Brad’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Commentary

| April 25, 2012

As an avid TMNT fan, I’ve been wanting to record a series of TMNT commentary tracks for the movies for a while but haven’t been able to get a quiet space to do it in. So instead, I decided I could write down my comments to read while following the movie. Hopefully I have some interesting or insightful comments to make, but I’ll let the reader decide. I still plan to do the audio version, but for now this will do. If you plan to follow along, know that I’m watching the Blu-ray version with subtitles on. Now press play!

00.00.00: Right away, the tone of this film is different from the first. Where as the former began with an ominous news report about the state of crime in the city from April, every one here is eating a pizza, presumably because without the Shredder, things are safer in New York. Safe enough to eat a pizza anywhere.

00.01.06: Michael Pressman is the director, replacing Steve Barron who’s also famous for Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” video. I imagine the studio wanted a movie that reflected the light-heartedness of the cartoon rather than the gritty tone of the original comics that Barron faithfully captured.

00.01.24: Thanks to HD, I can read what street Roy’s Pizza is on. I just want to note that for my next visit to NYC to see what’s really there. Avenue of the Americas and 6th.

00.01.49: For the longest time I couldn’t understand the first part of Keno’s line. Thanks to subtitles, I now know it’s: “Are you kidding me? Again?”

00.02.09: Damn Keno, that was a bit harsh. Sure, it was a bitchy way for her to turn you down… but come on, she’s not fat at all.

00.02.12: Spring St is the location of April’s new apartment. Supposedly across the street from a subterranean mini-mall?

00.03.01: Why wear the stocking masks if you’re just gonna reveal your identities to people?

00.03.11: Did you see how carefully that thug set aside those pizzas? Like he’s going to enjoy them later or something…

00.03.41: I’m glad they retained this logo for the sequel, but as stealthy ninjas, aren’t the Turtles supposed to bust out the lights in the room before attacking?

00.03.57: Right away you’ll notice Leonardo’s eyes are larger. All the turtles have this in order to reflect the cartoon style. You could barely see Raphael’s in the original. In any character design, larger eyes more easily draw you into the character. I’m sure there was still some debate as to whether or not mutant turtles could be sold to kids even after the first made so much money at the box-office. “Make the eyes bigger and even more kids will like it!”

00.04.11: The “make a funny comment after each guy you beat up” thing isn’t an aspect of the movies I like. I know it’s there to offset the violence for the younger audience, but c’mon, dial it back. One pun per scene please.

00.04.38: Glad they got John Du Prez back to do the music in this one. I think his scores for the two films are perfectly tailored to these films.

00.04.42: Donatello says “Rawhide. Robocop.”?

00.05.03: Is that a Triceraton behind Michelangelo!? No. No. Just a plush Triceratops.

00.05.24: There’s Domino Rally! I used to have Domino Rally!

00.06.07: The script is credited solely to Todd W. Langen on this film. I wonder why Bobby Herbeck wasn’t a part of this one?

00.08.23: I forget where, but I read something about Paige Turco replacing Judith Hoag in this movie because the studio wanted someone prettier. I hope that’s not true. I like to think they wanted an actress who looked more like the cartoon April. Judith Hoag looked great as the comics April though.

00.08.31: The other woman in this scene is comedian Susie Essman. I wonder if she includes this movie on her resume?

00.08.32: The man is Michelan Sisti, who also performs as Michelangelo. He also played the pizza delivery guy in the first movie. You could actually think of him as being the same character in both movies.

00.09.40: A lot of people know this already but I mention it anyway; Corey Feldman didn’t voice Donatello for this movie because he was in rehab. But, did you know Raphael’s voice was also replaced in the sequel. Josh Pais was replaced by Laurie Faso, which I presume was because he was doing more and more work in front of the camera judging from his prolific IMDB page.

00.10.22: I find it hard to believe, that in the context of their lives, that’s the first time Donatello has had to hear Mikey make that joke about “Ninja Pizza” and needs to him to clarify the comment.

00.11.29: The movie is reminding us how Shredder was defeated, for those who didn’t see the first movie. Remember this for later.

