Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Power Rangers Samurai "CLASH OF THE RED RANGERS": Back in Gear

Prepared for the worse going into this, the teamup special turned out to be a one of PR's biggest surprises for me since Jungle Fury.

Scott piloting SkyRev alone didn't make much sense, otherwise I thought the scene and what appeared to be the wasteland was a nice way to start.

A transdimensional train? Interesting, though I wish they hadn't left it for viewers to decide.

I kinda got an old school vibe from Cog. Felt like could've been part of the Machine Empire. Love the nod to Zeo.

Scott not sure if we could breath the air was a pretty reasonable explanation for why he wouldn't demorph. Doing what they could with the suit and ADR worked well and really helped make the episode much better than if they had to have someone else do Red. Antonio was easily handled worse and not quite in-character.

What's this? Emily seems older and the actings not terrible? Hopefully a sign of better times ahead.

Interesting that the Nighloks have a General ranking. Looking forward to how this plays out in future episodes.

That was some weird zord fight. "Super Serpent"? o_O

I like the idea of this taking place after RPM's season and Venjix returned or a new evil took his place (Something sure went wrong then), but just as well Cog could've been a lost unseen General during the fight against Venjix. Also I wasn't too bothered by this airing out of order and I enjoyed the sneak peak of new powers and weapons. Scott getting to use the shark disc was pretty cool.

Scott and Antonio stuck fixing the car was pretty lame and it would've been nice to see the other Ranger Series Operators for at least a moment, otherwise the special turned out good. RPM and Scott were respected well and I enjoyed seeing a sentai vs and movie in PR. Also I really liked that "Get in Gear" was thrown in as a catchphrase. 4/5

"TRAKEENA'S REVENGE" and "WORMHOLE" are still the worst, but I almost wouldn't even put this with them. This definitely wasn't a teamup like we're used to and I imagine set the stage of future seasons when casts will be contracted to return. And with the anniversary season coming, it'll be interesting to see if similar morphed-only appearances happen again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Power Rangers Samurai "ORIGINS": Opening Act

Part I was just alright. Way too much translating. I didn't really like Ji's magical arrows or Jayden creating the horse.

The Red Ranger bit was funny and I liked that the zords were used individually for the first fight.

For being the original first episode when they were just starting out, it was pretty much what I expected and did a semi-decent job of setting up the season, enough that I'll give it a 3/5. If this had aired as the first episode, I wouldn't have been that excited but it would've been nice to see the first morph and clips from the promos on TV MUCH sooner.

Part II was a lot better and really worked I thought.

I expected Bulk would arrive in the city with Spike for a new adventure or something, so it was a nice surprise that he was already there awaiting Spike's arrival. Bonus points to Tony Oliver for mentioning Skull and Bulk's history with the Power Rangers.

The line delivery was still bad and Jayden not looking for Emily with the others could've had an explanation. I did like the focus on her and the morphed battle with Jayden rescuing the girl. The original scenes and background matched up with Shinkenger good I thought.

... Totem Pole Megazord? Haha.

This episode setup the characters pretty well and was pretty on-par with other "2nd episodes" PR's done - enough for me for an easy 4/5. Just wish it had aired in the proper place.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

PRS #18 "THE ULTIMATE DUEL": Ultimate Fail

The problems with Samurai haven't bothered me too much, but it felt like it all came out in this episode. Terrible line delivery and it just dragged on and on. I knew this would not be good when they recapped Mia trying to reason with Dayu - and then flashbacked to it AGAIN.

I didn't care about the MMPR-2 zord fight, but having Antonio sit out from being too weak was lame (at least he coud've taken more damage and demorphed to make it more believable.

I did like the training scene with Jayden & Kevin and the Hydro Bow attack with wire-fu. But it was pretty minimal to sitting through the rest in addition to commercials.

A longer sequence with Jayden honing his skills or maybe Bulk & Spike and I would easily give this a 3. But nope - first time in ages I'm giving a 2/5.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

PRS #17 "BROKEN DREAMS": Deal with the Devil

I thought Dayu's backstory was good for the most part. Sort of resembles Captain Mitchell getting Diabolico to save Ryan in Lightspeed Rescue. Nice foreshadowing with Akumaro and I expect Dalia will return by the last episode.

I was annoyed that the black box plot is being stalled, however I do like that PR is trying to do its own thing (probably holding off until its time for the battlizer, would be my guess).

