Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lexcon 2017: Unleashing the Power

I got in at Lexington, KY about 5:30 from Chicago, settled in my room, and then hungout in the hotel lobby bar with a few others from Mutant Chat. The group, which was a lot smaller this year, eventually came together and we got dinner a couple blocks away at Cheapside.

Without any roommates this time, I enjoyed sleeping in until after 10:30 and soon headed over to get my convention badge, while stopping to check out the giant Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man. After returning to my room for snacks at 2:00, I headed out onto the main floor (which opened to VIPs at 1:00 and everyone else at 4:00). This was a MUCH different day than last year (when I had no Friday access), as I started to take in everything on display for sale, and a look at where the various Power Rangers cast were located, before the crowds would really hit on Saturday.

On the lookout for Nintendo stuff, I picked up a Star Power Mario figure, but that would be the only thing I'd get for myself after noticing a large display had figures pricier than what you can get them for online (I wasted little time buying a Bone Piranha Plant figure on my phone before I got home). Later, I met Milo Cawthorne (Ziggy, RPM Green Ranger) and Emma Lahana (Kira, DinoThunder Yellow Ranger), for the second time following her last convention appearance at the original Power Morphicon - by far who I was there to see the most. Of course I mentioned I'm still doing Emma Lahana Online and how I'm hopeful for a DinoThunder reunion someday, though she doesn't think getting James Napier (Red Ranger) will happen. Besides another break back in my room, I was mostly on the main and upper level floors until they closed at 9:00. Then the group got together in the hotel lower lever bar, but I was more concerned about dinner, finally walking a couple blocks to McDonalds at 11:30 and calling it a night.           

Up at 9:00 and sat in on a Q&A with Catherine Sutherland (Cat, Mighty Morphin-Zeo-Turbo) and Nakia Burrise (Tanya, Zeo-Turbo) at 11:00. At 1:00 I got my photo op with Emma and then went back to my room for snacks. At 3:00 was the Power Rangers RPM Panel and soon afterwards, I met Dan Ewing (Black Ranger). At 7:00 was a wild hour and a half adults-only Power Rangers After Dark Panel and then the group again pretty much hungout in the lower level bar. At 1:00 we kind of broke off and I got something to eat before heading up for the night.

Up after 9:00, caught the Power Rangers DinoThunder Panel at 11:00 and then grabbed lunch. I killed time on the floor for the last time before Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy's (Bulk and Skull) Panel at 3:00 and the Comic-Con wrapped up at 4:00. I mostly hungout in the lobby awhile wondering what the evening plan was. Everyone ended up doing their own thing and I soon went back to my room for the rest of the night, except for another run out to McDonalds at 8:45.

Those who were driving (Jason/Alison, Jeremy and Miz), gradually took off, leaving myself, Kyle, Alek and Grace who were flying home (all ended up with delayed flights, while the big snowstorm wiped out my originally scheduled flight back to Chicago at 12:00 and became a 4:20 flight to Dallas). We walked around Lexington awhile and stopped in a coffee shop before heading to the airport. I got home about midnight. Next time I'll probably just go with the later flight, especially since I do like being part of the last few on Monday and don't see these guys very often. Plus seeing the warmer far south for the first time worked out quite well, further adding to how much of the US I've been through.

I was on my own a lot more this time and their wasn't much as far as Mutant Chat group activities but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I'm kind of used to doing my own thing on the convention floor anyway with Power Morphicon and seeing Emma again about 10 years later? I couldn't have planned it any better. Also, while the number of Power Rangers cast wasn't much different, the increased amount of panels was pretty cool. Thanks to the team - Kyle, Jason, Alison, Jeremy, Alek, Grace, Miz and Chance for a fun weekend. 🙂 Gallery

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Emma Lahana appearing at Lexington Comic-Con!

#LCTC2017 Ranger Guest Announcement - Emma Lahana will be joining us in Lexington this year!

Emma Lahana is a New Zealand actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Jennifer Mason on Haven, and as Kira Ford, one of the Yellow Rangers of the Power Rangers franchise, in Power Rangers DinoThunder.

Emma played Erin Kingston, a supporting role on New Zealand TV drama Shortland Street and also appeared on Street Legal. She also portrayed the role of Fiona in Disney's You Wish!. In summer 2003, Lahana landed the role of Kira Ford, the Yellow Power Ranger on Power Rangers DinoThunder. She plays an attractive, tomboyish musician who becomes a courageous Power Ranger. She recorded the songs "Patiently", "Freak You Out", "I'm Over You" and "True Love (Ft. Morgan Fairhead)" for the Power Rangers DinoThunder season.

Lahana appeared in an episode of the fourth season of Stargate Atlantis, "Outcast" and as the waitress abducted by a serial killer on the third season episode of Psych. She also played a recurring character on the TV series Hellcats, starring former Phil of the Future star Alyson Michalka and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody's Ashley Tisdale and in 2012, she appeared in the TV movie "Big Time Movie". Most recently she played Jennifer Mason from TVs Haven.

Come meet Emma at the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention this March 10-12th at the Lexington Convention Center. More info at 

Emma Lahana Online: www.shyranger.com/emma.html

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dino Super Sendoff

Dino Super Charge returned from summer hiatus with one of the worst non-clip show episodes featuring Shelby and her bestie Erin (who thankfully was never seen again). Things bounced right back with a nice Riley episode in which we got Titano Zord, the entire team working together, and the first message from Silver Ranger. Kaylee then found out Chase's identity in kind of a silly episode. I've never been of big fan of old black and white movies but I liked how Beauticruel was basically Mae West. And despite how ridiculous Leisure was (or that Heckyl just happen to have Loafer on the ship at the same times), "CATCHING SOME RAYS" was still better than "HOME RUN KODA").

