the leader, but the 2014 version actually did a better job portraying Donnie as a unique character... Point goes to the 2014 version.

    Finally... how they look... I want to make this clear before I even get into this. This is not about practical effects vs. CGI. They both have their up sides and their down sides. I'm not saying either one is better than the other. Animators don't have to guess how light and shadow will work when there's actually guys in turtle suits on the set, light and shadow is naturally falling right where it's suppose to. On the other hand you can clearly see the seems in the costumes and the faces aren't really very expressive. Their happy faces kind of look the same as their sad faces. This is where CGI actually helps. I honestly think you have to have a blend of both to really get it right. That being said, the 2014 version are freakish giants... I think they took the "they're giant turtles" aspect way too far. Having them be the size of humans is already giant for a turtle but the new movie makes them larger than humans. How are they suppose to keep hidden when they're that big? Plus they also decided to dress the turtles like stereotypes of their personality. It's enough to just portray Donny as a nerd, he doesn't need to be wearing glasses too. Their designs are just all around taking things way too far. They get to the point where it's actually offensive. Point goes to the 1990 version.

    Speaking of offensive designs... considering 2014 Splinter, as I mentioned earlier, is not from Japan, why the hell is dressed like an Asian stereotype? Why does he speak with an Asian accent? Hamato Yoshi doesn't exist in this version. He's not from Japan, he's never been to Japan, he was born and raised in New York. So the fact that he dresses and acts this way is just racist. He has a similar design in the currently running cartoon series but that version of Splinter is actually Hamato Yoshi. The 1990 version of Splinter is actually from Japan but doesn't look like a freaking stereotype. Point goes to the 1990 Splinter.

    How he's portrayed... well, considering 2014 is portrayed as an Asian even though his origins say he's lived in New York all his life, he's portrayed terribly. 1990 Splinter is a much more interesting and less offensive character. Point 1990.

    The Foot Soldier... ok so they're a group rather than a single character but I wanted to talk about them before I move onto the main villain. In the original movie they're actually trained ninjas. In the new movie they use guns. Ninja's are all about stealth, they wouldn't use the loudest least stealthy weapons ever created. They make too much noise. Point goes to 1990.

    Design wise, the original actually look like Foot Soldiers. They're not robots like they were in the cartoon but it looks like they took inspiration for the costume design at least. In the 2014 version... they're just wearing generic black suits... It's not interesting to look at, they don't look like Foot soldiers, they don't even look like ninjas. They look more like a special forces black ops military group. Point goes to the 1990 version.

    Moving onto the Shredder... This is a bit of an odd one. In the 2014 movie, it's never really clear why Oroku Saki is working with Eric Sacks in the first place. It's pretty clear what the Shredder's plan is once you realize he was suppose to be Eric Sacks but Oroku Saki was added in at the last minute so his goals aren't really known. Of course as I mentioned before the 1990 Shredder also seemed to have no intended goals. He was just training kids to steal stuff for no obvious reason. I'm going to have to give this one to the 1990 version though only because that was originally intended to be Oroku Saki. I'm glad they didn't screw him up by changing his identity to Eric Sacks but they were planning to which is not accurate to the character and would be an idiotic change to make. They already screwed up Splinter by doing this crap so to you can see what that would do to the Shredder.

    Design wise, a lot of people have complained about the Shredder's armor saying it looks like Megatron, it has too many blades, but I don't agree. He still looks like the Shredder, and he's suppose to have a lot of blades. I actually think this is one of the best designs for the character. The 1990 version however... while it was great at the time, looking back at it now... it's actually kind of silly. He doesn't even have any armor covering vital body parts and is wearing some kind of sparkling fabric. Point goes to 2014 Shredder.

    How the character is defeated... Again... people have complained about this in the 2014 version. However he was not defeated by April... Leo threw his sword into Shredder's chest. April just kicked the sword in deeper. It also helped that he fell off a building. It's actually much better than what happened in the original... he fell into a trash compactor. Obviously a lot of people don't remember this part as they complain about how the new version was so terrible. Point goes to 2014.

