Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Old Foes” Review (Lord Zedd Returns!)

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E13 – “Old Foes”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE: October 15, 2021 (Netflix)
SYNOPSIS: A Sporix Beast resurrects Lord Zedd.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Well gosh. As a first generation Power Rangers fan, I wonder if I’ll have any thoughts about this one…

Indeed, the show has resurrected Lord Zedd, the most popular villain in the show’s history. It’s not merely a reference to him. It’s not some cockamamie story about he and Rita Repulsa having a son we never knew about. The franchise’s quintessential villain is back. What’s more, he’s brought back in a way that makes you wonder why they didn’t bring him back a lot sooner. They simply bring in a monster with the power to reincarnate people. Boom. There’s Zedd.

However, they don’t simply leave it at that. In a real treat for longtime fans like me, they reference a bunch of old MMPR episodes, talk about Zordon’s sacrifice in  Countdown to Destruction, and actually treat Zedd like a huge deal. It’s one of the better past character that the show has ever done. What’s more, as someone who grew up on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it’s a genuine thrill.

The elephant in the room as far as Zedd is concerned is that his voice is different. Andrew Laing plays the role, as opposed to the late Robert Axelrod. Though even if Axlerod was still with us, I doubt they’d have used him. You’ll notice that in the sequence that used the old footage, Zordon, Rita, Alpha 5, and Andros all had their voices dubbed over by different actors. In Beast Morphers, the returning Goldar also had a different voice. I can only assume that’s a union issue, and if they could have brought the old actors back, they would have.

The use of the inhibitor collar from Beast Morphers on Zedd was a nice touch. This episode truly is a continuity buff’s dream come true. But it was good from a character standpoint too. Unless your name is Dark Specter, chances are Zedd isn’t taking orders from you.

The line where Ollie calls Zedd “radiator face” is a callback to a line Rita had in an MMPR episode. Don’t ask me which one. I just know she called him radiator face at some point.

We’ve reached the point where I’m actually going to be mad if Dino Fury doesn’t link Ollie and Amelia romantically. Or “ship” them, as the kids would say. Their little back and forth moments have become a highlight of the show for me.

Arguably the best thing about this Zedd development? They didn’t kill him off, which would truly have been idiotic. They had him disappear, presumably to return at a later date. I’ve even heard a little bit of buzz about him being the villain for the second season of Dino Fury. Naturally, there’s a lot of intrigue there.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Phoning Home” Review

Slyther, Power Rangers Dino FurySERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E10 – “Phoning Home”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Guy Langford, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: June 15, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Void Knight’s new general impersonates someone from Zayto’s home planet.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Void Knight: “Who cares about colors? We’re not Power Rangers!” That feels like something a non-PowerRangers fan must have said to one of the writers at some point.

Slyther, Void Knight’s new general, is really charming. His tendency to call his own moves during a fight is a fun quirk, and the vocal performance by Campbell Cooley is delightfully cheesy.

We see via flashback that dogs on Zayto’s homeworld also have those flesh-colored antennae. That should really count as animal abuse. Give the dog some dignity, will ya?

Amelia gets a communication from Zayto about training…right in front of the camera crew. Wish they’d cleared out the extras for that shot.

Nice to see the Rangers training. Small complaint: I wish they could have been in some sort of active wear, as opposed to their standard civilian garb.

There’s a nice little reference to Levi Weston, the Gold Ninja Steel Ranger, in this episode. Little details like that are awesome.

I didn’t know Solon could fight. Certainly not the most fluid movements I’ve ever seen. But still, that’s kinda cool.

Wait…the Rangers don’t know how to summon their zords without Solon’s help? I’m gonna let that slide because we’re still early in the series. But c’mon now, guys…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Toys

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Cut Off” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E9 – “Cut Off”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Guy Langford, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: June 15, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Ollie takes too much technology on a camping trip. Then, Void Knight cuts the Rangers off from their tech.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Episodes 9, 10, and 11 of Dino Fury are the first episodes of Power Rangers to premiere on Netflix, along with the eight episodes that had already aired on Nickelodeon. I’m curious as to why those last three episodes hadn’t aired beforehand. Still, it makes for a nice little mini-binge.