It was becoming clear a shift in the show was happening as we'd get rather weak or ridiculous story plots that didn't quite mesh with the other half of the episode - like the N-Zed Boys auditions and exploding Pavlova. The action was solid at least and I liked how Shelby and Tyler finally got together. I loved how Lord Arcanon, Doomwing & Singe teamed up and used the Megazords. The battle between Zenowing and Doomwing was great too. I just wish some of this didn't have to be tied up so quickly like how fast Kendall was able to make the splitters. And Zenowing's debut as Silver was right up there with Ivan for some of the best 6th Ranger-ish episodes since the Disney years.

To me, it was feeling like we were in a solid final stretch for Dino Charge. Sledge coming back was expected but I wish they hadn't quickly killed off Arcanon and Singe in the process. Having to fight the Greenzilla's around the world using all the Megazords was cool, but then those same eggs that hatched become anchors to pull the Earth to the sun? Uh, hold on. I'd hardly call it a Chip finale as it was easily one of the worst under his name, up there with "LEGENDARY BATTLE" for poor finale choices. Almost every season has good closure so even one not very good at least is usually wrapped up pretty well. But having the Rangers go back 65 million years and unextinct the dinos I can't agree with. It could've gone a different way (and probably been a lot better) if the Rangers had simply gone back a short time before Sledge activated the anchors or if the black hole had never formed to begin with. The finale did start out pretty good. The civilian part was excellent with using the quick cameos. Killing off Sledge and the entire ship by sending it into the sun was pretty cool - just wish it had happened in the PRESENT. Plus while I liked that they did an epilogue with "HERE COMES HEXIMAS," it was another ridiculous plot - having Heximas escape death-by-sun and work on his plan all these millions of years.

I like to think PR is one continuity (besides RPM being another dimension) but now I guess Dino Charge is as well. Overall, I'd rank it 9th out of 20. A lot of the classic days were better and several seasons have been worse. The first half felt more classic Chip (especially the signature original premiere), while the second half had much more involvement from the other writers and it showed. If this is the case with Ninja Steel I just hope the plots work better and we're not dealing with the same jokes - or the movie might become more exciting than the show pretty fast.

Grades: "BESTIES 4EVA" 3/5, "GONE FISHIN'" through "SILVER SECRET" 4/5, "WINGS OF DANGER" and "FREAKY FIGHTDAY" 5/5, "WORGWORLD" 4/5, "THE RANGERS ROCK" 5/5, "EDGE OF EXTINCTION" 4/5 and "END OF EXTINCTION" 3/5. For more, check out shyranger.com/PR.html.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Switch to 2017

Looking back, this was the first time in several years I had no clear favorite song for most of year, coming after the Taylor Swift bonanza of 2015. I'd sorta count The Weeknd's "Starboy" but it wasn't released til September. Fifth Harmony get an honorable mention for "Work From Home" and "That's My Girl" but I'm also biased. I've never really been a big fan of girl groups besides TLC back in the day, but I gotta say I really got to like them last year as they continue to put out good tracks and of course always look good performing. >_> For me, 2016 was more about enjoying more of a variety of current tracks and throwbacks, between the return of video blocks (on the new MTV Classic) and an overhaul on a bunch of Seattle radio stations.

2017 is looking like an exciting jam-packed year, as I'll be going to Lexington Comic-Con again in March, which'll be followed by the Nintendo Switch launch and the Power Rangers Movie, all things I'm excited for. 🙂 Pretty Little Liars will have a big finale night in June (after going on longer than it should have) and then'll come Week of Ranger Bar 3. Also, I'm looking forward to the return of Stranger Things and the new DuckTales, and I plan on changing TV/internet providers in the summer - which means I'll have a big project in getting the DVR cleared.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Looking Back: Power Rangers S.P.D.

Most seasons of Power Rangers are pretty consistent all year, whether they're great, mediocre or just ones you'd rather forget. The past 23 years have seen it all, but not many changed halfway through quite like SPD did.

Greg Aronowitz and Bruce Kalish brought a fresh take to PR with a fun two-part premiere - introducing the original A-Squad team and what would become the B-Squad team of Rangers. Decent storylines, episode plots and characters kept things up pretty well, capped off with a great two-part episode where Commander Cruger became Shadow Ranger. But around episode 18 the season started to go downhill in a one-two punch of dull episodes followed by the introduction of Omega Ranger who would be stuck as a ball of light when not in Ranger form, because an actor was never cast (of one the seasons major offenses). SPD also got in the habit of B-Squad acting like they never learned anything like teamwork, and plot points would come up that really should've been long resolved. Still, these weren't necessarily bad episodes I thought and most of them would get a 4/5, as the plots were usually decent. There was just always something wrong, something to be nitpicky about. The show also got a lot of flack for doing an awful teamup episode with DinoThunder after a separate one that would've been fine if it had been the only one.

In some areas SPD did thrive like having their own set of creatures to the sentai counterparts - which Greg did a great job with - and the cast would become of the best of the Disney years. Having aliens living among humans in the future was very ambitious and the A-Squad (who would become evil offscreen) was one of the best storyacrs. So that's SPD, for better or worse one of the biggest tale of two halves PR has ever seen.