Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “A Friend Indeed” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E7 – “A Friend Indeed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Emmett Skilton (voice)
WRITERS: Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 20, 2019
SYNOPSIS: The Rangers take their Beast Bots for granted. Evox’s forces, however, do not.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We see Ravi attempting to spar with his Beast Bot, a big blue mechanical gorilla. Later in the episode we’ll see Zoey talking to a yellow mechanical bunny. I can’t help but wonder what that’s like for these young actors, and what they were thinking during some of these early episodes…

These Rangers are obnoxiously ungrateful, considering they essentially have friggin’ robot butlers. Though I guess that’s the idea, isn’t it?

We continue to foreshadow the idea of Nate having wanting a brother. It won’t be too long before that comes to fruition…

Emmett Skilton, the voice of Jax, is the low key MVP in this episode. He had to maintain that cartoony New York accent while also doing some serious emoting, particularly late in the episode when Jax gets his “feelings” hurt. Now that’s a voice actor, ladies and gentlemen.

Toward the end of the episode, Devon, Zoey, and Ravi wind up throwing a party for the Beast Bots. Remember the scene during the first act of Star Wars, when C-3PO gets an oil bath? That’s what I imagine an actual robot party would be like.

That, and maybe a table full of spare parts.

I was surprised to see this episode end on something of a cliffhanger, as Scrozzle tells Blaze and Roxy he’s working on a “cybergate” to move Evox out of the Cyber Dimension.

So let me make sure I understand this…the Cyber Dimension is a place where beings can assume “digital” forms, while also being able to exist outside the dimension in physical form. Evox, however, is too powerful to be transported to Earth without a certain amount of Morph X. Thus, the need to steal it.

So wait, do Blaze and Roxy’s avatars use a certain amount of Morph X every time they transport in and out of the Cyber Dimension? If so, you’d think Evox would want them coming and going as little as possible, thus conserving what Morph X they have. Maybe they’re already doing that? I’unno. Maybe this is one of those things it’s best not to apply too much logic to…

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Hangar Heist” Review

** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E6 – “Hangar Heist”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 13, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Devon has trouble trusting Ravi, as Evox’s forces infiltrate Grid Battleforce.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Hold the phone! We’re terrified of the villains stealing Morph X, but Nate just lets Devon borrow some to inject into model rockets? Now that can’t be regulation…

When Ravi ignites his toy rocket, he says, “NASADA, here I come!” That’s a nice late ’90s/early 2000s PR reference if there ever was one.

If they were going to do a “Devon doesn’t trust Ravi” episode, they might have made it the third or fourth episode. Six episodes in, it doesn’t necessarily feel natural to have Devon not trust Ravi. Actually, shouldn’t Ravi be the one with trust issues? He’s the one who’s trained to be a Ranger, and the other two haven’t.

I like the idea of the Rangers capturing a gigadrone, one of the giant machines that the zords fight, for study and analysis. That’s the kind of thing that isn’t done often, if ever. Having a subsequent fight over the drone inside the Grid Battleforce hangar was cool too.

Pretty convenient that Meltadrone (shown right in the accompanying image) looks exactly like the gigadrone Devon and the others were fighting in the simulation earlier. Just sayin’.

The Beast-X Megazord (shown above) looks…decent. I maintain that modern Megazords all look too busy. They’re not nearly as sleek and cool as they used to be. But by modern standards, this one is alright. Strictly okay.

It’s nice that Ben and Betty are friends with the Rangers. It’s a nice shift from the antagonistic relationship the team often has with the resident comedy duos, dating back to Bulk and Skull. Victor and Monty from Ninja Steel come to mind as well.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Taking Care of Business” Review

** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E5 – “Taking Care of Business”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 6, 2019
SYNOPSIS: To impress his father, Devon tries to balance a job at a car wash with his Ranger duties.

