‘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:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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

Something Old, Something New Makes ‘Power Rangers Jungle Fury’ A Hit for Power Rangers Devotees

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

The Power Rangers will go full throttle again this coming March when Shout! Factory releases the 16th season of the hit franchise, Power Rangers RPM: The Complete Series. The four-disc collection is currently set to be released March 27 in stores and online. That is still quite a long wait. Luckily though, Power Rangers fans do have another recently released installment to enjoy while they wait for its release — Power Rangers Jungle Fury: The Complete Series. Released just last week on DVD, the series is another interesting addition to the long-running Power Rangers franchise. One of its most important elements is its plot. The elements that are tied into the plot are just as important to note as the plot itself. They will be discussed later. Last but most definitely not least of note to examine here are the lessons tied into each of the episodes’ stories. Each noted element is key in its own right to the whole of Power Rangers Jungle Fury: The Complete Series. All things considered, they make this addition to the Power Rangers universe another installment that will give fans plenty to appreciate and enjoy.

Power Rangers Jungle Fury: The Complete Series is a welcome addition to any Power Rangers fan’s collection. That is due in part to the series’ plot, and by relation its setup. In the case of this series, the conflict is set off by an arrogant, power-hungry student of the Pai Zhua named Jarrod. When Jarrod kills his master, he inadvertently sets free an ancient, evil spirit. This season is not the first time that the Power Rangers franchise has ever used an ancient evil spirit’s release as the basis for its plot. That goes all the way back to the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The manner in which the spirit, Dai Shi, was released is what makes the plot original here. What is really interesting to note here is that Dai Shi was released as a result of Jarrod’s arrogance and anger. It’s a sort of Star Wars sort of vibe. Given, it might not have necessarily been an intentional link to the long-running sci-fi franchise, but Jarrod being angry and arrogant, leading him to the proverbial dark side while the Rangers try to stop him makes arguing Star Wars’ influence on this series easy. Who ever would have thought there could be a link between Star Wars and the Power Rangers?

The plot at the center of Power Rangers Jungle Fury is in itself a critical aspect of the series’ presentation, as has been pointed out. Of course as important as the series’ plot proves to be to its presentation, one would be remiss to ignore the importance of the elements tied into the plot, as they play their own important part in the series’ presentation, too. One of the most important plot elements to note is how the Rangers gradually gain their new powers and tools. Over the course of the series, the Rangers learn new skills and, in turn, gain new tools and powers in the fight against Dai Shi and its minions. In seasons past, the Rangers gained their new powers and weapons when they were at their lowest. That sort of “earn as you learn” approach used here is a new approach for the franchise, strengthening the series’ plot that much more It is not the only one of the series’ most notable plot devices. Having the Rangers use a pizza place for their cover and their leader a man in his 20s are also key plot elements. In so many series past, the Rangers’ leader has been an older, wise figure. Having a young, carefree yet equally experienced figure as the Rangers’ leader adds a new touch to the franchise, breathing new life into the series. As if that is not enough, both the Rangers and even the bad guys get their own “teachers” throughout, essentially keeping the series fresh from start to finish, rather than just relying on one sort of conflict throughout. Audiences will agree that even with at least one somewhat familiar plot element, its new approach and the other new approaches taken this time out (including a number of other items not noted here) make the series’ plot and its setup pivotal to the series’ presentation. Those items, both noted and not, combine to make the series’ overall plot and setup clearly their own collectively important part of the series’ whole. They are not its only key elements. The series’ stories are just as important to the series as its plot.

The stories that make up the body of this series, and their lessons, are so important to the series because of how much they add to the series’ presentation. One of the most engaging and entertaining of the series’ stories comes as R.J. fights to keep his wolf spirit from getting out of control due to his battle with Dai Shi. It is in itself an original way for any Power Rangers season to introduce an extra Ranger. What’s more, keeping RJ from becoming that all-too-familiar reluctant hero that has been used far too many times before makes that story even more interesting. The Rangers’ own separate training stories that are added to the series are interesting in their own right, too. That is because they present the lessons of determination and perseverance while also serving as plot devices to help advance the series’ overall story. Other stories presented throughout the series feature lessons of friendship, teamwork and other familiar values while also not just rehashing stories from the franchise’s previous installments. The very fact that the series’ writers couple those fresh new stories with the familiar lessons instead of just rehashing previous stories and scenarios proves why those and so many of the series’ other stories and lessons are so important to the series’ presentation. They give audiences something new and something more familiar all in one package. When this is set alongside the series’ overall plot and its related plot elements, the whole of these elements does plenty to make this season of Saban’s Power Rangers another powerful installment of the franchise. That’s not even mentioning the work of the series’ cast in front of the cameras, the special effects and other items. All things considered, this collection is another that any Power Rangers fan will enjoy and appreciate whether waiting for the franchise’s next installment or just to have.