The dream world was kinda weird and though I liked that Jayden teamed up Lionzord with Antonio in the zord battle, that was a pretty odd MMPR-2 style sequence.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Goodbye summer, hello fall TV

Getting out in the sun was fun while it lasted and was a nice break, while there were plenty of reasons to stay inside. ABC Family can always be counted on for that, airing new episodes of its shows in winter and summer (and Pretty Little Liars has really turned into can't-miss-TV).

Without my regular programs on, I'll usually watch some DVDs and find things long put off - in this case, I caught up on season 1 of The Vampire Diaries, revisited Dollhouse season 2 and looked back on season 2 of Survivor from 10 years ago. There's usually some special events going on as well, such as VH1's 13 hour MTV 30 marathon at the end of July. This summer also brought the awesome new Thundercats series and The Voice wrapped its trial run - set to return next year to compete directly with Idol.

Without a convention or anything really going on it was kinda nice to find time for other things too, especially a lot of time for Super Mario Galaxy and beginning some major revisions on my websites (starting with Emma Lahana). Next summer will be an interesting one with the Olympic Games and the 3rd Power Morphicon in August, keeping me tied up on the Power Ranger fan message boards.

Meantime, now that fall is here, it's back to my old favorites and some potential new ones. Mostly I'm looking forward to how The X-Factor goes (which so far has sorta been Got Talent meets Idol), Beavis & Butthead returning in October, The Simpsons celebrating 500 episodes in February, plus more Thundercats when new episodes return. And with Smallville over, I'll finally start from the beginning.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Super 25 Years of Mario Bros

With the Super Mario Bros 25th anniversary celebration last year and revisiting some old classics, it really got me to think back - to when the latest Mario title was what it was all about. Times sure have changed over the years. I don't buy games when they come out anymore or even within a year they've been out, which I generally used to do (unless it's a special occasion, as was the case with the Super Mario All-Stars special re-release). I'm not as enthused for a new Nintendo console as I used to be either. The big reveal of the Wii 5 years ago was great, but the unveiling of the Wii U in June wasn't quite as cool, partly due to the fact I'll most likely have my current Wii until the Wii U's successor comes out.

But it's looking back on those big moments that I remember most - what is pretty ancient today, was once the greatest thing ever...

I vividly can recall when we first got the NES and tried to set it up in my original bedroom, but ultimately put in in the living room because of connection difficulties. The Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt combo pack was the only cartridge we ever had. I pretty much cared more about what was on TV than playing back then.

One day in class at Eckstein Middle School (probably 6th grade, '91-'92) still sticks out to me... I walked in and Super Mario World was playing, which had come out with the Super Nintendo (SNES) launch August '91. Never new why someone brought it in and besides TV commercials I believe it was one of the first times I saw a Mario game beyond the first one (although SMB2 came in '88 and SMB3 in '90 I hadn't played them). Yeah, the new Mario game looked fun and I sorta wanted that system... Just had no idea when.

Then came January 20, 1993 - the great Inauguration Day storm that wrecked havoc, wiped out power for a couple days and caused an electrical surge throughout the house, frying several appliances - including the NES. Losing it was quickly replaced with the fact we'd get the SNES. It wasn't long before we set it up and the journey in Mario World began began for Sarah (my sister) & I with the introduction of Yoshi.

With 96 course exits and tons of secret paths (complete with a brilliant special world within another special world), the game took awhile and was a lot of fun to play with friends around. From the original save files I can tell it was played through over twice, which was easy back then, especially during summer.

Meanwhile, I had seen ads for an exciting racing game called Super Mario Kart (which had come out last September) and I doubt it was very long before we got it. Mario Kart is up to its 7th incarnation, but this is where it all started. Sarah & I enjoyed playing against eachother & with neighbor friends, especially in summer months. We'd pretend the characters were us & friends and I'd take notes on character mannerisms. It's a relic now, but back then there was nothing quite like it.

Mario mania wasn't about to slow down. Another must-buy, the original Super Mario All-Stars came out August '93. Now I could play graphics enhanced versions of the Mario Bros games, which I had little experience with on the old system. It was also fun to rent games. Yoshi's Cookie was a cute puzzle game Sarah & I liked that we had for awhile as well as Mario Paint.

Fast-forward to Fall '95. A new game starring Yoshi with Baby Mario (officially a Mario World sequel but really a prequel) came out and I got it for Hanukkah. It was more of a simple game than its predecessor with completely different graphics and I enjoyed the egg tossing and Shy Guy stomping, finishing the game not too long after winter break was over.

May '96 had one of the most exciting releases I've ever seen with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - the result of Nintendo teaming up with Final Fantasy creator Square. I really didn't get the role-playing genre concept and what followed I could never imagine - Mario could freely walk around the various environments and battles were turn-based. There were new characters, teaming up with the Princess & Bowser, a rich story and my favorite soundtrack of any Mario game ever.