It gives me a surprising amount of joy that there’s someone in the Power Rangers universe named “Sudsey.” And of course, he runs a car wash. It was either that or soap mascot. What’s more, with those blue coveralls and red shirt, Devon apparently gets to dress like Super Mario when he’s working there.

Ben and Betty give Nate the idea to use discarded Robotron and Gigadrone parts to look for new tech they can use. So wait…you’re telling me Grid Battleforce, a military organization, doesn’t have some kind of clean-up crew? They just leave crap laying around the city? Yeesh. These guys are new to this Power Ranger stuff. How rude!

At about the 7:30 mark, Zoey does a cartwheel to avoid getting hit by Slicertron’s projectiles. The Power Rangers universe is the only place you should ever see someone do a cartwheel during a fight. I’ve never seen Connor McGregor bust one out in the octagon. That’s all I’m sayin’.

I don’t remember the show being quite so pun-filled when I was a kid. Or even as I got older. Yes, the show has always had cheesy puns. But at one point during “Taking Care of Business,” it felt like every other line out of Blaze or Slicertron’s mouth was a slicing or cutting pun. And it’s almost always the bad guys. Apparently puns are evil. Who knew?

So the big plot hole in this episode is the question of why Devon doesn’t just tell his dad he’s a Ranger. Naturally, that would alleviate the whole conflict of him trying to impress his dad by holding this job while still serving as the Red Ranger. Honestly? That didn’t bother me as much as, in hindsight, you’d think it would. Superheroes have secret identities, and it’s a kids show. That’s all the explanation I need.

Plus, if you want to get technical about it, the real plot hole is why Grid Battleforce makes the Rangers keep their identities a secret in the first place…

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Digital Deception” Review

** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E4 – “Digital Deception”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Denise Downer
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 30, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Roxy’s avatar plays head games with Ravi on Valentine’s Day.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Ben and Betty’s reaction to the bee might seem like hokey, exaggerated comedy. It’s not. That is how certain people genuinely react to bees. I’ve seen people literally rocket across the room. People who aren’t allergic, mind you. I’ll never understand.

It sure was nice of them to put full make-up, most noticeably lipstick, on Roxy while she was in hyper sleep. Grid Battleforce does it all!

“Here goes nothing but evil.” I like that line a lot. That’s a good Power Rangers line.

“Careful, I have the high ground.” Devon says that to the Tronics during the unmorphed fight. Amazing that even in the Power Rangers universe, the prequels were bad movies.

Liana Ramirez (shown right), who plays Roxy, is probably the most natural actor on the show. Her facial expressions are strong, and she has good delivery.

I reject the premise that Shoveltron, that big clanky monster, snuck up on Ravi. He’s obviously blinded by love. But was he deafened by love too?

There’s a great shot in this episode of the Red Ranger riding down the road on his motorcycle as the Racer Zord comes up behind him. Great camera work.

Toward the end of the episode, Zoey gets the yellow bouquet of flowers we briefly saw Nate pick out earlier. See, if he’d been paying attention, he’d have gotten her a bunch of carrots. That chick loves her some carrots.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “End of the Road” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E3. “End of the Road”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Patrick Rieger
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 16, 2019
SYNOPSIS: As Zoey tries to promote Morph-X-powered bicycles to save a forest, Blaze plans to steal the Morph X.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I understand that kids shows often require dramatic actions that spell things out for developing young minds. But Zoey jumping in front of a bulldozer to save a tiny lizard…I mean, really? You sure about that? It’s noble, I’ll give her that. But it’s a little too much for my tastes.

Apparently, people in Coral Harbor are only impressed by bicycles powered by the Power Rangers’ Morphing Grid if they have two seats. Not just one. Apparently, the people in Coral Harbor are very stupid.

You can call the monsters on this show silly, but I’d be damn scared of Needletron (shown below). You never know what those needles have touched.

I don’t want to like that conversation Nate has with Zoey where he talks about not having much of a family, wanting a brother, etc. I’m still not warmed up to the Nate character. But I have to admit, they took an opportunity to develop his character and ran with it. It works.