What’s more, apparently season two of Dino Fury will be exclusive to Netflix. As someone who’s been having a lot of fun following the series on a week-by-week basis again, I’ve got mixed feelings about that. But you certainly can’t argue with the distribution Netflix has. And if it turns out to be good for the show overall, then I can’t complain. It may just take some getting used to.

When the Rangers realize they’re cut off from their tech, Amelia says she’ll “call the old fashioned way,” and goes to find her smartphone. As an adult fan who was around before the age of the iPhone, that line makes me feel old.

So the premise is that the Rangers are “miles from the city,” and can’t teleport in case Void Knight launches an attack. I appreciate that Zayto brought up the fact that they could walk there, despite how long it would take. I was ready for them to simply stay stuck in the forest until they found a solution.

They literally built a giant crossbow to fire Ollie’s arrow at the big tech-blocking balloon. Pure insanity, and I kinda love it.

Based on their interaction in this episode, I’m convinced we’ve got an Ollie/Amelia romance coming our way. I mean, why not?

So…where was Zayto going with the “Why did the chicken cross the road?” joke? Especially if he didn’t know what the punchline was? Not the most important detail in the world. But it’s nagging at me.

Right before the zord battle starts, Ollie says that the bird monster is about to be “all out of cluck.” *cringes* Really? You sure about that?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Superstition Strikes” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E6 – “Superstition Strikes”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 3, 2021
SYNOPSIS: After walking under a ladder, Amelia believes herself cursed with bad luck.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Amelia walks under a ladder and thinking she’s got bad luck is pretty hokey. But I’ll say this much: It’s consistent with what’s been established about her character. Remember, she believed in fortune tellers too.

Mucus: “You just fell for a classic bit of Mucus misdirection!” If “mucus misdirection” isn’t the name of a medical condition, it absolutely should be. Get on it, doctors!

I loved the squish sound effect when the monster smacked Mucus on the head. Small details like that make all the difference sometimes.

Solon, the team’s resident cyborg dinosaur, is actually voiced by Josephine Davison, who played Morgana back in S.P.D. She also voiced Itassis in Mystic Force. Her performance here has a motherly quality to it that fits the character really well. Even if you don’t expect it to come from a dinosaur.

On the subject of S.P.D., that’s the last season I remember the music being this catchy. And that was more than 15 years ago. Hat tip to Bert Selen.

So Amelia gets her friggin’ morpher stolen?!? Thus, Boomtower gets into Dinohenge? Really bad rookie mistake, kid…

It’s extremely difficult to say “Boomtower” and not “Boomhauer.” And I’m not even that big a King of the Hill fan.

Nice, hard-hitting zord fight. Plus, there’s something oddly satisfying about watching the Megazord smash a monster with a giant hammer. “Mega Hammer Slam” indeed.

Izzy seriously says, “Okay boomer.” They continue to give her the best lines in the show.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Winning Attitude” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E5 – “Winning Attitude”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 27, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Izzy gets an all-important lesson in sportsmanship from her coach.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

After last week’s episode Hunter Deno, who plays Amelia, tweeted the following…

In terms of her central point, she’s not wrong. This is a very diverse cast, which of course is great for kids to see. I’m really hopeful that we’ll see a Ranger of Muslim descent sooner rather than later. Much like Ravi on Beast Morphers being the first Ranger of Indian descent, the fact that it’s taken so long to have a Muslim Ranger is something of an indictment of a show that’s got diversity built into its DNA.

Also, since last week’s episode the phrase “Cool Cool Coolio!” has been randomly popping up in my head. I imagine I’m not the only one with that issue.

Jane: “A Sporix! In my pants!” There’s a joke there, which you’re definitely not allowed to make on a kids show. Kira Josephson continues to make me smile with her performances.