    Before we compare the sequels lets look at the score at so far? Old: 11, New: 5, clearly the original is the better movie.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,367 ✭✭✭
    Secret of the Ooze vs. Out of the Shadows

    Plot: Secret of the Ooze, Shredder wants revenge due to the events of the last movie and creates a pair of evil mutants of his own to fight them. The Turtles discover their origins... wait I thought we covered that in the last movie? There's more to their origin story?

    Out of the Shadows, also has Shredder creating a pair of mutants to fight the Turtles but there's more to the plot than just revenge. He has to help Krang create a portal to our world... so it's a world domination plot. Meanwhile the turtles argue over weather or not they should turn themselves completely human so that they can live above ground... a plot point that ultimately goes no where. Seriously they introduce this plot and never do anything with it.

    In this case the more complex plot is actually better as it actually makes sense this time around. So I'll give the point to Out of the Shadows.

    There's also a plot in the original about the Turtles needing to find a new home because the Foot know where they live now. This is also true of the new Turtles but they don't seem to care that the Foot know where they live. Point is going to the original for that one.

    Action: Secret of the Ooze is a movie that suffers from censorship. Because of this the Turtles are not able to use their signature weapons to fight. Instead they use their weapons for other things like catching pizza. Out of the Shadows does not have this problem so I'm giving a point to them.

    On the plus side it seems like the fight scenes despite the lack of weapons, are much better choreographed. The problem of standing around taking turns to fight doesn't happen anymore. Out of the Shadows on the other hand, and this was also a problem in the first movie, some scenes happen so fast that it's hard to follow what's going on. They only reason I didn't strike it for this on the first movie is because I'd rather they be too fast than too slow. So Secret of the Ooze gets a point this time.

    I'm also going to mention that both movies ended with the Shredder being defeated far too easily... however Supper Shredder is awesome and totally makes up for it. Point goes to Secret of the Ooze.

    On the other hand the ending battle with Krang was a far more interesting climax. Point goes to Out of the Shadows.

    Music: I didn't really talk about this when it came to the first movies because they're both kind of forgettable. However Secret of the Ooze has that song that even after all these years people still remember. Go ninja go ninja go! Point to the original.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,367 ✭✭✭
    Characters: In Secret of the Ooze Donnie gets to actually show off his intelligence. Out of the Shadows however still has issues with stereotyping. So I'm giving this one to Secret of the Ooze.

    Though Secret of the Ooze refers to him as Jordon Perry this character was intended to be Baxter Stockman. He was originally black in the comics and white in the cartoon. Jordon aside from not being a black guy, is also not a villain in this movie. He's forced to help the Shredder rather than being a willing partner. I guess they felt that the character was changed so much from Baxter Stockman that he felt like a different character entirely and decided to change his name. I still realized who he was intended to be and his IMDB page confirms it. This being said, even though Baxter Stockman is actually accurate to his original comic book counterpart in Out of the Shadows, he's not very interesting. He's just a yes man who helps the Shredder for no real reason. He doesn't gain anything from it which makes him kind of a one dimensional villain. This is one of those cases where I think it's actually OK to change the character. Jordon Perry wins the point for Secret of the Ooze.

    I want to talk about Tatsu for a minute. He was in the first movie as well but I didn't have anyone to compare him to. If you don't know or don't remember who that is, that's the big bald headed guy who was Shredder's right hand man in the original movies and speaks mostly in a series of grunts. As a kid I always thought this was suppose to be Krang. He was played by two different actors in both movies. Michael McConnohie providing the grunting voice while Toshishiro Obata was the man you actually saw on screen. Toshishiro kind of looks like a live action version of Krang's mandroid body. I think at some point they had actually planned to reveal him as Krang but for whatever reason that never happened. Or maybe he was always intended as an entirely new character but I still think this character was the closest thing we had to a live action Krang. Now in Out of the Shadows that character has finally been fully realized in a live action movie and he's a great character. I'm giving a point to Out of the Shadows on this one.

    You should of figured out where this was going by now. Tokka and Rahzar were originally suppose to be Bebop and Rocksteady. There is official concept art for Secret of the Ooze showing what they would have looked like. Instead we got these guys... I'm not really sure why they decided to use these two in their place but I've never liked them. I'm giving two points to Out of the Shadows for actually giving us Bebop and Rocksteady.

