Saturday, March 25, 2017

Power Rangers (2017) Movie Review - Lavender Ranger's Thoughts

There is a bunch of reviews out there right now, I would understand if not a lot of people would read mine. After watching the movie, I read the IGN review which I agree with only a little bit. I was planning to see the movie Thursday but I was sick. In fact I was invited to the opening premiere in LA but I live in Miami and had to work Wednesday and given that I got sick, I'm glad I didn't shell the money for the airplane tickets and hotel. By luck would have it, I missed the beginning of the movie. It was for 11am, I got to the theater with my niece and her kids at 10:45, went for popcorn and the movie had already started as we got in at 11. Someone on Twitter told me I should have complained but I didn't think about it. Now I have an excuse to see it again. I normally don't see movies twice in the theater, only one I ever did was Roger Rabbit but I was a kid.

Spoilers ahead:
I thought of doing a spoiler-free review but a spoiler-free review would basically be this: five teenagers find a ship underneath a cave and are chosen to fight the evil Rita, her putty army and giant Goldar. That's it. Because even though director Dean Isrealite said the Rangers Jason, Billy, Kimberly, Trini and Zack would be the same basic characters we knew from the show, he was slightly right. There was not much to Trini in the original show save for her understanding Billy's tech talk, being Chinese, and knowing martial arts. None of the Rangers know martial arts and I'm not complaining. I kind of like the new backstories. Wish there was more detail to Zack and Trini. This is what the IGN review said. The young cast has chemistry. Bill Hader does a good job as Alpha, not annoying by any means. Bryan Cranston's concern and mentor advise pulls through and does a great scene with Dacre Montgomery (Jason). 

The Rangers are now REALLY teenagers with attitude. In the original MMPR, they were goody-goodies and squeaky clean. Billy is now autistic which makes sense and he is the most charming of the Rangers. I do like the friendship between Jason and Billy, it seems authentic. Jason is a football player who gets in a car accident and is put under house arrest (is never found out by police that Billy disarms the brace). Kimberly is a cheerleader who does a 'mean' thing to a girl via cyberbullying. Zack is a loner taking care of his sick mom in a trailer park. Trini is questioning her sexuality and as a gay man, I find refreshing and everyone is making a big to-do but in reality it is just in one scene and wish they elaborated it on more. Maybe have a couple of scenes with a potential girlfriend or a crush even. I mean, she doesn't have to be in a  relationship to be gay but in movies, you have to be visual. But the fact that they tried is great. I seriously never expected a gay Power Ranger, probably not one on  the show because it airs on a  children's network (even though Loud House has gay parents in it). There is a campfire scene where the team open us and it almost makes me tear up as I am gay and also had to take care of an ill mother. 

I enjoyed the movie, it had great writing, good acting, immersive action scenes and funny scenes. IGN still called it campy and some reviews said the movie might not appeal to non fans. The movie is what I expected, it would appeal to fans but probably wouldn't be a general audience hit. It so far is exceeding expectations. A disclaimer for parents who take kids under 13 to a PG-13 movie, my 7 year-old grandnephew was creeped out by the soul-sucking Rita and a doomsday prediction scene. I liked Elizabeth Bank's portrayal, she hammed it up and was creepy, but wish she was a bit more menacing and a scene where she was more disarmed. In this version as fans deduced, Zordon was the Red Ranger and Rita was the Green Ranger. She has the dragon coin. There is a mid-credits scene and it hints at Tommy Oliver but we don't see him, hinting to a sequel. Lionsgate originally said they planned 7 movies, Haim Saban says now 6. If the movie does well which I am now thinking of it might. Like Rita says in the movie: "There will be more." In the zord scene that they start playing the 1995 movie theme, I was so pumped up.

Kind of glad they didn't update it what with so many updates with Samurai and Megaforce and whatnot. My niece is a non-fan and she liked it. My 3 year old grandniece liked it and stayed in her seat throughout save for a bathroom break. I think general audiences new to the franchise that are younger than 30 might like it but adults that didn't like it when it first came out might still be jaded. Like I said before Power Rangers is a hard nugget to crack. It's a hard mix of drama, comedy, camp and action to balance. Past seasons have proven this (Operation Overdrive, Samurai, etc.) I think this movie balances it nicely but IGN doesn't think so. The camp does get a bit too campy but not as much tongue and cheek like Batman and Robin thankfully. Krispy Kreme does have a heavy promotion in  this movie which a scene of Rita enjoying a donut makes up for.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MMPR Cover Song to be released Friday



