‘Power Rangers” Second Movie Is An Improvement On The Franchise’s Cinematic Debut

Courtesy: Saban Brands/Shout! Factory/20th Century Fox

For those who have not heard lately, the ongoing saga of the proposed Power Rangers movie reboot recently took another turn. The latest update in story is that the reboot will happen, though that could of course change in the blink of an eye.  As audiences wait to see where that story goes, they have another Power Rangers movie to enjoy at home in the form of the newly re-issued Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.  Set for release July 30, this second entry in the Power Rangers cinematic universe has proven over time to be another divisive entry in that franchise, though not as bad as the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie (1995).  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie, which will be addressed shortly.  The look and feel of this Power Rangers movie plays into its presentation just as much as its story.  It will be addressed a little later.  The bonus content featured with the movie’s new re-issue rounds out the most important of the re-issue’s most important elements.  It will also be addressed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the movie.  All things considered, they make Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie not the best of the Power Rangers cinematic offerings, but definitely a step up from the first Power Rangers movie.

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the second entry in the Power Rangers cinematic universe, is not the best entry of that franchise.  It is however, an improvement from the first of the Power Rangers movies.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story is the precursor to the then fifth season of Power Rangers.  It sets the stage for Power Rangers Turbo by telling how Divatox came to be the next “baddie” that the Rangers had to face in their never-ending battle against intergalactic villains who are hell bent on galactic domination.

While it does an admirable job setting the stage for Power Rangers Turbo, the story at the center of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie also suffers slightly in that it fails to fully bridge the divide between Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo.  There are story elements clearly missing here between the two seasons that, had they been included, would have made the story full.  In the same breath, there is a bit of suspension of disbelief issue with the story.  The issue comes in that the movie’s writing team never fully explains why the Rangers needed to upgrade from their powers and zords following the events of Zeo.  In the first few seasons of Power Rangers at the time, the upgrade was always because the villains found ways to destroy the Rangers’ zords, leading to the need (and discovery) of more powerful zords.  In this case, the story never really explained that story element.  To that end, it does leave one scratching one’s head.

Adding to the concerns in the unexplained plot elements, the re-introduction of the original Red Ranger – Austin St. John (as Jason) – and original Pink Ranger – Amy Jo Johnson (as Kimberly) – seems just as unnecessary to the story, especially considering the falling out that led to the pair’s departure early in the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers run, and the whole issue with Jason as the Gold Ranger in the series’ Zeo installment.  Their inclusion doesn’t hurt the story, but it does not necessarily prove its necessity either.

As if all of this is not enough, the writers never do explain how Bulk and Skull got their minds reset by the story’s end.  The pair still seemed to think they were some sort of German figures (not to give away too much).  This was not explained away in the Turbo TV series, either. It’s another minor item, but one that cannot be ignored and detracts from the story even more. That aside, the story still is not a total loss.  The fact that it does not just completely break from canon (unlike Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie) is itself a saving grace, making the story while maybe not perfect, still a positive in its own right to this presentation.  The movie’s story is just one of its most notable elements.  The look and feel of this movie is just as important to note as the movie’s story.

