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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saw the new Power Rangers short film today - my thoughts

Hey everyone.  In this post, I thought I would share with you the New Power Rangers short film on Youtube.  You can watch the film there.  Warning - this video is rated R and may be offensive to some.  Here is the original video if you want to watch it.  Interestingly, the film was temporarily taken down, but it appears that the film maker was allowed to repost it.  Note: the film is listed as "adult content" (as a part of the agreement the poster had with Bandai / Saban)

My Commentary of the film

In case if you don't know, the creators of the Power Rangers franchise are planning to do a reboot movie of the the MMPR franchise which is supposed to take the series back to its roots (back in the 1990s' incarnation where Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd were the main villians and you had the original characters: Tommy, Jason, Triny, Zack, Billy, and Kimberly as the power rangers), which will definitely be a first since the 1990s.  Anyways, there was a fan made short film of the original franchise and I thought I would talk about it.  The short film is definitely not canon in my opinion (completely different from the original series) with the franchise set sometime in a distant future New World order style system where the Rangers take on an evil empire called the Machine Empire (not to be confused with the Machine Empire from Power Rangers Zeo).  In the film, it appears the rangers were defeated in a battle against a corrupt NWO style government known as the Machine Empire and Kimberly (who is a blonde type unlike her counterpart in the original series) is being interrogated by the secret police (I won't spoil the film).  The film is definitely much darker than the original version but has a little bit more action and drama.

Things I liked about the film:
- Futuristic look (the graphics at the beginning of the film remind me of those in the Halo franchise)
- New actors portraying the original characters
- Different take to the saga.
- I definitely liked the acting style
- New villians: instead of the rangers taking on monsters from Rita or Zedd, they take on an evil empire in a New World Order style world (where there is a global dictatorship).

Negative aspects:
- Definitely more violent and dark than the original
- The fact that it was taken down today.  It looks like I just made it before the film was taken down since it was taken down shortly after I watched it.
- Not quite the same as the original franchise.
- Power Rangers (at least the original version) dieing is definitely not canon in my opinion.

Interesting tidbits after watching the film:
- Machine Empire (the empire listed in the short film): this was a real empire in the franchise, at least during the Power Rangers Zeo series.  The real Machine Empire were the main antagonists during the Power Rangers Zeo season (bridges the gap between Alien Rangers and Power Rangers Turbo), lead by King Mondo.  They replaced Rita and Zedd during much of the Power Rangers Zeo series while Rita and Zedd were on the run from them on the moon.  Eventually the Machine Empire was defeated by the rangers (indirectly with help from Rita and Zedd I might add), though by the time Power Rangers Turbo aired, another villain replaced the Machine Empire (namely Divatox and her minions).
Picture of King Mondo from Power Rangers Zeo (image source: rovang.wikispaces.com, appears that the website was taken down).
- Interestingly many of the original rangers including: Kimberly, Triny, Jason and Zack all left the show before the events of Power Rangers Zeo took place.  If you remember, Jason, Triny and Zack all left the show around the midpoint of Season 2 after being picked for the "world peace conference" which apparently happened as a result of a pay dispute between the actors and film makers, which is somewhat understandable in my opinion.  According to the IMDB, the actors and actresses would often put in very long hours, sometimes day and night almost every day (poor fellas, I wonder when they are able to sleep or have days off) and were only paid minimum wage (you would think actors and actresses would have made significantly more being in the show and all especially by being the star in the film).  Their characters would be replaced by Rocky, Adam and Aisha as a result, though it appears Aisha left the show shortly before Power Rangers Zeo.  Though Jason does make a brief return about midway through Power Rangers Zeo as the gold ranger  and was on the show once again for a while before leaving the series once again at the end of the Zeo season (before PR Turbo aired).  He also briefly appeared in the Power Rangers Turbo movieas one of Divatox's (the new series antagonist during the PR Turbo series) hostages in the Power Rangers Turbo Movie (she wanted to sacrifice him and Kimberly to a weird volcanic monster that appears towards the end of the film).
- Amy Jo Johnson (aka Kimberly) left the show about midway through season 3 (taking up gymnastics on a full time basis) and was replaced by Katherine (Catherine Sutherland).  Interestingly she is only mentioned once in Power Rangers Zeo when Kim sends Tommy a "Dear John letter" (which is basically a letter informing Tommy that she wanted to break up and just be friends), effectively ending their relationship permanently (probably as a result of Amy leaving the show).  Interestingly, like Jason, Kimberly makes one more appearance in the Power Rangers Turbo Movie as another hostage of Divatox before leaving the series once again afterwards.  Not sure if she makes any more appearances afterwards.
- Billy and Tommy return on Power Rangers Zeo, with Billy more as a support character than a ranger and he leaves the show before the end of the Zeo series.
- Kimberly as a dumb blonde type?! In the Power Rangers Short film, Kimberly (the pink ranger) is portrayed as blonde type.  Interestingly, according to the trivia page as well as Amy Jo Johnson's panel discussion at the Lexington comic con (see youtube video below) for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, when Saban started doing auditions for the original show Amy's character was originally supposed to be portrayed as a "stereotypical dumb blonde" type, possibly as a comic relief style character, much like Bulk and Skull were (probably the same iq level as them if I had to guess and those guys were definitely the idiot types in the series almost like Beavis and Butthead in many ways).  Though obviously her role eventually ended up being the much wiser California / Valley girl type (Valley Girl, California girl, what is the difference?).  The short film seems to go with the original idea and make her more of a dumb blonde type.  Thought that I would point that out.          

- The Machine Empire in this version of events reminds me of the New World Order style government that will likely appear in the tribulation era (presumably lead by the Antichrist during the 7 years leading up to Christ's return, at least from Christian stand point).  It features the rangers going up against a corrupt global dictatorship with corrupt government agents replacing the "putties".  Many conspiracy theroists think there will be a NWO style dictatorship someday.  When and how such as global dictatorship comes about is yet to be know, though most likely it will probably appear during the end time events (at least in Christian perspective) with the Antichrist leading it.
- Even though this is only a fan film, it does seem to mark the first new incarnation of Power Rangers to bring back all of the original characters (Zack, Billy, Jason, Triny, Kimberly, and Tommy), portrayed by new actors.  We will probably see that again when the Power Rangers Reboot movie comes out next year.  Up till now older characters are usually replaced by new ones with different names (such as Jason being replaced by Rocky, Triny being replaced by Aisha and later Tanya, Kimberly replaced by Katherine, and all of the other changes over the years).    
- Interestingly, Jason David Frank (the original Green Ranger) made a comment about the video.  You can see his take at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/power-rangers-green-ranger-actor-777984 (apparently he wasn't too wild about it to say the least).  Apparently, the other actors and actresses offered their takes as well.  You can read the article at http://www.slashfilm.com/power-rangers-short-film-reactions-controversey/

  Well, that is all for now.  What are your thoughts on the short film?  You know, the reboot version of the show is supposed to come out next year sometime.  Who all is looking forward to that?  Feel free to leave comment below or like and share this post.  

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