REVIEW: BATTLESHIP

 

CAST

Taylor Kitsch (John Carter)
Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Rhihanna (Bates Motel)
Brooklyn Decker (The League)
Tadanobu Asano (Thor)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Peter NacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
John Tui (Power Rangers SPD)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Josh Pence (The Dark Knight Rises)

Erich and Jon Hoeber (Red) wrote the screenplay “Based on HASBRO’s Battleship” which Peter Berg (The Kingdom) directed. The film includes a pair of brothers. Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood) is Commander of a ship in the Navy, and his brother Alex (Taylor Kitsch, Friday Night Lights) is a Lieutenant in the Navy, but is more of a renegade and screw-up that his brother has to always cover and apologize for because of his roguish behavior and covert insubordination. Alex is dating Samantha (Brooklyn Decker, Just Go With It), who is the daughter of the Admiral (Liam Neeson, Unknown). Kind of sounds like a general conflict story that we have all seen before, right? How wrong you are! The Hoppers’ participation in a Naval exercise with Japanese sailors (an occasional occurrence, since they are stationed in Hawaii) soon becomes pear-shaped, as a mysterious presence comes to Hawaii. They are, in fact, aliens, who have come to Earth to establish contact with their home planet in the hopes of future colonization here.

The basic framework for the story is decent enough for the first act or so, but then it starts getting a little weird in its execution. The premise for the aliens coming to Earth is that they are responding to a signal that Earth is sending to other planets of similar atmospheres, in the hope that people of Earth can explore other planets. So , the aliens are not only beating Earth to the punch, but taking it a step further and occupying our house before we did the same thing to theirs. It’s this scientific element which allows us a bit of access to Cal (Hamish Linklater, The New Adventures of Old Christine), a computer scientist who knows what the signals are like and what’s coming. However, when the invasion/occupation starts to unfold, his scenes are scant, occasionally getting time next to Decker’s character, who is a physical therapist who works with wounded soldiers in their Iraq and Afghanistan recoveries (particularly one ornery character who returned home with no legs and is getting used to replacements). And the simple fact of the matter is neither Decker nor Linklater carry the story or provides moments that make them look engaging or charismatic. Though admittedly Decker is nice to look at.

Which brings us back to the action. The aliens are formidable, some of the action makes for exciting moments, but other parts of it just look silly and overreach. The aliens begin to move inland and damage other things like roads and an airfield to further isolate Hawaiian residents who are already several thousand miles away from the mainland. But like other films before it like Independence Day who set the stage for a seemingly unbeatable alien force, there always a fatal flaw that is academic and somewhat stupid. I won’t reveal it here, but suffice to say it is Shyamalan-esque. And as a tangent, allow me to vent on the bait and switch that seemingly occurs both in the film’s marketing and in the film itself. Neeson is all over the trailers (or at least was from my memory), but is in the film for a cup of coffee. This goes to a certain degree for Skarsgard. As a result Kitsch is the focus of the action, playing to a degree off of fellow FNL alum Jesse Pleamons (who plays a crewmember on the Hoppers’ ship) and singer Rihanna. THAT Rihanna. Far be it for me to bring up her personal life when discussing her acting, but she should stick to singing. Her acting is wooden, she is not a very likeable person on screen, seemingly assigned to perform the film’s one-liners, which she can’t even do right, much less entertaining.

And another thing; this movie is long. Way too long. At credits it runs two hours and twelve minutes, and the epic moments of alien transformation eventually morph into story flaw after story flaw, resulting in a third act battle on a stage that is simply not believable. It uses said stage to do things that are not believable, and result in stupid ‘pat themselves on their backs’ moments after the film that are also for lack of a better phrase ‘not believable.’ Really, the Navy is going to have an awards ceremony after a good portion of Hawaii has been destroyed and/or obliterated? Child, please. Even at its base levels, Battleship not only asks you to leave your suspense at the door, but wants you to bury it in the backyard before renting it.

