Tag Archives: movie series

Movie Review: Power Rangers

Image result for power rangers movie poster free useI don’t want to write about this. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen it and I still don’t want to write about it.

Power Rangers was one of the most prevalent shows of the 90’s. It was hip in the same way a stereotypical surfer dude is. It paraded histrionics and embraced comedy. It was the Schwarzenegger of kid’s television. Cornier than corn-on-the-cob and as lighthearted as an action show can be, Power Rangers, if it knew anything, knew its tone. It understood, without any reservations, its identity.

Power Rangers starts off with a sex joke. Nothing like a brazen, out-of-left-field sex joke to welcome an audience of 8-year-olds.

It is a sledgehammer to the mirror of reality for fans. I actually turned to my friend and was like, “Wow. Really? This is where we’re going with this?”

It’s a slow and long way down from that point forward and that point wasn’t too far from the start.

It wipes the floor with the concept of the Power Rangers before it even began. It was never meant to be a character exploration nor did it ever dissolve into a puddle of cheap filth, but our screenwriters and director here, in their infinite wisdom, decided sex jokes were the proper introduction of a Power Rangers movie.

It is simply disrespectful to the material. 90’s television was innocent and genuine. The dialogue was the food equivalent of cotton candy. There was never much substance there but the humor always kept it sweet and worth watching. You certainly could never say the Power Rangers was jaded. If anything, it was unnaturally enthusiastic, to the point that it was near impossible to take the show seriously. Rather than try to change that perception, the original crew carried it along, feeding into an adventure that caused no serious consequences. The world was at the brink of destruction, but I as a viewer was never concerned. The Power Rangers would get it done.

Dean Israelite decides to add a fresh spin on the saga. Rather than collude with the previous makers and look to manifest an allusion of the past, of this time when things weren’t so serious, Israelite decides he wants a dire story and then, along with RJ Cyler’s “strategic” weirdness, try to package it together into this antique with a fresh polish job and, somehow, a new feel to it.

If anything, Power Rangers is a movie that clearly wants to be taken serious but also wants to stay loyal to its predecessors, and to do both takes a surgeon’s hand and scientist’s attention to detail, neither of which a director who just made his film debut in 2015 possesses.

I’m perplexed by producers handing blockbusters to inexperienced directors and have been for quite a few years now. If I ever figure out the rationale, I’ll let you know. Until then, I’ll keep mentioning it, like I did a few weeks ago when I wrote Kong: Skull Island.

Not only is this Power Rangers a different animal from its parent, it’s a whole different species altogether, and worse, clearly out of its league.

There never was enough character concrete in the originals to allow for adult discussions on anything. Yes, we would have the adolescent lessons of loyalty and staying true to your values, but these teachings do not require an anthology to understand, nor a lot of inner turmoil for the viewer. Israelite wants to say something more meaningful, but he never gets around to saying what that thing is. If he does, it skipped past me because the movie doesn’t do much to keep you looking if only to see when this train wreck is going to end. The acting is withdrawn and without characters to feel for, audience engagement is difficult. I at no point feel a part of this experience. I hesitate to even use the word. Seems like an injustice to utilize it in this context.

It’s a reboot that’s formulaic rather than artistic and scientific rather than illustrative. Compromised by the expositional hose, Power Rangers doesn’t feel like a movie so much as it is a traversing of the lifeless and dormant. I’ve been on this ride more than a few times and it lost its entertainment value long ago.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ip Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull IslandThe InvitationHush)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Doctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Great WallRobin HoodUnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: Apocalypse)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Power Rangers: 47.

This movie has Bryan Cranston in it, by the way, if you were looking for another reason to cry yourself to sleep. Israelite misses on the power of nostalgia with this one. Like, completely, and without that thread from the past and that alchemy those crews performed in the 90s, Power Rangers fails to be itself.

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Movie Review: Aliens

[ ALIENS POSTER ]My apprehension to watching this could not be overstated, but Alex assured me that it was much better than the first one.

This time directed by James Cameron, we once again find Ellen Ripley and best actor winner Jones the cat returning for Aliens, the second installment of the Alien quadrillogy.

Ripley got into cryosleep saying that she should make it to Earth in a few weeks at the end of Alien. At the beginning of Aliens, she is awoken from cryosleep to find out that she’s been in stasis for 57 years. Guess she slightly miscalculated.

