REVIEW: KILLERS

CAST
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect)
Tom Selleck (Ted)
Catherine O’Hara (Beetlejuice)
Katherine Winnick (Hellraiser 8)
Kevin Sussman (Ugly Betty)
Martin Mull (Jingle All The Way)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Usher Raymond (Texas Rangers)
Ariel Winter (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Winston Story (Masked Rider)
Larry Joe Campbell (The Orville)
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After a break-up with a boyfriend, an overly cautious Jen (Katherine Heigl) travels to Nice, France with her parents (Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara). After getting into an elevator to go to her hotel room, she meets Spencer Aimes (Ashton Kutcher). Spencer asks her out for drinks and she accepts. The scene then changes to Spencer sneaking onto a boat, putting a remote controlled bomb on the bottom of a helicopter, then taking out a guard. He then swims back and goes on the date with Jen. After the helicopter takes off, Spencer triggers the bomb using his phone.
After a night of drinking, Jen reveals that she’s not the spontaneous person she’s been pretending to be and in return Spencer bluntly tells her that he’s an assassin, albeit unhappy about being one. Unfortunately she’s already passed out and hasn’t heard. In spite of this, Spencer decides that Jen’s the woman he’s been looking for and decides to marry her. When Spencer tells his boss, Holbrook (Martin Mull), his plan, the response is that quitting is not an option. Spencer is defiant and goes ahead with his plan.Three years later, they are settled into their new normal life. After Spencer surprises Jen with a remodeled office, she gives him a birthday surprise: tickets to Nice to celebrate his birthday and their three years. Because of his dubious connections to Nice, Spencer is less than enthusiastic. When Jen’s friends ask about his reaction, they take it as a sign that he might be getting bored and fill her head with doubts. 
Meanwhile, Spencer gets a postcard from his old boss and the ultimatum to take another assignment. While trying to refuse him long distance, Jen’s father shows up to take Spencer to dinner, so Spencer hangs up the phone, prompting suspicion in Mr. Kornfeldt. This is fueled further when Jen’s dad sees the postcard and quizzes him about the XOXX (hugs and kisses), being odd coming from a former boss. Stopping home to change, Spencer finds that the dinner invitation is just a detour to bring him to a surprise party. While Spencer navigates drunken friends, Jen’s friends continue to fill her head with doubts over Spencer’s lack of enthusiasm for the Nice trip. This is further irritated, when the following morning, despite her attempts to be physical with him, Spencer rushes Jen off on her business trip.
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A little while later, Jen comes back (without having gone on her trip) to find Spencer being tossed around their house by Henry (Rob Riggle), Spencer’s best friend and co-worker. Spencer screams for her to get his gun (of which she was unaware) and she shoots Henry in the arm. While interrogating him, Henry reveals that there is a $20 million bounty on Spencer’s head. An unidentified sniper takes shots at them, and Spencer and Jen flee. Henry goes after them, and after a car chase through the neighborhood, they end up in a construction zone, where Henry crashes his car. Spencer rams him into a trench, impaling his car on rebar and killing him. They then go to the hotel room where Spencer’s old boss is staying, but find that someone has already killed him. Jen demands that they go to her dad for help, but Spencer disagrees. In the middle of their argument Jen vomits, and declares that she might be pregnant.
Heading back to his office for Jen to take a pregnancy test, Spencer is attacked by his secretary (Katheryn Winnick) and realizes that there are others who know about the contract. Jen then reveals that she is pregnant and is leaving Spencer. Left alone, Spencer is attacked by a delivery driver, who is then run over and killed by Olivia (Lisa Ann Walter), Henry’s wife, another killer vying for the contract. She then tries to run over Spencer, but Jen returns and smashes Olivia’s car into a fuel tank, which Spencer then shoots at and explodes, killing Olivia. The two discuss their possible future and return to their neighborhood, which is holding its annual block party. When they first arrive, they are attacked by two more assailants who, in a chase through backyards, crash their car, giving Jen and Spencer a chance to flee into the block party. As they walk through it, they receive many suspicious looks from neighbors. They enter their house to retrieve guns and their passports. Spencer is grabbing the guns when he is attacked by the two assailants again, whom he eventually kills.
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Meanwhile, one assassin, Kristen (Casey Wilson), one of Jen’s best friends, holds Jen’s mother as a hostage in a Mexican standoff with Jen. Jen’s father arrives and kills Kristen. He then explains that he was the one who put out the bounty on Spencer. He knew of Spencer’s previous work all along, and hired the neighbors and co-workers three years before, in case Spencer started working for his old boss again, who Jen’s father says had “gone dirty.” After seeing the postcard from Holbrook in Spencer’s office, he came to the conclusion that Spencer had re-accepted his old job and activated the assassins. He reveals that he had been an operative as well, and that he was actually the target Spencer was supposed to kill in Nice three years earlier.
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In a standoff between Spencer and Jen’s father, he does not trust that Spencer is really out of the game. Wanting to prove that he really did get out, Spencer drops his gun, and tells Jen’s father he has no intention of killing him. Jen, now convinced, reveals her pregnancy to her parents. Jen’s father, after killing one last wounded assassin, drops his gun as well. The family makes peace by building a trust circle, in which Spencer reveals that English is not his first language, and that he wanted to be the first one to say “I love you” to Jen. The movie ends showing Spencer and Jen’s father working on some wires near Spencer and Jen’s baby’s crib. Spencer has grown a moustache just like Jen’s father. Spencer and Jen then leave to let Jen’s mom and dad babysit. They all leave the room, but Spencer comes back in to activate the lasers protecting the baby.
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Killers is definitely not the best movie and won’t win awards. But it’s a fun movie. The story is fairly predictable, but it has some good action and is generally pretty entertaining

