Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers – “Real Steel” 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:E12 – “Real Steel”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITER: Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: October 5, 2019
SYNOPSIS: A rift forms between Nate and Steel. Meanwhile, a cloner robotron infiltrates Grid Battleforce.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It’s interesting to me that the physical manifestation of Morph X is bright green slime. Then again, it’s Nickelodeon. Maybe that’s to be expected.

Incidentally, Real Steel is an overachiever of a movie. It’s pretty tough to go wrong with Hugh Jackman.

I enjoyed the dynamic between Nate and Zoey in this episode. She acts as the voice of reason when his emotions and his inexperience get the better of him. It’s nice groundwork for the more romantic stuff that’s obviously coming.

We keep seeing that same female technician (shown above). In this episode she has the line about there being an intruder in Nate’s lab. It’s not a bad thing, I’m just finding myself wishing that we knew more about her. Or at least her name. All I know about her at this point is that she’s played by Amber-Rose Henshall.

After 12 episodes, I still find the Nate character a little annoying. But it has nothing to do with Abraham Rodriguez. From an acting standpoint, I think he’s actually quite good. Particularly by kids show standards. When he’s playing the clone monster, he has to pun “I copy that” to Colby Strong (Blaze). Not an easy line to motivate without coming off hokey. But he did it.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Silver Sacrifice” 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!!!***

Evox, Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Silver SacrificeSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E9 – “Silver Sacrifice”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 14, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Evox’s forces want Steel’s robot body to house the villainous virus. But Nate isn’t willing to give up his new brother so easily.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Early in the episode, Nate and Steel go jogging. Because that’s apparently what you do when you’re a Power Ranger and have a robot buddy. It’s only two brief shots. But what I love is that toward the end of the second one, right before the cut, we see another jogger come into the frame. If you watch him, you’ll notice he turns his head back to look at Nate and Steel. I absolutely love the notion that this man went out for a jog one day and just happened to pass a boy and his robot doing the same thing.

In the previous episode, one of the other Rangers flat out said Nate “isn’t a fighter.” And yet in this episode, he’s throwing spin kicks. That must be one hell of a training program they’ve got at Grid Battleforce.

Nate, Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Silver Sacrifice

Personally, I’d have borrowed from what they did with Billy way back in season one of MMPR. Have Nate bumble his way through unmorphed fights, and gradually build up his martial arts expertise.

The Rangers are all sneaky when they approach the warehouse where they’re keeping the Cybergate. But when General Burke and the Grid Battleforce troops arrive, they pull up in a pair of SUVs wearing full gear. So much for subterfuge. And low and behold, Ben and Betty get captured. Why were they brought along anyway? This guy seems like he sucks at his job…

Incidentally, General Burke is played by Mark Wright, a voice actor whose work on the series goes as far back as Ninja Storm in 2003. Beast Morphers marks his first major live action role on the show.

Steel: “You haven’t seen power until you’ve seen the power of family.” Awww, that was a nice line. Hokey, but nice.

LOVED the shots of the Red Ranger fighting off the Tronics in the water. Any time they can take advantage of their environment for the fighting aesthetic, it’s a win in my book.

As the Rangers are having to duck and dodge massive shots from the giant-sized Antennatron, they get a message from Commander Shaw: “Rangers, looks like you’ve got big trouble!”

If there was ever a time on this show for a snarky comeback, it was right there.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “The Cybergate Opens” 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:E8 – “The Cybergate Opens”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Cosme Flores
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 27, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Scrozzle builds a cybergate through which to transport Evox from the Cyber Dimension. Later, a new Ranger unexpectedly joins the team.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Nate says “phenomenal” twice in this episode. I know it’s the old school fan in me, but that seems like an obvious missed opportunity to have him say “Morphenominal.”

The CGI used for Evox is hardly state of the art. But it was pretty cool to see him slither through the cybergate.

Hold on a minute…Nate is able to teleport a weapon in from Grid Battleforce using his wrist communicator. But it was supposed to have been damaged when he was captured! What gives?

Using praying mantis DNA and the technology from the Cybergate, Nate transforms himself into the Gold Ranger. Beast Morphers is pretty liberal with its use of the term “beast.” As he’s using praying mantis DNA, Nate is more of a Bug Morpher than a Beast Morpher, isn’t he?