I’m fairly certain this episode gives us the first “Rangers on bikes” sequence in the show’s history. The Beast Morphers suits made them look like BMX cyclists. Very well done.

Were those “banana rockets” the gorilla zord shot at Needletron? And did Needletron subsequently slip on a giant banana peel? You know what? Sure. Why the heck not?

“Virus eliminated” is a pretty cool post-battle phrase. Concise and to the point.

It’s interesting to me that we now know a parent of each Ranger. Devon’s dad is the mayor, Zoey’s mom is a TV reporter, and of course Ravi’s mom is Commander Shaw. If they was ever a time to do another “villain kidnaps the team’s parents” story, it’d be now.

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

Posted in Power Rangers

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Evox’s Revenge” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E2. “Evox’s Revenge”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Teuila Blakely
WRITER: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 9, 2019
SYNOPSIS: As Evox and the villains assemble, the Rangers face conflict over who their leader should be.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The Blaze and Roxy avatars are teleported to the Cyber Dimension where they encounter Scrozzle, who will ultimately serve as one of Evox’s henchmen. He’s also the creator of the Tronics, the villainous foot soldiers for Beast Morphers.

Sometimes I find myself wishing this show would get a little more creative with its voice acting. Scrozzle has virtually the same scratchy, high-pitched voice we’ve heard from villain toadies over and over throughout the show’s life. Can’t we come up with something a little more fresh?

Evox, our computer virus and lead villain for Beast Morphers, takes the form of a big snake (shown above). It’s hardly the best CGI you’ll ever see. But other than that, no complaints. I buy it.

This episode introduces us to the Beast Bots, robot companions for our three Rangers. Nate quickly announces that their circuits infused with animal DNA. That’s one of those things that sounds cool at face value, but when you really think about it, makes no sense. At least not without further explanation. Are we supposed to believe these things are synthezoid robots, like Data or the Vision?

Kelson Henderson, who’s been cast on the series several times, once again returns as the voice of Cruise, Devon’s Beast Bot. He was first on the show back in 2005, as Boom on Power Rangers SPD.

Ben and Betty are our comedic side duo this time around, playing the roles previously filled by Bulk and Skull, Cassidy and Devon, Victor and Monty, etc. Historically, when comedy is incorporated this way, the show does a pretty good job of keeping it amusing rather than annoying. Cosme Flores and Kristina Ho are able to keep that tradition alive. I can also appreciate that they’re at the Rangers’ base, getting into hijinks with the tech, gear, etc. That’s a dynamic we haven’t seen in awhile.

Apparently one of the show’s ways of establishing that Devon is a video game nut is simply having him generically reference video games time and time again. At best it’s a little contrived. At worse it’s flat out grating.

These animal-related weaknesses, such as Zoey needing carrots to charge up because of her jackrabbit DNA, are silly and eye-rolling. But because this is a show meant for young children, it’s an acceptable kind of silly. Though in Devon’s case, I highly doubt cheetahs are afraid of dogs. Much less a friggin picture of a dog…

I don’t have any major complaints about the zord stuff here. Power Rangers obviously exists in part to sell toys. But I remember seeing some of the Ninja Steel zords and thinking the “toyification” of the show had become a little too blatant. Especially when we got to the Ninja Steel Megazord. But by modern standards, these zords are fine. At least so far.

I appreciated the way “Evox Unleashed” handled the question of who the team leader would be. Ravi and Zoey both wanted it bad enough to openly compete with one another, whereas Devon simply wanted to do a good job. Thus, not wanting to be the leader so badly ironically made him the perfect choice to lead the team. I like that moral for kids. It’s alright to want something, but not to the point that it supersedes all your other responsibilities.

Although, maybe these kids should have been paying closer attention to the franchise they’re in. C’mon noobs. The Red Ranger is always the leader…

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