REVIEW: POWER RANGERS – SEASON 1-3

MAIN CAST

Austin St. John (Footsteps)
Amy Jo Johnson (Flashpoint)
Walter Jones (Garden of Evil)
Thuy Trang (Spy Hard)
David Yost (Degenerate)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Game)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
David Fielding (Super Task Force One)
Jason David Frank (The One Warrior)
Steve Cardenas (A Brother’s Badge)
Karen Ashley (Sawed)
Johnny Yong Bosch (Marvel Anime: Blade)
Catherine Sutherland (The Cell)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Richard Genelle (The Death Merchant)
Barbara Goodson (The CHosen)
Robert Axelrod (The Blob)
Wemndee Lee (VR Troopers)
Kerrigan Mahan (Supernova)
Richard Steven Horvitz (Crazy, Stupid, Love)
Bryan Cranston (Godzilla)
Richard Lee Jackson (Bring it On Again)
Renee Griggs (Walker Texas Ranger)
Richard Rabago (VR Troopers)
Royce Herron (Rocky Road)
Carla Perez (VR Troopers)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Sabrina Lu (Idle Hands)
Alissa Ann Smego (Star Kid)
Ted Jan Roberts (Masked Rider)
Traci Belushi (Big Bad Beetleborgs)
Ken Merckz (Orgazmo)
Peter Shinkoda (Daredevil TV)
Winston Story (That 70s Show)
Jennifer Tung (What Lies Beneath)
Ralph Votrian (Masked Rider)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Gregg Bullock (Evil Acts)
Tracy Lynn Cruz (Power Rangers In Space)
Karim Prince (How To Make a Monster)
Alan Palmer (Lovers and Liars)
Jim Gray (Diamonds in The Rough)
Rajia Baroudi (Starship: Rising)
David Bacon (True Friends)
Nakia Burrise (Hart of Dixie)

In 1993. It was an intriguing time in the United States as we saw elements of Japanese pop culture starting to make its way to television. From Japanese animation being shown on television, so was a sentai series known as “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”.mmpr-4