And it just got better from there. The SNES was on its way out and the Nintendo 64 launched in September with Super Mario 64. I couldn't wait to get it and I remember we rented them for a weekend early in '97. In August we went to Toys R Us and I picked Mario Kart 64 first (knowing that's what Sarah preferred). Though not really presents, it was almost like Hanukkah came early that year, between the game, system, controllers, etc. in one haul. When December came around I did get Mario 64 and it was truly revolutionary, moving Mario around in the 3D landscape with the new C stick. It really set the stage for today, with a whopping 120 stars to collect and many other elements still used in Super Mario Galaxy. I hardly ever play through an entire game twice but this was an exception.

As time went on, I got hopeful for a sequel to Mario RPG, but instead Paper Mario came out early 2001, with a lot of the same elements in a paper theme. I was disappointed it wasn't a direct sequel and never played it until a couple months ago, via the Wii Virtual Console service.

At the end of 2001 came the GameCube, which I got with Super Mario Sunshine for a Birthday/Hanukkah present a year later, much to my surprise (as noted in an old journal). Soon I got laid off from a job at a printing place and pretty much played a lot. Mario Sunshine was kind of a step down from Mario 64, being more of tropical vacation sidequest to the Mario series that included goofy animated cutscenes and obstacle course challenges that required a lot of trial-and-error. I spent a year working at Target which still gave me plenty of time to play and I developed a routine of going through one game under a year and moving on to the next. Mario Kart Double Dash was fun as well as Nintendo's all-star fighter Super Smash Bros Melee. And although I was playing by myself by now, it felt good to get the GameCube setup after moving in to my place above the garage - at last getting to play whenever I wanted for however long.

After the second Paper Mario game came out late in '04 I finally decided to gave the paper theme a chance and I was happy with the result - a very colorful and humorous game with lots of strategizing you can't get in the main Mario series. During the adventure, I got the DS handheld for a Birthday/Hanukkah present at the end of '05 and when not playing Paper Mario, I enjoyed Mario Kart DS. Later I got DS version of New Super Mario Bros - a nice sorta side-adventure to the big Mario console games. By now I was working at Whole Foods which gradually reduced playing time to mostly weekends and added up to spending a year a half with Paper Mario always in the console.

Smash Bros Melee was fun enough that I didn't hesitate much to get the sequel Super Smash Bros Brawl as soon as it came out in March '08, shortly after getting a Wii. The game was above and beyond loaded with content, 36 total characters (including Sonic the Hedgehog) with an amazing story mode. Between all that and endless fighting matches I couldn't possibly put it away - but other games I wanted started piling up...and piling up. I finally "retired" it last year, which gave me the chance to check out Shaun White Snowboarding and Raving Rabbid Rabbits which can be played with the Balance Board (in addition to Wii Fit of course). Then came Super Mario Bros 25th anniversary and besides the first Paper Mario, I also spent some time with Yoshi's Story from 1998.

2011 began and at last, I got back into the Mario series with Mario Galaxy from 2007. The game has quickly proven to be the freshest experience since Mario 64, with amazing space exploration, crazy upside down<->right side up platforming and star bit collecting - complete with Bowser's army attacking - the best cutscene to start a game ever. Though the fact there's already Super Mario Galaxy 2 (that I played when a friend let me borrow) just shows how behind I got and anything next-gen for the Wii U console and 3DS I won't consider getting.

And I can't forget 1989's Super Mario Land. I still remember getting to play it one day at school when someone happened to bring it. Eventually I got a Game Boy and a few games for Hanukkah - which I've played sparingly over the decades - but still have along with nearly every console, game and accessory.

Thinking back it's been great since the original Super Mario Bros and I wouldn't really change much other than spending too long on some games (It doesn't help I've gone 3 or 4 weeks without even so much turning on the Wii in some cases). I do kinda wish there'd be a new Mario World game where you simply get through the course (reaching either the main exit for the secret exit if there is one). That simplicity has continued on in New Super Mario Bros (DS & Wii) and will in Super Mario 3D Land but I'd like to see it in a Mario series game.


