Ninja Turtles New Jersey Art and Thoughts On The New TMNT Movie

Artist and New Jersey lover Scott Modrzynski of Mojo’s Work, has quite and interesting life story. You can check it out for yourself, but he’s got a ton of love and respect for New Jersey AND The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, two forces combined and strikingly illustrated in his TMNT/New Jersey art featured here. What a killer combo from Scott! He’s got so much more at his site with his NJ Badass series which are mash-ups of our state AND characters like Deadpool, Scooby Doo, Mario & Luigi, Superman, and Spiderman just to name a few! Now, onto my thoughts on the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, in theaters now.

Don’t call this a comeback. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been here for years and haven’t really ever gone away. Nickelodeon grabbing full rights to the property a few years ago has been a dream for fans. Since the latest cartoon series premiered, and now the new feature film is hitting theaters, we’re in the midst of Turtle fever all over again with new toys, special edition sodas and perhaps the most logical, pizza tie-ins.

Michael Bay has modified a few details of the Turtles here and there, most notably, the look of our beloved pizza devourin’, Foot Clan fightin’ Turtles. What scares me is that regardless of what true die-hard Turtles fans feel about this film, if it does big business at the box office, which, from a curiosity standpoint it’s basically guaranteed to, Bay’s alterations will probably stick around for the long run.

Very early on, well before critics actually saw this film, I was put off by promotional photos and rumors. Now that people are finally seeing it and tweeting such flat, lackluster feedback about the movie, I’m even less compelled to go to the theater to see it. I can wait for this one to hit Redbox. Meanwhile, I’ll watch my DVDs of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film from 1990 which remains one of the best movies of the superhero genre as well as The Secret of the Ooze which is still badass too!

I remember seeing the 1990 original in the theater as well as the sequel, and I enjoyed both films immensely. The only minor issue I had with the original was the casting of April O’Neil. From a performance standpoint I had no complaints about Judith Hoag, but I couldn’t help feeling that there was a more appropriate actress for the role.

At the time, the ’80s were still lingering around and a logical choice for April would’ve been an actress who starred in one of the quintessential kids movies from the ’80s. I always felt that Jersey’s own, Kerri Green, who played Andi in The Goonies, would’ve been an awesome April O’Neil. If anything, she would’ve embodied the cartoon April perfectly. Think about it. This leads me to the hotly debated issue of Megan Fox. Stunt casting at its best.

Having Angelina Jolie shoved down our throats for so many years was always a similar topic of discussion for me. I was never so crazy-obsessed with Jolie from a physical standpoint nor was I ever seduced by any of her films. Conversely, Megan Fox is super hot and it’s a near fact that her acting ability is not on par with other actresses of her age range, but admiring her (not her wacky thumbs) might be the lone reason for me eventually giving Ninja Turtles a watch.  

Admittedly, I was even a fan of TVs The Next Mutation when it first aired, mainly because it was cool to see a live action offshoot of the TMNT movies, no matter how Power Rangers-esque it was. Judging by what I’ve seen and heard about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, I might just be better off watching my bootlegs of The Next Mutation this weekend!

Head over to our friend The Sewer Den to read his expert opinion on the 2014 Ninja Turtles film:

Marilyn Monroe in Atlantic City, 1952

Marilyn Monroe is the most iconic sex symbol of all time (sorry you have a long way to go Megan Fox!) Let me take you back to a time when Marilyn was at the peak of her career. The blonde bombshell from California was starring in strings of movies, having nude pictures leaked (No, Vanessa Hudgens didn’t pioneer that one), dating Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, and also serving as the Grand Marshall of the Miss America Parade in Atlantic City. In fact, I came across some rare color footage of Marilyn Monroe of that event from 1952. Thanks to YouTube user evexx08 for the incredible piece of NJ Pop Culture!


Also, if you’d like to delve a little deeper, YouTube User MonroeNumber1Fan has uploaded a slideshow that compiles rare photos of Marilyn Monroe from the ’52 Miss America Pageant in A.C.

June 1st 1926 – August 5th 1962

TRANSFORMERS: Robots in New Jersey! Part 1 – Pine Barrens


In the Transformers episode “Make Tracks,” the Megatron and the Decepticons steal hundreds of cars and attempt to turn them into drones to add to their powerful squad of evil robots. Tracks, the Autobot, poses as a stolen car and discovers the Decepticons remote facility that changes the stolen cars in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. The Pine Barrens are made up of over a million acres of protected forest area, so this was a perfectly diabolical scheme. No one could possibly hear or see a gigantic space age industrial plant that creates Transformers in the middle of a forest that is intersected by two major highways. Gee, great plan Megatron! Way to go!


