REVIEW: STEALTH

 

CAST

Josh Lucas (Hulk)
Jessica Biel (The A-Team)
Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Sam Shepard (Swordfish)
Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing)
Joe Morton (Terminator 2)
Joel Tobeck (Hercules: TLJ)
Jason Chan (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Nikolai Nikolaeff (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Wentworth Miller (Legends of Tomorrow)

In the year 2020, the United States Navy develops an aviation program to deal with international terrorists and other enemies of the state quickly and quietly, and project controller Captain George Cummings (Sam Shepard) is authorized to develop new technology to achieve these objectives. The project’s first brainchild are “F/A-37 Talon” single-seat fighters with impressive payload, speed, and stealth capabilities. Over 400 pilots apply to participate, but only three are chosen: smart hotshot Lieutenant Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), tomboyish Lieutenant Kara Wade (Jessica Biel), and street-wise, philosophical Lieutenant Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx). Their first test mission scores 100/100, inflicting maximum casualties with minimum collateral damage.

Cummings hires Dr. Keith Orbit (Richard Roxburgh) to develop an artificial intelligence (AI), the “EDI”, which will fly an unmanned combat air vehicle. The autonomous fighter jet is placed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Philippine Sea to learn combat maneuvers from the pilots. This sparks some controversy. On the one hand, human pilots possess both creativity and moral judgment, while a machine cannot fully appreciate the ugliness of war; additionally, if robots fought the battles and soldiers no longer died in combat, then war would no longer be terrible and might become like sport. In contrast, a machine pilot is not subject to the physical limitations of a human pilot, can calculate alternative ways to achieve objectives faster and more accurately, and theoretically does not have ego. The team is training EDI in air combat maneuvers when they are unexpectedly reassigned to take out the heads of three terrorist cells at a conference in downtown Rangoon. EDI calculates that mission success can be achieved only through a vertical strike, which could cause the pilot to black out and result in collateral damage. Command orders EDI to take the shot, but Gannon ignores the order and attacks in his own plane, successfully carrying out the strike.

As the team returns to the Lincoln, EDI is hit by lightning which reprograms its neural patterns. Aboard ship, the already-sophisticated AI is discovered to be learning exponentially, developing a rudimentary ethical code and an ego. However, Cummings refuses to take it offline. During the next strike, to destroy several stolen nuclear warheads in Tajikistan, Wade realizes that the nuclear debris will cause significant collateral damage. The human pilots decide to abort, but EDI defies orders and fires missiles at the nuclear warheads, causing the predicted radioactive fallout. Cummings orders the UCAV brought back to base, and Purcell attempts to reason with EDI, but the AI refuses to stand down. Gannon, taking things into his own hands, orders that EDI be shot down, and Purcell opens fire, but misses. Blinded by the explosion, Purcell crashes into a mountainside. Wade’s plane is hit by debris from the explosion, resulting in loss of hydraulics of her port wing and canard, which in turn triggers the plane’s auto-destruct, forcing her to eject over North Korea. Gannon, now the only pilot airborne, must alone stop the EDI from executing a twenty-year-old war scenario called “Caviar Sweep” and attacking a false target in Russia.

Gannon chases EDI into Russian territory over the Buryat Republic, and after several attacks from Russian aircraft damaging both planes, he calls a truce with the UCAV in order both to keep it from falling into enemy hands and to be able to rescue Wade from North Korea. Cummings instructs him to make an emergency landing with EDI in Alaska. Cummings and his financial accomplice, Ray, are being held accountable for EDI’s behavior and Cummings faces court-martial and possible discharge from the military. He seeks to eliminate witnesses by leaving Wade stranded in North Korea and having Gannon eliminated in Alaska; he also sends Orbit to erase EDI’s data to ensure its silence. Gannon crash lands at the Alaska base, surviving with minor injuries. Already suspecting Cummings of treachery, he narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by a doctor, who tries to inject him with a tetanus shot which is actually poison. The pair struggle, and the doctor is injected with the poison and dies. Gannon then heads to the hangar, to find EDI and the intact plane. Meanwhile, when Orbit places EDI into an interface, the AI expresses sadness and regret for its transgressions. Orbit realizes that it has developed its own sentience, to the point of having feelings. Excited by this discovery, Orbit is unwilling to carry out his order to erase EDI’s memory. After ensuring Orbit’s escape, Gannon flies off to North Korea with EDI, contacting the Lincoln’s skipper, Captain Dick Marshfield (Joe Morton) to inform him about Cummings’ deceit. Marshfield confronts Cummings and places him under arrest, but the latter commits suicide instead.