Power Rangers Jungle Fury: The Complete Series is a collection that any truly devout Power Rangers fan will appreciate and enjoy. That is due in part to a plot that while slightly familiar, is still original by and large. The elements used to advance the series’ overall plot add a second touch to the series. The stories and their lessons join with the cast’s work to make the series even more enjoyable. Each element is important in its own way to the series’ whole. All things considered, they make this latest addition to the Power Rangers universe yet another welcome release. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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

‘Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation’ Is An Interesting Piece Of ‘TMNT’ History

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

Thirty two years ago Mirage Studios first introduced American audiences to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The “heroes on the half shell” were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  In the years since their creation, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo (and their rodent sensei Splinter) have gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon with various incarnations on both the silver screen and the small screen.  Some have been hugely popular such as the original 1987 animated series (perhaps the franchise’s most successful incarnation) and the 1990 big screen adaptation of the comic book.  That incarnation even spawned three sequels.  Other incarnations have not been so successful, such as the 2014 big screen reboot and its new sequel Out of the Shadows.  They are not the franchise’s only lesser installments.  In 1997 Saban tried its hand at its own take on the everyone’s favorite reptile heroes in the form of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  That incarnation ultimately proved to be a bust for the company.  It only lasted one season and a total of twenty-eight episodes.  Now thanks to Shout! Factory fans of this short-lived series can own it for themselves on DVD.  That is because Shout! Factory released the series in its entirety early this past May.  While the series was obviously one of the least successful of the TMNT franchise it still is a good addition to any hardcore TMNT fan’s collection.  That is because it serves as a historical document of sorts showing everything that was done right and wrong with the series.  In examining those pros and cons in whole audiences will agree that while it might not be the best of the TMNT franchise’s installments it also is not its worst.  That (dis)honor still goes to Paramount and Nickelodeon’s 2014 big screen take on the turtles.  Keeping that in mind, this installment proves once more to be a worthwhile addition to any TMNT fan’s collection if only for historical purposes.

Saban’s 1997 live-action take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is by no means the franchise’s best incarnation.  In all fairness it is also not the franchise’s worst incarnation either.  Keeping that in mind, it is a welcome (and important) addition to any TMNT fan’s collection.  That is because it shows through its twenty-eight total episodes that Saban, with all of its successes, was not invincible at the time of the series’ run.  That is not entirely the fault of the people at Saban, though.  In examining for instance the timing of the series’ debut it had a lot working against it.  The series was meant to follow the events of the franchise’s original cinematic trilogy.  The problem is that that trilogy wrapped in 1993 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.  Saban’s live action series didn’t start until four years later in 1997, which was also only a year after the original animated series came to its own end.  When the story lines presented in each are taken into consideration and the timing of their beginnings and endings, they worked wholly against Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  Had Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation come earlier—perhaps during the animated series’ run as an alternate universe series of sorts—then it might have had more of a fighting chance.  But because of the timing of its debut and its plot line it is clear why it failed in the long run.  That is just one important part of the show that should be noted in examining what the series in whole.  the series’ writing, in the bigger picture of its presentation, played its own integral part in the series’ failure.  The same can be said of the look and the feel of the series.