So the Rangers just teleport in to face Mucus and the monsters without any attempt at subterfuge. I imagine this is one of those times we’re just supposed to assume no one saw them, right? Civilians on this show can have very convenient selective sight at times…

In Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger, the Japanese Super Sentai series Dino Fury is based on, the heroes are knights from the “Ryusoul Tribe.” Ergo, much of what we see on this show has a vaguely medieval look to it. I took particular notice of it with the Hengemen as they teleported into the playground battle sequence.

Those cracks about the monster having kids were funny. This was a good episode for hokey Power Rangers comedy.

Void Knight and the rest of the villains continue to be based out of “Area 62.” I continue to wonder why the number 62. Did they just uptick both the digits in Area 51?

It was, of course, very cool of them to cast Sarah Dalton, a Special Olympics athlete, to play Izzy’s coach Lily. I’m finding that as a parent, I appreciate those kind of choices much more than I used to. Kudos for setting a good example, Dino Fury.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “New Recruits” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E4 – “New Recruits”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 20, 2021
SYNOPSIS: The Rangers get some unexpected aid from two new allies.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Obviously we get two new Rangers in this episode, Izzy and Javier. As tends to happen on this show, the status quo shifts rather rapidly. New Rangers, new zords, etc. I was hoping we’d get a little more time to settle in with our three-person team. But so it goes.

Zayto: “Are you sure I should interview for this job? I really only have experience fighting monsters.” Something tells me that’s a problem a lot of Rangers have faced when transitioning into the world of 9-5 jobs…

So Izzy and Javier’s stepfather is the park warden, played by Blair Strang. Once again, I’m noticing we’re starting to become acquainted with the Rangers’ parents more and more. We know Ollie’s mom, and now we know Izzy and Javier’s stepfather. What are the odds we meet one of Amelia’s parents at some point?

Mucus: “It’s morphin’ slime!” Why yes. Yes, it certainly is.

The chorus portion of the music during Izzy and Javier’s first morph was a nice touch. Added a nice epic feel to things.

I saw that more than a few people online loved the moment when the newly morphed Izzy ripped off the skirt and said, “Skirts aren’t really my thing.” It was, in fact, a great moment. I likely wasn’t the only one puzzled when the Green Ranger showed up wearing a skirt to begin with, as the corresponding character in the Sentai series didn’t have one.

Izzy: “Big scary monster ran away. You love to see it.” Izzy, played by Tessa Rao, may wind up being my favorite among the Dino Fury Rangers, for no other reason than they seem to be giving her all the best lines.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury “Lost Signal” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE: S26:E3. “Lost Signal”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Kira Josephson, Victoria Abbott
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTORS: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 6, 2021
SYNOPSIS: After receiving a message from Zayto’s home planet, the Rangers must fight a monster blind.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Sometimes, in the back of my mind, I’ll hear my mother asking nitpicky questions. One came to me as I was watching the opening credits sequence this week: “Why is it called Dino Fury? What are they so mad about, anyway?”

Oh jeez. We’re seeing more tentacled people? I can’t say that’s the route I’d have gone. I’d have forgone the tentacles altogether. Back in the day, Andros was able to pull off the alien look just by putting blonde streaks in his hair. Couldn’t they have done something like that with Zayto?

You’d think I wouldn’t have rolled my eyes so hard at Amelia thinking a psychic could unravel the mystery of the message from Zayto’s planet. This is, after all, a show with tentacled people, an anthropomorphic talking dinosaur, and a cyborg walking around like normal in everyday life. By Power Rangers standards, who’s to say it’s that far-fetched?

It looks like Jane and J-Borg are our comedic duo this season, in the spirit of Bulk and Skull or Ben and Betty. These pairs are usually an acquired taste. But I’ll say this much: They found two funny actresses in Kira Josephson and Victoria Abbott. Dino Fury is also the first season to give us two women in these roles, as opposed to two men, or one man and one woman.

Pine Ridge. That’s our city name in Dino Fury. Pretty generic. But it beats no name at all.

