Assuming you were born around 1983 and that your social circle in the early grammar school years consisted of a rigidly impermeable foursome, we can conclude indisputably that you spent a good deal of your time playing Ninja Turtles. Unlike other pop culture-inspired imagination games, Ninja Turtles never allowed for turn taking as far as the central roles were concerned. Maybe you’d alternate occupancy of Luke, Han, and Chewy when playing Star Wars, or switch off between Margaret and Jimmy for games of Liquid Sky. But when it came to Ninja Turtles, the margins were set before recess even began: you were either the leader, the tough one, the smart one, or the goofball. Without exception.
But are such stark roles present in any other pop culture phenomena? We’d have to imagine so. As such, we sought to our favorite foursomes from the entertainment world and took a stab at assigning them their respective Ninja Turtles.
LeonardoJerry, the leader (who, incidentally, derives all of his moral fiber from the noble Superman)
RaphaelGeorge, the truly "dark and disturbed" member of the group
DonatelloElaine, the intellectual — she did graduate from Tufts (her safety school), and she scored a 151 on an I.Q. test
MichelangeloKramer, the hipster dufus
THE HOGWARTS HOUSES
LeonardoGryffindor, house of the daring and noble
RaphaelSlytherin, house of the severe and ambitious
DonatelloRavenclaw, house of the wry and intellectual
MichelangeloHufflepuff, house of the spirited and kind
SEX AND THE CITY
LeonardoCarrie, the glue, the narrator and the center of everyone's attention
RaphaelMiranda, stubborn and cynical enough to walk away from the love of her life (twice!)
DonatelloCharlotte, the conservative, overachieving Ivy League grad obsessed with everything appearing perfect
MichelangeloSamantha, who has never passed up a chance to see and be seen
United Artist via Everett Collection
LeonardoPaul: "Think globally, act locally."
RaphaelJohn: "Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground."
DonatelloGeorge: "When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there."
MichelangeloRingo: "Peace and love. Peace and love."
LeonardoCaptain America, the wholesome, morally didactic good guy
RaphaelThe Hulk, the "muscle" who is tortured by his own demons
DonatelloIron Man, the tech genius who never hesitates to let his teammates know how much smarter he is than they are
MichelangeloThor, who's just kind of an idiot
LeonardoDawson, proving that having your name in the title doesn't save you from being the biggest buzzkill
RaphaelPacey, the rebellious, wise-cracking screw up of your teenage dreams
DonatelloJoey, smart - she went to Worthington! - sweet, and innocent, and always likely to end up in a bad situation
MichelangeloJen, the reformed party girl with a heart of gold and a chip on her shoulder
LeonardoMeg, the oldest sister and de facto head of the household
RaphaelJo, strong-willed and at odds with her siblings (and herself)
DonatelloBeth, who is shy, wise, and musically adept
MichelangeloAmy, the li'l one with the penchant for art
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
LeonardoRay, the heart and soul of the group
RaphaelPeter Venkman, the rebel who plays by his own rules (and forces everyone else to accommodate)
DonatelloEgon Spengler, the smartest in a team of scientists
MichelangeloWinston, who is also there
THE MT. RUSHMORE PRESIDENTS
LeonardoGeorge Washington, the diplomat who kicked off American democracy
RaphaelAbraham Lincoln, the agonizingly depressed hero who took to the front lines
DonatelloThomas Jefferson, the braniac wordsmith who wrote the Declaration of Independence
MichelangeloTheodore Roosevelt, the loon who used to fight bears and whatnot
LeonardoBlanche, the open-minded, creative sort
RaphaelSophia, a master of caustic wit
DonatelloDorothy, the smartest of the lot
MichelangeloRose, the ditz
THE FACTS OF LIFE
LeonardoBlair, who was rich and blond, so she was the natural choice for the central role in an '80s sitcom
RaphaelJo, who wears a leather jacket
DonatelloNatalie, who basically acts like she's 40 at age 15
MichelangeloTootie, who wears rollerskates all the time
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
LeonardoSue Storm, the levelheaded voice of reason
RaphaelThe Thing, who is, as one might expect, pretty pissed about being a giant rock