OPTIMUS PRIME: “Hmm, he might have been heading for New Jersey and the Pine Barrens” 
POWERGLIDE: “Pine Barrens? What’s there?”
OPTIMUS PRIME: “That’s what we’re gonna find out, Powerglide”


Of course Optimus and his Autobots save the day, but if you’d like to watch the 2nd half of the episode that is based in New Jersey, it’s posted below. Thanks to YouTube user Bernard9782 has made it happen. Thanks to the Transformers Wiki, an unbelievable source for all kinds of minute Transformers tidbits.


New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.56: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) in front of Princeton’s University Chapel

If you read my last post you know that watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was my little homework assignment for the night. If I plan on seeing a sequel or further installment of a film franchise, I never half ass it. I have to watch them all or I feel like I’m not getting the full effect. I realized a while ago that I had Revenge of the Fallen on DVD but never watched it, so that’s exactly what I did tonight. I did have ulterior motives though. I didn’t just watch it to get caught up on the films before seeing Dark of the Moon, I also wanted to pick out all the New Jersey shots.


In Revenge of the Fallen, Sam Witwicky (Labeouf) is now attending college. When his parents come to visit him, his mom Judy inadvertently buys pot brownies and starts to get high. She runs around the campus grounds and gets into some wacky hijinks – scenes I never thought I’d see in a Transformers film. But then again, I didn’t think I’d see a Wheelie cuss like a sailor either…or hump Megan Fox’s leg. That’s sort of creepy because he’s a robot, but I can easily get on board with his motive.

Exterior shot in the film of Princeton’s Firestone Library

A few of the college scenes were originally shot at the University of Pennsylvania, but ultimately moved the shoot to Princeton University. Neither institution wanted to let the Michael Bay production use the university names in the film due to the aforementioned pot brownie after effects as well as the scene where Sam is almost raped by a slutty Decepticon, YES, I did just write that. Ultimately, the institution that Sam attends is merely referred to as a “college.” According to the Transformers Wiki, in other Transformers media, Sam goes to college in Albany and also Philadelphia, but Princeton is actually named in the novelization of Revenge of the Fallen. *Raine Wilson also makes a cameo in a lecture hall scene as one of Sam’s professors.

The Wheelie laser points to areas where Seekers are located and
Southern NJ is one of the areas

With a run time that was about a half hour too long, a convoluted plot, and too much leg humping, Revenge of the Fallen is not a film I’d watch again. And surprisingly, for all her criticism, Megan Fox’s hotness was this film’s saving grace, and I’ll also throw a piece of that credit to the crotchety but entertaining, Jetfire (R.I.P.)

Why I Traded Transformers for Megan Fox

Jay Getting Optimus Prime
That’s me receiving Optimus Prime as a birthday gift

Through the years it was easy to get bogged down in the excessive amount of Transformers incarnations through the years. I have to give credit to the property though, it’s enjoyed a long evolution and hasn’t ever really gone away.

Transformers would not have enjoyed the same type of resurgence if the 2007 big screen adaptation was never released. I doubt there would be the same type of clamor for Transformers stuff if Michael Bay never got his filthy rich hands on them. But what has shocked me most about the franchise is how much of a difficult time I recently had getting into the original ’80s animated series. I noticed that Hub network has been airing reruns of the original Transfomers. Just for nostalgic purposes and for the fact that the 3rd Transformers film, Dark of the Moon, is being released, I set a couple of episodes on my DVR and tried watching them.

As much as I felt I would be in for some ’80s fun, sadly, the episodes were borderline boring and even a bit hard to understand. Although I’m a sucker for old cartoons, especially those I loved as a kid, going back and watching Transformers just didn’t hold my attention at all. Expecting a 25 year old cartoon to enthrall and entertain me seems totally unrealistic, but even the silliest episodes of He-Man and She-Ra still mesmerize me. It’s a shame too because I was a fan of Transformers as a kid, and so were most of my friends, since we were the Prime (pun intended) audience for it. I had my Transformers lunchbox and a bunch of the toys, but it was never a full on obsession for me.

Attempting to pretend like I was a transforming robot was awkward and not nearly as fun as holding aloft my magic sword and becoming the most powerful man in the universe. Now, I know that a lot of people will vehemently disagree with my sentiments, but I have my reasoning. Subconsciously perhaps, I made more of a connection with human or human-like characters. I always preferred GI Joe over Transformers and although I enjoyed Thundercats immensely too, He-Man and She-Ra always edged them out if I had to choose what show I liked better.

