Coming into 2017, Power Rangers was one of the most anticipated movies of the year. The movie, a reboot of the original 1993 Mighty Morphin’ series, was released in late March of this year to mixed reviews. It brought in a gross of $140 million on a $100 million budget. Despite that performance at the box office, the movie’s early home video release proved popular. Along with the movie, customers who purchased the Blu-Ray and digital HD copies got nearly three hours worth of additional special features – giving fans the ultimate experience.
Power Rangers – The Movie
So, what is it about? Five teenagers from Angel Grove come across five ancient sources of power. Their discoveries lead them to find out that they’ve been chosen to become the Power Rangers- and they must stop the evil Rita Repulsa from destroying Angel Grove as she builds her monster Goldar to help her find the Zeo Crystal. While they are armed with these new powers, the teenagers must learn to work together as team before it’s too late.
Power Rangers is a great new take on the original 1993 series- taking the characters of Jason, Zack, Trini, Billy and Kimberly in a modern day setting. Unlike the TV series where the rangers know each other before hand and learn about their powers within one episode, this movie takes the realistic approach in showing the team grow over a period of time- making this an origins story. The actors portraying the rangers all give great performances, especially RJ Cyler- who plays Billy, the blue ranger. While this movie has its own style, it still feels like a Power Rangers movie. The original series was extremely campy and tongue-in-cheek, which this movie still manages to maintain to a certain extent. The movie has some humor in it, which is good. In fact, some of the humor in this movie almost felt like scenes coming out of an episode of the original series. Elizabeth Banks wonderfully hams it up as Rita Repulsa- giving her own take on the original lead villain in the franchise. Bryan Cranston is perfectly cast as the Rangers’ mentor Zordon while SNL alum Bill Hader gets some laughs as Zordon’s robot assistant, Alpha 5.
As a near-lifelong fan of the original series (along with the other seasons from the “Zordon era”), I really enjoyed this movie. As far as this movie getting mixed reviews, it shouldn’t matter because the critics never understood Power Rangers in the first place. If you watched the show back in the day and are undecided about seeing this, I say go for it.
If you only get this movie on DVD, you’re really missing out on the bonus features that are on the Blu-Ray and digital versions of the movie. If you’re like me and don’t own a Blu-Ray player, I say go with the DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital HD pack- which you can get for a good $19. I did this myself and aside from any technical difficulties, I don’t regret getting this. The digital HD code you’re given can be used with iTunes and/or Ultraviolet through Vudu. After redeeming your code, you can watch the bonus features on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. The bonus features included are as follows:
- Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes- There’s 33 minutes worth of unused footage, some of which is interesting to see.
- Outtakes- A short three minute blooper reel. It’s mildly amusing but nothing special.
- Theatrical trailer w/ commentary from director Dean Israelite
- Audio commentary from director Dean Israelite and screenwriter John Gatkins
Rangers of the Present is the main behind the scenes feature- which is split into several separate parts. These parts all seem to be separate on the Blu-Ray while on the digital copy, all of the parts are in a single two hour video. Those are as follows:
- Rangers: Then to Now– an overview of what went behind the decision to make this movie
- Building the Team– casting the five rangers
- Beyond the Rangers- the castings of Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston and Bill Hader
- Suiting Up- an overview of creating the suits
- Rangers, Welcome to Training– a look at the training the actors had to go through
- Rangers in the Wild– the filming process on and off location
- It’s Morphin’ Time– an overview of the motion capture process for Zordon and Alpha
- Power Ballad– covering the sound used in the movie, as well as the score by Brian Tyler
- This Is Your Destiny– highlights from the red carpet premiere from March of this year
If the bonus features had any downsides, they do get to become monotonous overtime. I feel there’s a lot of repetition of “saying true to the original” and “making it relevant” that just becomes annoying at times. Aside from that, the bonus features are terrific.
If you enjoyed this movie, I highly recommend buying the home video release. Having the bonus features really makes this the ultimate experience a fan could ever want from this movie. If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to shell out the money, rent it – which is still as helpful. With the movie under-performing at the box office, people have been questioning if this movie will get a sequel or not. According to director Dean Israelite, Saban and Lionsgate are currently discussing the potential of a sequel. Prior to the movie’s release, Haim Saban announced that he has a story treatment written out for six movies. Given the movie’s box office performance, it’s seems unlikely that we will be getting another five movies. However, there is some good news: an article posted back in May claims that Power Rangers is the number one action figures brand. In all toy properties, it is ranked at #11. The new movie has yet to be released in Japan, the home of Super Sentai– the series from which Power Rangers. So with this, the fate of a sequel depends on the home video sales and the box office performance in Japan.
For the time being, fans can simply enjoy this new release.
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