The timing of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation’s debut is a big part of what might have made the series’ run so short.  The timing of its release, when considered alongside the events of the franchises cinematic trilogy and its animated series, put a rather large nail in the series’ proverbial coffin.  The series’ writing is just as problematic as the timing of its release.  The series’ writers opened this series by introducing its key villain—Dragon Lord–early on.  The problem is that he wasn’t the series’ only villain starting out.  The writers incorporated Shredder into the story, too.  However, they wasted very little time taking him out of the story, too.  The way in which they wrote him out was rather anticlimactic to say the very least, too.  It almost leaves one asking why he was even used in the overall story considering how little impact his elimination had on the series’ overall story.  It could be argued that in so randomly eliminating Shredder, the writers were just throwing something out there just to see if it would work and make the series in whole anywhere near feasible.  While the overall story did work, it still ended up being relatively lackluster at best.  The same thing happened when the writers behind the TMNT animated series tried to keep that series going after the turtles eliminated Shredder.  They introduced a new villain—an alien from another world—but it just didn’t work, which ultimately led to the series’ end in Season Ten.  The same sort of mindset led to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III’s failure, too.  With Shredder out of the way at the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II it was as if the writers were asking where to go from there.  One can only assume that someone just said, “hey, let’s send them back in time on a quest and see how audiences react.”  While the end result was entertaining in its own right, it is still obvious that the movie’s writers struggled to come up with something to keep the movie (and the franchise) going.  This, again, goes back to the obvious practice of the writers behind Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  It is as if, again, the writers went into the series blindly and just threw in what they could as the series advanced.

The timing of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and its writing are both key elements that worked against the series in its short run on FOX Kids from 1997 – 1998.  They are not the only elements that should be considered in examining what the series got right and what it got wrong.  The look and the feel of the series are just as important to note as the timing of its run and its writing.  The look of the series will be examined first.  The costumes and the sets that were used in Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation are a stark contrast to those used by Saban’s Power Rangers franchise at the time.  That series had come a long way in terms of its look from the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Some of the camp was still there in terms of its look.  But that look had also clearly evolved to a point since those days, too.  By comparison Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation took audiences back to the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers thanks to the campy look of its sets and costumes.  No effort was made by the people at Saban to make this series look anything like the franchise’s original cinematic trilogy, which again this series was supposed to be linked. Even the look of Shredder’s outfit barely made him look menacing.  He looked more like one of the then WWF’s costumed bad guys than any truly menacing villain.  That is thanks to the design of his outfit.  Even the look of the turtles was a complete change of pace from their look on the big screen and its previous small screen incarnation.  This is again even with the series’ alleged connection to the franchise’s cinematic trilogy.  The only part of the series that really bore any similarity (and that term is used very loosely here) to that trilogy is that of the turtles’ subway lair.  It is obvious that whoever designed their lair for this series did in fact make a concerted effort to connect the two universes.  Sadly it is about the only thing that actually connects the two universes in terms of the series’ look.  The rest of the sets and costumes are more akin to the MMPR series than anything seen on the big screen or any other TMNT incarnations.  By relation, the feel of the series is linked just as directly to MMPR as its look.

The look of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is an undeniably important part of the series’ life span.  That is because of how starkly it stands out from that of the rest of the offerings in the TMNT universes and even from that of Saban’s Power Rangers universes at the time.  The series’ feel is just as important to note as its look.  That is because its feel stands out just as starkly as its look.  The feel includes the series’ cinematography and the acting.  The cinematography throws back to the days of MMPR just as much as the costumes and sets that were used throughout this series.  That is evident in the scene transitions, the angles used within given scenes, and even the speed of the shot changes within the scenes, too.  The transitions from the general scenes to those of the dragons’ lair are key examples of that throwback look.  MMPR used very similar transitions when its scenes transitioned from Angel Grove to Rita (and later Zedd’s) moon base.  That is something that was gradually phased out as the Power Rangers franchise evolved over time.  The acting on the part of both Shredder and Dragon Lord plays its own part in the series’ feel.  The same can be said of those that brought Leo, Raph, Donnie, Mikey, and even Venus to life.  The camp in their collective work gives the series a fun, cheesy feel that interestingly enough will keep audiences entertained because of that cheese factor.  Again it is all a noticeable throwback to the days of MMPR.  Again in comparing this to the feel presented in the likes of Power Rangers in Space, the current installment of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise at the time, it is a completely different feel.  Good or bad is in the eye of the beholder.  In all fairness it likely played its own part in the series’ downfall since few programs if any had that same campy feel at the time.  So that probably hurt the series even more.  Between that and the show’s equally campy look, it becomes even more evident why the series’ combined look and feel might have hurt the series more than it helped.  That is especially considering the time at which the series was on television.  Speaking of the time at which the series debuted, it plays its own part in the series’ problems.  The writing behind the series plays its own part in the series, too.  Each element plays its own part in the series’ short run.  That goes without saying.  All things considered it becomes wholly clear why Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is one of the least successful entries in the TMNT universe.  But when it is compared to those other entries in it still is not the franchise’s worst installment.  Keeping that in mind, it is still a welcome and important addition to any TMNT fan’s home collection if only for its historical value.

