If you really want to get to a person’s core, there’s only one question to ask. It’s not about their hobbies, their spiritual beliefs, or what they’d do in a life-or-death situation. It’s a simple, five-word method for finding out everything you need to know about anyone worth knowing: “Who’s your favorite Ninja Turtle?”
Your subjects' answers will tell you so much more about them than just their tastes in reptilian superheroes. It will tell you what kind of person they are. It will tell you about their philosophies, and how they lead their lives. As diplomats? Warriors? Intellectuals? Free spirits? Well, those are the only options.
So, it's somewhat surprising to hear who Sean Astin—most recognizable to the TMNT generation as the impish Mikey from The Goonies and as Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings to the rest of us—chose as his favorite. In an upcoming Nickelodeon animated series, Astin is set to voice Raphael, the shortest in temper, strongest in will, and biggest in badassery of the turtles, whom Astin also claims has always been his favorite.
The series will also star American Pie star Jason Biggs as Leonardo, the leader of the turtles. Behind the remaining Donatello and Michelangelo are veteran voice actors Greg Cipes and Rob Paulsen, respectively. The latter will be familiar to Turtles fans as the voice of Raphael from the 1980s TV series, as well as countless voices on WB and Nickelodeon cartoons of the 1990s and 2000s.
Astin stressed a decreased use of the “surfer vernacular” in the upcoming series. Turtles' executive producers are Ciro Nieli, who directed The Avengers and Transformers animated series, and Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia, who produced That 70s Show together.
Though no recent adaptations have lived up to the original cartoon and film trilogy, there has yet to be an incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that I won’t watch. Let’s hope the nerd from Encino Man and the kid who made love to a pie hold this dynasty in as much reverence as the rest of us do.
Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia have been selected to write the script for Yogi Bear 2. The duo also penned the original with Brad Copeland getting credit as well. Now, I’m not sure which is more surprising: That Warner Bros. is already talking about a sequel to Yogi Bear or that the studio actually had writers on the first one. Actually, the fact that they had writers and hired them again for the sequel is more shocking than them actually making a sequel. Of course they would make a sequel.
Anyway, Sternin and Ventimilia have to come up with more shenanigans for the CGI bears to get into. Besides the previously mentioned franchise starter, they also wrote Rio. If you forgot what that movie was about, it involved a bird having to get busy with another bird. So yeah, that’s who we have writing entertainment for our kids. Go America!
I’ve always been an unabashed fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a magnetic screen presence whose charm and charisma more than make up for his shortcomings as an actor. That said even I’m finding it harder to defend his choices of roles over the past few years including his most recent turn in the family comedy The Tooth Fairy. Striving to produce quality family-friendly entertainment is certainly a commendable goal Rock but could you do us a favor and throw in the occasional R-rated (or at least PG-13) action flick every once in a while? Please?
The plot of The Tooth Fairy is standard kids-movie stuff: Johnson plays a gruff self-centered minor-league hockey player who after crushing the dreams of a few wide-eyed youngsters is sentenced to two weeks of community service as a tooth fairy. Handed wings a magic wand invisibility spray and other standard fairy accoutrements he’s sent to various children’s houses where he must brave all matter of domestic hazards to fulfill his tooth fairy obligations.
The Rock is usually the best part of otherwise underwhelming movies like this but he actually stumbles out of the gate in The Tooth Fairy overdosing on cheese and ham in an awkward first act. What ultimately makes the movie work is British comic Stephen Merchant recognizable to some as the hapless agent of Ricky Gervais’ chronically underemployed actor in HBO’s Extras who plays The Rock’s beleaguered fairy case worker. With his thin frame and his subtle sharp wit he provides the perfect foil for The Rock’s oversized personality creating just enough of a comedic spark to make The Tooth Fairy a relatively enjoyable if altogether unspectacular experience for both the kids and their babysitters.