Solon would be such an awesome sidekick for the Rangers if only her lips moved a little bit. Those zoom lenses on her eyes are pretty cool, though.

I enjoyed that little fight sequence between Zayto and Vypeera, and I like the idea of the Rangers having to fight a monster blind. I only wish it could have gone a little longer.

I talked last week about the zord sequences having too much CGI for my taste. Cast in point: The Tricera and Ankylo zords. Whenever they were on screen, it looked like the show jumped right into a video game. And not in a good way.

So Ollie and Amelia teleport into the Megazord cockpit, and one of the first things Amelia says is: “We’ve got to get a selfie in this thing!” Please tell me that’s not how kids talk these days. Tell me they don’t go around asking to take selfies in things. Please? Pretty please…?

I like the T-Rex Champion zord better than the Megazord. The latter just has too much going on. It’s almost overwhelming on the eyes. That’s a common problem with modern Megazords, I think.

This episode had its high points. But overall, I’d call it a step down from the first two. Here’s hoping next week’s will be better.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers

Power Rangers Dino Fury: “Sporix Unleashed” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE: S28:E2. “Sporix Unleashed”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Shavaughn Ruakere, Kira Josephson
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: February 27, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Ollie devises a plan to catch the Sporix monsters on the loose, and executes it without the knowledge of his teammates.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’ve got a beef with modern day morphs: They’re way too wordy. It goes, “It’s morphin’ time! Dino Fury key, activate! Link to Morphing Grid!” C’mon, folks. We’ve only got about 22 minutes here. Let’s move things along…

Also, link to Morphing Grid? I suppose that’s practical. But much like “Activate Beast Power!” in Beast Morphers, it’s not very creative. What’s the deal? If you can’t think if something quick and catchy for them to say, just stick with “It’s morphin’ time!”

I suppose I’m just old, but the notion of drones being used on Power Rangers is quaint to me. It’s a good thing, though. The more this show can keep up with the times, the better.

When Zayto, who’s been asleep since prehistoric times, asks where all the dinosaurs are, Amelia says: “Well, they’re mostly in the movies.” Mostly. I love that. Nice subtle nod to…you know…28 years of continuity.

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive doesn’t get a lot of love. Simply put, it wasn’t very good. That being said, I did enjoy the small Overdrive reference in this episode. During the scene at Buzz Blast, “Hartford Robotics” is printed on the box the android comes in (shown left). That kind of thing is cute, harmless, presumably easy to do, and fans get a kick out of it.

So the henchgirl’s name is Mucus. Again, I’ve got to call them out for lack of creativity on this one. Was Phlegm taken? I do like that she can turn into green slime, though.

While I’m not a fan of the morphing call, the CGI portion of the morph sequence is pretty awesome. I can’t bring myself to complain about that.

Thus far the music, composed by Bert Selen, really adds a lot to Dino Fury. It’s heavily synthesized, which I’m sure isn’t for everybody. But it gives the show a particular flavor, and the heavy percussion adds a lot to the fight sequences.

The “toyification” of Power Rangers, which many see as the show’s entire purpose for existing, is in full effect here. The Rangers have swords with a t-rex head on the hilt, and can manipulate the jaw to do various super-powered stuff. Are they selling that sword at Wal-Mart yet? Even as an adult, I’ve got to admit it’s pretty cool.

I saw some fans on Twitter were happy to see the Rangers teleporting. Frankly, it’s hard to believe teleportation ever left Power Rangers. During the first several years of its existence, it was a big part of the show’s DNA.

You know what would be nice? If Ollie’s mom figured out he was a Power Ranger. Not because he told her, but because she…you know…recognized her own son’s voice and body language. I don’t expect characters on a kids show to be that competent. But this woman is supposed to be a brilliant scientist, right?

I hope kids get a kick out of the zords they see on Power Rangers. Because as an adult, they generally don’t do much for me. All the CGI that’s been integrated into zord sequences for the better part of 20 years now muddies them all together, making them less distinct.