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is hardly the best offering in the TMNT universe.  It is not the franchise’s worst offering, either.  That (dis) honor belongs, to this day, to Paramount and Nickelodeon Studios’ 2016 big screen reboot of the original cinematic franchise.  Given, this series had (and has) a lot working against it.  But still in comparison to other offerings from the TMNT universe it could have been a lot worse.  Considering all of this it is still a welcome addition to any true TMNT fan’s collection whether for entertainment or for historical value.  It is available exclusively via Wal-Mart and can be ordered online via Wal-Mart at http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ninja-Turtles-The-Next-Mutation-The-Complete-Series/51301759.   More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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

‘Ninja Storm’ Is One Of The Power Rangers’ Best Series Since ‘MMPR’

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

There’s a storm brewing.  But this time it’s a good storm.  How can a storm be good?  It can be good when it’s a Ninja Storm.  Earlier this week Shout! Factory released Power Rangers Ninja Storm: The Complete Series on DVD.  And there is plenty to appreciate about this installment of the long-running franchise beginning with its writing.  The writing applies first and foremost to the series’ plot.  The fact that the writers would go back to the franchise’s interstellar/sci-fi roots this time out is impressive in its own right.  The ultimate reveal, which is made later in the series makes the plot all the more interesting.  That leads to another of the series’ most important elements, the writing within its episodes.  That will be discussed later.  Last but not least of note in this series is the work of the series’ cast.  Each element is important in its own right to the series’ overall presentation.  All things considered they make this series one of the franchise’s best so far in its post-Mighty Morphin’ era.

Late next year, Lionsgate is set to release the new big-screen reboot of Saban’s beloved Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Needless to say it has already created quite a storm among fans of the beloved series.  Some people love it.  Others hate it.  Regardless which side one takes on the upcoming adaptation, audiences will just have to wait until the movie comes out to see how it actually turns out.  While they wait, Power Rangers fans have another classic Power Rangers series to take in.  It comes in the form of Power Rangers Ninja Storm: The Complete Series.  This installment of the long-running franchise is one of its best so far in its post-Might Morphin’ era.  This is due in part to the series’ writing.  More specifically it is due in part to the series’ plot.  The plot behind Power Rangers Ninja Storm follows a trio of Rangers, tapped to fight the evil interstellar space ninja Lothor.  It marks the first time since the days of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers that the franchise has gone the full-on sci-fi/interstellar route.  The closest that any previous series came in that avenue, was Power Rangers Time Force.  Even that series didn’t go the full-on sci-fi route taken by MMPR (as it will henceforth be known here).  Lightspeed Rescue and Wild Force were more based in fantasy than science fiction.  Keeping that in mind, that approach in itself makes this series’ plot an important part of its presentation.  Add in the fact that for the first time the Power Rangers start out as a 3-person team and only grows to 6 members, and audiences get another important part of the series’ plot.  Again, none of the franchise’s former installments had taken that course.  Though, it did become more commonplace as the franchise progressed.  It makes this aspect of the series’ plot just as important to note as the larger story.  The two plot elements together show clearly why the series’ plot is so important in examining its writing.  The plot is just one part of the series’ writing that should be examined.  The overall writing within the series’ episodes is just as important to note as its plot.

