10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014

May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014


Every summer, as the big movies approach, I always feel like the following summer won’t stack up. In 2012, we got the ultimate superhero team up as Marvel unleashed The Avengers. Christopher Nolan completed his legendary Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. Spider-Man returned to the big screen with a completely new look. How would 2013 top that?

How about Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim & The Wolverine?

COUNTDOWN | Top 10 Summer Movies 2013

Now that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has kicked off with Iron Man 3, I think it’s time to look ahead and see what’s coming. Here are 10 big 2014 summer movies to look forward to:


Tom Cruise returns to science fiction after saving the world in 2012’s Oblivion.  All You Need Is Kill is based on a novel of the same name by Hiroshi Sakurazaka with illustrations by Yoshitoshi ABe.  Here is a brief plot description from Amazon.com:

“There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death?”

Sounds wonderfully strange.

REVIEW | Oblivion, Prometheus, Moon & Independence Day

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


I loved Gareth Edwards ‘Monster’.  Now he gets to make the mother of all monster movies (with respect to Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.)  Godzilla is THE monster.  Hopefully they can erase the memory of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 adaptation starring…  Mathew Broderick.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

REVIEW | A Monster amount of character


Speaking of erasing bad memories… Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favorite surprises of 2011.  It was a brilliant reboot that made me forget all about Tim Burton’s attempt.  This was Ceasar’s story and I loved his story.  Andy Serkis gave us one of the best motion capture performances of all time.  I can’t wait to see what the apes have planned for us in 2014.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

REVIEW | Rise of the Planet of the Apes


Rumor has it, Jason Statham will join the cast for the seventh installment as a villain.  This time, Saw alum James Wan takes over for director Justin Lin.  This series has seen unprecedented longevity and now boasts a cast that may rival The Expendables by Fast 9.  Will see if a new director can keep things fresh for Dom and his team.

XTRA | Fast Five is Rock Solid


I loved the first Transformers but I really hated the sequel Revenge of the Fallen.  The third installment was a return to form but now all bets are off.  Michael Bay is currently redesigning Autobots and Decepticons.  He’s bringing in an entirely new cast including Pain & Gain‘s Mark Walberg.

XTRA | Big Blockbuster Blogging: My first Transformers 4

REVIEW | Transformers Dark of the Moon?  Apology accepted Michael Bay

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will certainly get a big boost when Captain America returns to the big screen.  I say that because the film will feature many prominent members of S.H.E.I.L.D.  The organization was one of the main ways Marvel connected their films from Phase One.  S.H.I.E.L.D was absent from Iron Man 3 and more than likely won’t be a major part of Thor: The Dark World either.  This may be the film that updates us on the universe as a whole as well as Captain America’s adjustment to the modern world.

Note: This isn’t technically a summer movie with an April release date but lets face it…  It is.

COUNTDOWN | Top 10 Moments: Marvel’s The Avengers

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man.  The reboot managed to retell Peter Parker’s origin story without feeling like a shot for shot remake.  Andrew Garfield IS Spider-Man now.  His next challenge?  How about Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as Rhino?  Not too mention the first appearances of Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn and his famous father Norman.

This has all the makings of a fantastic summer movie.

XTRA | Larger Than Life Movie Villains Revealed!

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


When Brett Ratner created X-Men: The Last Stand…  He literally destroyed the series.  Major characters were killed off and the whole thing felt like a rushed mess.  When you do that, it’s pretty difficult to create a sequel.  What did they do?  They brought in Matthew Vaughn to create a prequel.  The result was X-Men: First Class.  A fantastic movie that reminded us that the X-Men franchise has a lot left to give.

I don’t think anyone saw Bryan Singer returning for the follow up.  Regardless, the man who brought the X-Men to life before Ratner killed them all is back!  Now we get to see mutants from the past and present in one giant movie.  It may not be as big as The Avengers but this movie will definitely flex it’s Superhero muscle.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


I still can’t believe this movie is happening.  I grew up with Ninja Turtles.  I had the action figures, the bed sheets, the Halloween costumes…  You name it.  I absolutely love the movies as well. (The first two at least.)  The thought of seeing the Turtles in a new live action movie with TODAY’S technology is thrilling to say the least.  The child in me is smiling.  I’ll be there on opening day.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

XTRA | Hey! Jonathan Liebesman!  How about some Ninja Turtles Concept Art!

