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Tag: Power Rangers

Editorials

Underrated Movies: Power Rangers (2017)

September 2, 2020

If there’s one genre that has dominated the last decade, it’s been superheroes. The Avengers ushered in a new wave of superhero films, and soon every studio was trying to kickstart their own cinematic universe. Combined with the effect of the Transformers franchise, and every toy you had as a child was getting a feature film release – enter the 2017 version of the Power Rangers.

Teenagers with Attitude

Power Rangers Cast
The 5 five rangers have since gone to have exciting roles in other franchises, like Stranger Things, Aladdin and Black Mirror (Image Source: https://geekandsundry.com/why-representation-matters-in-the-new-power-rangers-movie/)

Designed as a franchise starter (like everything else) this reboot takes the original Mighty Morphin lineup, Jason (Red), Kimberly (Pink), Billy (Blue), Trini (Yellow) and Zack (Black) and plants them firmly in the modern-day. These aren’t the carefree teenagers with attitude from the ’90s, they’re much more like your everyday teenagers, that just so happen to be able to summon robot dinosaurs.

The original series follows the kids as they become the Power Rangers under the guidance of Zordon, with them balancing their lives as teenagers with saving the world as the Power Rangers. The film tips the balance of this somewhat, with the kids having eleven days to master their new powers. Unlike in the original series, the rangers cannot morph at will, instead of having to achieve the correct emotional state and trust in each other. This results in the rangers all having a solid character arc for them to overcome, rather than just use a device.

It’s Morphin’ Time!

Power Rangers (2017)
The costumes are a mix of the traditional with a modern-day, armour aesthetic (Photo Credit: Lionsgate)

While the film does suffer from the “dark, gritty reboot” trend, it does have some rather heartfelt moments to it. For one, the film is actually very diverse, especially for a Hollywood blockbuster. While some of the races are switched around, the filmmakers were very focused on diversity. This extends to the characters’ backstories as well. Not all of these kids are aspirational, Jason has a criminal record and Kimberly is a cyberbully. All of the rangers have their own stories, Billy, who is also on the autism spectrum, has never gotten over the death of his father. Zack cares for his sick mother and fears that he will one day return home to find she has died alone. Trini struggles to fit in at her new school and fights with her parents as she questions her sexuality.

Like a lot of superhero movies, this is an origin story for the rangers and shows them overcoming their individual challenges by opening up to and trusting each other. They start out as strangers and become a team, by believing in themselves they unlock the ability to morph and achieve their full potential. Although they had some abilities, like the strength and agility, the armour symbolises their progress.

Go Go Power Rangers!

Megazord - Power Rangers
Even the Megazord got an upgrade (Photo Credit: Lionsgate)

Once they’ve morphed, the finale plays out like a big-budget version of a typical episode. The rangers use their newfound powers to defeat the monsters, then form the Megazord to fight a giant one. It’s exactly as awesome as you remember, except this time you’ve seen them grow from a group of troubled teens into a team of superheroes. Even the classic theme tune starts to play. The design of the suits and the Zords are faithful enough to be recognisable, but also being distinct as their own interpretation, something that even Marvel and DC have struggled with at times.

The film ends with a tease of a new classmate- Tommy Oliver, who in the show becomes the Green ranger, after initially being an antagonist. Although we will never actually get to see a sequel, as a reboot is in development, the film does have some good ideas and is a solid foundation for future instalments. Putting the rangers in a modern-day setting and borrowing from superhero films is an excellent idea, and it is a shame that it never quite manages a consistent tone, or make the most of its premise, with the only real big action scene coming at the end.

It suffers from the “gritty reboot” problem because it also wants to be based on a children’s show, and can never quite decide between the two. It does, however, give the kids some excellent character development, and balances it’s ensemble well. It’s a shame it never quite comes together in the way it wants to, but it does have some genuinely great ideas behind it, as well as good performances and effects.