Gannon eventually finds the injured and embattled Wade near the border between North and South Korea. He and EDI land and he goes to her aid. The two make a run for the border, chased by Korean People’s Army soldiers and a Mil Mi-8 helicopter. Out of ammunition and taking damage from the Mi-8, the EDI sacrifices itself by ramming the helicopter, destroying both. This allows Gannon and Wade to escape into South Korea, where they are found by US military forces soon afterwards. After attending Purcell’s funeral aboard the Abraham Lincoln, Gannon awkwardly expresses his feelings of love to Wade. In a post-credits scene, the camera pans over the debris-strewn scene on the border between the Koreas. EDI’s “brain” turns back on, implying it is still functional.

Stealth is not the greatest movie, but it was pretty good. The storyline was well done and the performances from the actors/actresses were also very good. The events were fairly realistic and moved well. I also thought that character interactions really helped make prominent events more memorable. If you are looking for a great action, explosion, military movie, this is it! I recommend this film to people who enjoy a lot of action and really sweet visual effects!

 

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REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 1

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MAIN CAST

Sean Bean (Lord of The Rings)
Mark Addy (The Full Monty)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Oblivion)
Michelle Fairley (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Lena Headey (Dredd)
Emilia Clarke (Terminator Genisys)
Iain Glen (Tomb Raider)
Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Kit Harringron (Pompeii)
Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Maisie Williams (Cyberbully)
Alfie Allen (John Wick)
Richard Madden (Cinderella)
Isaac Hempstead Wright (The Awakening)
Jack Gleeson (Batman Begins)
Rory McCann (Hot Fuzz)
Peter Dinklage (Elf)
Jason Momoa (Conan The Barbarian)
Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything)
NOTABLE / RECURRING GUEST CAST
James Cosmo (Highlander)
Peter Vaughn (Brazil)
Brian Fortune (Savage)
Joseph Mawle (Ripper Street)
Francis Magee (Layer Cake)
Owen Teale (The Last Legion)
John Bradley (Borgia)
Josef Altin (Les Miserables)
Mark Stanley (Star Wars – Episode VII)
Bronson Webb (The Dark Knight)
Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold)
Clive Mantle (Alien 3)
Donald Sumpter (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Ronald Donachie (Titanic)
Jamie Sives (Rush)
Susdan Brown (The Iron Lady)
Kristian Nairn (The Four Warriors)
Natalie Tena (Harry Potter)
Charles Dance (Last Action Hero)
Lino Facioli (Get Him to The Greek)
David Bradley (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Katie Dickie (Prometheus)
Ian Gelder (Pope Joan)
Conan Stevens (The Hobbit)
Jerome Flynn (Loving Vincent)
Sibel Kekilli (When We Leave)
Julian Glover (Troy)
Gethin Anthony (Aquarius)
Conleth Hill (Whatever Works)
Joe Dempsie (Monsters: Dark Continent)
Esme Bianco (The Scorpion King 4)
Finn Jones (The Last Showing)
Ben Hawkey (Ra.One)
Roxanne McKee (Wrong Turn 5)
Elys Gabel (Warld War Z)

If you have read the books then you will have the added advantage of going into this series with some serious background knowledge, which, given the expanse of Martin’s literature, can only be a good thing. It is good to see the characters portrayed on screen by, what can only be described as, an excellent cast. My personal favourites are Sean Bean  who plays Lord Eddard Stark, the proud, strong and brave Lord of Winterfell, the icy kingdom of the north. And, Peter Dinklage, who gives, as ever, a wonderful performance as Tyrion of House Lannister, a noble-born dwarf cursed by the hatred of his proud father but blessed with an unmatchable wit and intelligence.

Martin’s fantasy literature is about believability and realism; it is completely unlike Tolkien in that way. Whereas Tolkien favoured Orcs, Goblins, castles and wizards, Martin prefers the medieval touch, dealing with knights, lords and priests. One good thing is that Martin had a very close hand in the production of this series which means very little tinkering has been done. If you compare it to The Pillars of the Earth for example, parts of the tv series didn’t even come close to representing what happened in the book leaving hardcore fans a little bewildered, and not a little irritated. Martin’s books though are so jam-packed with plot and character building that there really isn’t much room for artistic license for the directors. They have a lot of story to get through, and only 10 episodes to do it in!!

If you have never read Martin before then, what can you expect? Well, it is fantasy first and foremost . Without spoiling or giving anything away the main plot is basically this: the continent of Westeros, ruled by king Robert Baratheon, falls into turmoil amidst a hungry power struggle between the realms nobles and knights. Expect a lot of plot twists and cliffhangers at the end of each episode. I would highly recommend people to take the time to see this series and get into the number 1 fantasy series of the modern era.