In my eyes, the best part of the original animated Transformers series is Megatron. he was the reason I watched the show. I always liked villains and I appreciated how he looked, sounded, and acted in the original series way better than how he is in these new films. That’s not to say I didn’t also love Optimus Prime. What boy in the ’80s didn’t think Optimus Prime was awesome? He’s the quintessential character of the franchise. Even in the new films he still kick ass. The hero has a modernized look but is thankfully still voiced by the iconic Peter Cullen. Anyone else would be 2nd rate.

Regardless of how the original series holds up, the film franchise and even the recent Transformers Prime are both well done and easy to get into especially if I was 7 years old right now. I have yet to watch Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, so hopefully I’ll get to it before Dark of the Moon disappears from theaters, which will probably be in about 3 weeks. Then it’s straight to DVD and Bluray by the end of August. Maybe if Megan Fox played her cards right she’d be in Dark of the Moon and I’d make it more of a priority. Damn her and her Hitler comments. Funny how when I was a kid, I wanted Optimus Prime, and now I need Megan Fox to hold my attention.

Nocturna Mission #5: Casting Call

To me, Edwige Fenech IS Nocturna, but in this installment of Jay’s Nocturna Mission, I’ll be choosing the best present day actresses for the role of the ghastly Batman villain. In case the big wigs at DC Entertainment are reading, then I’ll surely provide them with enough choices for a perfect Nocturna in a future installment of the Batman saga.
In choosing the best Nocturna, jotting down any actress with dark hair simply won’t cut it. For instance, appearance wise, Alina Vacariu would make a fantastic Talia, but casting Nocturna is far trickier. Having the right look is of supreme importance, because we wouldn’t even have a list if I based all my choices on acting talent. F-ck the Hollywood Foreign Press!!!
Since we’re deep into the Halloween Countdown, and there were a few ladies I just couldn’t bear to leave off, I narrowed my list down to 13. As you’re reading, keep in mind that these ladies will be made up to look super pale with blueish/black hair.


Please feel free to leave a comment with your favorite from the list. Are there any actresses who you think were left off this list? Thank you for reading!

Would YOU Let Santa Claus Drive Your Corvette?

I’m surprised and excited to see how many houses have been decorated for Christmas this year. On my way home from work every day, I pass through so many towns and as Paul Stanley says “They’re lit up like a damn Christmas Tree!” It seems like there’s more Christmas spirit in New Jersey this year than ever before. Whatever the reason is, it’s an excellent feeling! People’s displays have grown more elaborate and creative. In fact, while riding through Fair Haven, NJ last weekend we saw this Corvette parked on someone’s lawn:

Take a closer look and you’ll see Santa behind the wheel about to take the ‘vette out for a spin:
That’s a pretty awesome lawn decoration if you ask me. I don’t think you’ll be able to pick that one up at Wal-Mart! 
For all the good that Santa’s done throughout time, I still don’t think that’s enough to make me let him borrow my Corvette to deliver presents. We have no idea what kind of driving record he has. They could drive like assholes up in the North Pole. If the elves get licenses then I’ll give a definitive “NO” on that one. Besides, isn’t St. Nick all tanked up on spiked Egg Nogg he drinks at houses all over the world? Isn’t that what makes him so jolly in the first place? We wouldn’t want him getting a DWI, so let’s have him stick to flying around in his sleigh. 

JAY: You’re not getting my keys, Santa! 
SANTA CLAUS: Ho, Ho, Ho, we’ll see about that! How bad do you want that PS3 for Christmas?!?! Ho, Ho, Ho!
JAY: I’ll forget about the PS3 for now, just as long as you don’t crash my beautiful Corvette and turn it into a red and white yuletide mess. Oh, and toll prices just went up so it’ll be cheaper if you hop in you’re sleigh.
SANTA CLAUS: Ho, Ho, Ho! Jay, I’m going through a mid-life crisis times 3. Can’t I just take the ‘vette for a few minutes? Mrs. Claus never lets me have ANY fun. She took away my copy of Transformers on DVD because she said I was staring a hole in Megan Fox. I’m not even allowed to go to Hooters up in the North Pole. And if you haven’t noticed, all of Santa’s helpers are all gay males. I lead a sad, boring life. C’mon, help a brutha out.
JAY: OK, OK, but you’re going to owe me BIG time if you crash it!
SANTA CLAUS: Yeah right, after I got you everything you asked for every Christmas? Batman, He-Man, WWF, Star Wars, Thundercats, I gave it all to you! You weren’t that good this year anyway! So I owe you nothing bub! 
JAY: You know what Santa, you can f—ing walk!
Friends don’t let Santa Claus drive drunk.
A Public Service Announcement from the Ad Council and Mrs. Claus.