[Spoiler-Free] Review: Saban’s Power Rangers (2017)

The Zords are summoned to take on Goldar © LIONSGATE

When the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series began broadcasting in 1993, it was a television phenomenon that launched a still-running media franchise seen around the world. The showrunners of the original series probably didn’t expect to create pop culture history, but by virtue of how different their show was from children’s programming of that era, audiences lapped it up and its influence will still be seen for some time to come.

Saban’s Power Rangers adapts the original series’ teenage-pals-defeat-evil-with-explosions-and-self-discovery-premise for contemporary audiences by giving the main cast issues relevant to the Snapchat generation to deal with. Set in a suburban town, five misfit teenagers who share the same detention class make a cosmic discovery that simultaneously trivialises and solves their individual problems.

Read more

[Spoiler-Free] Review: BRAVE STORM (2017)

Looking less like a soda pop and more like a wrestler @ BLAST INC.

While on a business trip last week, I had the pleasure of catching an exclusive market screening of BRAVE STORM, a 2017 Tokusatsu film produced by Japan-based BLAST Inc. A familiar-looking robot on the film’s poster caught my eye, and I soon found out that it was a loose remake of the 1973 Senkosha-produced series Super Robot Red Baron.

The film features contemporary versions of the characters from the Red Baron series, and probably due to the Senkosha connection, adds another forgotten hero from their library, Silver Kamen, into the film, as the futuristic hero Silver. BRAVE STORM is the first feature effort from writer/director Junya Okabe, whose Tokusatsu credentials include visual effects supervision on the 2009 Ultraman epic Ultra Galaxy Legends.

With no narrative connection to any of the shows that inspired it, BRAVE STORM opens in the Year 2050, a dystopian future where the Kyrgyz race of aliens have brought humanity to near extinction with an army of Black Baron robots, each fitted with an atmosphere transformation device that emits smog that is poisonous to humans.

Read more

Review: Shin Godzilla (2016)

SHIN GODZILLA stomps its way into cinemas © TOHO CO.,LTD.

WARNING: This review might contain spoilers! Do not read further if you have not watched the film.

The twelve year wait for a new Japanese-made Godzilla movie is finally over with the debut of 2016’s Shin Godzilla, written and directed by Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno.

Set in an entirely new universe with no narrative connection to any of the preceding films, the film is a contemporary take on a classic character that embodies the spirit of the 1954 original. Audiences expecting a ‘typical monster movie’ may be confused or disappointed with the outcome.

Read more