XTRA | Why the new Ninja Turtles movie is off to a great start

XTRA | Awesome Ninja Turtles Fan Art


Who are The Guardians of the Galaxy?  I struggled putting this above Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but it’s the unknown that intrigues me.  What does Marvel have up it’s sleeve?  No doubt this film will set the stage for The Avengers 2 and the villain Thanos.  Big superhero movies are normally reserved for well known franchises.  This is definitely a risk but I’m on board.  I love the idea of a Marvel movie set in space with characters I know nothing about.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

XTRA | I’m glad I don’t know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy

COUNTDOWN | Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I’m looking forward to.

XTRA | Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

Which Summer movie are you excited for?

Awesome Ninja Turtle Fan Art

April 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

Amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan Art...  Amazing!


It’s no secret that I’m slightly pumped for the new Ninja Turtles movie currently in development.  Over the last few weeks, I think I’ve covered the Ninja Turtles more than any other franchise in the history of this blog.

XTRA | Why The New Ninja Turtles Movie Is Off To A Great Start

XTRA | Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes

As I scoured the web for information on the new live action film, I came across hundreds of incredible fan art.  Dammit I wish I could draw!  I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to some extremely talented artists out there.

When searching for Ninja Turtles fan art, you have to start with David Rapoza.

Amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan Art...  Amazing!

His collection of Ninja Turtles fan art has been featured on hundreds of sites around the world.  I’m actually extremely late to the show but holy crap it’s impressive.

Amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan Art...  Amazing!

Another frequent image I came across in my travels was created by Nebezial and hosted at DeviantArt.

Amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan Art...  Amazing!

Further investigation revealed this piece featuring featuring Shredder & Krang by Nebezial.  Wow.

Amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Art

Here is a brilliant image by srmraider189:

Amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan Art...  Amazing!

How cool is this image of Super Shredder by Vassago?

Amazing Ninja Turtle Fan Art...  Amazing!

This could easily go on forever but I just wanted to share a few.  So many other sites out there have featured Ninja Turtles fan art in the past.  I’ve included a couple great collections for your viewing pleasure.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – A Selection of 20 Awesome Fan Art

Amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan Art

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Awesome Fan Art

Epic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Art

Dawn of the Ninja Fan Art

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Art


Is this the world’s biggest Ninja Turtles Fan?


XTRA | Storyboarding When You Can’t Draw

XTRA | Confessions of a Wannabe Animator

XTRA | The Non-Artists Guide To Photoshop Addiction

Why The New Ninja Turtles Movie Is Off To A Great Start

March 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

ninja turtles logo 2013 new movie


Here’s the thing…  Pitching a new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie for today’s audiences is not an easy task.  Not only does it have to connect to new fans but it also has to please the millions of passionate TMNT fans who have been waiting years for a reboot.  Especially with all the technological advances filmmakers have access to now that they didn’t have in 1990.

When Michael Bay took over the franchise, people were skeptical but that’s what Michael Bay haters do.  I for one, enjoy Michael Bay movies.  They aren’t Oscar contenders but 2 hours of action, explosions, battles and laughs is time well spent if you ask me.

Yes, people groaned but then he hired Jonathan Liebesman to helm the film and slapped a release date of December 25th, 2013.  The haters were silenced.  Michael Bay was bringing the Turtles back!

Why The New Ninja Turtles Movie Is Off To A Great Start | 2013 Michael Bay

Ahem…  Then he screwed it all up by telling the world his Turtles were from an alien race.  Or did he?

The fallout that ensued after his comments has been fascinating to follow but personally, I think the filmmakers behind the movie are thrilled with the response.  It made national news!  It rocked Twitter!  People everywhere were debating every syllable of that sentence.  People were angry and frustrated while others were intrigued and curious.

Regardless of what side of the line you stand on, people are talking.  The hype for this movie will now be massive as details emerge.  The last few weeks probably proved to the studio that a new Turtles movie was a good idea.

Now lets address the big ol’ alien elephant in the room…

Why The New Ninja Turtles Movie Is Off To A Great Start | 2013 Michael Bay

Mutant Alien Ninjas…

Alien ooze? A planet full of talking Turtles?  Mis-used Alien technology?  Michael Bay did follow up by stating the mythology we all know and love remains in tact. It was simply expanded upon.  That could mean anything.  Did they change the origin to give them a reason to include Krang in the mix?

Why The New Ninja Turtles Movie Is Off To A Great Start | 2013 Michael Bay

I think the Ooze is the Alien here.  I just don’t see a planet full of giant turtles especially because they still have to explain Splinter somehow.  Regardless, even the people who are angry about the ‘changes’ are going to be following this movie all the way up until it’s release.