Now for some other game stuff. During all the Mario mania of '94, I decided I wanted try something with entirely different characters one day and bought Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose at Fred Meyer. It was a cute platformer based on the TV show I enjoyed watching that we played with friends a few times, but I didn't care to spend a lot of time with it. A real break from Mario came when Nintendo released Donkey Kong Country towards the end of the year. I was immediately sold on the awesome platforming and beautiful visuals with CGI-style graphics, a huge milestone for Nintendo at the time. The game was a lot of fun and had a real soundtrack (complete with the 'DK rap'), which I really liked. Mega Man X was another I got around the mid-90s - the only game from the long-running franchise I'd ever own. Great game and I'm still a fan of the blue bomber, though I was never able to beat it - just about the only time something like that has happened.

On the Nintendo 64 we had a solid variety of non-Mario games as well, including Wave Race 64 and 1080 Snowboarding (that Sarah liked) and Cruis'n USA. Also Mission: Impossible and GoldenEye 007 were a lot of fun, me being a fan of the movies the games were based on, before the games came out.

And as for The Legend of Zelda... That's a whole 'nother blog for another day with more insights.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

PRS #16 "BOXED IN": Season Ending Stalling

Felt like the show was back under Disney for a moment with the flips and explosions. Good to see the show try to do their own thing and even Bulk & Spike getting in near the action. Though I feel like they'll probably just disappear again. I appreciated the buildings destruction as well to go with the Shinkenger fight.

While Antonio worked on the talisman I kept wondering how it'd be done before the end of the episode. Lame how it looked like the plot would be resolved here with the new powerup, but I do look forward to next time. As long as the we continue where we left off when new eps return, I'm not too bothered by the plotlines getting dragged out.

I didn't think this was a bad episode, I just wish it hadn't been so misleading. Kinda weird that the season's over suddenly. And considering we've only had 16 eps (plus the original first 2), I doubt this was really ever thought of to be the season finale and just where Nick decided to put it. It gets a 4.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

PRS #15 "THE TENGEN GATE": Ancient History

Thought the Megazord fight was pretty good. I really like how Sanzu River went crazy and the Moogers increased during Xandred's power struggle.

Had Turbo/Space flashbacks when Ji said "Black Box." >_>

Good plan from Octoroo to find out the sealing power symbol (and make Jayden suffer). I figure they just wanted to make him more kid-friendly (not that there's anything evil about the original costume in the first place)... But as long as he's out scheming, I don't really care. Liked how Archnitor plotted to become the new King as well.

I love that the show is going somewhere and building up to a season finale similar to the Fox Kids days. We've had enough years of the head villain waiting all year for the big boss to arrive or whatever. 5/5

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Goodbye to Smallville

Best night of TV of any of my shows ever. Finale comments then some insights about the series:

Part I got started with Chloe beginning to read a Smallville comic book a child (presumably her son) in 2018, then cutting to the present and a brief shot of Darkseid's planet, Apokolips. Good tease to kick things off.

The Clark & Lois wedding dragged on a bit, especially hearing the vows a second time. I did like the talk they had beforehand and how the camera kept spinning around the apartment wall.

Pretty cool how Chloe, ever the sharp eye, quickly noticed the ring was gold K (which would've taken away Clark's powers forever) and stopped Oliver. Decent Clark vs Oliver fight, though they could've made it more dramatic when he was freed of the darkness.

Got lost about how Jonathan was really there. Seeing it again, I got the impression Jor-El made it possible for him to appear to Clark & Martha (or just Clark part of the time), which is pretty cool.

Darkseid making another offer to Lionel and using his heart for the completed Lex clone was well done. The big applaud moment for me was when we finally saw him again. At last, Michael Rosenbaum was back.

His scenes with Clark and Tess were written quite beautifully and I liked the visual memory wipe. Totally got a Gene Hackman vibe. Brilliant plan from Clark to attempt to stop Lex once and for all and it was sad to see everything he knew completely go. I can only imagine what it'd be like in the future when Clark faces him again.

Nice speech by Jor-El about the past 10 years being Clark's trials and how he was proud of him. Loved how the clips montage blended together with Clark seeing them in the crystals. All this happening when Clark was in mid-air, then taking control and ramming into Darkseid was awesome. Dead Lionel being possessed was great too. Darkseid being gone after that was a kinda sudden, but ya can't expect too from the show in that department.

Amazing to see Clark finally fly in the real world, though I didn't quite like how the suit transformed from his hand onto him as he flew up, up & away and out of the Fortress.

It was only natural the first 'super' save would be a plane with Lois on it. Felt cheap to only get head and distance shots of Clark (and use a CGI Superman resembling Brandon Routh), but anything more just wasn't going to happen. Great re-creation anyway.