    The Shredder in Out of the Shadows doesn't really have his armor anymore. This is mainly do to people complaining about it in the first movie so now we get a Shredder who has no armor at all. In Secret of the Ooze however we get two different armor designs. One for normal Shredder and one for Super Shredder. Normal Shredder doesn't look that different from the goofy costume he had in the first movie but he did sharpen some more spikes onto his helmet. Super Shredder though, I love this design. I makes no sense that this even exists in the first place, I mean how did the ooze mutate his armor, but it looks awesome! Point goes to Secret of the Ooze.

    This brings the score to Secret of the Ooze: 6, Out of the Shadows: 6... Wait they're tied? Ok just to break that tie I'm giving an extra point to Out of the Shadows. Why? Because Secret of the Ooze was over all a disappointment and inferior to the original film. Out of the Shadows was surprising entertaining and gave me a lot of things I wanted in the original.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,367 ✭✭✭
    Old vs. New

    Plot: The new movies killed off Shredder in the first film and then in the sequel it's never mentioned that he was stabbed in the chest and fell off of a roof. They actually changed it saying that he was arrested. They never showed that in the first movie. He was dead. In the original films they killed him off in the first movie but in the sequel his story line picks up right from where it left off. Everyone still thinks he's dead and there's a sense of shock when it's discovered that he's still alive. It's never explained how he survived but at least the movies actually connect together. With the new ones they pretty tried to recon everything people complained about in the first film which leads to plot holes that disconnect the two films. They did still leave in the part about the Turtles new origins, they didn't fix that. Point goes to old.

    Characters: April for some reason is played by Paige Turco in the sequel. Like Megan Fox who actually returned for her sequel, Paige isn't a red head either. I don't know how I never noticed this as a kid but that's clearly a different actress. I'm going to give a point to Out of the Shadows because at least it's the same woman in both movies.

    I didn't get to talk about him before because old Casey Jones shows up in the first movie but not the sequel while new Casey Jones is only in the sequel. New Casey actually has an origin story while old Casey it's never explained why he became a vigilante. I'm going to give New Casey Jones a point for actually having an origin story.

    However Casey Jones has always been known as the Hockey mask wearing vigilante who uses sports equipment as weapons. Old Casey is much closer to that description. There is only ONE SCENE in Out of the Shadows where Casey Jones actually looks and acts like Casey Jones. The rest of the movie I feel like Stephen Amell is still trying to play Oliver Queen. Did they just take film from Arrow and edit it into this movie? Elias Koteas is a much better Casey Jones. Point goes to the old.

    Shredder, aside from the plot points I already talked about is also played by a different actor in the sequel. Tohoru Masamune plays him in the 2014 movie while Brian Tee plays him in the sequel. Even if they got the same actor he still wouldn't look right. In the first movie he was badly scarred. In the sequel he looks completely fine. What happen to all his scars? The original Shredder is also played by multiple actors but in a different way. It's not that they recast him in the sequel but rather between the two movies there were four different actors. In the first movie I think one actor actually did the voice and face of Oroku Saki while the other guy was mainly just used as Shredder's stunt double. In the second movie there was a different stunt double but the voice was actually provided by the same actor. Then they had a third actor who played the Super Shredder. In any case his face is covered for most of the films so you can't even tell who's actually in the costume at any given time. With the newer movies his face is rarely covered so it's quite clear they're not the same guy. Point goes to the old.

    Adding together the individual scores along with these bonus points that brings our grand total to Old: 20, New: 14. While Out of the Shadows on it's own was a better movie than Secret of the Ooze it didn't do well enough to make up for how terrible the 2014 movie was. Like wise even though the original sequel was a disappointment, it was still a good movie.

    So there you have it, the original movies are better. This might change depending on how the third films compare. Of course I'm not including Turtles in Time here because there isn't a new movie to compare it with. When Nickelodeon makes a third Turtles movie, then I'll compare it with Turtles in Time.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
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