Again, making a comparison to the Power Rangers’ first movie, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie, the look and feel of this movie is right in line with the franchise’s source material.  Instead of over-the-top metallic type outfits, CG-based zords and fight scenes, and animatronics, this movie’s look, this movie’s creative heads obviously took a lesson from those failures of the franchise’s first movie.  On the surface, this might not seem like much, but in reality, it is very important.  It plays into suspension of disbelief just as much as the movie’s story and its related plot elements.  Viewers who got so used to a certain look from the TV series were justifiably bothered by the look of the first movie.  Having that familiar look from the series re-introduced into this series makes for more comfort for fans, and in turn, at least a little bit more ability to suspend disbelief.  That serves to help viewers enjoy the movie more.  It still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  The bonus content featured with the movie’s re-issue rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus content featured with the upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie includes the original short making of featurette and a new, longer and more in-depth featurette, “Ranger Tales: A Look Back At Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.  Actress Nakia Burrise (who plays Yellow Ranger Tanya) gets the most screen time in this featurette.  One of the most interesting of the stories she shares focuses on the Rangers’ island morphing scene.  New cast member Blake Foster (Blue Ranger Justin) turns the wrong way in said sequence.  Burrise reveals in her interview that this was not planned, adding it actually upset her.  The reason that it upset her will not be revealed here, but rather left for audiences to discover for themselves.  Burrise also exhibits great humility in her discussions about being tapped to become a member of the cast.  That humility makes her an endearing figure.  A now grown-up Foster exhibits just as much humility as he discusses his time on the show in a separate series of interview segments in this featurette.  He talks about the very real tears that flowed off camera as former cast members made way for himself and Burrise.  It is another moving moment.  There are other discussions featured in this new bonus, but again, viewers will be left to discover those talks for themselves.  Between those discussions, the discussions noted here and more, the movie’s new bonus featurette presents its own importance to the whole of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.  It will certainly keep the most devoted Power Rangers fan engaged and entertained throughout.  Considering that and the engagement and entertainment that the movie’s story and aesthetics generate, the whole of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie proves a worthwhile addition to the noted viewers’ home libraries; much more so than the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is a worthwhile addition to the home library’s of the most devoted Power Rangers fans.  That includes even fans who already own the movie’s previous releases.  That is mainly because of the new bonus featurette included with the movie’s new re-issue.  The story at the center of the movie is both a pro and a con that only slightly improves on the problems of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie.  The movie’s aesthetic side helps improve the movie over its predecessor, too.  All three elements noted here are important in their own way to the whole of this movie.  All things considered, they make Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie not the franchise’s best cinematic offering, but definitely an improvement from the franchise’s cinematic debut.  Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is scheduled for release July 30, and can be pre-ordered online via Shout! Factory’s store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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‘MMPR: The Movie’ Re-Issue Will Appeal To Franchise’s Most Devoted Fans

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Almost 24 years ago, 20th Century Fox brought one of the most beloved kids’ series in television history to the big screen in the form of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie.  When it was originally released, the big-screen adaptation of the high-action sci-fi series was met with largely negative reviews, and with good reason.  Even as bad as the movie was (and still is today), it is still a presentation that the most devoted Power Rangers fans will appreciate.  As the 24th anniversary of the movie’s debut nears, Shout! Factory and Saban are celebrating the anniversary with a new Blu-ray re-issue of the movie complete with a new in-depth bonus featurette.  While the movie is largely a failure, there are still certain elements of the movie that do work.  This will be addressed shortly.  The new bonus commentary, which runs approximately 44-minutes in length, is the re-issue’s most notable positive.  It will be addressed a little bit later.  The Blu-ray’s average price point is not a budget breaker for those MMPR devotees who want to add the movie to their collections.

Shout! Factory and Saban Brands have been doing quite a bit in recent years to make Power Rangers fans with lots of Power Rangers and Super Sentai box sets.  On June 4, the companies will do something a little bit different for fans of both series when they re-issue the 1995 big screen adaptation of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers on Blu-ray.  Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie was resoundingly panned by viewers and critics alike in its initial release.  Now almost 24 years later, it has not improved in its footing.  That is due in part to the fact that its story completely breaks canon from the original series.  Its look is also a far cry from that of the original series, right down to the over-the-top CG zords.  For all of the negatives exhibited in the movie’s story, the story is not a total loss.  It does present some positives, such as the camp elements that made the TV series so enjoyable (and that still do today).  That includes the comic support from Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy – Bulk and Skull – and the ever-the-top cheesiness of Ivan Ooze (Paul Freema – Hot Fuzz, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Centurion) in terms of his personality. The work of the supporting cast that played the parents of Angel Grove also echoed the feel of the movie’s source material.  Keeping in mind that overall feel of the movie, it makes up for the issue of the movie’s story, at least a little bit.  That in itself makes the movie worth an occasional watch among Power Rangers’ most devoted fans now that it is being re-issued on Blu-ray.  The movie’s throwback to the camp feeling of the MMPR TV series is just one of the most notable elements presented in the upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie.  The bonus content is just as notable as that feel.