Also Read: Underrated Actors: Malcolm McDowell

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Editorials

Small Screen To Big Screen: TV Shows That Deserve A Movie

May 30, 2019

TV and feature films are very different mediums. TV shows often last several years, allowing us to spend more time developing characters and plotlines. Films often last around 2 hours, often having to cram in lots of material into that runtime. However switching between the mediums is not impossible, as Downtown Abbey and What We Do In The Shadows, proving it can work both ways. Here is a selection of TV series, that could make a great movie

Community

The original cast of Community (NBC, Yahoo 2009-2014)

Six seasons and a movie” has long been the rallying cry for fans of the show since season 2. Through several cancellations, cast changes, even network changes. Community managed to survive for the 6 seasons and bring a satisfying ending to the study group, though it did leave room for more adventures. Dan Harmon has regular discussions about a movie, with directors Justin Lin and the Russo Brothers both directing episodes before moving onto Hollywood blockbusters.

A Community movie seems more like a “when” than an “if”, but it will likely be a long time before anything gets started. Harmon has 70 more episodes of Rick and Morty to write and most of the cast have moved on to other things. Donald Glover especially has become huge since leaving in season 5, with his own show Atlanta, delayed by his own busy schedule, so it could be sometime before we see it

Hannibal

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter (NBC 2013-2015)

Not to be confused with the 2001 film, but instead the TV adaptation starring Mads Mikkelsen which was cancelled after 3 seasons in 2015. Following news of the cancellation, there have been talks with Netflix and others to revive the show, but a film adaptation could also be on the cards.

Hannibal always aimed for movie quality, and although Mikkelsen thinks it should remain on TV, it’s not as if the character wouldn’t work in a film (See 1991’s “Silence of the Lambs”) . A film would make the film more focused, cutting out a lot of the fluff that TV has simply due to being longer. Even though it has been 4 years since the show last aired, it’s still looking for a new home, why not the big screen?

Agent Carter

Agent Peggy Carter on a top secret mission (Marvel/ABC 2015-2016)

Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter proved to be one of the standout characters from the early days of the MCU. Being a driving force of Captain America’s arc throughout his story even if she didn’t appear in person. Her popularity led to a One-Shot, and then her own show. Both following her adventures post World War 2 and the early days of SHIELD. However, Agent Carter was cancelled after 2 seasons, mainly due to budget reasons.

Atwell herself is clearly still interested in playing the character, having recently reprised the role in “Avengers: Endgame”. With Agent Carter being streamed on Disney+, as well as Peggy being the focus of one of the “What If? episodes, it’s possible we could see a revival. A film would give the character the spotlight she truly deserves, on top of being a great period spy thriller.

Orphan Black

Tatiana Maslany plays several roles in “Orphan Black” (BBC America 2013-17)

Orphan Black actually managed to end on it’s own terms after 5 seasons, but that doesn’t mean there are no more stories in this universe to tell. The series ended with the main five doppelgängers free of their pursuers and able to live their lives. But the show established there were other experiments out in the world that didn’t get involved in the series.

Star Tatiana Maslany has said she would be game if the script was good, and there is a lot of potential with the premise that it could either be a prequel or a spin off set at the same time as the series. Maslany would star as a new character (or several) that we didn’t see during the series and explore what they were up to. The show has a rich history that could be explored for a potential film, and it would not have to feature the main four characters and risk messing with the excellent finale

Batman Beyond

A new hero must take on the mantle of Batman in a future version of Gotham (WB,DC 1999-2001)

Technically Batman Beyond got a movie, but it was never actually released in theatres and was more like an extended episode. The actual series lasted for 3 seasons before ending, along with most of the other DC animated shows. Although the character hasn’t appeared on screen since 2001, his adventures have continued in comic form. One of the perks of animation is that characters don’t have to age, meaning that the original cast could return to a feature length adventure, including fan favourite Kevin Conroy as Batman.

Conroy would still love to take on the role if it was a live-action version, and with DC films taking a more standalone approach instead of a cinematic universe, that could be a possibility. If it’s a live action version, then Micheal Keaton could play old Bruce Wayne with it being a legacy sequel to the Tim Burton films. A Blade Runner/ Akira inspired Gotham would look gorgeous in live action or animated but either way Batman Beyond has been in the shadows for too long.

Also Read: Peaky Blinders – Big Screen Blinders