Didn't mind Clark just shoving Apokolips away. He'll have to deal with Darkseid again, might as well deal with the planet later as well. There was no public reveal as Superman which I initially thought was surprising... But considering the show walked a thin line between Clark the reporter and Clark the superhero, it was best to leave it to the imagination.

Returning to the future, I liked how Chloe finished the comic book and then we shifted to the Daily Planet. Felt kinda random how Clark & Lois were about to go get married for real when a news story broke, prompting Clark to take action as the theme from the movies kicked in...

And it all came to a close in a perfect homage. The classic theme, shirt rip, graphics... It was beautiful... :D Really, more that I would've imagined and made up for Tom not wearing a full suit.


Back when I started watching Smallville in season 4, I didn't really know what I was getting into... But I got to like it quickly and realized that it wasn't just young Clark growing up and had a fun variety of freaks of the week and special effects.

No season was really better than the other. The episodes with Justice League and JSA heros were always a treat, as were ones with an alt-reality and the events that really stood out. Love how the show re-created part of the pilot once and baby Kal-El being sent to Earth when Krypton exploded another time.

I don't think I ever gave an episode below a 3 and rarely there'd be a plot that just didn't work. Though the show often cheapened fights with big bads, it had a lot of great action and cliffhangers. When season 4 concluded with a second meteor shower, I hadn't seen anything like it on TV and it was incredible.

While the finale kinda left something to be desired in places, the last episode closed out the show well and the final development with Clark/Jor-El and Lex was perfect. Jonathan & Martha were used nicely and having Jonathan there along with Jor-El provided a lot, especially when Clark was given the suit.

Tess dying wasn't a real surprise and it was quite brave of her to sacrifice herself for Clark's future, guessing she thought Lex might kill her. It was great having Chloe back (Loved how she got the Superman namedrop and her "See ya in the funny pages" quip) and I love how far Lois came from season 4 to star reporter. It was a great run and the show went far in 10 years -- a big highlight being Lois's relationship with the Blur in season 9 and when she found out in was Clark.

Smallville was in a league all its own and nothing quite like this will happen again, especially this day and age with shows getting canceled. Eventually I'll start from the beginning (including 63 episodes I've never seen), plus check out Superman III and IV and the new film coming. Through it all, I'll continue to BELIEVE. ^_^

Friday, May 27, 2011

PRS #12 "ROOM FOR ONE MORE" and #14 "TEAM SPIRIT"

Antonio reminds me of Trent, between the color theme and the look. And DinoThunder was the last time we had a 6th Ranger with a separate morph. I like it better this way.

Great humor with Antonio having to make space to pose with the others before morphing. But again, certain scenes just don't feel right on this show. I didn't think his grand entrance in Shiba House and speech about joining the team was that good, nor how hard they were on him about not being a "real Samurai" purely to build drama in the episode.

Hopefully the Gold Ranger instant replays won't be around much longer, but I'll let that slide since it is for the target audience. And I'd say we're missing a morphing grid reference here to explain how Antonio made a working morpher. Why gold power, anyway?

It was still good for the most part. I do like the direction the show is in and I'm digging Antonio's excellente attitude. 4/5

--

Great episode. Solid plot with a good sense of danger & urgency and a nice intro for Clawzord. Liked Splitface's attacks and how Antonio used the electronic symbol power as a magnet to get him out of the Netherworld.

The compass directions and spinning wheel is kinda weird, but it does sorta go with Antonio's upbeat personality.

The episode worked even better without pausing the action for a Bulk & Spike scene (The Pink Ranger fantasies are funny but we could've done without Sammy being kidnapped in Blue and the Gold as a means to include them). Throw in a little more backstory with Deker, plus some improved acting and I'd say we're golden. 5/5

Monday, May 9, 2011

Smallville Finale Countdown + "Prophecy" Comments

I've seen plenty of shows end, but nothing really as big as the countdown for the end of Smallville. Whether you've been a fan of the show over the years or at least have been aware of it, anyone can guess what ultimately happens at the very end. It's that anticipation over the final iconic moment the show will have that has made the journey quite fun, especially this season.

If anything, I can only compare it to Buffy, which like Smallville, had a final season and pretty much went all out with guest stars and wrapping up storylines. The last episode and fate of Sunnydale was quite a thrill -- a great bookend to that seasons premiere and the show altogether -- however some of the emotion was lost knowing that James Marsters would be joining Angel after Spike sacrificed himself. I still remember going on the BuffyWorld website and forum often then and enjoyed chatting about the episodes with fellow Power Ranger fans. Other than that, social networking was pretty much limited to LiveJournal and AIM for me -- no where near it is today with tweets from writers and updates via Facebook.