Advertisements

REVIEW: POWER RANGERS SUPER SAMURAI (SEASON 19)

CAST

Alex Heartman (Police Guys)
Erika Fong (Transformers 4)
Hector David Jr. (the Sand)
Najee De-Tiege (Evil Dwells)
Brittany Anne Pirtle (Bring It On 5)
Rene Naufahu (The Matrix Reloaded)
Felix Ryan (Abducted)
Paul Schrier (Wicked game)
Ricardo Medina Jr. (Bad Blood)
Steven Skyler (Glee)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jeff Szusterman (Return To Treasure Island)
Kate Elliott (30 Days of Night)
George Beca (Step Dave)
Rugen Du Bray (Liquortine Dream)
Joel Tobeck (Spartacus: War of The Damned)
John Tui (Battleship)
Kimberly Crossman (Deathgasm)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)

The Samurai Rangers learn to harness the power of the legendary Black Box to form all new Megazord combinations and become Super Samurai!Through the power of the Black Box, the Samurai Rangers are able to tap into the power of their ancestors and unlock Shogun Mode to help protect humanity from the Netherworld’s vile villains. The Black box also allows the Super Samurai to morph into Super Mega Mode inside the Megazord cockpit, which enhances their powers to aid in the battle against super monsters. In addition, a new super weapon, the Bullzooka, will make its first appearance, harnessing some serious laser power to help in the battle to stop the evil Serrator. And with each new adventure, the day gets closer and closer when Jayden, the “Red Samurai Ranger”‘s secret will be revealed.the_power_is_on___power_rangers_2017_movie_v2_by_bilico86-da2fbboThe Highlight of Super Samurai is Lauren the True Red Leader, she is both stunning and likable, plus she comes very close to defeating the lead villain.   Super Samurai brings a end to the Samurai Rangers in a fitting  fashion, with the villain defeated at the end it’s nice to imagine what future these heroes have in there daily lives.

REVIEW: POWER RANGERS – SEASON 13-17

CAST

Brandon Jay McLaren (Smallville)
Chris Violette (Bitten)
Matt Sadowski (Dawn of The Dead)
Monica May (Battle Planet)
Alycia Purrott (Jailbait!)
Rene Naufahu (The Matix Revolutions)
John Tui (Battleship)
Michelle Langstone (Xena)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Olivia James-Baird (Orange Roughies)
Barnie Duncan (Nothing Trivial)
Josephine Davison (Cleopatra 2525)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Craig Parker (Reign)
Siobhan Page (Filthy Rich)
Bruce Hopkins (Hercules: TLJ)
Sarah Thomson (Shortland Street)
Aaron Murphy (Boogeyman)
Dwayne Cameron (The Locals)
James Gaylyn (Avatar)
Tandi Wright (Black Sheep)
Paul Willis (Wendy Wu)
Brett Stewart (Everything We Loved)
Stig Eldred (Young Hercules)
James Napier Robertson (The Tribe)
Emma Lahana (Stargate: Atlantis)
Kevin Duhaney (Honey)
Jeffrey Parazzo (Flashpoint)
Beth Allen (The Ugly)
Gina Varela (The Devil’s Rock)
Paul Norris (Hercules: TLJ)
Geoff Dolan (Wendy Wu)
Antonia Prebble (Westside)

The story takes place in the year 2025, after Earth has welcomed alien beings to live peacefully with the human race. But peace is short lived, as the planet-conquering Troobian Empire turns its destructive attention to Earth. When the Earth’s first line of defense, the S.P.D. A-Squad, vanishes without trace, the protection of the planet falls to their replacements: the B-Squad Rangers, and their commander, Anubis Cruger.

When two reformed thieves join the team as the Red and Yellow S.P.D. Rangers, tensions threaten to tear them apart. With the alien threat growing stronger every moment, the Rangers must put aside their differences and go into action as one!

Using teamwork, intergalactic weaponry and light-speed Zord vehicles to battle evil, they unite to become one of the ultimate forces for good: Power Rangers S. P. D.! It’s eventually revealed that the A-Squad is in fact evil and the B-Squad proves its might by defeating the former elite squad of SPD. With help from the S.P.D. commander and his wife Isinia, B-Squad destroys the true threat, Omni and Grumm is arrested for his crimes in front of S.P.D. headquaters on Earth by Cruger.

CAST

Firass Dirani (Pitch Blach)
Angie Diaz (Knowing)
Richard Brancatisano (Bait)
Nic Sampson (The Warrior’s Way)
Melanie Vallejo (Winners & Losers)
Peta Rutter (Young Hercules)
Antonia Prebble (Westside)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Barnie Duncan (Nothing Trivial)
John Tui (Battleship)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Geoff Dolan (Wendy Wu)
Holly Shanahan (Venus and Mars)
John Callen (The Hobbit)
Donogh Rees (Crush)
Oliver Driver (Black Sheep)
Will Hall (Auckland Daze)
Susan Brady (Without a Pddle)
Christopher Graham (The Ugly)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
Josephine Davison (Cleopatra 2525)
Mark Ferguson (Hercules In The Underworld)
Peter Daube (Legend of The Seeker)
Paolo Rotondo (Riverworld)