The writing behind Power Rangers Ninja Storm’s plot is its own important part of the series’ writing.  It isn’t the only important part of the series’ writing to be examined.  The writing within the series’ episodes is just as important as the writing behind the series’ plot.  Audiences will find that the writing within the series’ episodes is relatively familiar from one to the next.  One episode that exemplifies that familiarity comes in the form of “The Wild Wipeout.”  It sees Tori end up in an alternate universe in which the Rangers are the villains, and Lothor and company the good guys.  It is a story line that has been used time and again throughout television’s modern history in so many series.  That includes series aimed at adults and children.  What sets this adaptation of the classic story line apart from others is that it also uses a sort of Wizard of Oz approach, leaving both Tori and audiences to wonder, was it all just a dream sequence, or actually another universe.  As if that isn’t enough, the writers also added in the story of Rangers being turned from the evil side to that of the good guys in the multi-part “Thunder Rangers” story arc.  It includes both the three-part “Thunder Strangers” story arc and its lead-in “Looming Thunder.”  The evil Ranger-turned-good story arc is an element that has been used in every installment of Power Rangers going all the way back to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Though, the writers this time have switched things up at least a little bit.  What sets this story line apart from those previous stories is that 1) it involves here not just one Ranger but two.  And in this case, the Rangers in question weren’t under some evil curse to start off their multi-part story arc.  Rather they had just been brainwashed by Lothor’s propaganda, not to reveal too much.  Though, they were eventually put under a brainwashing spell of sorts at one point.  Of course that was only a one-episode story line that saw the Rangers break that spell and win the day.  Audiences can discover that story for themselves.  If these episodes aren’t example enough, the writers also take on the evil twin story line in this series.  It’s yet another way in which the writing within the series’ episodes proves so important to the series’ presentation.  Any of the series’ other episodes could be cited just as easily in this argument.  Considering that it becomes increasingly clear why the writing within the series’ episodes is just as important to the series’ presentation as the writing behind its plot.  What’s more the two elements together make perfectly clear why the series’ writing in whole is so important to its presentation.  The writing is, of course, not the series’ only important element.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to note as that of the series’ writers.

The work put in by the writers behind Power Rangers Ninja Storm is undeniably important to its presentation.  This is clear in examining both the series’ overall plot and the plot behind each of its episodes.  Of course in examining the series’ writing it becomes clear that the writing is just one of the series’ most important elements.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to the series’ presentation as its writing.  While audiences might think that the actors who portrayed the Rangers are real stars of note here, that is not the cast.  That is at least the view of this critic.  In all honesty, the real stars of the series are Katrina Devine and Katrina Browne.  The pair portrayed Lothor’s nieces Marah and Kapri respectively.  While the pair ultimately turned out to be quite the devious evil duo, they do a wonderful job of tricking both Lothor and audiences.  The pair’s comic portrayal makes for so many laughs throughout each episode as they present themselves as stereotypical air headed valley girl types.  The personalities that they portray couples with their physical comedy to keep audiences entertained every time that they are on camera.  It would have been so easy for them to go over the top in their portrayals.  But they manage to successfully keep that reined in, thus leading to so many great moments right up to the point that they reveal their true personalities.  Even when they do reveal that truth they  are still just as great to watch.  To a lesser extent, Grant McFarland is entertaining in his own right as the evil space ninja Lothor.  Those that are familiar with the Power Rangers’ history will note a certain throwback to Robert Axelrod’s portrayal of Lord Zedd from the days of MMPR in McFarland’s take on Lothor.  He is clearly devious.  However one can’t help but laugh at his facial gestures and general reactions from time to time.  It is just a great reminder of the franchise’s old days.  The rest of the series’ cast impresses in its own right.  There is not denying this.  But the work put in by McFarland, and the duo of Devine and Browne is at least to this critic the most notable in this series.  In the end, their work couples with that of the rest of the cast to show in whole why the cast’s work is, in whole, just as important to the series’ presentation as that of the series’ writers.  All things considered Power Rangers Ninja Storm presents audiences with plenty to appreciate.  There is a lot of familiarity throughout this series and just as much new material.  All in all it makes this installment of the Power Rangers one of the franchise’s best in its post-MMPR era.

