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, “Super Hotshot” Review

Power Rangers Dino Fury, episode 12, Super Hotshot, Zayto, IzzySERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E12 – “Super Hotshot”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, Guy Langford, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE: October 9, 2021 (Nickelodeon)
SYNOPSIS: Unbeknownst to her, Izzy’s new trainer has greedy motivations.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Izzy asks her dad if she can have an advance on her allowance so she can buy a membership to Coach Bella’s gym. To me, this begs the question…Izzy still gets an allowance? How old are you when you’re supposed to stop getting one? When you’re old enough to get a job? Izzy and Javi’s dad must be a softy.

Although maybe I’m a softy too. I thought Izzy’s “puppy dog” impression (shown below) was pretty cute.

Campbell Cooley’s performance as Slyther continues to be a pleasure to listen to. It’s reminiscent of his work as Cosmo Royale in Ninja Steel, which was equally amazing.

Zayto: “Oh, we’ve got all the toys!” The Power Rangers franchise went a little meta with that line, didn’t it?

Power Rangers Dino Fury, Super Hotshot, Javi, Izzy

I initially thought this episode was the first appearance of Fern, Izzy’s rival turned friend. Turns out “Winning Attitude” has that distinction. Either way, Fern is about to become one of the more notable civilian characters in the show’s history…

I’d argue the greed moral of this episode is even more poignant to adults than it is to kids. That moment where the other Rangers all give money to Izzy was really sweet.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers – “Tuba Triumph” 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:E13 – “Tuba Triumph”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramierez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: October 12, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Ravi comes to the aid of a young man being bullied.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It was cool to see Roxy in a little unmorphed fight sequence. It gives Liana Ramirez a nice chance to get physical.

By Power Rangers kid actor standards, Lukas Maher does awesome as Joey. And the whole “only use martial arts to defend yourself” thing harkens back to the early days of the show.

That opening title sequence tends to come late, doesn’t it? This time, it didn’t come until we were seven minutes deep.

So as Ravi is fixing up his grandpa’s old tuba to give to Joey, Commander Shaw, Ravi’s mother, tells him a Power Ranger can’t afford to have “silly distractions.” Thus, we have the reason that Ravi hides his artistic talents from everyone. I was surprised we didn’t get some kind of resolution between mother and son in this episode. Hopefully that’s coming in a future episode.

So Nate recalibrates the robotron sensors to pick up “tuba sounds” as they search for Tubatron. As in plain ol’ regular tuba sounds apparently, as Joey is able to trip the alarm by playing his instrument. Seems like a pretty silly oversight to me. Especially when Steel says moments later that Tubatron’s blasts are much bigger.

Then again, Joey is subsequently able to counter said blast with a big note from his tuba (shown above). Talk about mixed messages…

As someone who now has two kids, I’ve got mixed feelings about Joey using martial arts to intimidate the bullies at the end of the episode. Yes, I know the bullies started the issue. And yes, I recognize that Joey didn’t actually hurt anybody. And once again yes, I know that’s the sort of thing the Mighty Morphin Rangers did all the time.

But the bullies weren’t trying to physically hurt anyone. And if you introduce something like a big karate kick into a situation, aren’t you escalating it, and opening the door for the bullies to retaliate with more violence?

Not to blow the moment out of proportion, but it does make me wonder if Power Rangers consults with any sort of child psychologists when concocting these moral lessons.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “McScary Manor” Review

Amelia, Hunter Deno, Power Rangers Dino FurySERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E11 – “McScary Manor”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: June 15, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Amelia goes hunting for ghosts, but finds Void Knight’s latest monster instead.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Amelia’s Pop-Pop: “I worked at Area 62 – saw all kinds of crazy stuff.” File that away in the back of your mind. Something tells me that little detail will come back to haunt us…no pun intended.

“McScary Manor,” the episode’s title, sounds like a place you’d find Ronald McDonald around Halloween. Like in one of those commercials with the Hamburglar, Grimace, etc.

Amelia’s fascination with the ghosts and the paranormal has been a nice, consistent character trait. The characterization on Dino Fury has been pretty good, thus far. Everybody seems to have their ground to cover.

Pink Ranger, Power Rangers Dino Fury

Nice little fight sequence with Tombtress and Amelia. Having her hands restrained made for a nice twist.

Javi: “I just love how good at posing we are!” Dino Fury is pretty good at self-referential humor. Not quite as good as R.P.M. was, but still pretty good.

When the Rangers are at BuzzBlast, Zayto is discreet when he tells the others there’s been no sign of Tombtress. I appreciate that, as it seems like one of the few times the Rangers have actually tried to protect their secret identities in this series…

So now we know that not only does Amelia live with Pop-Pop, but her parents were lost in some “pretty mysterious circumstances” when she was a baby. Yet another detail to file away.

I knew Tombtress sounded familiar. She’s voiced by Kira Josephson, the actress who plays Jane.

Always keep an eye on those end credits. You never know whose name is going to pop up. Case in point: Jason Smith, who played the Red Ranger in Power Rangers Jungle Fury, voiced a monster earlier in the season.

This was a good episode, particularly for Amelia. Not only did we get some great character stuff, but she got to pilot the Megazord and lead the team in saving the day.

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.