Twenty years ago, in a magic-filled dimension parallel world to our own, the forces of darkness came into power and a war called the “Great Battle” between good and evil began. An army of the monsters, led by a powerful warrior named Morticon, swarmed into the land with their sights set on taking over the magical realm, the human realm and beyond, but they would have to combat a legion of brave and powerful wizards. The Mystics battled valiantly against overwhelming odds until they drove the evil back from the edge of the human world. The strongest wizard of all, Leanbow, cast a spell and sent the evil warriors into the Underworld, having the Gatekeeper seal the gates for all eternity. The forces of truth successfully thwarted the dark forces’ attempt to take the surface world, but they lost Leanbow, as he made sure the evil forces did not escape by sealing himself on their side of the Gate. The human world would never know of the Great Battle, nor of the sacrifices made to spare their lives from destruction. Even to this day they live in peace and tranquility, totally unaware of what is about to awaken.

The city of Briarwood was struck by an earthquake, which was just enough to crack the seal, allowing evil to renew its attempt to invade the earth. The sorceress Udonna, realizing that the forces of evil had returned, sought out the warriors of legend, five teens living in Briarwood, to become the Power Rangers alongside her. While one of the teens was reluctant at first, he realized his destiny and joined the others in the fight against the Master of the Underworld and his numerous minions.

NIC SAMPSON, MELANIE VALLEJO, FIRASS DIRANI, ANGIE DIAZ, RICHARD BRANCATISANO

When Udonna loses her Ranger powers to the mysterious Koragg, it is up to Nick, Chip, Xander and sisters Madison and Vida, to save the Earth on their own. They are assisted by Udonna’s bumbling apprentice Clare, and eventually Jenji the Genie and his master Daggeron, the Solaris Knight.

Using their powerful magic and incredible martial arts skills, the Mystic Force Power Rangers must rely on teamwork to save the day. Later, in a shocking surprise, it is revealed that Koragg is none other than Leanbow, the greatest and strongest of all wizards. The good power that was taken from Udonna helps Koragg into turning into his normal self, and he uses his powers to transform into the most powerful defender of truth, the Wolf Warrior. In the end, Leanbow transoforms into the Ancient Mystic Warrior and uses his power to give a final strike to destroy the Master of Evil and destroy after him. After this is done, the Rangers return to their usual life and Nick, Udonna and Leanbow leave Briarwood to settle down safely.

CAST

James Maclurcan (Tiger)
Caitlin Murphy (Petit Homme)
Samuell Benta (All About The McKenzies)
Rhonda Montemayor (The Knot)
Gareth Yuen (Knowing)
David Weatherley (Lord of The Rings)
Rod Lousich (The Warior’s Way)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Gerard Urquhart (Hidden)
Ria Vandervis (Shortland Street)
Dwayne Cameron (The Locals)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Nic Sampson (The Warrior’s Way)
Mark Ferguson (Hercules In The Underworld)
Adam Gardiner (Eagle vs Shark)
Susan Brady (Hercules: TLJ)
Will Wallace (Step Dave)
James Gaylyn (Avatar)
Nathalie Boltt (District 9)
Mia Koning (Xena)
Mike Edward (Filthy Rich)
Matt Sadowski (Dawn of The Dead)
Emma Lahana (Stargate: Atlantis)
Sally Martin (Wendy Wu)
Richard Brancatisano (Bait)
Johnny Yong Bosch (MArvel Anime: Blade)
Glen Levy (Westside)
Beth Allen (The Tribe)

Many years ago, two brothers named Flurious and Moltor try to steal a legendary crown known as the Corona Aurora and are imprisoned throughout the galaxy. Sentinel Knight scatters the crown and its jewels on the planet Earth in hopes of preventing it from falling into the wrong hands. In the present day, world renowned explorer Andrew Hartford uncovers the crown, which frees Flurious and Moltor from their imprisonment. Andrew recruits four elite teenagers to become Power Rangers and stop the Corona Aurora from falling into the wrong hands. Although Hartford is originally opposed to it, his son Mack becomes the fifth team member – the Red Ranger. The Power Rangers search ancient civilizations and all over the world to uncover the first jewel which was once used by Neptune – King of Atlantis. In the process, they encounter the illustrious Miratrix, who is determined to find the jewels and free her master Kamdor.

While searching for the Toru Diamond, the Rangers encounter an alien named Tyzonn. Tyzonn came to Earth from the planet Mercuria to stop the evil Fearcats who are intent on releasing their army which had been previously imprisoned in a mirror world. After the apparent demise of his fiancée Vella, Tyzonn is reluctant, but is eventually convinced to join Operation Overdrive as the Mercury Ranger. Together, the Rangers encounter Thor and Loki, two of the Norse gods. Their involvement leads to the discovery of the Blue Sapphire, which is stolen by Kamdor and Miratrix.

