Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

What we’re seeing with “Mutant Mayhem” is what happens after every movie makes a bang at the box office. The “The Spider-Verse” movies were so beloved and influential that we can expect studios to ape its animation and storytelling style for at least a few years. The first of what will probably be many to come is “Mutant Mayhem.” Jeff Rowe’s animated movie is a new re-imagining of Eastman and Laird’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise, but aimed a lot more toward Generation Z. That’s both a quality that improves what producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldbergh aim to be the beginning of a new wave of popularity for the Turtles, and a hindrance. 

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Mad Heidi (2023)

Tickets are now on sale at Fathom Events; coming to theaters nationwide for a special one-night engagement on Wednesday, June 21st at 7pm, local time.

A lot of the media likes to use the words “Indie film” whenever referring to a movie that isn’t entirely mainstream. The word has been homogenized over the years, as films like “Mad Heidi” are lost in the shuffle. “Mad Heidi” is a real indie film that worked hard to get a distribution deal, and it is here for us to gorge on. According to the press release, “Mad Heidi” initially made waves for its innovative crowdfunded approach, bypassing traditional financing tactics to ensure that the film’s original vision was preserved while placing profits back in the hands of the creators and backers. Even if neo-grindhouse isn’t your cup of tea, “Mad Heidi” deserves a lot of love for its willingness to embrace its indie roots, while also being literally as cheesy as it can possibly be.

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New York Ninja (2021)

Officially on 4K and Blu-Ray from Vinegar Syndrome on November 1st; will be getting a 35mm release in various theaters and cinemas during the first quarter of 2022.

1984’s “New York Ninja” is that type of classic grindhouse picture where you can almost smell the stale cigarettes, and burnt popcorn wafting from the rows in the discount movie theater. It’s that kind of classic schlocky ninja picture that would have played in a double feature, and that’s a lot of the reason why it’s such a special film. I’d be hard pressed to call “New York Ninja” was good movie at the end of the day. As an experience, though, it’s that kind of silly, ridiculous, campy ninjasploitation soaked in New York City ephemera that you’re bound to fall in love with.

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Mortal Kombat (2021) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

Despite being one of the most violent games ever released (of its time), in the nineties studios worked hard to water down the series for a younger audience. With that, they effectively killed off any cinematic prospects for over twenty years after 1997’s embarrassing “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” Now in 2021, Director Simon McQuoid brings us a new vision for “Mortal Kombat” that’s faithful in many respects, and embraces the gore and grue of the original games. It’s not a perfect movie by any stretch, but it’s a damn good martial arts fantasy when all is said and done.

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Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (2020) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

I’m glad there’s a lot more momentum being picked up with “Mortal Kombat” as an IP, as the series deserves a cinematic universe. It’s a series filled with mythology, and alternate universes, and monsters, as well as some vicious gore. Despite past flubs with animated attempts at “Mortal Kombat,” Warner Bros. “Scorpion’s Revenge” is a solid return to the animated medium. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel as far as “Mortal Kombat” goes, but it’s a basic meat and potatoes primer that can act as an entry way for new fans.

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Mortal Kombat (2021)

I’m one of the many who were there when “Mortal Kombat” crashed through America in 1992. Going from an arcade hit everyone talked about because of its vicious violence, to a home console darling, “Mortal Kombat” is a prime franchise candidate that was sadly snuffed out in 1997. After the absolute embarrassment of “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” it took two decades for “Mortal Kombat” to finally return as a potential cinematic/franchise heavyweight.

Is Warner Bros.’ and Simon McQuoid’s reboot perfect? No. But hot damn it is good!

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Five More Great Minority Movie Heroes

With “Black History Month” and “Women in Horror Month” dropping in February, I thought it’d be a lot of fun to post another installment of “Great Minority Movie Heroes,” a list of movie heroes that are also people of color. What started as a one shot list has become a project for me to find diverse movie heroes from various races that people of color can relate to. What are some of your favorites?

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