00.11.32: I think Splinter’s face looks more like a cat in this movie. Why couldn’t they get the same costumes from the first one? He’s puppet-ed by Kevin Clash, who’s made millions of children happy being Elmo on Sesame Street.

00.11.43: (as Splinter) Which begs the question: So why the fuck are the windows behind me wide open!?

00.11.59: Some visual subtext: There’s a painting of a pizza on the wall behind April.

00.12.37: I almost always reference that napkins gag while eating in public.

00.13.42: HD also makes the painted backdrop of the landfill more obvious. It’s probably the same one used in the climax.

00.13.50: How long has Shredder been buried in this landfill??? Was he in a coma? Because enough time has passed where April was able to rent/buy a new condo, move into it, AND acquire new possessions to fill it with to replace all the stuff she lost in the fire. The trading cards mentioned it was a year later, but that may have been in reference to the film’s release itself.

00.14.28: I find the hand reaching out a bit corny. If you were buried in anything, would you first poke your hand out and grasp at nothing?

00.14.54: Tatsu and The Shredder’s voices are also dubbed. By returning actors David McCharen and Michael McConnohie.

00.15.18: Is that Ryan Reynolds in the middle? No. Probably not.

00.15.49: The Shredder’s saw blade helmet design was pretty cool. I always wished they’d made an action figure version of it.

00.16.09: David Warner doesn’t get enough nerd cred. He’s been in Tron, Star Trek 5 & 6, and this movie. He’s so British you’d think this would be beneath him. I used to complain that Gordon Perry should have been Baxter Stockman but after reading the original comics, going this way makes more sense if you’re not going to include mousers or a mutant fly in your movie. I suppose they couldn’t have a mutant fly because of “The Fly”.

00.16.15: TGRI? Why not TCRI like in the comics? My guess is that the C stood for Cosmic and since the filmmakers were keeping the series more grounded in reality, they changed it to Global… as if the kids would make that connection.

00.16.53: Nice throw Leonardo! Without even looking!

00.21.46: There’s that backdrop again. As you’ll see, most of this movie is filmed on a soundstage, which explains how it was quickly released just a year after the first.

00.23.04: The ooze dispenser with the iron pyrite chunk in the middle looks like something out of Power Rangers.

00.23.15: So, even though this movie is about the secret of the ooze, Perry never does explain what they engineered the ooze for in the first place. All we find out is that his lab made it and lost a canister. Info the Turtles already knew.

00.23.51: The TGRI rooftop may be doubling for April’s rooftop.

00.25.52: Why did the Foot stick around for the Turtles to show up? Wouldn’t you run that canister back to Shredder as soon as possible instead of giving the turtles a chance to take it back?

00.26.01: Tatsu’s grip was pretty light on that canister. Also, his reaction time is pretty slow. Must be because of the blow to the head Casey Jones gave him.

00.26.59: The Huddle. Logically, this is the part where you either overwhelm your opponent with all your guys at once, or, now that you have the canister back in your possesion, you get the hell out of there. Instead we’ll give them some time to beat us.

00.27.38: Tatsu finally figures out his plan after standing around doing nothing this whole time.

00.29.27: Keno’s reference to apartment 313 suggests April lives on the third floor of that building on Spring St.

00.37.07: The news manager, Phil, here is played by the director, Michael Pressman. I guess Charles doesn’t work there anymore.

00.37.38: The guy taking the call for April is played by Mark Caso, who performs as Leonardo under the costume.

00.40.08: Tokka and Rahzar are voiced by voice-over legend Frank Welker. You’ve probably heard him any cartoon featuring an animal.

00.42.33: The Foot Clan meets with recruits on John Street, under the bridge just across the river from Manhattan.

00.44.10: The subtitle just referred to the ninja uniform as a “doggy”.

00.46.48: Great shot of the World Trade Center.

00.46.53: Shouldn’t the there be a loading dock across the street from April’s apartment as Keno runs by?

00.48.14: A little too Raph! My friends and I also still make that joke when anything’s a little too anything.

