Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers: Beast Morphers – “Tools of the Betrayed” 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!!!***

Striker Megazord, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Tools of the BetrayedSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E11 – “Tools of the Betrayed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 28, 2019
SYNOPSIS: A white lie tests Devon’s trust in Zoey.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Coming off “Thrills and Drills,” Beast Morphers feels a little heavy on what I’ll call the “after school special” element lately. That kind of thing has always been a part of Power Rangers. But there’s something to be said for moderation and pacing.

As the episode opens, we see Devon coaching Ravi and Zoey in a blindfolded training session. From a writing standpoint, I get why Devon is coaching. He’s the Red Ranger, the leader, etc. But given his experience level compared to the others, shouldn’t Ravi be the one coaching?

If you ask me, Devon got what he deserved. He trusted his video game to Ben and Betty, the most accident prone people he knows. What did he think was going to happen?

Zoey, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Tools of the Betrayed

Tooltron, the monster that can disassemble devices on command, threatening to use his power to take Steel apart was a nice touch.

New zord configuration, the Striker Megazord. (shown at top). Looks cool. But as always, modern zords lack a certain punch.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Thrills and Drills” 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:E10 – “Thrills and Drills”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 21, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Ravi must face his fear of the dentist in order to defeat Roxy’s latest robotron.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We see Steel working out with the Rangers at Riptide Gym. Has Morph-X made advanced tech so common in Coral Harbor that they can just do that without anyone batting an eye? Seems strange to me. 

Along those same lines, Roxy is able to quietly steal a drill from a city worker. You’d think she’d attract attention walking around dressed like that.

The whole dentist/drill premise is something of a groaner. But when you really start to think about that drill…*shudders*…you realize it might not be so silly after all.

I know it’s kids show acting, but I love how Ravi is clutching the side of his helmet to indicate he has a toothache. That’s kinda like holding your hat when you have a headache, isn’t it?

Nate: “I won’t really panic unless I see something with eight legs.” Steel: “Don’t you worry, brother, there’s no octopuses here.” I actually laughed at that. Good line.

These Beast Morphers zords are starting to grow on me. Granted, they still don’t have as much personality as the older, pre-CGI zords did. But I’m warming up to them.

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, 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, “Stego Search” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E7 – “Stego Search”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Guy Langford
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 10, 2021
SYNOPSIS: As the Rangers search for the Stego Spike Zord, Javi struggles with a lack of acceptance from his father.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The very first line in the episode is, “What’s the haps, Solon?” Is that really a thing kids say? I thought it was just Sam Roberts.

Random: Chance Perez’s hair has impressive volume. Maybe I just appreciate it because I’m a bald guy.

Izzy: “I feel like I’ve been massaged by a truck.” How very specific. Izzy continues to get the best lines.

Solon finds a “viral video” of Javi’s dad taking his new keytar away from him. What’s the title of that video, I wonder? “Keytar Kid’s Dad Acts Like a Dick,” maybe?

So when Javi plays music it amplifies his “Ranger energy,” prompting a response from the dormant zord they’re looking for. Fair enough. By Power Rangers logic, at least. If the Dragonzord could be summoned by playing a flute, why not a Stegosaurus?

Hunter Deno’s facial expressions were strong in this episode. Good kids show acting.

I thought Boomtower was a goner. But the big guy lives to fight another day.

I was happy they didn’t quickly resolve the issue between Javi and his dad. There’s enough meat on the bone there to make that season-long story arc between the two of them.

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 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, 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.