REVIEW: DAREDEVIL – SEASON ONE

 

MAIN CAST

Charlie Cox (Stardust)
Deborah Ann Woll (Ruby Sparks)
Elden Henson (The Buttefly Effect)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City)
Toby Leonard Moore (John Wick)
Vondie Curtis-Hall (Die Hard 2)
Bob Gunton (The Lincoln Lawyer)
Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Men In BLack)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Peter McRobbie (Spider-Man 2)
John Patrick Hayden  (Yin/Yang)
Nikolai Nikolaeff (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Peter Shinkoda (Masked Rider)
Rob Morgan (Stranger Things)
Scott Glenn (The Silence of The Lambs)
Wai Chang Ho (Robot Stories)

 

Daredevil was a fun, ferocious look at Marvel’s own city-saving vigilante. Similar to DC’s Batman and Green Arrow, Matt Murdock loves his city. Even more so, the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen which was hit hard by the Chitarui attack – one of the show’s only mentioned connections to the MCU. In place of a crime-ravaged Irish immigrant-heavy neighborhood (as per the 60s/70s Daredevil comics), the choice was made to portray the square mile of crowded city as “mostly good people on hard times due to recent alien events.” Still folksy, but more modern. A smart move that helped tie Daredevil to the rest of the MCU happenings, despite the fact that the show is the grittiest, most violent entry into Marvel’s TV/movie canon so far. Strong, grounded performances, smart writing, and hard-hitting fight scenes immediately helped elevate Daredevil above fans’ expectations (which were already quite high). Buffy/Angel alums Drew Goddard and Steven S. DeKnight (who took over as showrunner early on after Goddrad left for the ill-fated Sinister Six) delivered a taught, thoughtful, and appreciatively earnest take on Matt Murdock – one of Marvel’s most complex, hard-to-get-a-handle-on characters (and one of the most religious). A hero no movie would ever be able to get quite right.

Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk  served the show well. Fisk was portrayed as a very vulnerable man. A seriously dangerous one, no doubt, but also one who came with his own formative backstory and current web of lies and betrayals. Also…a love story. Fisk’s moments spent, early on, wooing and doting upon Ayelet Zurer’s art gallery curator Vanessa was a daringly wonderful way to introduce us to the character. Especially since Fisk had remained off-screen for a few episodes while the show built him up. D’Onofrio performance as Fisk was, simply put, one of the best parts of the show. As a man who almost seemed to be learning the actual mechanics of how to speak to other people every time he opened his mouth, Fisk’s shyness/awkwardness helped not only separate him from most crime boss cliches, but also helped us understand why a man as lonely and isolated as he was would become so lethally attached to Vanessa. While also seeing someone like Wesley, his right hand man, as a “true friend.” Despite them never showing any real bonds of brotherhood. Just an intense, loyal employer/employee relationship.

Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock was no slouch either, of course. As Matt constantly wrestled with how far he should morally go as a vigilante, Cox handled things with care and relatable concern. Of course, even with the act of killing as a point of spiritual debatelaire, Matt was willing to do just about most everything else under the sun to achieve his goals – including maiming, torturing, and knocking people into comas. He even, on a few occasions, threatened to kill villains via not saving them from their serious injuries. It was enough make one easily believe that all of this would weigh heavy on a Catholic’s conscience. The supporting cast was great as well. I really liked that this season didn’t go the trite, soapy “love triangle” route with Matt, Foggy, and Karen. There was some flirting, and a few seeds planted here and there for possible romantic tension – but the show politely waved at the idea while graciously passing it by. Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen was to be no one’s prop. And she wouldn’t seek solace “in the arms” of another. And she’d fight back, on whatever level was available to her. Also, Elden Henson’s Foggy Nelson was able to equally provide humor and drama in his fresh take on the “sidekick” role.

This praise also goes for Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple and Vondie Curtis-Hall’s Ben Urich – both important characters here (though Claire had never been tied to Daredevil in the comics) in their own right, given unique (and sometimes surprising) treatments. The fight scenes are, naturally, worth noting. You’ll find most folks raving over a sequence in the second episode, “Cut Man” (one of the show’s best entries), as well as a few others. And again, expert choreography aside, it’s the fact that Matt quite often takes an extreme shellacking that gives these battle sequences extra “oomph.” It really draws you in when you can almost feel how hard it is for Matt to face down a squad of thugs. When every blow to his body rocks yours. Daredevil was a thrilling, ultra-starisfying take on Daredevil’s material and lore. One that, like Favreau’s first Iron Man film, helped breathe new life and fandom into a somewhat B-tier Marvel character.

REVIEW: POWER RANGERS – SEASON 13-17

 

 

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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)

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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)
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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.