00.49.17: I’m imagining the scene we didn’t see where Shredder explains to everybody: (as Shredder) Okay, we’re going to lay a net out in front of the turtle we captured. When the other walk into it, it snatches them up and then we’ll drop them onto a bed of spikes! Mwhaha! (as Thug) Why not just shoot them with a gun while they’re hanging in the net? Do we even need the spires? (as Shredder) I WANT THE SPIKES!!! It’s cooler and more menacing! A gun would be too easy! (as Thug) But won’t their shells protect them?

00.49.38: Hey kids! Do you know who Ralph Nader is?

00.50.09: Nice to Splinter in on the action for once.

00.51.32: The subtitle just displayed Mikey as saying “Gross” as Tokka and Rahzar are revealed. Never caught that before. Hahaha.

00.56.03: Okay, I was wrong. They do explain that the ooze came from some discarded chemicals that were explosed to radiation.

00.58.00: This is where Splinter reinforces the idea that there is more to the ooze story.

01.00.07: I think this is a Hollywood backlot and not a real New York neighborhood.

01.03.47: LOL! Still cracks me up.

01.05.22: Simply donuts! Nothing else at all… just donuts guys.

01.08.09: Great idea with the cubes Donny!

01.09.06: And there it is. Everyone’s favorite memory from this movie. The appearance of Vanilla Ice.

01.10.09: (as Vanilla Ice) Ooo… I feel a hit single coming on.

01.10.39: How does Vanilla Ice get “ninja” from anyone in the room right now?

01.31.18: That’s because you may have suffocated them by spraying CO2 into their lungs Mikey. They might actually be dead.

01.13.45: The choreography in this scene is pretty cool.

01.14.02: The subtitles just informed me this move is called the Wishbone Crunch. I always wondered what he was saying.

01.14.10: Poor Tatsu. He goes out like a bitch again.

01.15.11: I don’t like the staging of this scene now. It’s lazy as it plays out like you’re watching a high school play.

01.15.46: And now Keno does his part as a plot device to get the ooze back into Perry’s hands.

01.15.47: (as Shredder) Okay… Give him plenty of time to run up here and surprise me even though I’m a master martial artist.

01.16.20: And the Shredder gets thrown off his game again by Keno’s bumbling around.

01.16.37: I wonder how the actor playing Shredder feels about not getting to show off his martial arts skills as he did in the last one?

01.16.40: The damsel in distress is spastically changing her attention in this scene.

01.16.51: By the way club people, there’s still a blood thirsty wolf running around in here.

01.17.27: Oh! The hand from the landfill was foreshadowing this shot!

01.17.32: Even though the Super Shredder costume doesn’t make any sense, it’s still BADASS.

01.17.33: Okay, so if the metal in Shredder’s armor can mutate with him, why doesn’t the metal in the canisters mutate too?

01.17.44: Super Shredder is played by wrestling star Kevin Nash, who I discovered via IMDb, shares my birthday plus 23 years.

01.18.23: Your clothes can mutate to give you painted on muscles too.

01.21.02: That newspaper was printed awfully fast! And when did they pose for that photo?

01.21.19: And that does it for Ninja Turtles 2. I know it probably doesn’t sound like it, but I do have fun watching this movie. Watching it takes me back to the best parts of my youth. I hope reading this was at least informative, if not funny. Thanks for watching with me! See you at the next one! And GO NINJA! GO NINJA! GO!!!

About the Author:

His earliest memory of nerdiness is discovering the Star Trek motion pictures when his parents (presumably) accidentally rented the first one on laser disc. He attended his first convention at the age of 12 and has been to many Star Trek conventions since, as well as SDCC, NYCC, and E3 twice. He’s also an avid TMNT fan who has each of the first four issues of the original comic book signed by Eastman AND Laird. Brad also favors Batman and loves Nintendo so much he still plays his Virtual Boy from time-to-time. When he’s not immersed in nerd media, he’s out competing at bar trivia or working on several creative projects like podcasting, producing short films, publishing books, and drawing cartoons. His favorite film of all-time is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie and with over 600 DVD’s and blu-rays in his collection, Brad is surely a Reel Nerd.
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