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Ninja Turtles: Coming Out of Their Shells

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In 1990 the Ninja Turtles decided that they had accomplished enough in the field of being ninjas and needed to expand. So they branched out into the related practice of being rock stars. Some might question this decision. Being a rock star has very little to do with being a ninja hero. The turtles lacked thumbs, and playing instruments is hard to do without thumbs. Even the practicality of getting instruments would be an issue. Very rarely are working synthesizers thrown down manholes. On the other side being a rock star is probably the only thing cooler then being a ninja who fights evil so fuck practicality. Throw up the devil horns and bang your head because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are Coming Out of Their Shells live at Radio City Music Hall

Today I am going to review the concert. I’m not going to half ass things either. I’m not going to be some pansy and torrent the footage, or even buy the VHS tape off of Ebay. I’m reviewing the raw concert footage as seen live when I was six when my parents ordered this off of pay per view. That’s right, I saw the concert on live. Feel free to be totally jealous right now. We had a party at my house to watch it with guests and snacks and everything. What I’m getting at is that the concert is unedited save for being burned to dvd so you should be expecting all the dirty back stage going on and for the screen caps to be really blurry.

To pad out the pay per view they have about nine hours (Not really, I’m just over exaggerating for comedic effect. This is a common internet humor technique for the budding comedy writers out there) of Channel 6 News coverage of the event with Kip Reading and April O’Neil, played by actors who look nothing like the characters. April doesn’t even have a yellow jumpsuit on.

Kip claims the concert is the biggest story of his career, which is probably a bit of a hyperbole. Sure mutants performing poppy rock music is pretty crazy, but Shredder and Krang do attack New York with either mutants or robots on average of once a week. Frankly this should be relegated to the lighter side story at the end of the news, right after the weather.

Kip says that during the concert there is going to be dance moves that will leave Paula Abdul green with envy. Paula Abdul isn’t green because she is jealous, she is green due to drinking too many alcoholic beverages HEY-OH!!!

Kip also comments on how the crowd is going nuts. Looks to me like they’re quitly filing into their seats but my tape was 14 years old when I got it put on dvd so I can barely hear anything over the cracking of the video barely trying to play.

Kip keeps talking. Nobody is listening. Apparently Kip realized this would be the case because he I wouldn’t think some of the things he is saying were in the script. Take this quote:

“We’re going to talk to some of the turtles groupies, all these people out here who have been hanging about for hours just waiting for a chance to get a piece their heroes. Well their going to get more then just a peace during this two hour show they’re going to get a whole eye full.”

Dude, too dirty. Kids are watching.

Additional proof that Kip is working without a script: When he starts talking about how heads of state are not only there but have gone backstage to thank the turtles for all that they have done for children. Okay, right Kip, that certainly sounds plausible.

We transition to the stage where April O’Neil is working over the crowd with all the charisma of an elementary school teacher. She tells the kids the turtles are so excited to be there that they want the kids to all yell something out their favorite pizza. I think. Its hard to hear.

The editor makes the mistake of using a camera behind April at one point. We see that approximately half the seats are empty. Nothing like keeping up the illusion that this concert is a huge deal right? Why would they use that shot when they could use shots that make is easier for me to pretend people actually attended this thing?

April starts a contest between the two sides of the auditorium to see who can yell the loudest, I’m sure to the parent’s delight. I wonder how much money they could have made if they sold liqueur at the concession stand.

Ha ha ha, looking good their buddy.

Hang loose.

April plugs Pizza Hut and goes on to talk about Turtlemania. She says Coming out of There Shells went platinum in only two weeks. If that is true then I bet there were a lot of bitter independent musicians that month. April talks about some other stuff I can’t catch because my sound is snapping like no other. It sounds like a DJ is scratching fat beats in my DVD-drive.

They show some previously filmed footage of April talking to kids about the turtles. One girl says she like Leonardo just because. Then the coolest looking black kid ever says Donatello is his favorite because Donatello has a stick and can beat everybody else with it. I’m going to pretend that black people loving Donatello is a stereotype. It makes sense, his bandana is the color of grape soda.

This segment goes on forever. I went to the kitchen to get a bowl of ice cream and it was still going on when I returned that’s how long it went on, and I had a lot of ice cream so it took a while to scoop it all.