YOKO KANNO VOCALIST RAJ RAMAYYA RELEASES POWER RANGERS THEME SONG COVER
Song celebrates franchise’s latest theatrical release in North America

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – March 24th, 2017 - Music production company Strawberry Hill Music is pleased to announce that singer-songwriter Raj Ramayya has released a heavy metal cover version of the iconic Power Rangers theme song “Go Go Power Rangers”, in recognition of the release of the franchise’s newest film release Saban’s Power Rangers. The song is available for both download and streaming on digital music services like Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Music, Pandora, etc worldwide.

The song was originally written by American musician Ron Wasserman under the pseudonym Aaron Waters – The Mighty RAW and released as a single in the United States on CD & cassette on December 2nd, 1994. Wasserman would later release a remastered version of the song on iTunes and Bandcamp in 2012 as part of his Power Rangers Redux album.

Initially, the song was covered and released for the franchise’s first theatrical release “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” on May 30th, 1995 by the Power Rangers Orchestra, whose members included Mr. Big front man Eric Martin and former Guns ‘n Roses drummer Matt Sorum. Popular Japanese rock vocalist Maasaki Endoh (JAM Project) would also cover the song for his cover album Enson, released on June 11th, 2008.

On August 19th, 2016, Ramayya released a cover version of the Pokémon theme song to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary, and a remixed version by the late James Laurence of the EDM group Friendzone was released on December 16th later on that year and dubbed the LVC “Sun & Moon” Remix in recognition of the latest instalments of the Nintendo handheld game series, Pokémon Sun Version & Pokémon Moon Version. On February 28th earlier this year, Ramayya released “Butter-Fly (Dual World Version)”, a cover of the Digimon Adventure opening theme originally recorded by the late J-Pop artist Kouji Wada. All songs are available for download and streaming on digital music services worldwide.

ABOUT RAJ RAMAYYA: Raj Ramayya is an Indo-Canadian singer, composer and lyricist based in Marin County, California. His claim to anime fame would be his musical collaborations with famed Japanese composer Yoko Kanno as a member of The Seatbelts. Ramayya sang the opening credits song "Ask DNA" and wrote the lyrics for "Cosmic Dare (Pretty with a Pistol)" from the fan favourite feature film Cowboy Bebop: the Movie, and both sang and wrote the lyrics for "Strangers" from the anime series Wolf's Rain. Not limited to music in anime, he has also worked on songs for video games from the likes of Konami, Sega, and Capcom.

Ramayya has been featured as a guest vocalist/composer with several distinguished artists, ranging from talented composers Yoko Kanno (Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain) and Tatsuya Oe (Captain Funk, Hotei), to gifted lyricists Chris Mosdell (Eric Clapton, YMO) and Ron Sexsmith, and everyone in-between. His work has won him multiple awards and critical acclaim from around the world.

Among his other projects are the alternative Indian-influenced folk rock band "The Beautiful Losers", the anime cover band “Raj and the Zen Masters”, the electronic Indian fusion music project "Bhang Lassi", and session singing for products ranging from Asahi Beer and KFC, to Toyota and Coca-Cola. He is also a guest vocalist with three different Japanese electronic music groups; Captain Funk, Akakage, and Studio Apartment, with SA's song "Strawberry Rainbow" (which Ramayya both sang and wrote lyrics for) hitting #1 on the iTunes Japan charts.

If you would like to contact Raj, visit his website www.rajramayya.com, like his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rajramayyamusic), and follow Raj on Twitter @rajramayya.

ABOUT STRAWBERRY HILL MUSIC: Strawberry Hill Music is a music production company based in San Francisco, CA. They specialize in music recording and production/post-production for film, television, animation, video games, commercials, audiobooks, and web-original series. They also produce and engineer music for artists such as Amanda Abizaid, Marsha Yuan, and Damon Mahoney (Three of Swords).

For more information, please visit SHM’s official website (www.strawberryhillmusic.com), and follow them on social media through Facebook (www.facebook.com/strawberryhillm) and Twitter @StrawberryHillM. 