Michael Bay and Co. know people are watching and it’s up to them to turn the doubters around.  How?

1. The design of the turtles.  Will they be suits or motion capture?  Combination of both?  What will they look like?

2. The Villain.  Shredder is pretty much a guarantee.  (Isn’t it?) With Shredder comes foot soldiers but what about the aforementioned Krang?

3. The Style & Tone.  Will this be Batman Begins with Ninja Turtles?  Dark and gritty?  Is that a world where Michelangelo can still scream ‘Cowabunga’?  How will they achieve that balance?  I think the tone of the 1990 original was spot on.

4. Stills, Trailers & Viral Content.  This one is tricky.  Until we get more clarification on the ‘alien’ comment, people are going to be skeptical but skeptics can always be turned if you WOW them.

5. Be true to the mythology.  People want The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I really think that’s exactly what we are going to get.  The most encouraging comments I’ve heard through all of this came from the director himself:

“Look, it’s so funny—if everyone was such a die-hard fan, they would know that the TCRI canisters where the ooze comes from.  That is alien ooze.  Now I’m not saying what Michael said is exactly what the movie is, because we’re sitting in a room now figuring everything out.  So we don’t know, but we are like Michael said: we’re expanding it, and the expansion will be true to the mythology.  I promise you: fans will love it.

Whatever mythology we’re building on or expanding is coming from that guy, Kevin Eastman’s head, who created the Turtles in the first place.  And so everything will tie in with the mythology; fans will be extremely excited with what we’re coming up with.  A lot of it is stuff he’s wanted to do for a long time, but just hasn’t had the opportunity because now we have the budget and things on this film to expand it in the right way.  And so, I’m happy that everyone is extremely passionate, and they will not be disappointed.  It’s all coming from the best possible place for this franchise.

We’re definitely into the action, but for me what’s more important than that is that it’s a story about brotherhood and friendship and responsibility.  Right now, I’m with the characters because those are what attracted me to the movie.  They’re the best characters I’ll have had a chance to deal with.” (Jonathan Liebesman)

More recently, Michael Bay defended the project while commenting on the title being shortened to Ninja Turtles:

“Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE’S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.”

Why The New Ninja Turtles Movie Is Off To A Great Start | 2013 Michael Bay

Below is a collection of links that chronicles the ‘controversy’ surrounding the film.  They are full of insight, opinions and features from around the web.


Michael Bay talks Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by stuffwelike

Yup…  He said it…  Alien Race.

/FILM | Michael Bay Says the New ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Are Aliens

COLLIDER | Michael Bay Says the Turtles in New TMNT Movie Will Be Aliens, Not Mutants

SCREEN RANT | Michael Bay Responds to ‘TMNT’ Alien Controversy & Villain Rumors

FIRST SHOWING | (KRANG?) New ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Movie Makes Our Heroes Aliens?


/FILM | Michael Bay to TNMT Fans: “Chill”

COLLIDER | Michael Bay Responds to Fan Outrage over “Alien Race” TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES


IGN | Turtles Director Talks Alien Hubbub

/FILM | ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Co-Creator Tells Fans to Give Michael Bay a Chance

/FILM | Other ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Co-Creator Says Michael Bay’s Take is “Awesome”

JOBLO | Director Jonathan Liebesman weighs in on this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles business

THE GUARDIAN | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles latest! Original star voices support for remake


IGN | Hero Worship: The TMNT Controversy

ANOMALOUS MATERIAL | 10 Alternate Michael Bay Remakes Featuring Aliens

MOVIE LINE | Can We Please Not Have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Culture War?






Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes

Why Ninja Turtles Made Me Cry

Wouldn’t It Be Awesome If Ninja Turtles 2 Featured Bebop & Rocksteady?

10 Flicks: Movies That Make Me Hungry

All Time Best: Let’s Do This! Movie Moment

Tatsu: The All Time Best Movie Henchman

Rainy Sundays: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Chronicle, Action Figures & The Super Power Dream

Why The New Ninja Turtles Movie Is Off To A Great Start | 2013 Michael Bay


I’m not saying the alien comment isn’t at least a little concerning.  I grew up with the Ninja Turtles and I don’t want to see their story changed.  But tons of film adaptations have changed major elements from the source material that is readily accepted now.  For example, the age of the Hobbits in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Some people were extremely angry.  (Some probably still are) But they made those changes while staying true to J.R.R Tolkien’s work and people love those films.  Even the doubters are anxiously awaiting the new Hobbit films in 2012 and 2013.