DonatelloMr. Fantastic, the hyper-intellectual
MichelangeloJohnny Storm, the jag who's always jumping around and lighting stuff on fire, because he thinks it's cool
STAND BY ME
LeonardoGordie, the courageous leader
RaphaelChris, the young punk who has stolen his share of milk money
DonatelloVern, the timid perpetual bullying victim
MichelangeloTeddy, the kooky thrill-seeker
LeonardoHannah, who at the very least sees herself as a well-adjusted leader of mankind
RaphaelJessa, the alleged loose cannon who is riddled with dark passengers
DonatelloMarnie, the uptight would-be sophisticate who tries to manufacture life experience by the book
MichelangeloShoshanna, the young nutter butter who garners the least respect
LeonardoReggie Rocket, the smart, even-tempered overachiever
RaphaelOtto Rocket, the troublesome bad boy
DonatelloSam Dullard, the awkward intellectual
MichelangeloTwister Rodriguez, the idiot comic relief
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
LeonardoCady Heron, the acceptable human being
RaphaelRegina George, the villainous upstart
DonatelloGretchen Wieners, kind of just by default
MichelangeloKaren Smith... see "Thor"
LeonardoVinnie Barbarino, the boring (albeit charming) leader
RaphaelJuan Epstein, the tough guy with whom everybody knows not to mess
DonatelloArnold Horshach, the dorky dweeb
MichelangeloBoom Boom Washington, the loudmouthed goofball
A special thanks to writers Angie Han (an easygoing Michelangelo type) and Rudie Obias (a total Raphael, with respect) for helping to mastermind this piece, and to everyone else who contributed their varied expertise to the cause.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter |Follow @julesemm | Follow @Hollywood_com
Fun Size may be the only production from kid-centric studio Nickelodeon to also feature underage drinking (complete with red solo cups) and boob groping. The murky demographic for the movie ends up hurting the well-intentioned Halloween flick — it's not quite suitable for the young ones nor is it funny or wild enough for the Gossip Girl crowd which director Josh Schwartz (creator of the show) knows well. Instead we get a floundering trick or treat adventure that reduces the colorful twisted holiday to a meandering situational comedy.
Nick TV grad Victoria Justice (Victorious) stars as Wren a high school "geek" who finds herself unable to bag the guy of her dreams (who adores her) but finds a glimmer of hope in the big cool kids' Halloween party. Ready for a night out with her best friend April (Jane Levy) Wren thinks life is finally going her way until her Mom (Chelsea Handler) sticks her with her troublemaking little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) for the night. If chaperoning Albert wasn't already the worst thing in the world Wren finds herself in an even bigger dilemma when her brother wanders off into his own night of mischievous debauchery.
The "one crazy night" formula fits perfectly with Halloween but Fun Size struggles to find interesting material for its eclectic ensemble. Unlike many of the young actresses who have previously collaborated with Schwartz Justice seems unable to crack his voice and comedic style. She's too hip to too aware to play someone struggling with high school. The material doesn't serve her or Levy either; off-color jokes and a bizarre sense of entitlement turn them into two people you don't want to see succeed. Luckily for the audience during their sweeping search for Albert Wren and April cross paths with two true nerd-looking boys: Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osric Chau) who along with feeling like real teenagers actually land a joke or two.
Interwoven into this speedy adventure — Fun Size clocks in at a little over 75 minutes giving little time to flesh out our teenage heroes — is Albert's encounter with a convenience store clerk named Fuzzy. The adults of Fun Size see the ten-year-old Albert as a parter-in-crime rather than a lost little boy. Fuzzy recruits him for a raid on his ex-girlfriend's house; after running away he meets a lady who brings him to a nightclub. At one point a sleazebag kidnaps Albert and locks him in his bedroom. If Fun Size were madcap it may all make sense. Instead things just happen — and it's not hilarious scary or even deranged.