But even Buffy was only on 7 years and changed networks. Smallville has simply moved times and days since joining The WB in 2001. I've heard some people saying this'll be the end of the Donner era of Superman if the upcoming movie does things differently.

I've never been a comics fan and never really looked up to Superman growing up, but I'm glad I've been with the show the past 7 years and finally watched the first 2 Christopher Reeve movies. The backstory about Clark and Krypton in the first film was really cool and the second one had a great plot with Zod and his goons taking over Earth, complete with a big fight sequence.

I'll hold off on the other 2 films for awhile, but in the meantime it's time for destiny to be fulfilled.


"Prophecy":
Liked how Jor-El gave Lois Clark's powers. It was cute how she kept superspeeding and tried supertyping.

Nice to see Oliver and Kara with scenes together. Liked how they stumbled upon eachother and just when Oliver was about to get his hands on the bow -- Nope, not while Granny's still around. Awesome.

I don't mind Kara going to the future so much and Jor-El basically telling her she needs to leave for Clark to fulfill his destiny... But she didn't say goodbye or even have any scenes with Clark.

Hope we see Toyman's team of villains again and I like how we at least know that in-show continuity will have a fight again Justice League in the future.

That Lana mention came across like the writers were saying "Here's the cameo!"

Trying to use Lois to kill Clark before she quickly snapped out of it was lame. And Clark shutting off Jor-El felt old with how many times he's gone against his wishes. I'd wager Jor-El's last gift to Clark on the show will be having the suit appear to him.

Also, thought the prophecy about the good and evil balance was pretty cool. I did expect a little more from this episode (It doesn't help that I'm really amped-up for the finale), but overall I liked what this episode was able to do to keep things rolling.

I got to thinking you have to look at it as their's really 2 separate episodes left. I imagine Part 1 will be more buildup with the core cast, then we'll really get moving with the last act of the hour followed with returning cast, which'll hopefully include Lionel and some Justice League.

Friday, May 6, 2011

PRS #11 "UNEXPECTED ARRIVAL": Golden Boy

Thought the plot in this was neat, with Vulpes spying on Jayden in an effort to learn the sealing symbol power. I kinda like Antonio's flamboyant attitude, but the acting wasn't all that good and it would've been nice if we had seen him before -- in "A FISH OUT OF WATER" or quietly keeping an eye on the team.

I like when the 6th Ranger doesn't use the team morph call and I was glad Antonio didn't say "Gold Ranger." We have Trey after all -- hopefully still out there with the gold Zeo power -- continuity be damned.

With how much Shinkenger footage we get per episode it was nice to have more scenes with our cast for a change. I'll give it a solid 4 for being a fun episode and enjoyable 6th Ranger intro for this season.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

S-10.19 "Dominion"

A little too much padding and slo-mo battle scenes in this.

Didn't really like Lois with the gun either.

Still a pretty good episode. It was great having one last Phantom Zone episode and Zod appearance. Pretty cool that he merged with the Phantom.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

S-10.18 "Booster"

Liked how Clark trying to work out his new persona connected with Booster Gold and what he was going through. Going in the direction of getting people to think that there's no way Clark can be the Blur this close to the end is an interesting choice. I'm finding it kinda funny and am not surprised Cat Grant bought into it easily. Also, I liked how Cat pretended to be one of Booster's girls and how Clark had to save her. The Blue Beetle tech sneaking away with Jamie and taking over him was cool too.

This was a nice light-hearted episode before the impending doom and gloom. I enjoyed how it progressed and learning about Booster's struggles. Wasn't sure if they'd really get into his background. Bonus points for the phonebooth sequence and Booster's suggestion about using "super."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

PRS #09 "TEST OF THE LEADER": Dawn of Destiny

Aside from them going too far making Jayden a Shiba and Najee's line delivery being god awful at times -- I loved this episode.

Liked how we began with Xandred sending out as many Moogers as possible. Good fight scenes and calling out Jayden was pretty cool. Extra points for building destruction. Liked the flashback of the past Samurai Rangers as well.

Bulk & Spike were great. Kinda wish they'd give Bulk more confidence after all he's been through facing monsters, but I'm optimistic there's a lot more in store for them. Like how the Pink Ranger crush has begun.

