I wrote this 6 months ago right after seeing the movie in theatres. I never published it because I couldn't tell if I was blowing things out of proportion. You know what, if I am about this movie, I'm not about other ones. Enjoy. :)
Unlike my equally-awesome-half, I didn't grow up loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I remember seeing the 80s cartoon on TV sometimes, particularly at male friend's houses. I was much more interested in Batman: The Animated Series and Beetlejuice. Being in a relationship with someone who loves it rubs off on you. I really like the current Nickelodeon cartoon and I had prepared myself for the new movie to be less awesome.
To sum it up: it's fine. It's definitely better than Transformers. I didn't get caught up on the details of the turtles origin story or appearance as much as other fans. What did bother me, though, was how women are portrayed in it.
April O'Neil is a journalist who is never taken seriously even though she wants to be. She's made to do silly exercise segments instead of "real" stories. I can see through this enough that it's commentary on the ridiculousness of "frothy" journalism. Have you ever watched The Today Show? You know what I'm talking about (I couldn't find a good example, but the 3rd hour of it is just empty giggling about body creams and the latest diets).
She expresses her irritation at being shoved to the side by the newscasters to her work partner. He does try to console her, saying people just "like the froth" and it's fine. You can either take that as him trying to make her feel better or suggesting for her to settle. That's your call. He's obviously attracted to her. He's not forceful, or anything, but he makes a few comments just out of earshot about her being so hot. One scene near the end, it's pretty obvious to the audience that he's oogling at her. There's never the comment to the side about how he respects her determination or dedication to her craft.
Even though it's established that *spoilers* April is sort of like a mother figure to Splinter and the Turtles, almost 75% of Michelangelo's dialogue is something like "Hey hot girl! Call me sometime! I'll save you! I'll play our song for you!" That's it. She's just this object. At least in the current cartoon Donatello's attraction to her is not suffocating. He can have a conversation with her that's not flooded with flirtations. Another reason why the cartoon wins. However, at no point in the movie does April ask him to stop, so I can only be so irritated that he continues to rattle off pick up lines to her.
This movie was made by Nickelodeon. It's for kids. So the fact that women are just seen as objects to oggle at and cat call is embarrassing. I had a difficult time with myself growing up because of the way pop culture showed women and how others treated them. I don't want any other generation to experience that. Girls seeing this might think that boys are supposed to hit on them constantly and if they don't then they're worthless. Boys seeing this might think that they're supposed to constantly hit on girls even though they're getting no indication that they're interested.
I'm not saying that this movie should be boycotted or anything. Looking back on this, days after seeing it, it's really not that bad. It could have easily been worse. April never suggests that this attention offends her. She dresses respectfully. This Slate article even talks about how this is the "best" April O'Neil so far because she actually does stuff. I'm just tired of seeing pop culture cultivate negative gender roles and images. Kids are impressionable. Parents might not even realize that their kid is creating these images of how they're supposed to act and be seen as representatives of that gender.