Based on the 16th installment of the Super Sentai franchise and known as “Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger” in Japan, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” became an amazing hit as it aired on Fox Kids and made Saban Entertainment a household name for people growing up at that time. Instead of releasing the Japanese version of the series and providing an English dub, Saban Entertainment wrote new episodes and just used the footage featuring the action sequences including the rangers and their mecha vehicles incorporated to the new footage. “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” was a simple story focusing on five teenagers in the fictional city of Angel Grove, California. The five teenagers, who are good friends, included the fitness jock Jason Lee Scott (as portrayed by Austin St. John), the dancer Zack Taylor (as portrayed by Walter Jones), the gymnast Kimberly Hart (As portrayed by Amy Jo Johnson), the intelligent Billy Cranston (as portrayed by David Yost) and the always happy Trini Kwan (as portrayed by Thuy Trang).the_power_is_on___power_rangers_2017_movie_v2_by_bilico86-da2fbbo
While the teens put hang out at a teen Youth Center owned by Ernie (As portrayed by Richard Genelle) and are often upset at the local wannabe bullies Bulk (as portrayed by Paul Schrier) and Skull (as portrayed by Jason Narvy), everyone likes to have fun at the center.y4cA0YbWhile in space, two astronauts discover an extraterrestrial container and when they open it, they inadvertently release the evil alien sorceress named Rita Repulsa who was confined in the container for over 10,000 years. And now Rita has her sights of conquering the planet Earth with her evil space aliens and monsters.The wise sage known as Zordon, who was responsible for capturing Rita and confining her, now needs to make sure Earth is protected. So, Zodon has his robotic assistant named Alpha 5, find five teenagers who can help defend the Earth from Rita’s attacks. And the five teenagers are brought to headquarters to meet Zordon and Alpha 5 and find out that they have been selected to defend the Planet Earth from Rita Repulsa’s attacks. They will be given the power of the Power Rangers, dino-powered warriors of goodness. Jason becomes Red Ranger, Zack becomes Black Ranger, Billy becomes Blu Ranger, Trini becomes Yellow Ranger and Kimberly becomes Pink Ranger. The five are given weapons and a vehicle to control. And when their opponent becomes too strong for all five to challenge, the five can use their vehicles to become one huge robot known as the Megazord. As the five teens use their new powers to defend the planet from Rita Repulsa’s monsters, a new teenager with martial arts skills shows up in Angel Grove. His name is Tommy Oliver (portrayed by Jason David Frank), who has the power of the Green Ranger, but is he friend or foe? As the first season focused on Rita trying to use the Tommy/green power ranger against the Power Rangers and then trying to regain the power, the second season would introduce new antagonists.

In season two, Rita Repulsa’s superior, Lord Zedd has arrived and upset with her performance, he throws her into the space dumpster and focuses on his own personal campaign to conquer Earth. But because of the new threat, Zordon and Alpha upgrade the Dinozords into the Thunderzords, with the exception of Tommy who must continue to use the Dragonzord.

Meanwhile, as Zedd ties to focus on eliminating Tommy, Zed creates a special green crystal in order to take away the powers of the Green Ranger and also power up Zedd’s Dark Rangers. Meanwhile, Jason, Zack and Trini are chosen to attend the World Peace Conference in Switzerland and that means that the Power Rangers will need new members. And the three’s powers are transferred over to new members Rocky DeSantos (portrayed by Steve Cardenas), the new red ranger; Adam Park (portrayed by Johnny Yong Bosch), the new black ranger and Aisha Campbell (portrayed by Karan Ashley); the new yellow ranger. This will eventually lead to a new storyline featuring a transformation of Tommy into the White Ranger with a Tigerzord and become the new leader of the group. As for Rita Repulsa, she makes her re-appearances, albeit with a special makeover to have a younger and prettier face. Thus creating two power-house antagonists that the Rangers must contend with.In season three, a new antagonist known as Rito Revolto (Rita’s skeletal brother) has now arrived on Earth and showing his might, destroys the Power Rangers Thunderzords and even the Tiger Zord. Needing new zords, the Power Rangers seek the creator of the Power Coins, Ninjor and the result is the creation of powerful Ninjazords and the Falconzord and later to the Shogunzords.the_power_is_on___power_rangers_2017_movie_v2_by_bilico86-da2fbbo
The third season introduces us to Katherine Hillard (portrayed by Catherine Sutherland) who arrives from Australia to Angel Grove and becomes the new replacement for Kimberly who chooses to pursue her dreams of competing in the Pan Global Games and becomes the new Pink Ranger. The third season also, introduces us to Rita’s father, Master vile and turns the Power Rangers into children and leads to the ten-episode mini-series (a.k.a. Season 3.5), Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers (which is included in the season three DVD release).


