WHENEVER I see it being done I always stop to watch. Not only is it an art but a beautiful and skillful manipulation of a basic element. The only times I get to see a potter in action has been at art fairs or galleries. To witness the moist hands dance across the spinning mound of clay centered on their potter’s wheel is fascinating to me. The clay looks at times like it is growing into a living plant reaching maturity; at other times, it may look like an architectural geometric structure. If you ever get the chance to watch the process I highly recommend it. There is another reason why I am attracted to this process and it has to do with control. On a certain level I can easily relate to the potter because they are in total charge of the entire creation. They do not have to depend on anyone; it is simply them and their clay. Whatever way their creation comes out, it is solely do to them. On the one hand you could say that may not always be the best way because if the object is a disaster then the potter is completely at fault. I would willingly accept that fate instead of depending on someone to help complete the vision I foresaw for the mound of clay. BEING in control has always been a part of my mental makeup, since as long as I can remember. Without turning this into a therapy session let me say that after experiencing multiple disappointments I became trained on how not to depend or need anything from anyone. Maybe I had high standards or low self-esteem, but it has always been hard for me to ask someone for help. To let go of being in control for me represents a fear somehow that I am weak or not good enough. Like I said I do not want to delve into my psyche but I do have to say I discovered I have something in common with Batman and it is not the cool gadgets. GOTHAM city could be on the brink of disaster if the Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover franchise, The Campaign), goes through with his dastardly plan. If Batman, voiced by Will Arnett (When in Rome, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise), wants to save his beloved city he may have to do something he has never done before—ask for help. This animated action adventure film was just as creative as the original Lego movie. With Michael Cera (Youth in Revolt, Arrested Development-TV) voicing Robin, Rosario Dawson (Top Five, Sin City franchise) voicing Barbara Gordon and Ralph Fiennes (A Bigger Splash, Harry Potter franchise) voicing Alfred Pennyworth; all the characters were fun to watch and especially hear since the dialog had a fun edge to it. This film festival winner would appeal to kids and adults in my opinion. The references made for the adult viewers will not register with kids but it won’t take away from the movie watching experience. I also enjoyed the way the writers brought in a life lesson moment; it was touching and did not feel out of place. So now that I discovered I have something in common with Batman, I wonder if I should start working on my outfit.
3 ¼ stars
A generation of children grew up glued to their television screens Saturday mornings to watch the latest cartoons of their favorite characters. Back then cartoons were the main source to see one’s favorite superhero or friendly ghost. Once in a great while there may have been a full-length movie made from a Saturday cartoon and just like the cartoons they were done with hand drawn animation. Computers back then were not used for such artistic purposes. The 3rd avenue available to experience a cartoon character was finding a toy, game or comic book of them. Growing up I collected comic books of all my favorite cartoon characters, besides having an army of G.I. Joe soldiers. However, one of my coolest toys was a model I built of the Batmobile; that vehicle used to travel through all the rooms of my house. Back then as far as I could tell, this was the extent of a child’s exposure to cartoon characters. These days it seems like a whole different world to me. I think there are still comic books but they may be predominantly superhero characters; I do not know. There are the usual toys and games but now it is not unusual to see a cartoon character on cereal boxes, vitamins, cookies, candy, toothbrushes; I can go on and on. The marketing of cartoons is big business where if a character is especially popular they may get their own ride at an amusement park. Honestly, in my opinion I feel it is overkill with all these different things available now. I felt the same way about this action adventure comedy. WITH an evil criminal on the loose the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will have to take a bigger risk that may expose their identity to an unknowing public. This sequel brought back Megan Fox (Transformers franchise, Jennifer’s Body) as April O’Neil and Will Arnett (When in Rome, Arrested Development-TV) as Vernon Fenwick, along with new characters Chief Vincent and Casey Jones, played by Laura Linney (Mr. Holmes, Hyde Park on Hudson) and Stephen Amell (The Tracey Fragments, Arrow-TV). I really cannot say anything about the acting because the whole film played like an extended cartoon. Action scenes were the vehicle that drove the story in this movie. I really did not find anything funny in the script, though the special effects at least were entertaining. It was about halfway through the picture that I glanced down at my watch, wishing time would move faster; I was getting bored with the monotony. Now I will say I think tweens, the 9 to 12 year olds, will enjoy this film more than me. Compared to other movies I have seen in this genre, the script was weak; it did not offer any little morsels to entertain the adults in the audience. I have not noticed much cross marketing for this film yet. If it should increase we may be in for a long dull summer of overkill.
1 ¾ stars