That said, the T-Rex Champion Zord looked pretty good. The CGI and practical effects were blended together fairly well. By modern zord standards, it scores high.

Well how about that? The Rangers are, in essence, using crowdsourcing as their monster alert system. Civilians can call, text, or DM Sporix sightings to the Rangers. I like that a lot, and I don’t believe anything like it has been done before.

Void Knight and Mucus (shown above) are using an abandoned base called “Area 62” as their lair. I’ve got no issues with that. Obviously it’s a take-off of Area 51. It does, however, make me wonder what happened to Areas 52-61…

Dino Fury has come out of the gate strong. I’m mostly pleased with what I’ve seen so far. I’m legit looking forward to the next episode!

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

 

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury Episode 1 Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE: S28.E1. “Destination Dinohenge”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: February 20, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Two youngsters uncover Dinohenge, a lair containing secrets from 65 million years ago…

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I like that Amelia, our new Pink Ranger, is a reporter. It creates a cool little Clark Kent/Superman vibe. More importantly, reporters are the often unsung heroes of our society. So it’s nice that Power Rangers is creating that connection for kids. I also like the name of the web site she works for: “Buzz Blast.” It’s a thinly veiled allusion to BuzzFeed.

Apparently Amelia is also a Ghostbuster. That “spook snare” reminded me of the Ninja Steel premiere, when Sarah showed up with an honest-to-God hoverboard.

So Dinohenge is filled with “Hengemen,” who will apparently serve as the henchmen for this season. Get it? Hengemen? Henchmen? Brilliant…

As the Hengemen are preparing to attack, Amelia says she’s taken three years of karate. Ollie, our new Blue Ranger, replies with “Yeah, me too.” Does that mean Ollie has taken three years of karate too? If so, that’s a remarkable coincidence even by kids show standards. I’d like to think it was just a general affirmation that he too knows karate.

After they’ve morphed, and Amelia asks Ollie what else they get with these new powers, he says: “If you watch the news, zords!” I like that line a lot. Not only does it tie into Amelia’s job, but it’s a nice reference to the fact that the Power Rangers get plenty of news coverage in their universe.

Design-wise, those helmets are pretty busy. They’re going to be an acquired taste. But I’ll get there.

The bad guy’s name in this episode is “Void Knight.” I can’t decide if I like that name. Look at a thesaurus, and you’ll see it’s a degree or two away from “Bare Champion.” You don’t want a Bare Champion on Power Rangers. Bear Champion? Maybe. Bare Champion? No.

After we get acquainted with Zayto, our new Red Ranger freshly awakened from a 65 million year hypersleep, he reads Amelia and Ollie’s minds. He calls Ollie “a rational, logical adventurer and scientist.” He refers to Amelia as, an “imaginative, unstoppable truth seeker.”

It’s rare that a show flat out gives you the rundown for some of its characters. It’s contrived, yet amusing.

I wonder what Russell Curry, who plays Zayto, thinks of those tentacles he has to wear. You think they told him that at the audition? Probably not.

Solon, our resident helper (a la Alpha 5 or Redbot) this season, is a cyborg dinosaur. That’s amazing. Have we not had a cyborg dinosaur in two and a half decades of Power Rangers? I’m thinkin’ we haven’t…

We see the Morphing Masters (or is it Morphin Masters?) in this episode. That name dates all the way back to an expository line from season one. But we’ve never seen any characters called the Morphing Masters until now. That level of attention to detail, especially on a show primarily meant for young children, is really cool.

Zayto says the other Knights of Rafkon were “lost” in battle. Which, in Power Rangers speak, means they probably died. So who wants to bet on when one or all of them shows up in an episode? Are we thinking end of season one? Or are we going into season two?

Overall, I dug this premiere. I tend to like it when the show paces itself like it did here. We haven’t had any zords or big city battles yet. The show took its time and allowed us to get to know Amelia and Ollie a little bit. Things felt like they unfolded organically.

A good start to what will hopefully be a good series.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.