With Master Vile using the Orb of Doom to turn the Power Rangers into children, Zordon recruits the Alien Rangers of Aquitar for their help. Meanwhile, Billy tries to find a way to restore everyone back to their normal ages and that is to find the fragments of the Zeo Crystal.the_power_is_on___power_rangers_2017_movie_v2_by_bilico86-da2fbbo

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:

Morphin Time! – (32:44) A look back ad the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” phenomenon with new interviews with the cast and creative team.
A Morphenomenal Cast: A Look at Becoming a Power Ranger – (35:06) Casting director Katy Wallin and the stars of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ” talk about being cast for the show and the camaraderie of teh cast members.
Lord Zedd’s Monster Heads – (25:03) A video montage of the various monsters featured in the series.
Alpha’s Magical Christmas – (23:14) The original Power Rangers Christmas special episode featuring Alpha celebrating Christmas with the children.
The Good, The Bad and the Stupid! The Misadventures of Bulk and Skull – (52:13) A special episode featuring Bulk and Skull as Civil Defenders and recalling their past adventures.
The Fans Power Up! A Peek Inside the Power Rangers Fandom – (13:46) Fans of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” talk about what they remember of the series when it first aired on television and the cast talk about how the fans are phenomenal and loyal.
Rare Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Fan Club Video – (29:48) The original video created for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Fan Club featuring the original season one cast. And a chance for fans to learn more about the cast behind the Power Rangers.
MMPR Karate Club: The White Ranger Kata – (51:17) The karate club videos that were originally included in the VHS tapes featuring Jason David Frank teaching how to do martial arts.
Power Rangers Live: The World Tour – (1:11:59) Featuring the Power Rangers live stage show.the_power_is_on___power_rangers_2017_movie_v2_by_bilico86-da2fbboPlus a 40-page booklet with information on the series, character bios, episode summary and more. The set comes with a big slipcase to hold all the DVD’s. It’s brilliant to be able to relive the entire series from the beginning a must purchase for fans old and new.

REVIEW: MASKED RIDER

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MAIN CAST

Ted Jan Roberts (Magic Kid 1 & 2)
Rheannon Slover (The Stooge)
Ashton McArn (VR Troopers)
David Stenstrom (Power Rangers Zeo)
Candace Kita (Two and a Half Men)
Ken Merckx (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jennifer Tung (What Lies Beneath)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUESTSTARS

Ralph Voltrian (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Libby Letlow (The Bedtime Story)
Matthew Bates (V for Vendetta)
Peter Shinkoda (Daredevil TV)
Winston Story (That 70s Show)
Traci Beluishi (Power Rangers Zeo)
Wendee Lee (Ninja Scroll)
Michael Sorich (VR Troopers)
Steve Kramer (Chronicle)
Michael McConnohie (Akira)
Julie Maddalena (Children of The Corn)
Jason Narvy (Mighty Moprhin Power Rangers)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Paul Schrier (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Ali Afshar (Power Rangers Turbo)
Verne Troyer (Austin Powers)

When Power Rangers was at its peak, children’s television saw a massive influx of Japanese-adapted tokusatsu series. Other studios such as DIC tried their own shows, but Saban truly led the way with no less than four shows of this type. Power Rangers had Super Sentai covered, and the Metal Heroes franchise was channeled into VR Troopers and Big Bad Beetleborgs. Meanwhile the Kamen Rider franchise saw a single Western release in the form of Masked Rider. The character himself appeared in Power Rangers season 3 for a 3-part story before appearing in his own 40-episode show between 1996 and 1997.