When Thrax, son of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa escapes imprisonment from the Sentinel Knight, he recruits Flurious, Moltor, Kamdor, Miratrix, and the Fearcats to form an evil alliance and destroy the Rangers’ connection to the Universal Morphing Grid. The Rangers must go on a quest to seek out the legendary sword Excelsior which is capable of restoring their powers and the Sentinel Knight. With the help of five former Power Rangers – Adam Park-the Black Power Ranger, Xander Bly-the Green Mystic Ranger, Bridge Carson-the S.P.D. Red Ranger, Kira Ford-the Yellow Dino Ranger and Tori Hanson-the Blue Wind Ranger, the Power Rangers unite and take down Thrax, which breaks apart the evil alliance.

After the Rangers encounter a virus, Mack makes a startling discovery about himself. Realizing that he is an android, Mack begins to question his very existence, but he still pulls through for his friends by merging with the Sentinel Knight to become the Red Sentinel Ranger. Meanwhile, when another Fearcat named Crazar shows up, Tyzonn discovers that Vella is still alive. Also the Rangers uncover the Star of Isis, the fourth jewel of the Corona Aurora.

The Octavian Chalice holds the power to uncover the final jewel to the crown. In an ultimate struggle for it, the Fearcats are destroyed for good and so is Kamdor, but not before imprisoning Miratrix inside a gem for eternity. Flurious destroys Moltor and steals the crown and gets his hands on the jewels as well. Now with the power of the Corona Aurora at his disposal, Flurious freezes all of San Angelas. In a desperate attempt to save the world, Mack sacrifices himself to destroy Flurious once and for all. The Sentinel Knight appears and uses the Corona Aurora to bring Mack back to life. As Mack awakens, he realizes that thanks to the crown, he is now human. Thanks to Norg, Tyzonn is reunited with Vella and the Power Rangers move on with their lives now that they have saved the world from evil.

CAST

Jason Smith (Home and Away)
Anna Hutchison (The Cabin In The Woods)
Aljin Abella (Hunter n Hornet)
David de Lautour (Westside)
Sarah Thomson (Shortland Street)
Bede Skinner (West of Eden)
Holly Shanahan (Venus and Mars)
Nikolai Nikolaeff (Daredevil TV)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Nathaniel Lees (Young Hercules)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Bruce Hopkins (Hercules: TLJ)
Gerard Urquhart (Hidden)
Bruce Allpress (The Piano)
Oliver Driver (Black Sheep)
Cameron Rhodes (Deathgasm)
Paul Gittins (Maiden Voyage)
Stig Eldred (Young Hercules)
Andrew Laing (Shortland Street)
Michelle Langstone (Xena)
Jared Turner (Filthy Rich)
Jason Hoyte (Young Hercules)
Siobhan Page (Filthy Rich)

For over ten thousand years, the spirit of a pure evil known as Dai Shi has been locked away and safely guarded by the Pai Zhuq, the “Order of the Claw,” a secretive Kung Fu clan. But now, evil has escaped and the Pai Zhuq has selected their three top members to fight this evil. Jarrod, Lily, and Theo were picked, but Jarrod turned out to be a bad choice and Casey, a cub was to take his place. Jarrod tried taking the container holding Dai Shi. It accidentally opened; Dai Shi killed Master Mao and took over Jarrod’s body. The trio was sent to find a new master and he gave them the special gift to become Power Rangers. They alone are the Earth’s only hope to stop the army of evil animal spirits from overtaking the human world. Dai Shi is doing everything, and anything that he can, along with his loyal minion Camille and an army of undead, the Rinshi so he can take over the world and have animals rule. He started out with the Five Fingers of Poison, but they failed. Dai Shi controls an army of fear, and the three Power Rangers are trying to stop him.