Then the company she works for puts her before a panel of judges and suspends her flight license because they don’t believe her story. She’s also demoted and learns that a colony has been established on the same planet that her crew encountered the aliens on.

So starts the movie. It sure is a crappy way to start a movie. There’s a ton of plot holes in this movie early on and eventually they finally eliminate them, but it takes FOREVER!!!

The movie is incredibly slow to start and moves at a snail’s pace. The characters are established which is one of the few benefits to wasting all the time they do in this movie.

I get to learn who Ripley is in this movie instead of the movie just assuming that I know who Ripley is like they did in Alien. She has some character development. The rest of the supporting cast isn’t relevant and you can tell because you don’t get under the skin of any of these characters.

The movie is way too long. At two and a half hours, the action and story line simply don’t require so much time. The first hour is all exposition and plot holes. It’s incredibly boring and not essential to the story.

After the slugfest of boredom that was the whole first half of this movie. it finally gets suspenseful and exciting. It has a lot going for it. However, there’s a huge plot hole at the end that ruins the fun.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3World War Z42Just Go With It)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Man of SteelMonster-In-LawWhite House DownJobsThe Truman Show)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Shaun of the DeadSharknadoThe Usual Suspects21 Jump Street, Escape Plan)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss Goodnight)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (After EarthRoad to PerditionTotal RecallDodgeball: A True Underdog StoryAlong Came Polly)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlien)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark Fury)

My score for Aliens: 54. 

The third act of this movie is pretty good but there’s a plot hole at the end and the movie as a whole is simply too long and leaves the audience bored. Ripley’s character development isn’t too bad but the supporting cast doesn’t have much. The action’s good but there’s not enough of it.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

First off, Jones the cat is in the movie for like ten minutes. I would have loved to have had him throughout the whole movie because having him the whole movie in Alien was priceless. Second, once Ripley is told that a mission to investigate the loss of communication on the alien planet is commencing, she says there’s no way she’s going and she will never change her mind. A few hours later she changes her mind; the main character says they’re never going to do something and then they change their mind in a couple of hours cliche. Also, why would you ever go there? I’m sorry, but if they’ve lost communication with the planet then they’re probably all dead and it’s not worth going there to investigate.

Next, one of the families on the planet goes on a perimeter round and discovers the alien ship. The ship is within sight of the main base and is less than two miles away. Are you seriously saying that in all the years that this base has been operating they’ve never looked even two miles outside their base before? Seriously?

When the characters finally get on this planet, which is nearly a half hour in, the armed crew investigates the base for ten minutes and finds nothing. They only go through one floor of the base and the commander outside determines the base is clear. What?! The place has multiple stories and they check one level and they deem it safe? Who does that?! What military procedures are they following?!

They go in and discover where all the human locators are, meaning that is where all of the people must be. They get in there and Ripley reminds the commander that they are under a nuclear reactor, meaning that they can’t be shooting in there or the place will explode. The commander instructs the sergeant to take all of their magazines. What?! You’re sending them in there with low-grade weapons?! Why do you need to take their magazines? They’re highly trained soldiers! How did this guy ever get promoted?! If you have to take their magazines, retreat back, leave your high-grade guns and go in then or better yet, just send two guys with the high-grade weapons in and if they explode then you don’t lose anybody. Regardless of what he chooses, anything would have been better than the decision he made.

Finally at the end of the movie, Ripley goes, by herself, to rescue the little girl. She has close to no military experience, but she manages to kill a crapload of aliens, which while incredibly unrealistic, is still pretty fun to watch. Then she faces the mother alien in a baggage robot, which looks similar to the robots in Avatar.

She faces the mother alien and they both fall down an air shaft. Ripley gets out of the baggage robot and starts to climb the ladder to get out. The mother alien grabs Ripley’s leg right before the air hatch collapses, meaning everything is being sucked into outer space. Ripley interlocks her arms around the ladder rung and is able to hold on until the mother alien loses her grasp. Wait, what?! That mother alien was at least a ton. Ripley’s leg would have ripped off or Ripley wouldn’t have been able to hold the weight and they both would have been sucked into space. The way they ended it is just not plausible.

 

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