The bonus content is notable because audiences get not only the relatively short original featurette included with the movie’s initial DVD release, but a new 44-minute featurette that takes audiences even deeper into the movie’s background and history.  Audiences learn through the movie’s new bonus featurette – “A Look Back At Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie – lots of items not featured in the movie’s original bonus featerutte.  Viewers learn, through discussions with the movie’s director Bryan Spicer, that there was lots of discussion on the script between himself and the heads at 20th Century Fox during the movie’s pre-production.  Viewers also get an interesting anecdote from Spicer about how the newspapers in Australia allegedly mid-identified one of the movie’s Assistant Directors as the Director, thus incorrectly giving that AD the credit for helming the movie instead of Spicer.  On a related note, Spicer also talks about filming in Australia during his interview segments and why the filming took place there instead of in the United States.  That’s not all that audiences get.  Viewers also receive a very interesting tidbit about a well-known actress who was initially wanted by Fox’s executives to fill the role of Dulcea and how she was replaced by the woman who ended up in the role.  The movie’s cast members get plenty of their own time throughout the featurette, too.  They talk about topics, such as the pace of shooting each scene for the movie versus shooting for the TV series, the stunts and the visual effects among other topics.  Between everything noted here and the rest of the discussions featured in the movie’s new bonus featurette, said featurette proves to be the true foundation for the movie’s new Blu-ray re-issue.  When it is considered along with the fact that the movie’s creative heads did at least try to give the story the same camp feel of the MMPR series, those two elements together give viewers even more reason to check out this latest presentation of MMPR: The Movie.  Considering those elements, the average price point of the movie’s re-issue proves to be not too expensive.

The average price point of MMPR: The Movie – based on prices listed at Shout! Factory’s store, Walmart, Target and Amazon – is $15.52.  At the time of this review’s posting, it was not listed at Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  However, the movie’s original DVD release was listed at those sites.  By comparison, the DVD’s average price point was $7.33.  That includes prices listed not just at Books-A-Million, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, but also at Walmart and Amazon.  While the original DVD release’s average price point is obviously less expensive than that of the movie’s new BD re-issue, the DVD does not boast the new bonus featurette that is featured in the new re-issue.  To that end, the price for the movie’s re-issue is not too bad.  Keeping all of this in mind, this new re-issue of MMPR: The Movie proves a piece that the most devoted MMPR fans will want to add to their libraries.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie is a piece that the most devoted fans of the timeless sci-fi action series will appreciate.  That is due in part to the fact that while the movie’s story clearly breaks from the series’ canon, it does at least maintain the campy feel of its source material.  That alone makes the movie worth at least an occasional watch.  The new 44-minute bonus featurette featured in this re-issue makes the presentation even more appealing for the noted fans.  The re-issue’s average price point of less than $20 is relatively affordable, and not wasted, considering the movie’s primary and secondary content.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie.  All things considered, the movie’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue is one that the most devoted MMPR fans will enjoy especially if they do not already own the movie on DVD.  It will be available June 4.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Taking Audiences Back To The 90s With ‘MMPR: The Movie’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is resurrecting Mighty Morphin’ Power RangersThe Movie.

The company announced in a news release sent Friday, that the movie will be re-issued June 4 on Blu-ray.  It marks the first time that the movie he been released on Blu-ray.

The first of the Power Rangers big screen  flicks, this movie’s story sees is a standalone work that finds everyone’s favorite teenagers with attitude facing off against the deadly Ivan Ooze.Ozze strips the Rangers of their power, forcing them to go in search of the secrets of the ancient Ninjetti on a distant planet.  Once they find the secret and master their new skills, the Rangers return to earth with their Ninjazord to face off against Ooze in one final climactic battle to save the world from his evil.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power RangersThe Movie will feature new interviews with director Bryan Spicer and cast members Johnny Yong Bosch and Paul Freeman, in the featurette,”The Mighty Leap to the Silver Screen.”  Also included is the movie’s original trailer and featurette.

Pre-orders for Mighty Morphin’ Power RangersThe Movie are open now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.