Power Rangers Ninja Storm is one of the best installments of the Power Rangers franchise to come along since the days of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  That is due in part to writing that boasts its own share of familiar and new elements.  This applies both to the series’ plot and the stories presented within each of its episodes.  The same can be said of the cast’s work.  Grant McFarland conjures thoughts of Robert Axelrod with his portrayal of Lothor in this series.  Axelrod handled the role of Lord Zedd in MMPR.  Katrina Browne and Katrina Devine are just as entertaining as Lothor’s nieces even when their characters reveal the truth of their personas.  The rest of the cast impresses in its own right.  These three just shine brighter than the others in the eyes of this critic.  The cast’s work couples with that of the series writers to keep audiences engaged and entertained from one episode to the next.  The end result is a series that, again, audiences familiar with the Power Rangers franchise will agree it is one of the best installments to come along since the end of the franchise’s Zordon era.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store now at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-ninja-storm-the-complete-series.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, 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.

Shout! Factory Goes “Wild” This Spring With Its Latest Power Rangers Collection

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Disney Enterprises

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Disney Enterprises

Shout! Factory is going wild this spring with yet another installment of the Power Rangers.

Shout! Factory will release Power Rangers: Wild Force next month.  The tenth installment of the beloved franchise, it will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, April 12th alongside Shout! Factory Kids’ new Pound Puppies DVD Showstopping PupsPower Rangers: Wild Force follows Cole Evans, Taylor Earhardt, Max Cooper, Alyssa Enrile, Daniel Delgado, and Merric Baliton as they fight Master Org and his forces and protect Turtle Cove.  Cole and his fellow rangers use the Wild Zords in their battle against evil.  They are aided by their mentor Princess Shayla in their battle with Master Org and his monsters.

Power Rangers: Wild Force is one of the most important installments of the Power Rangers franchise.  That is because it was the first (and only) season of Power Rangers to be released by Disney Enterprises.  It also was the last season of the franchise to be produced in the United States.  Every season of Power Rangers since has been produced in New Zealand.  This season also was the first since the end of the Power Rangers’ Zordon era to throw back to that era.  It did so with the “reunion special” “Forever Red” which brought back every one of the franchise’s Red Rangers that had come before Cole.  The premise behind the episode was that it was up to the ten-member team to stop the remaining generals of the Machine Empire in their effort to unearth and restart Lord Zedd’s zord, Serpentera.  Serpentera had been left buried on the moon at the end of the Zordon era.  As the season progresses, Cole learns his parents’ true identity and that of Master Org, which reveals quite the story in itself.  That in turn leads to quite the turn of events in this season, adding even more interest to the season’s overall story.

Power Rangers: Wild Force will be released on Tuesday, April 12th.  It will be available in stores and online exclusively on DVD.  It will retail for MSRP of $19.97 but can be pre-ordered at a discounted price of $16.97 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-wild-force-the-complete-series.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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.

Power Rangers Time Force Is One Of Saban’s All-“Time” Great Power Rangers Series

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Twenty-three seasons. That is how long Saban’s Power Rangers franchise has been on the air. To be more precise, it has been on the air for twenty-three seasons over the course of twenty-two years. August 2016 will mark twenty-three years on the air for the Power Rangers. A lot has changed for the Power Rangers since the days of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The teams have changed. The locations have changed. And so have the stories. They’ve ranged from fantasy to sci-fi from one season to the next and at times even included both. The one thing that hasn’t changed throughout the years is the franchise’s popularity. And thanks to Shout! Factory’s long-running partnership with Saban, fans of the franchise’s early years have been able to relive the joy of those early years for themselves on DVD. Now next Tuesday another of those early seasons will be available in stores and online thanks to that partnership in the form of Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series. The five-disc DVD box set offers plenty for audiences to appreciate beginning with its writing. There’s plenty of action and adventure. But the story at the center of this season is the key element of the season’s writing. Just as important as the season’s story is the work of the season’s cast. Rounding out the presentation is its mix of stock footage and special effects. Each element is important in its own right to the whole of this season. Altogether they serve to make Power Rangers Time Force one of the most standout seasons of the Power Rangers franchise and in turn this season one that every Power Rangers fan should own.

