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.
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If there's a cinematic alchemy award to be given this year director Bill Condon deserves to take it home after magically turning the tedious Twilight franchise into entertainment gold. 2011's Part 1 was a horror camp romp that turned the supernatural love triangle — the naval gazing trio of Bella Edward and Jacob — on its head. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 continues the madcap exploration of a world populated by vampires and werewolves mining even more comedy thrills and genuine character moments out of conceit than ever before. The film occasionally sidesteps back into Edward and Bella's meandering romance (an evident hurdle of author Stephenie Meyer's source material) but the duller moments are overshadowed by the movie's nimble pace and playful attitude. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will elicit laughs aplenty — but thankfully they're all on purpose.
Part 2 picks up immediately following the events of the first film Bella (Kristen Stewart) having been turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save her life after the torturous delivery of her half-human half-vampire child Renesmee. She awakes to discover super senses heightened agility increased strength… and a thirst for blood. One dead cougar later Bella and the gang are able to focus on the real troubles ahead: Renesmee is rapidly growing (think Jack) and vampiric overlords The Volturi perceive her a threat to vampiric secrecy. Knowing the Volturi will travel to Forks WA to kill the young girl (a 10-year-old just a month after being born) The Cullens amass an army of bloodsucking friends to end the oppression once and for all.
Packed with an absurd amount of backstory and mythology-twisting plot points (some vampires can shoot lightning now?) Condon and series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg mine revel in the beefed up ensemble of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and thanks to a wildly funny cast it never feels like pointless deviation. Along with the usual suspects Lee Pace adds swagger to the series as a grungy alt-rock vampire Noel Fisher appears as a hilarious over-the-top battle-ready Russian coven member and Michael Sheen returns has Volturi head honcho Aro and steels the show. Flamboyant diabolical and a steady stream of maniacal laughter Sheen owns Condon's high camp vision for Twilight and he lights up the screen. There are a few throw away nations of vampires — the oddly stereotypical Egyptian and Amazonians sects are there mostly there to off-set the extreme whiteness — but the actors involved bring liveliness to a franchise known for being soulless. Even Stewart Pattinson and Taylor Lautner give personal bests in this installment — a scene between Bella and her dad Charlie (Billy Burke) is genuinely heartfelt while Jacob's overprotective hero schtick finally lands.
Whereas Breaking Dawn - Part 1 stuck mostly to the personal story relying on the intimate moments as Bella and Edward took the big plunge into marriage and sex Part 2 paints with broader strokes and Condon has a ball. Delving into the history of the vampires and the vampire world outside Forks is Pandora's Box for the director. One scene where we learn why kids scare the heck of the Volturi captures a scope of medieval epics — along with the bloodshed. Twilight might be known for its sexual moments but Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will go down for its abundance of decapitations. The big set piece in the finale is something to behold both in the craftsmanship of the spectacle and in its bizarre nature.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had the audience hooting hollering and even gasping as it twisted and turned to the final moments. There's little doubt that even the biggest naysayer of the franchise would do the same. No irony here: the conclusion of Twilight is a blast.
Following Saturday's space shuttle Columbia disaster, Paramount Pictures has decided to pull its trailer for its sci-fi thriller The Core because it shows the space shuttle in jeopardy, Variety reports. The studio is keeping its March 28 release date for the pic, but is reviewing its advertising to make certain the campaign is sensitive to the tragedy. The studio also said it is too soon to decide whether to alter or cut out shuttle sequences from the film. The Core, directed by Jon Amiel, revolves around a group of NASA "terranauts" who must travel deep underground after the Earth's inner core stops rotating, creating a host of natural disasters. It was originally slated for release last November but Paramount delayed the release in order to complete more f/x shots.
Superior Court Judge Bernard Kamins has eased terms of probation for comedian Paula Poundstone. Her psychological counseling sessions have now been reduced from four to two a month and her Alcoholics Anonymous meetings from three to two a week, Reuters reports. In December, Poundstone, 43, regained full custody of three adopted children she lost after pleading no contest to child endangerment, which involved driving drunk with children in her car.
Sotheby's auction house has filed a lawsuit against pop recluse Michael Jackson, saying he placed bids on two paintings then refused to pay, Reuters reports. The auction house is seeking $1.6 million in damages--$1,324,247 for the paintings plus at least $60,733 in late fees. According to court papers, Jackson submitted a $1.3 million bid on Oct. 29 for two 19th century paintings by William Adolphe Bougereau. But Sotheby's claims Jackson changed his mind about the paintings after concluding they didn't fit into his collection.
Director Fernando Leon de Aranoa's Mondays in the Sun won all the major Spanish Goya film awards this weekend in Madrid, The Associated Press reports. The film won five awards out of eight nominations, including best film and best director. The film is Spain's candidate for an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. Meanwhile, Pedro Almodovar's Talk to Her--nominated for seven awards--only managed to take the best original score prize. Talk to Her won the Golden Globe for best foreign film last month.
Danny DeVito's Jersey Films will dissolve when its deal with Universal Pictures expires at the end of 2003, Variety reports. The production company was behind hits including Erin Brockovich, Get Shorty, Pulp Fiction and Out of Sight. Sources said there was no hint of conflict between DeVito and his partners, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, but after 12 years, the principals found their interests going in different directions.
Beatrice Welles, the daughter of Orson Welles, filed a lawsuit Friday claiming she is the owner of the rights to film classic Citizen Kane, Variety reports. The suit alleges that Orson Welles entered into a 1939 contract to write, produce and star in Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons but that contract was voided by a later agreement between Welles and RKO Pictures in 1944 that restored the films' copyrights to Welles. The suit contends that even if the 1939 agreement is in effect, Welles' heirs still own the rights to the two films and are contractually entitled to 20 percent of the profits from them.
But wait, there's more on Jacko. In his documentary Living with Michael Jackson, Martin Bashir describes the 44-year-old singer as the Peter Pan of pop who is obsessed by the idea of childhood being frozen in time, Reuters reports. The British documentary will air Feb. 6 on ABC as a two-hour edition of news magazine 20/20. Bashir told Britain's Sunday Times he arrived at Jackson's Berlin hotel last November just 30 minutes after he had dangled his youngest child from the balcony to show fans below. "Not one of his entourage was prepared to tell him that what he had done was ludicrous and dangerous," he said.
It's the end of the road for Dawson, Joey, Jen, Jack and Pacey. The WB network will air a two-hour Dawson's Creek's series finale May 14, Variety reports. The show debuted to the WB's highest-ever ratings in January 1998 and immediately became the network's No. 1 show in key demos. "We will always carry an emotional attachment to Dawson's Creek, for without it the WB would not exist," WB entertainment president Jordan Levin said. "The show defined who we are and reflected the aspirational voice of the next generation of television viewers. The WB has grown up alongside the cast and in the process the series became a defining and life-altering experience for all involved."