On the distant planet of Edenoi (where Power Rangers’ Alpha-5 was created), Prince Dex has been given the powers of the Masked Rider by his grandfather King Lexion to battle his evil uncle, Count Dregon, who is intent on ruling the planet and taking the Masked Rider powers for himself. When Dregon sets his sights on planet Earth, Dex pursues and is taken in by a Hal and Barbara Stewart and their adopted children, Molly and Albee. Following Dex is Ferbus, a small furry creature with a mischievous personality. Using the Masked Rider powers, Dex fights Count Dregon and his army of Insectivores while trying to learn more about human life and keeping his identity a secret. He is aided by two superpowered talking vehicles – a car named Magno and a bike named Battle Chopper (or just Chopper).


Masked Rider is a pretty awful series riddled with flaws. The best place to start with is the beginning, and that’s with the lead characters – Dex and the Stewart family. Much like the original Power Rangers cast, far too greater lengths have been gone to to make these characters “perfect”. An idealised happy family isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t make for particularly interesting viewing. Dex is your run-of-the-mill alien on Earth, spouting out TV nonsense and misunderstanding Earth phrases. He also seems to pull a lot of powers out of nowhere when untransformed (such as telekinesis and super speed), which begs the (in-story) question of why the hell he never uses these when fighting as Masked Rider? The series even has its own Bulk and Skull-esque duo in the form of nosey neighbour Patsy Carbunkle and her stereotypical geek friend Herbie, but the less said about these two the better. Masked Rider later gets two extra modes to call on, the originally named “Super Gold” and “Super Blue” modes.While their introductions are among the better episodes Masked Rider has to offer, the real potential of these abilities isn’t really explained and its left to the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Both forms also have the power to upgrade Chopper, but nothing is actually ever done with these upgrades outside their first appearances.

Count Dregon and his band of villains aren’t much better on the character front either. While the (ridiculously awesome looking) Spiderbase is manned by Count Dregon and his generals Nefaria, Double Face, Cyclopter and Gork, Dregon and Nefaria are the ones hogging the majority of the screentime (and also the only ones who actually appear in original footage). Since the show has no real conclusion, Dregon is an “all-talk, no action” villain and we never see him actually do anything than rant. It’s a shame really, because Double Face and Cyclopter are great looking villains and actually engage Masked Rider when they have the opportunity to do something. And even though he doesn’t get the spotlight very often, there’s still too much of the rhyming Gork in this show. The use of source footage was always ropey back in the 90s but Masked Rider has to be one of the worst examples out there. While mainly drawing from the aforementioned Kamen Rider Black RX, the series also uses footage from two other Kamen Rider movies – ZO and J. With both of these film featuring riders with VERY different suits to Black RX you might think that careful editing is involved to make to footafe work, but the fact is most of the times it doesn’t even feel like they tried. Masked Rider’s suit changes every 30 seconds, with tiny bits of new footage added inbetween to (badly) make it seem like everything fits. Blink and you’ll miss it moments they are not. The chopping and changing between American and Japanese out-of-suit footage is equally bad, to the point where you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking the show starred both Prince Dex and Kotaro Minami.


And of course what Masked Rider review would be complete without discussing Ferbus, the furry little creature which many hold as the worst aspect of the series. Ferbus’ antics do indeed ruin a lot of what could be considered the more “serious” episodes of the show, but his inclusion isn’t the biggest misstep this series makes by any means. Had he been toned down a lot more, maybe the series could have struck a better balance between comedy and drama. Masked Rider was a pretty big part of my childhood, and so when I set about rewatching it deep down I hoped it would still hold some charm for me despite knowing how universally disliked it is. But all hope was lost after the first few episodes, as the terrible characters, minimal fight footage and horrific editing became more and more apparent. The lack of a proper ending is just the icing on a rather horrible tasting cake. If you are by any way curious about this series, my advice is to simply watch episodes 1, 2 7, 8, 21 and 37 because they are only ones that are anyway decent (and funnily enough, the only ones that have any real bearing on the overall plot).