Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Blu-ray)

September 9, 2016 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

I admit to being more than a little disappointed by this past summer’s crop of movies. Very few of them really stand out as anything more than “Meh” in my book. There were a few solid entries here and there, but this definitely won’t be a summer season worth remembering. With all that being said, one film that did take me by surprise was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Not only does it bring back the fun element, but it also surpasses its 2014 predecessor. It is indeed a sequel that is better than the original. For some that might’ve not been much of a task at all, but it simply offers a good time and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has the common curtesy to ask that of the audience, either. I actually did enjoy the previous entry, but felt it could and should have been much more. They mastered it this time. We’re even given fan favorites Bebop and Rocksteady. Of course the four turtles are all here. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. We begin with them sneaking their way into the inside of the dome to watch a basketball game. Then we’re thrown almost immediately into the action. The film wastes little time with filler, and instead gets right into the mayhem.

With the evil Shredder (Brian Tee) caught and being transferred to prison, the turtles believe their beloved city to be safe again. That is until an escape attempt that while successful, still lands Shredder in another dimension. Shredder then works with a brilliant scientist, Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) to transform goofball criminals Bebop and Rocksteady into creatures. The film has a lot of fun with these characters, but we also get the return of April O’Neil (Megan Fox). I realize that typing her very name will have many people moaning, but I think she does a capable job here. There’s also Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) and Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett). I admit that a subplot about him taking credit for taking down Shredder previously did get old after a while. Still, that’s a minor nitpick in what is an otherwise fun, summer flick. The plot is simple and the action and characters are all a lot of fun. Once again things come down to the turtles having to save their city, but the action sequences are well staged, and the film maintains the lightheartedness throughout. I hope the third entry continues on this trend and these films might only get better as they progress.

Video: How’s it look?

In one word? Awesome, but that was to be expected with such a big summer flick. The effects are equally impressive at home, and the details remained consistently strong as well. The little specks on the turtles show up nicely too. Set in a busy city means we get plenty to look at in several scenes. This means the background details should be sharp as well and indeed they are. All in all, fans will be delighted that the film comes to HD looking awesome. The image is AVC encoded with a 2.40:1 ratio.

Audio: How’s it sound?

We get a rocking Dolby Atmos track that will keep your system busy for a couple of hours and there’s a nearly equally robust Dolby TrueHD for those that lack the Atmos capability. From the opening moment to the closing credits, there’s almost always something happening that keeps the track active. Vocals were crisp throughout and all the channels stayed active. Even if you’re dowmixing and don’t have a 7.1 setup, you won’t be disappointed here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • We Are Family – We get a brief chat with the actors who portray the turtles as well as some characterizations, back story and so forth.
  • Whoa! Expanding the Turtleverse – In case you missed it…we get a look at what’s happened since the last Turtles movie. And evidently Megan Fox has not gotten unattractive.
  • House Party – Ever wanted to see inside the Turtles’ home? No? Well too bad, because that’s what this is.
  • It’s Tricky: Inside the Van – Ever wanted a tour of the Turtles’ van? No? Well too bad, because that’s what this is.
  • ILM: The Effets Beneath the Shell – An all too brief look at some of the CGI and their progression for a couple of scenes.
  • Did You Catch That? Turtle Eggs! – I honestly don’t understand the need to hide a feature on a disc only to have another feature telling you where to find it.
  • Deleted Scenes – Three total.

The Bottom Line

The rare sequel that improves on the original. Shadows gets much right. The pizza loving turtles are all back, and the film was clearly made for the fans. Bebop and Rocksteady are a lot of fun here, and there’s action aplenty as well. We’re also treated to a strong villain and the plot is simple, but strong enough to maintain its running time. Recommended.

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