Song will be released Friday March 24.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Power Rangers Ninja Steel - Gold Rush - Episode Review

 Summary:
Gold Ranger fights a monster. The Rangers try to get to him but lose him. They have been trying to track him down. Galvanax says weeks have passed and is mad at Madam Odius. Ripcon wants to go to Earth. Galavanax wants to know who the traitor was. Levi Weston is a country star, everyone is in line for signatures. Hayley says he is cute and Calvin pouts and she says he is cute too. They are all dressed as cowboys except for Brody. Victor and Monty are dressed as a horse. Ripcon attacks and Brody saves Levi. The Rangers morph and fight the villains. Levi's manager bumps into Ripcon, the Gold Power Star comes out of his briefcase. Ripcon sees it, the Rangers blast him and the Manager runs off with it. 

Levi hires Brody as his bodyguard as long as the friends get backstage passes. Red joins the fight on the beach and rip off Ripcon's horn. Madam Odius arrives. The Rangers finds out they are targeting the Gold Ranger. Manager asks for more bodyguards when he bumps into Ripcon. He gets kidnapped. At a warehous,e the villains find the Gold Power Star. Ripcon knows Odius held him in the ship he says. Brodya nd Levi get food. He says his brother used to like burgers. They see a woman and her son in trouble with car. Brody looks at the car. Levi gives the kid the food as he is starving. Brody owes him an apology, saying he is normal, thinking he was a jerk. He say they could be friends as he treated him normal. 

Brody gets called and runs off. The Rangers bat up he grunts in their ninja outfits. The Rangers run into Ripcon. The five morph. A net captures them. Red blasts the star from him and frees the manager, who doesn't know what is going on. He runs off. Ripcon is stopped and Levi picks up the star. He morphs into the Gold Ranger. He fights Ripcon. He frees the other Rangers. He continues fighting Ripcon, who wants to know who captured him. He does a Rock Storm Blast attack. The Rangers do Ninja Blast Final Attack on Ripcon. Levi followed Brody and surprised to see him transform into Red. Skullgators are called.

The Rangers call the zords and don the Master Mode (including Gold) in the megazord cockpit. They fight Skullgator. Pink gives them Ninja Stars to clone like she made in the last episode. They make Megazord clones and they fight the Skullgator. Red does an attack with his zord. He gives Gold the Ninja Master Blade and Gold does the finishing attack. Hayley fawns over Levi. Back at the ship, Odius asks Ripcon if he found the traitor. He is mad. She claims he is the traitor and she leaves. Mick and Redbot see a vision of a spaceship from the Lion galaxy in the prism. Levi enters the base. Mick gives him the Storm Star and the Zord Star for his zord. Brody asks him about the Gold Power Star.


Levi was working on his new album with his guitar when the prism came to him. The Gold Power Satr glowed and he grabbed it. Odius came and kidnapped him. His mind was messed with and driven insane. The Astro Zord saved him and he got the star and left. He had the manager Tom hold the gold power star for safe keeping. They are happy to have them. The winner of the biggest fan is the little girl Victor made fun of, who now has a similar costume. He is blown away when his fan is turned on. 

Episode Review:
I must say, as a gay man, I am really smitten by Levi. Never before has a Power Ranger (in a long time) looked like a cowboy all-American manly man. He is an 'aww schuks' kind of guy. Maybe I am just into that kind o guy. But he is also very built, more so than the other male Rangers this season and even the movie. Tyler last year was manly man body wise with all the facial hair but not his personality. Anyway, a good ep. This is the classic Red Ranger and Sixth Ranger become friends episode and then we never see them bond again. I do like that the Pink Ranger's clone device from last episode was referenced. I do feel it is too soon for the Lion zord to be revealed as it should be in the second season. I mean, that's almost all the zords. The Loud House episode that aired afterwards had a 3-minute Behind the Scenes preview of the movie. 

Power Rangers Ninja Steel - Hack Attack - Epiosode Review


Episode Summary:
Sarah trips over Mick with a bunch load of things in the school. She signed up for four different clubs that meet at the same place. In the ship, Madame Odius visits the teen victim. The transger is almost  complete and she plans to throw the human away. Sarah beats Brody in track club, she beats Preston in chess club, out dos the others in the camp and shows her new boomerang arrow to Victor, Monty and the principal at the archery club. Victor shows off a Robin Hood outfit and shoots and arrow with mixed results. Later the five are in suits, she shows a new attack with her Ninja Blaster when Hacktrack arrives with Kudabots. Sarah's hologram .starts flickering and enters a ball gadget. 