Sometimes change is good.  I think this is a wait and see situation.  No matter what, the new movie is meant to be successful they aren’t out to screw it up on purpose.  I can’t wait to see what the new turtles will look like.  I can’t wait to find out more about the filmmaker’s vision for the franchise.

I’m looking forward to a brand new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie!

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie 2013

Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes

February 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes | 1990

The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remains one of my favorite movies of all time. 

I grew up surrounded by turtle action figures, cartoons, comics and movies.  Seeing them on the big screen was unlike anything I had ever seen and, like many in my generation, I’ve been quoting the film ever since.

I suppose, this is basically a collection of Michelangelo’s best lines but others snuck in there as well.

10. “Don’t know, but I bet it never has to look for a can-opener” Michelangelo

… Donatello’s laugh gets me every time in this clip.


9. “Ninja.  Vanish.” Tatsu

The runner up for this spot was Tatsu’s “aaaaaaaaatack!”

Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes

XTRA | All Time Best: Movie Henchmen

8. “Cricket? Nobody understands cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket!” Raphael

Raphael takes on Wayne Gretzky on steroids in one of the film’s most memorable exchanges.  Keep reading for more on this scene.

Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes | 1990

7. “Brrrrrrrweeeeon.  Let’s go for it!” Michelangelo

Who doesn’t get that excited when pizza is mentioned?  … Did I spell noise that right?

XTRA | All Time Best: Let’s Do This Movie Moment

6. “Here goes Gak-Face” Donatello

Camel breath, elf lips, dome head…

5. “Pizza dude’s got 30 seconds…” Michelangelo

Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes | 1990

XTRA | Top 10 Movies That Make Me Hungry

4. “The class is pain 101…  Your instructor is Casey Jones” Casey Jones

Casey Jones’ battle with Raf is easily one of the most quoted scenes in the film.

3. “A fellow chucker eh?” Michelangelo

Keep practicing!  I think it’s hilarious how impressed the foot soldier is after Michelangelo’s first routine.

2. “Wise men say forgiveness is divine but never pay full price for late pizza.” Michelangelo

1. “Pork rind?  …  Pork rind” Michelangelo & Donatello

XTRA | Why Ninja Turtles Made Me Cry.

Here is my favorite moment from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze.

Why Ninja Turtles Made Me Cry

September 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

You're two minutes late dude

XTRA | Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes

When I first started this blog in 2009, it was called ‘After Then and Before Now’ and called 17west.ca home. 

The blog has a new home and a new name (The Athletic Nerd) but the content is very similar.  (There’s just more of it now.)  When I moved the blog, the plan was to transfer all the existing posts over to the new format.  One of them was called…



That fearsome fighting team dominated my life for years.  I had all the action figures, vehicles, books, stickers, bed sheets and more.  I still have a giant Rafael action figure in a box somewhere in my apartment.  I should seriously look into finding the pictures of me dressed up as Raf for Halloween.  I loved the Ninja Turtles.  You can imagine how I felt when I was heading to the theater. This is what I love about films.  You can truly become immersed in a world that could never exist. (Or can it? I’m sure they are experimenting with ooze in a sewer somewhere.)  Whenever you get that involved in a story it’s only natural for you to become attached to the characters.

Let’s get back to the heroes in a half shell.  I’m in the theater and I’m totally wrapped up in the film.  (I’m talking about the first outstanding motion picture experience.)  There is a scene where the turtles gather around a fire and Splinter appears before them.  He offers some heartfelt words of wisdom to his sons.  Just seeing them cry got to me.

“I love you all, my sons…” Says a ghostly Splinter.

Are you kidding me?  What normal kid from my generation didn’t get a little choked up during that scene? I lost it.  I don’t even feel bad about it.  Maybe I’m alone but to date that is the only scene in the history of cinema that made me cry.  (Note: This statistic is based on theater viewings only.  There have been other instances that I am not as comfortable admitting to.)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie 1990 Splinter

It’s every filmmaker’s goal to reach audiences in some way.  Whether it is to make them laugh, cry or scare them until they cry, there is always a plan.  When it comes to screenwriting, I try to be mindful of that fact and work as hard as I can to create the same attachment in my stories.  There’s no guarantee it works every time but the effort remains.  It’s little details that count.  Kind of makes me wonder if the filmmakers sat around laughing about the kids destined to cry during that scene…  Guilty.

PS: I was SEVEN cut me some slack.

Why Ninja Turtles Made Me Cry | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie 1990