Nick's '90s sitcom Pete & Pete created an amazing sense of weirdness and heart in its exploits of two teenage brothers. Anyone could watch and enjoy it. Fun Size has a beautiful look (the colors of Halloween are mesmerizing) and Schwartz as always has impeccable soundtrack tastes but when it comes to telling a story that feels both relatable and wonderfully weird — what Pete & Pete did so well — the movie falls flat. It's stereotype humor (the movie packs many a fat and gay joke) doesn't cut it — when paired to Nick's best efforts the movie lives up to the title: a bite-size portion of a bigger better cinematic sweet.
Like father, like son?
Tom Hanks paid his dues toiling in such lowbrow fare as Bachelor Party, The Man With One Red Shoe and Volunteers before morphing into the James Stewart of our age.
Colin Hanks seems intent on following the same path that his father took in the 1980s. His film resume includes supporting turns in two ignored high school-set comedies, the painstakingly mediocre Whatever It Takes and the surprisingly charming Get Over It.
For his first starring role, Hanks stars in yet another teen angst-ridden farce, Orange County. Ironically, at the helm of this messy MTV production is another Hollywood hopeful trying to escape the shadow of a famous father, Jake Kasdan. The son of director Lawrence Kasdan, of The Big Chill and Silverado fame, Jake Kasdan's previous directorial effort was the little-seen black comedy Zero Effect with Ben Stiller and Bill Pullman.
Hanks spends much of his time in Orange County tearing out his hair as a high school grad who throws down his surfboard to pursue his newfound dream of becoming a writer. All seems lost when Hanks fails to get into Stanford University, where he wants to study under an author whose writing inspires him to pick up pen and paper.
MTV continues to blitz its audience with promos for Orange County, but it's unlikely that the film's few genuinely funny scenes will be enough to help MTV score another hit on the scale of last January's extremely earnest Save the Last Dance ($91 million). Nor does it help that the likes of John Lithgow, Chevy Chase, Lily Tomlin, Catherine O'Hara and Garry Marshall are shamelessly squandered.
Hanks, whose stock rose after appearing in HBO's critically acclaimed miniseries Band of Brothers, is not the reason why Orange County should enjoy a modest opening of at least $10 million. The film's not-so secret weapon is Jack Black, whose Shallow Hal recently earned $68.8 million. Orange County will prove an interesting test of Black's newfound popularity. The ads place much prominence on Black, but he does not emerge as much of a comic presence until midway through Orange County, when Hanks and brother Black hit the road and head to Stanford University.
This week's sole new wide release, Orange County won't pose much of a threat to reigning champion The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. With $211.3 million through Wednesday, director Peter Jackson's fantasy epic is likely surpass Rush Hour 2's $226.1 million this weekend, to become New Line's biggest grossing film domestically. That alone justifies New Line giving Jackson $270 million and two years to film J.R.R. Tolkien's literary trilogy. This first chapter looks set to equal New Line's expenditure by its lonesome, and should cross $300 million with the assistance of a few Golden Globe wins and its likely Oscar nods.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring also will likely enjoy its last week at the top of the box office. Black Hawk Down, director Ridley Scott's bloody account of the U.S. soldiers under fire in Somalia in 1993, will go wide Jan. 18 after earning $558,812 in two weekends at a mere four theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
A Beautiful Mind hardly went to waste as the Russell Crowe drama capitalized on great reviews and a terrific $18.6 million in limited release during the holidays. The Ron Howard-directed biography of mentally ill mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. earned $16.5 million last weekend after expanding from 525 theaters to 1,853 theaters, and has $41.8 million through Wednesday. With little competition this weekend, A Beautiful Mind should reap another $13 million, laying down the foundations for a long and healthy run through the end of the Oscar season.
The same goes for The Royal Tenenbaums. Director Wes Anderson's dysfunctional family comedy expanded last weekend from 291 theaters to 751 theaters, with earnings jumping from $4.9 million to $8.5 million. Anderson should relish The Royal Tenenbaums's $22.9 million total through Wednesday, considering his last film, Rushmore, stalled at $17 million in 1998 despite excellent reviews.