Power Rangers Time Force is one of the most standout seasons of the Power Rangers franchise. It is a season that every Power Rangers fan should own. The main reason for this is the work of the season’s writers. The writers behind this season of the Power Rangers have crafted a story that is unlike any before or in reality even since. It is the second installment of the Power Rangers franchise in the post-Zordon era. What’s more it stands alone from its predecessor Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. The one link that it does hold to that series is that this season sees the Power Rangers as yet again a semi-militaristic organization, this time upholding the law and taking down bad guys from the future. It is based just as much in sci-fi as that series, too. What sets it apart from that series (and every Power Rangers franchise before) is that it is the first time ever that a Power Rangers team has been led by a female character. That is a real breakthrough for the franchise. Sure, Wes as the Red Ranger is the team “head.” But in all reality Jen is the real team leader in this series. On another angle, Ranksik’s source for evil henchmen is not endless. But it is not so limited that it limited the show’s run. After all, forty episodes for one season of the Power Rangers is not bad. That was enough to run the show a little more than nine months. Keeping all of this in mind, it all comes together to show why the writing in general this season was integral to its success. It isn’t all that makes the writing key, though. The stories within the episodes is just as important as the season’s overall writing.

The general writing behind Power Rangers Time Force does plenty to make this season of the Power Rangers stand out. As important as it is to the season’s success, the writing behind the episodes within the season is just as important as the season’s writing in general. Audiences will laugh as Lucas (Michael Copon — The Scorpion King 2, Bring It On: In It To Win It, One Tree Hill) has to earn his driver’s license in “A Blue Streak.” Here is a man who in his time is a championship race car driver. But in 2001 is just another person. The setup for this situation makes for its own share of laughs. “A Parting of Ways” is another important example of how the writing behind this season is so important. It is a mini-coming-of-age story for Wes as he stands up to his father and becomes his own man. He also becomes even more solidified as a member of Time Force as a result. The series final four episodes are perhaps its most important. It is in these episodes that some very important revelations are made and some very important decisions are made, too. Those revelations won’t be revealed here for those that haven’t yet seen this season. But they do have an important impact on everything that had led up to that point. Now keeping this in mind it is clear why the writing behind Power Rangers Time Force in whole is so important to this series. It isn’t just the writing behind the season’s episodes, but in whole. While the season’s writing proves hugely important to its whole it is just one aspect of the season that makes it stand out. The work of the show’s cast is just as important as that of the show’s writers.

The work of the writers in Power Rangers Time Force shows to be hugely important in the overall picture of the season. Between its episodes and its overall premise and approach, the writing behind Power Rangers Time Force stands out from almost everything else that had been presented in every season of the Power Rangers up to that point and honestly since then. As important as the writing proves to be to this series it is just one element of this season that makes it stand out. The work of the show’s cast is just as important to the season as its writing. Right off the bat, Vernon Wells has to be mentioned here. He is spot on as the maniacal villain Ransik. Even as over-the-top as he can be at times, he is still believable in his role. That is because he really does try to keep from getting too much over-the-top at any point. He really makes audiences appreciate him in his role because of this. There is almost a classic villain sort of figure in his portrayal even as he comes to his ultimate revelation in the season’s finale. It really feels like something that a person would see in a classic broadway stage production. On the other side of the spectrum, Erin Cahill (Fast Track: No Limits, Saving Grace, General Hospital) is just as believable as the Rangers’ leader Jen. Early on she makes audiences feel for her in her belief that Alex was killed. That belief makes her a strong leader for the Rangers. And even as her relationship with Wes blossoms, she still maintains that strength rather than letting herself become the standard damsel in distress figure. It is honestly a refreshing sight considering how often strong female leads end up taking a backseat to their male counterparts. Switching gears quite a bit Douglas Fisher is impressive in his own right as Wes’ butler and limo driver Phillips. Fisher (Intolerable Cruelty, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Imagination Movers) may only play a supporting role here. but even in that role he still adds his own touch to given scenes. His disbelief early on as Wes jumps out of the limo to fight Nadira is great. And even as Phillips has to take a woman and her child to the hospital near the season’s end he doesn’t try to ham it up. He takes the moment and fully embraces it. His reaction to a child hitting a ball onto Mr. Collins’ limo earlier in the season’s run is yet another example of his ability to handle the role. Audiences see the surprise and frustration. It shows his character’s displeasure with the moment. However, his reserved reaction only serves to make audiences hate Mr. Collins even more as he tells the boy that he is going to keep the boy’s baseball. So even in a non-speaking moment, Fisher plays his own important role that helps to make the moment all the more powerful. To that extent, it shows why even a supporting actor is just as important to a presentation as the leads. He is hardly the only other member of the seasons’ cast worth mentioning, too. One could go into each member of the show’s cast. But that would take far too long. So keeping that in mind, it can be said in full confidence that the work of the season’s cast holds its own importance to the season as the season’s writers. Both together go a long way toward making this season stand out. Even with their combined influence they are still not the season’s only notable elements. The special effects and stock footage incorporated into this season are just as important to its presentation as the work of the show’s writers and cast.

