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 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 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 – “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, 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, “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.