After that part we find out that some home footage of the turtles writing a song has been found. Kip quickly throws in a plug for the major motion picture and then we get to see the found footage.

The story is that Raphael and Michelangelo were writing a song while Donatello secretly taped them. Kind of creepy there Don.

Ralph of course is writing the lyrics on a Pizza Hut box. Do you want to buy Pizza Hut yet? PIZZA HUT!!!

Just for the record the acoustic version of Out of Our Shells is really catchy

We go back to April who is gushing about the video. The kids look bored. They probably didn’t actually get to see it. It probably would have cost too much to have a TV sitting there to show this on so the kids just had to wait until we the viewers at home finished watching the super awesome secret footage. April says never before has a rock band been taped performing live in Radio City Music Hall. I’m guess that won’t change after tonight.

He’s picking it! He’s picking his nose!

Kip is going to give us a little bit of the turtle’s musical history. 6 year old Johnny is getting anxious at this point. In 15 minutes I’ve had about 30 seconds worth of turtles and that was mostly shot from behind them. I want more turtles damn it and I want to see their faces!

The story is that Ralph and Mike were waiting for a pizza when they started banging on pipes and somehow that’s why they have a band. Donatello made specialized instruments that could be played with three fingers. Kip says that what the turtles can do with those three fingers is amazing. I’m sure it is Kip.

Donatello also created a feature that allows the turtles to put down the instruments for a few minutes and dance around. This invention is called a tape recorder.

Michelangelo plays lead guitar. Kip tells us it has three strings and is tuned to E. I guess this means they won’t be playing Cinnamon Girl.

Leonardo plays a one string base. If they can play a guitar with three strings then why doesn’t the base have three strings? That’s how many its suppose to have.

Raphael plays a drum set that has an automatic saxophone. I don’t know what that’s even suppose to mean.

Donatello has a synthesizer that looks like an organ

In fact I’m pretty sure that’s the one Neil Young used during his unplugged concert to play Like a Hurricane.

After the explanation of the instruments we go to April who is standing outside of the Turtles locker room. They have a little back and forth through the door when the lights go out. I have to hand it to them, they are building up the turtle’s appearance pretty well. Its been 20 minutes and I’ll we’ve seen is a bit of them from behind and a distance. What do they look like? I need to know! Come on, show us!

When the lights come on the turtles have already left the locker room and all we see is a glimpse of Raphael going down some stairs. Oh man, even more anticipation.

The concert begins as the turtles come out of the floor. Like, literally as they come out of the floor the music is already playing. The turtles as you can see are wearing costumes. Jean jackets and long sleeve shirts tied around their wastes. Like a grunge band, but with a lot of glitter.

They’re playing Coming Out of Our Shells which frankly is a better song then it deserves to be. It sounds like the kind of song a good but unappreciated band would make when they get sick of never having a hit and just decide to sell.

There’s some banter between songs. Something about the TV screens on the sides of the stage. I don’t know what its about. Then they talk about how Splinter told them that if they can do more good with song then they should go for it and instruments are more fun then ninja weapons anyways. Ninja Turtles always had a weird antiviolence message. Sure they solved all their problems with karate, but kids at home shouldn’t be violent. Violence is wrong.

The next song has a clear Paul Simon vibe to it. Not any part of Paul Simon that is good, but the part where he had black people chanting in the back of his songs. Also the song begins with Splinter talking about some Zen bullshit. The sound quality isn’t good enough for me to figure out what he is saying. Something about weapons being unable to do as much good as music.

Then, wait, the song is over. I guess that was it. Okay then.

The next real song is Pizza Power. Not much I can say about the song. Its pretty much what a song called Pizza Power sung by mutant turtles is going to sound like. Ralph sings it, which means he dances around instead of playing drums. This might seem fake, but the drums in this song are clearly synthesized so he could realistically be away from his instrument.

Then break dancing pizza men come on stage. This is the greatest concert ever.

Splinter isn’t looking good. He does a song. It sucks balls.

The song is oddly interrupted by Shredder and Baxter Stockman. Thank god. I’m glad something stopped that song.

[Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3] >>