I'm finding Xandred's medicine coverup quite funny. Sure, it's most likely medicine in the script, but I'd like to think the Nighloks just call it that when it's really something else. Why else would Xandred seem hungover? Besides the lasting effects from the last time he was sealed, all those years suffering clearly drove him to drink. >_>

Despite the continued translation raping of Shinkenger plots, this is one of those episodes that I'd give high marks to no matter what season. And yeah, it could be considered lazy for editing our Rangers over Shinkenger's in places instead of filming new scenes, but I think it's pretty nicely done when I can't even tell until it's pointed out. 5/5

Saturday, April 2, 2011

PRS #08 "FOREST FOR THE TREES": Green with Envy

Giving Mia the Beetle was silly but it did a decent job of setting up the plot. Ji having enough problems with Mike to take his samurizer was outta left field, but otherwise the episode was pretty good with Hector easily being the best actor among the Rangers. And a nature lesson for the kids never hurts. :P

Liked the focus on symbol power and how we got to know a little more about Ji. Nice to see him get out for once. Really annoying to hear "Mentor" over and over again.

Another fun scene with Bulk & Spike as they slowly get closer to learning the Rangers identities.

Also thought it was cool to see the MOTD trip a gap sensor for the first time.

Having not seen any Shinkenger is making these episodes more fun for me to watch. I initially thought to give it a 5, but yeah -- that's being too generous as long as plot points are being brought over that just don't work that well here. Still an easy 4/5.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

PRS #07: "I'VE GOT A SPELL ON BLUE": Mind Games

Liked the setup for the plot in the beginning with Jayden and Kevin morphed and sparring.

The fight scenes were pretty good I thought. The unmorphed Rangers blended nicely with the Shinkenger clips.

The interaction between Xandred and his crew was nicely done. Felt like we got to know more about them and I liked the reactions to Deker finally paying them a visit.

Only complaint is Madimot was quite annoying and Jayden gained control of Tigerzord too quickly, otherwise I enjoyed this one. 4/5

Sunday, March 20, 2011

PRS #06 "THERE GO THE BRIDES": Dayu Nightmare

This episode definitely had its moments. I liked how kidnappings had been going on for awhile and the team setup a fake wedding to lure the Moogers in a trap. Dayu kidnapping the brides and using the tears to make a dress to get revenge for something that happened to her was cool, but I'd be nice if we knew more about her past. And I liked how Emily snuck in with the captured brides and helped freed them. Also, the bakery part was cute and it was nice to see Bulk & Spike nearly meet the Rangers.

The acting is still atrocious at times (especially from Erika Fong) and some of the dialogue comes off kinda awkward in the translation from Shinkenger -- otherwise good episode.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All For Buffy @ ECCC '11

Besides anime and Power Rangers, I hadn't really been to any other conventions before, so I didn't quite know what to expect as I headed downtown on Saturday the 5th. I made sure to show up early, getting to the convention center about 10:00. It was pretty quiet as I easily walked up to the sales booth on the 4th floor and was good to go. There was a SoyJoy booth handing out samples and bags, while a DJ spun, so I just hung out there for awhile. Eventually I went to the 3rd floor where the media guests were stationed and after an hour or so in line, I met James Marsters and bought a Spike photo. James was great and after asking me if I was a Superman fan, joked about how he loves working on Smallville because they pay him so much and how Tom Welling (Clark) is a real jerk. I knew he'd be awesome. ^_^

Next I got in the photo-op registration line, which ended up taking around an hour and a half. It was stuffy, crowded and smelly at times -- hard to stand in line so long -- despite I hadn't even been at the convention very long. After I got signed up for 2:20 (when the Buffy cast would have their turn), I got something to eat and chilled for a bit.

At 2:00 I got in line for the photo-op and could tell I wasn't feeling right. Soon I got my pic with James & Nicholas Brendan and one with Clare Kramer (Glory, season 5). Then I headed back to the 4th floor to get ready for the Buffy panel, which already had a HUGE line snaking several rows in a big open room next door. The panel got started late by the time everyone was seated, but it was still fun enjoying James, Nicholas and Clare chat it up for a half hour and answer some Qs. Afterwards, I went over to Clare's autograph table, which had barely any line all day. She was very nice and liked the pic of us and signed her Buffy headshot I purchased. Nicholas was kind enough to sign my Buffy season 6 DVD cover for no money, after I told him I didn't have enough cash.

And with that, I hightailed it outta there by about 4:30, not feeling well at all (which, aside from a wonderful store party, lasted ALL last week -_-). To finally meet some of the cast from Buffy close to home was amazing and ultimately worth the money and health I paid. If they get anyone else from Buffy/Angel, I'll definitely go back.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

PRS #05 "A FISH OUT OF WATER": True Blue to the Rescue

I really liked this one. The plot just really worked for me -- how Yamiror made the Rangers sick and Kevin had to retrieve the Swordfish Zord to save them. Yeah, the fisherman was kinda random (Kevin could've told him he was a Ranger), but I'm used to this sorta thing on PR.

