Power Rangers Review

It’s been over twenty years since many people of a certain age would have first seen the Power Rangers. I was in my second year of school when the first film arrived and before then the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers in all its 90’s greatness was probably the first television show I followed as a child.

pr 2.PNGBack then it was everywhere seemingly, and the merchandise that went with it was of course always sold out including the original mega zord or those dolls which you could flip the head. But things move on and times change. One thing that remained and carried on through many different versions was indeed the Power Rangers. Whether it be Turbo force, Dino Thunder or Zeo, the power rangers series has managed to cultivate and capture generations of kids imaginations all looking for their Saturday morning fix of heroes.

To me the idea of a rebooted Power Rangers film (about the first series) has been something I have been waiting a very long time for. The concept of 5 teenagers chosen by destiny to save the world was very much lost in the cartoon style of the original and of course we shall try to forget the disappointment the first film came to be. So for a 90’s kid like me I was in full support of this reboot which is in fact much more than that. It’s a re imagining and expansion of  the original concept story and has been given the modern cinema treatment.

The films opens with the back story of old. Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) betrays Zordon who’s dying act is to send her packing deep below the ocean. This happens in what later becomes modern day Angel Grove.

Next comes the gradual and detailed introduction of the five main characters; the rangers. Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Zack and Trini. All of them high school kids and all them with the many problems that come with that age. You could even call them a group of misfits that don’t really like one another and that’s where this film becomes interesting. Back in the original there was a hell of a lot of less detail about why these kids were actually friends.

The film succeeds in displaying what modern age kids are like and some of the struggles they have to deal with, such as bullying and just trying to fit in. Jason a once star football player has to face not being that anymore. Billy; the clever kid on the ‘spectrum; Kimberly who just had a rough break up and is involved in a photo texting scandal. We also see Zac who’s mother is sick who he has to look after and of course Trini who’s always the new girl in town.

I thought the introduction of these new kids as the iconic parts previously played was vitally important to get right and the young actors and actresses very much did that along with giving these characters a depth I never thought they had.

After some time they find 5 previously buried colored rocks known as power coins which teases they eventual stumbling of their way to the command center; a crashed space ship in which Zordon (Bryan Cranston whom voiced characters in the original series) is somewhat imprisoned in the ships computer. Of course we see the re-imagined robot Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader) and things start to roll towards these five misfitting kids becoming friends.

Rita Repulsa finds her way back to land and to life and so the real threat becomes apparent. The five kids must become Power Rangers to save the day.

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Verdict

I have only chosen to mention selected parts of this film so I don’t spoil it for anyone wanting to go and see it. I recommend it highly and so comes my verdict.

For any fan of the old show you will indeed like this film if you are willing to wait and see everything unfold. The action doesn’t get going straight away and this is a slow burner which works towards these kids becoming the rangers. When the action does happen its explosive and sort of like a controlled transformers action sequence. Fan boys and girls will smile at the homage to the original opening sequence of the TV show as the zords arrive.

The power ranger suits I thought looked modern and was a far cry from spandex and the helmets of old. Above all what I enjoyed the most was comradery of these 5 kids who are chosen unwillingly to save the world. Bryan Cranston although mainly a voice impressed and inspired with his performance. Elizabeth Banks played Rita without the cartoon- esque demeanor her character is known for and very much impressed me. Overall this film was enjoyable and although it didn’t hit number 1 in the charts this is probably because Beauty and the Beast was released at a similar time and was equally as impressive. 

Go go power rangers and hopefully soon we shall hear the announcement of a much needed sequel.

The Conjuring 2: Horror done right

And I’m back for my second ever Saturday blog post. The last one worked so well I thought I would do another some months later. Things are about to get a little spooky and jump scary as we delve into a review of the Conjuring 2.

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I know for many people horror isnt your film genre. Understandably, there are many terrible horror stories out there, the monster gets revealed too quickly or you can see the ghost is actually a guy dressed in a bed sheet. Or you’re the other type who doesn’t like the potential heart attack, again understandably.
Myself, the jump scares and loud bursts of music have become something I can live with for the sake of seeing a decently put together story unfold.
So if you are familiar with the Conjuring and Annabelle (the latter in which I reviewed on here before) you will grasp the format. If not, well, there’s this couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren. They are paranormal investigators and work closely with the church. They take on cases of ghosts, ghoulies and possessions. Loosely they are based on a actual people, that’s always nice and adds to the horror.

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This time out they are faced with the ever so famous Enfield haunting. Of course this is after their most famous case back in the states, Amityville. The film introduces us to the aftermath of Amityville whilst slowly building up Enfield and the events that happened back in the 70’s. You can really feel the sense of build up and the story taking its time, something in which most films of this genre rush and fail at.
The two hauntings either side of the Atlantic have one thing in common. The potential to be hoax, even now it isnt really known if either are. Another contribution to the horror, mystery and sense of realists. Again boxes are being ticked here.
Eventually things start to get pretty damn poltergeisty (if that’s a word) in London and the media catch on. Events and the setting cling pretty close to the real story, with the Hodgson family being very well cast and convincing throughout. So it isnt long until the famous Warren’s are invited by the church to see what the damn hell is taking place.
I don’t give much away in my reviews, especially if this is a film I incline you to see, and it is. This conjuring 2 is a re-telling of a famous ghost story and built around just that. Of course the truth is merged with imagination and I couldn’t help but enjoy the build up of jump scares which were consistent and not over done.
Director James Wan has done a fantastic job with this beautifully shot creep fest. You can see they spent time and money on making this film look good on screen. This is of course a cinema film, especially if you want the sounds and sights. Even when somebody came down the aisle of the cinema I found myself on edge. In fact the whole audience behaved, something which tension will do to an audience. A rarity these days.
Both Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the paranormal investigator couple pick up exactly where they left off and built upon their already rich chemistry and characterisation. This isn’t just a horror story but a trip back to late seventies England. Something in which older viewers will enjoy.
Whilst it’s still at the movies, go and see it.