When a Rinshi Warrior possessing an animal spirit is too much for the Rangers, each are trained by a retired master in a new animal spirit. Lily was trained by Master Phant in the ways of the Elephant, Theo was trained by the visually impaired Master Swoop in the techniques of the Bat, and Casey was taught by RJ’s father Master Finn in the tradition of the Shark. Dai Shi and Camille revived the deadly Overloads Carnisoar and Jellica to train them in the ways of fear, deceit and terror, stripping Jarrod of his humanity. When Dai Shi fought the Rangers with his training, he defeated them and took RJ prisoner. To save RJ, the Rangers were taken to the Spirit World by Master Mao to be trained by three fallen Masters: Master Rill, Master Guin, and Master Lope. In doing so, the three Rangers were able to upgrade to Master mode with incredible jets and hand-held claw weapons. RJ’s Wolf Spirit, which he obtained by following his own path and straying from his father’s Shark style, was tampered with by Dai Shi and transformed RJ into a werewolf. RJ did not rely on his friends and tried to take care of the situation by himself. Ultimately, he learned to lean on his friends and transformed into the Wolf Ranger. RJ’s werewolf problem was able to fix thanks to his new friendship with Flit the fly, who once was human. The last Overlord, Grizzaka was revived but he took over Dai Shi’s place, as he hates humans and resents Dai Shi possessing a human. Dai Shi wanted to possess Grizzaka’s powerful Zocato power. RJ’s old friend from Pai Zhuq Dominic, a wanderer who hadn’t yet found his path, decided being the Rhino Ranger was his path.  Years ago, Master Mao once gave Dominic the Control Dagger, which everyone is now after it to control the Rhino Steel Zord from the Rhino Nexus. Camille and Dai Shi reached the Nexus, a betrayal towards the Overloads. Dominic was able to take control of the Rhino Steel Megazord and destroy Carnisoar once and for all. The time was running out to revive three Phantom Beast Generals from the Crystal Eyes. Grizzaka was also destroyed by the Rangers. The Generals were revived by Jellica but they destroyed her and allied with Dai Shi, wanting him to be their King. Dai Shi’s first court of order is to kidnap the three living masters and put them under control to manifest three Spirit Rangers to go against the five Power Rangers.

Master Finn was locked in a Crystal Eye and saved by his son and together they were able to gain control over the Spirit Rangers and call them forth when needed. Soon Dai Shi was loosing control over Jarrod and the remaining Phantom Beast Generals blamed Camille and sent warriors against her. Jarrod saved her and Casey witnessed this and when to Dai Shi’s temple to save Jarrod. Together, Jarrod and Camille helped in a battle with the Rangers.

Ashamed of his bad deeds, Jarrod refused to help again when Scorch and Dai Shi began a new Beast War. Dai Shi opens up a portal to the Spirit World and resurrects all his fallen warriors, including the fallen masters. Jarrod finally decides to join them as well and helps weaken Dai Shi and the three protectors finally destroy Dai Shi forever. Once the war was finished, Camille and Jarrod train as beginners in the Pai Zhuq academy. Dominic was given a fond farewell, along with Fran to back-pack through Europe.

CAST

Eka Darville (Jessica Jones)
Ari Boyland (Blood Punch)
Rose McIver (IZombie)
Dan Ewing (Home and Away)
Milo Cawthorne (Deathgasm)
James Gaylyn (Avatar)
Adelaide kane (Reign)
Oliva Tennet (Maddigan’s Quest)
Mike Ginn (Broken Halleujah)
Li Ming Hu (Kawa)
4bab20aad6ea62c7d79c9f15420a4805

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Damien Avery (Bloodlines)
Mia Koning (3 Mile Limit)
Andrew Laing (Shortland Street)
Mark Mitchinson (The Hobbit)
John Sumner (District 9)
Murray Keane (Step Dave)
Bruce Phillips (The Lovely Bones)
Stephen Papps (The Piano)
Angela Shirley (Jubilee)
Stephanie Lee (House Husbands)
Jason Hoyte (Young Hercules)
Kevin J. Wilson (Spartacus)

In the not-so-distant future, the mysterious and sinister Venjix Computer Network is attempting to conquer and lay ruin to the entire planet. It had succeeded and nearly conquered the entire Earth. Fortunately, mankind has retreated from the threat into environmentally-shielded domed cities to protect against the pollution and machines unleashed by Venjix. In the shining city of Corinth, an elite force of Rangers must learn to drive and operate an arsenal of radically advanced biotech vehicles in order to battle the attacking machine army bent on world domination.

RPM, though, pretty much blows it away on every level, except for maybe the costume designs. It’s better acted, better written, the cast has chemistry that the Samurai rangers really lack and a romance subplot that was actually engaging and subtle, two things that are rarely seen in the entire franchise. It takes the existing formula and does new things with it that no other series had done, and it all works really well. But the other reason it’s so good, the one that makes me almost hate to admit how great it is, is that it is dark.

Power Rangers RPM screenshot
Once again a great collection, Operation Overdrive maybe a hated season, but it’s fun and has a decent story ark to it, Jungle Fury is just plain awsome on every level. SPD, is a stone cold classic and RPM is one of the best.