I love when our heros get beaten badly and demorph in battle. Saban's doing a great job of having the Rangers dirty and not always remain clean cut like before.

5/5. I don't think there'll be many focus episodes that I'll like more than this.


Also check out episode 5 of my podcast, talking about some early thoughts of Power Rangers Samurai, "THE TEAM UNITES" and "DEAL WITH A NIGHLOK."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

S-10.16 "Scion"

I really like how Alexander became a scion to Clark. Enjoyed watching him learn about his powers. The heat vision was funny.

Great to see Luthor Mansion again -- or whats left of it.

Faceless double for Lex. Check.

Obligatory Oliver/Chloe mention. Check.

DARKSEID!! Did they know Rosenbaum would be returning when this was filmed? I'd imagine so. My guess is that yeah, Lex is revived at the cost of Lionel's life (depending on whether he shows up again). And nice to actually see Lex's headstone after all this time.

The episode was well played out. Good one to start a break on. Now alt-Jonathan is coming? Also, nice that they'll be showing the pilot, but a 10 year special would be better.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

PRS #04 "STICKS & STONES": Yellow Trouble

Liked the flashbacks of Emily with her sister and her bonding with Mike.

Some of the insults were lame, but the one-liners worked better this time.

I like how the Nighloks actually harm civilians and cause accidents. Would be nice if they'd bother to explain they grow by getting a second life.

Some of the acting is still pretty wooden, but this was a good focus episode for Emily and I'm quickly getting to like her. 4/5

Sunday, February 27, 2011

S-10.15 "Fortune"

This was a fun, easy-going episode to balance out the finale that will most likely cost a fortune.

Wasn't sure how well this would turn out, but I gradually got into it. Nice to see Clark teamup with Chloe for one last time, Oliver with Lois and... Tess/Emil? That was a pleasant surprise.

Cute trick from Zatanna. Makes me wish Serinda would appear again.

The drunken antics were great. Loved Clark having trouble with super speed and when he took the armored car.

Liked how Emil got to be the victim for once and Clark had to save him.

Bonus points for Batman and Wonder Woman mentions. Hope Chloe makes one more cameo, but either way, it was a nice sendoff for her.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Powered Up For a 'Super' 2011

I thought about doing my usual year end review last month, but really, a lot of 2010's memorable things happened early in the year (Survivor's 10th anniversary, Winter Games in Vancouver, Valentine's Day) -- followed by a summer with team builds and outdoor activities, capped off with the trip to Pasadena. Plenty of good times, but also a feeling of going stale... Between the lack of new Power Rangers ("reversioned" MMPR instead), American Idol needing a change and spending forever with Nintendo's all-star fighter Smash Bros Brawl, when there are plenty of Wii Mario and Zelda titles out there. It adds up to much anticipation for the next several months and it'll be well worth it.

Not since The Secret of World of Alex Mack ended have I watched Nickelodeon much. Now 13 years later there's reason again with the return of Saban's Power Rangers. What seemed impossible a year ago now has become reality. It's great to be back to old school PR with people and a network who actually care and it looks beautiful with HD cameras and higher budgeted sets. Although the episodes themselves won't always turn out that good with plots directly lifted from the Japanese series.

This year will also have a new music competition when the X-Factor starts in the fall and I look forward to Smallville's big ending and playing Super Mario Galaxy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

S-10.13 "Beacon"

Another step in Clark becoming the future beacon of hope to the world.

This episode was very well done. Really enjoyed the plot with Alexander trying to kill Martha to get to Clark and the end of the VRA at last.

Awesome to have evil Lionel again. His interactions with everyone couldn't have been written better. Great references throughout.

Liked how future Clark was brought up and what'll lead to Clark eventually being his own disguise.

Shocked to see Luthor Mansion go. Nice touch with the silent exchange with Martha to rescue Lionel and Clark just throws him to the ground. XD

Sunday, February 6, 2011

S-10.12 "Collateral"

This episode was a good one to come back from break on.

Chloe's return and the virtual world were very cool. Loved seeing her with powers.

Liked how Clark had a difficult time trusting Chloe after she had been gone and Dinah had a hard time as well.

Thought it was funny how Courtney and the others just disappeared between eps. >_>

Now that Clark knows he can fly, it could feel like a long wait until he does for real (If we do have to wait for it in the last episode).

Nice appetizer and I can't wait for the main course -- Lionel, Lex clone and -- Martha!