The combined work of Power Rangers Time Force’s writers and cast is hugely important to the season’s overall presentation. Through the combined work of all involved, audiences are certain to remain engaged from one episode to the next. While they are unquestionably important to the season’s overall presentation they are not the season’s only important elements. The combined stock footage and special effects are just as notable. The stock footage lifted from Super Sentai Mirai Sentai Timeranger is used sparingly throughout each of the season’s forty total episodes. Where it is used, it is almost seamlessly combined with the live action footage recorded for the show. More often than not, that incorporation is used in the major fight scenes. Other than that, the show is made up largely of live action footage recorded specifically for the show. Moving on to the show’s special effects, the special effects retain the same look as those in the series’ predecessors. There are lots of cool lasers and explosions. And the effects used to grow Nadira’s nails into almost Wolverine-like claws is just as notable. Speaking of Nadira, her makeup and costume are part of yet another element that should be noted–the show’s costume and makeup department. Getting back on track, the time travel sequences, the effects used to make it appear as if Katie Walker (the Yellow Ranger, played by Deborah Estelle Phillips–The Cavanaughs, 7th Heaven, The Company We Keep) had super strength, and other effects were just as impressive. That certain camp feeling that the effects had early on the Power Rangers run is just as prevalent here yet it is still just as fun to watch. Whether through these or other moments, it can be seen just why the special effects and stock footage together play such an important part in the overall presentation of Power Rangers Time Force. Interestingly enough they are still hardly the last of the season’s notable elements. Those that handled the show’s costumes and makeup are just as deserving of credit as anyone else. That’s a story for another time. Altogether, all of the elements noted here paint a picture of Power Rangers Time Force as being one of the franchise’s most standout seasons. They reveal this season to be one that any Power Rangers fan will want to have in his or her own collection, especially if he or she doesn’t already own Shout! Factory and Saban’s previously released mega-Power Rangers multi-season sets.

Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series is a collection that any Power Rangers fan should have in his or her personal DVD library. That is especially the case for those fans that might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on Shout! Factory and Saban’s previously released mega-Power Rangers multi-season sets. That is most evident in the show’s writing. From its episodes to its overall presentation, it is clear that a lot of work and thought was put into this season’s writing. The work of the show’s cast is just as important to its presentation. This includes both the lead and supporting cast. The combined efforts of the show’s editors, special effects staff, costume department and makeup department are all just as pivotal to its presentation. Each element is important in its own massive way. Altogether, they make Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series a collection that once again every Power Rangers fan should have in his or her own personal DVD library, especially if said fans don’t already own the previously released mega-Power Rangers multi-season sets. Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series will be available next Tuesday, February 9th in stores and online. It will retail for MSRP of $19.97 but can be pre-ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store now at a discounted price of $16.97 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-time-force-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.faceboook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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

Shout! Factory, Saban Taking Audiences “Back To The Future” In New Power Rangers Season Set

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Shout! Factory and Saban are taking audiences back to the future next month so to speak. That is because they are teaming up to release another classic season of Power Rangers in the form of Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series.

Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, February 9th. The five-disc set features the full forty-episode run from the ninth season of Saban’s long-running sci-fi/fantasy series. This season marks the second time that the Power Rangers are presented to audiences as a semi-militaristic organization. It is not the last time that the Power Rangers would be presented in such fashion either. This season centers on the Rangers’ hunt for the evil criminal mastermind Ransik after he escapes their custody and slips from the year 2001 into the past (then present). It’s up to Pink Ranger Jen to lead the Time Force Rangers to find Ransik, apprehend him, and return with him back to 2001.

Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, February 9th. It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $19.97. It can be pre-ordered at a discounted price of $16.97 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-time-force-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfacotryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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.