I can’t say I’m a big fan of this Gold Ranger costume and its dark mustard coloring. But I’ll say this much: It looks suitably insect-like.

The robotic body Nate created comes online and morphs into Steel, the Silver Ranger. The best thing I can say about Steel at this early juncture is that I appreciate the voice performance by Jamie Linehan. Delightfully corny.

Steel’s genetic make-up is comprised of scarab beetle DNA (another bug…), along with Nate’s DNA. And so, all the talk we’ve heard this season about Nate wanting a brother gets paid off early. Nicely done.

Devon, Ravi, and Zoey get their butts handed to them by Vacuutron, a monster based off a vacuum cleaner. That’s…embarrassing.

Incidentally, Vacuutron is voiced by Cosme Flores, who also plays Ben.

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, “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, “Beasts Unleashed” 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:E1. “Beasts Unleashed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez
WRITER: Chip Lynn
DIRECTORS: Simon Bennett, Yuji Noguchi
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 2, 2019
SYNOPSIS: An evil computer virus sabotages a city’s attempt to use the Morphing Grid for clean energy. Three new Rangers rise to take on the threat.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It’s fun to me that the Morphing Grid has, over time, become more and more of a character on the show. This thing, essentially used as a piece of expository tech dialogue way back in the Mighty Morphin days, has grown and grown to the point that it’s now an active piece of Power Rangers lore. And in the case of Beast Morphers, a pivotal part of the show’s premise. Morph X, a clean energy source derived from the grid, is being used not only to power the Rangers and their tech, but the city they reside in as well. That’s a really cool premise, and a clever way to use the concept of the grid.

But for crying out loud, is it “Morphin Grid” or “Morphing Grid?” Because I’ve heard it said both ways…

Devon Daniels, our new Red Ranger, reminds me a lot of Zack from Mighty Morphin. Rorrie D. Travis injects a lot of charisma into the character. Mere minutes into the premiere, I can tell he was a good casting choice.

Jazz Baduwalia, who plays Ravi, is the first Indian actor to play a Power Ranger.  I remember being shocked when I heard that. Yes, diverse casting deserves to be celebrated. But the show also deserves to be called out for this one. Beast Morphers is the 26th season of Power Rangers, a show that has supposedly had diversity built into its DNA from the start. And yet there had never been a Ranger of Indian descent until now? To me, that’s more sad than anything else. Sadder still is the fact that we’re now on season 28, and we still haven’t had a Middle Eastern Ranger…

You really can’t blame Devon for sneaking into Grid Battleforce, can you? He’s a gamer, and Grid Battleforce sounds like it was plucked directly from a video game.

Devon’s dad, the mayor of Coral Harbor, references Rita Repulsa, Sledge, and Galvanax when talking about villains who’ve wanted to steal the Rangers’ powers. That’s a nice little moment, harkening back to not just the first season, but Dino Charge and Ninja Steel too.

Nate Silva, the genius “child prodigy” character played by Abraham Rodriguez, annoys me for some reason. Like Will Wheaton in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he’s got a very punchable face.

The Beast Morphers suits are…different. Even by kids standards, the spandex costumes on this show have always required a pretty big suspension of disbelief, not the least of which because of the zippers in back being clearly visible. In contrast, these suits appear to be made of a leathery material, with the zippers clearly visible in front for some reason.

I don’t dislike them, though. They’re an ingredient that makes Beast Morphers stand out amongst other seasons. Would I want the suits to be like this every season? No. But as a one-off they’re perfectly fine.

For whatever reason, Power Rangers loves to tinker with the DNA of its heroes. Case in point, Beast Morphers is merging human and animal DNA to give the Rangers animal-themed super powers. The speed of a cheetah, the strength of a gorilla, etc. As far as the risk/reward ratio is concerned, I wonder how that stacks up against being bitten by a radioactive spider. Or perhaps a radioactive jackrabbit…

Yeah, the Yellow Ranger’s DNA was merged with that of a jackrabbit. Cheetah. Gorilla. Jackrabbit. One of these things is not like the others.

For the uninitiated, Power Rangers is made using footage from the Japanese show Super Sentai. So the producers of Power Rangers are to a large extent beholden to what the Japanese creators do. In this case, I’d love to be able to ask those creators…Why a jackrabbit?

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