Ali, though, looks less and less like an Oscar heavyweight with each passing day. The Muhammad Ali biography is proving no match for rivals A Beautiful Mind and The Royal Tenenbaums following its record $10.2 million Christmas Day opening. Its total through Wednesday is $50.8 million, with only the prospect of a potential Oscar nomination for Will Smith and the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend rush likely to push Ali to more than $70 million.
The first wide release of 2002 also ranks as the year's first flop. The oft-delayed Impostor, a sci-fi thriller based on a Phillip K. Dick novel, failed to crack the top 10 last weekend after taking a weak $3 million at 1,616 theaters.
Impostor's failure does not come as a surprise. Dimension originally scheduled the alien terrorist-themed Impostor for August 2000 before putting it on the shelf for almost 18 months. Still, Impostor's fate should seem all the more hurtful for director Gary Fleder, who expanded Impostor from a 30-minute segment of The Light Years Trilogy into a full-length feature at Dimension's request.
A handful of holiday holdovers continue to capture the nation's attention.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone--now Warner Bros. biggest grosser in the United State--became the first film since 1999's Star Wars: Episode 1-The Phantom Menace to make more than $300 million domestically. Harry Potter, with $301.3 million through Wednesday, now ranks as the 10th top-grossing film in the United States.
The apprentice wizard still has enough magic at his disposal to fly past The Lion King ($312.9 million), Return of the Jedi ($309.1 million) and Independence Day ($306.2 million) to capture the No. 7 spot. This should please director Chris Columbus, who recently saw Harry Potter supplant Home Alone ($285.8 million) as his top grosser.
Las Vegas remains under the control of Ocean's Eleven. The star-studded crime caper has $153.5 million through Tuesday. This could mark the first film from star George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh to steal off with $200 million.
The jump from Nickelodeon to movie theaters paid off for Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. The animated adventure soared past $63 million on Tuesday, with the smart pre-teen destined to make more than the last Nickelodeon spin-off, 2000's Rugrats in Paris ($76.5 million).
Despite its critical drubbing, Vanilla Sky resists falling too hard, too fast. Tom Cruise's star power can only explain why this bewildering remake of Open Your Eyes has $82.9 million through Wednesday. Still, after last weekend's modest $7.1 million haul, Vanilla Sky might not have the pull to become Cruise's ninth film to make more than $100 million.
Kate & Leopold looks set this weekend to become Meg Ryan's biggest hit since You've Got Mail posted $115.8 million in 1998. Not that this is much to crow about. The hackneyed time-traveling romance, co-starring Hugh Jackman, has a lowly $32 million through Wednesday. Ryan's 2000 releases, Hanging Up ($36 million) and Proof of Life ($32.5 million), did not do much to enhance her stature at the box office. Still, Kate & Leopold could woo at least $45 million from undemanding couples.
A handful of films in limited release are keeping art-houses busy.
A thinking man's Death Wish, In the Bedroom has amassed $4.2 million. Robert Altman's murder mystery Gosford Park, featuring the likes of Maggie Smith and Emily Watson, has $2.1 million. Gosford Park will expand to 500 theaters after earning a promising $1.2 million last weekend in 131 theaters.
Miramax tentatively tests the water this weekend as it expands Lasse Hallstrom's The Shipping News from 213 to 300 theaters. Miramax used the same platform release strategy with Hallstrom's previous Oscar-nominated literary adaptations The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, but audiences have yet to embrace The Shipping News with the same enthusiasm. So far, The Shipping News has earned a so-so $4.2 million.
The Cider House Rules and Chocolat earned a combined 12 Oscar nominations, with The Cider House Rules notching two wins, for Miramax. But Miramax is better off throwing its marketing muscle behind In the Bedroom and Amelie ($17.6 million) in this year's Oscar race.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Annie Proulx, the dreary The Shipping News seems as cold and uninviting as the Newfoundland town that cuckolded sad-sack Kevin Spacey flees to with his daughter and aunt (Judi Dench). Nothing much seems to happen for a tale that unbelievably throws fatal car wrecks, bodies lost at sea, pirates and incest together in one heaping of small-town hooey.
So don't expect The Shipping News to do for seal-flipper pie as Sleepless in Seattle did for tiramisu.