At the base, the Rangers find Sarah. She created a Holo Projector, which clones her. They ask if the monster could do something with her holo projector, she thinks about it. The monster absorbs the technoloy and makes giant holo clones. They put a device on Galavanax and make a giant clone. The Rangers see 8 Galavanaxes. Sarah thinks of a plan while the others leave to fight. She activates four other Sarahs and they have things to do. Mick notices something. The Rangers use the whiplash attack to no avail. 

The clones pull her apart and Mick starts playing four instruments at once. Sarah berates him at doing four things at once when she realizes her fault. She hugs Mick's instrument. She takes away the clones and focuses on a plan. She comes with a new gadget and the monster steals it. Hacktrack malfunctions do to a virus. The giant clones disappear and the Rangers fight the monster.  The monster is made big and the zords are called. Astro Zord is called and has a ninja mode. Astro Ninja Steel Megazord is formed. It goes into space after the monster, fight shim and destroys him. Sarah quits the archery club to the principal, who tells her any college is lucky to have her. Monty flies into the air and crashes into the target due to Victor's slingshot. The Rangers leave to the base. The Astrozord blasts the ship, the teen is freed, gets his Ninja Star and becomes Gold Ranger and blasts Ripcon. He enters the ship and lands a the city plaza. The Rangers see the Gold Ranger come out on the TV, They wonder who he is. 

Episode Review:
Sarah has more gadgets and inventions than Rose of PROO and Billy of MMPR. But her personality doesn't seem to go along with it. Her personality reminds me of Alyssa of PRWF. And Mick didn't notice her using the holo projector in the same base that is not that big? 

Monday, March 6, 2017

More on Power Rangers Dino Force Brave



 At first I didn't know what to make of this South Korean production but after seeing some footage and the opening sequence, I am impressed. South Korea production company Daewon Animation will produce a 12-episode sequel series to Kyoryuger as Kyoryuger was dubbed as Power Rangers Dino Force. This is the first time South Korea makes their own production. They are not only cast new actors, have new villain suits, shooting new actor scenes, new fight scenes, but also zord battles. What didn't impressed me was re-colored suits and zords. But the opening sequence impressed me at the production value, looking like Sentai. I am not sure if Toei is in charge of the zord battle footage.


Brave Red Dino - Kim Seyong as Juyong Kwon 
Brave Black Dino - Hong Sungho as Hyeonjun Jeon 
Brave Blue - Oh Sehyun as Dino Sechang Kim  
Brave Green Dino - Lee Injun  as Pureun Lee 
Brave Pink Dino - Lee Yujin as Dohee Yun 
Brave Gold Dino - Lee Seyoung as Juhyeok Kwon 


The Stegosaurus now belongs to Black, called Stegotoup with a chainsaw. The Triceratops is now Blue and called Forekkera. The raptor is now pink and called Raptorax. Parasazier is the Parasaurus and green now. Even thought their helmets have not changed.

http://news.tokunation.com/2017/03/05/power-rangers-dino-force-brave-toy-catalogue-online-40944


LAVENDER RANGER'S OPINIONS ARE HIS OWN
It's my own personal opinion but it would've been cool if they did new suits based on the other Zyudenchi (Dino Chargers) like Bandai America did with the zords. For Dino Charge and Dino Supercharge, Bandai America made new molds: Ammonite Zord and Archelon Zord. They also recolored a Raptor as a Oviraptor. Now the reason they probably didn't do this was to cut costs and just re-color existing suits and zords. Also, the Dino Charge franchise is owned by Saban. Daewon probably only licensed Toei and Bandai Japan. But it is curious that Daewon uses the 'Power Rangers' title. But Saban does not exclusively own the name 'Power Rangers' for certain regions. That is why it is labeled as 'Saban's Power Rangers.' Bandai and Toei has Super Sentai toy sales mixed with Power Rangers as 'Power Rangers' for international records. So do we consider this Sentai or Power Rangers? Now some people wonder why Saban hasn't made their own zord footage and it is because it is very expensive. They would have to commission it again like they did for Zyu 2. Saban hasn't done their own Zord footage since Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. Disney did their own footage for SPD. Anyway I digress.

Related: http://io9.gizmodo.com/south-korea-is-basically-making-officially-licensed-pow-1792791872 | http://henshingrid.blogspot.com/2017/02/news-this-week-korean-power-rangers.html | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_0S8dLnsKA