New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Borrows Title from Boring Video Game

The trailer and title were just released for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel and there’s plenty of excitement to go around. We get to see the first footage of fan favorites Casey Jones, Bebop and Rocksteady and the footage of what looks like an alien invasion is teased. After the quality of the first movie fans should be justifiably skeptical about how good this one will be, but right now things are looking better.

However the use of the subtitle “Out of the Shadows” is a bit curious. Of the nearly infinite amount of word combinations Platinum Dunes could have used to title the film they chose to go with a name that was previously used by a quite terrible Xbox 360/PS3/PC downloadable game. In 2013 shortly after Activision got the license to make TMNT games, they released Out of the Shadows as their first outing. It was bad, really bad. Activision eventually got better at making TMNT games, but this stain of a game was best forgotten by both gamers and Turtles fans.

Using that name as the movie name is weird, really weird. Sure, after watching the trailer, it seems to fit the plot of the movie, but again, they could have chosen anything else. Not only are they stepping into a mud puddle of market confusion, but using that name doesn’t add any value to the movie. Half-shell, ooze, sewer, pizza, foot clan, or even cowabunga would have been phrases that elicit some sort of emotional response from the audience, some inkling of nostalgic warmth. Out of the Shadows is so vanilla, and generic that it wouldn’t surprise me if Michael Bay, Dave Green and Co. didn’t even check to see if it had been used before.

All of these names (that I just made up) would have been better and, more importantly, original:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half-Shell Shocked
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Sewers
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Foot
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New York Knights
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Invasion
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Revenge of the The Shredder
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Attack of Dimension X

Or they could take an already used name that has nostalgia built into it and actually gain positive attention from that. Here are some examples:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Heroes in a Half-Shell
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: City at War
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtle Power(ed)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Nightmare

I’m not saying I’m the perfect person to be naming movies, but there are certain cardinal rules you must follow when doing it: 1. Be original, 2. If you can’t be original, reference a well known name, 3. Don’t make it confusing. Platinum Dunes has failed on all three. I don’t know why I was expecting anything better from the team that brought use the names “Revenge of the Fallen” and Dark of the Moon”.

Sigh, at least there’s always hope that the movie is good…

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