Saturday, March 25, 2017

Power Rangers (2017) Movie Review - Lavender Ranger's Thoughts

There is a bunch of reviews out there right now, I would understand if not a lot of people would read mine. After watching the movie, I read the IGN review which I agree with only a little bit. I was planning to see the movie Thursday but I was sick. In fact I was invited to the opening premiere in LA but I live in Miami and had to work Wednesday and given that I got sick, I'm glad I didn't shell the money for the airplane tickets and hotel. By luck would have it, I missed the beginning of the movie. It was for 11am, I got to the theater with my niece and her kids at 10:45, went for popcorn and the movie had already started as we got in at 11. Someone on Twitter told me I should have complained but I didn't think about it. Now I have an excuse to see it again. I normally don't see movies twice in the theater, only one I ever did was Roger Rabbit but I was a kid.

Spoilers ahead:
I thought of doing a spoiler-free review but a spoiler-free review would basically be this: five teenagers find a ship underneath a cave and are chosen to fight the evil Rita, her putty army and giant Goldar. That's it. Because even though director Dean Isrealite said the Rangers Jason, Billy, Kimberly, Trini and Zack would be the same basic characters we knew from the show, he was slightly right. There was not much to Trini in the original show save for her understanding Billy's tech talk, being Chinese, and knowing martial arts. None of the Rangers know martial arts and I'm not complaining. I kind of like the new backstories. Wish there was more detail to Zack and Trini. This is what the IGN review said. The young cast has chemistry. Bill Hader does a good job as Alpha, not annoying by any means. Bryan Cranston's concern and mentor advise pulls through and does a great scene with Dacre Montgomery (Jason). 

The Rangers are now REALLY teenagers with attitude. In the original MMPR, they were goody-goodies and squeaky clean. Billy is now autistic which makes sense and he is the most charming of the Rangers. I do like the friendship between Jason and Billy, it seems authentic. Jason is a football player who gets in a car accident and is put under house arrest (is never found out by police that Billy disarms the brace). Kimberly is a cheerleader who does a 'mean' thing to a girl via cyberbullying. Zack is a loner taking care of his sick mom in a trailer park. Trini is questioning her sexuality and as a gay man, I find refreshing and everyone is making a big to-do but in reality it is just in one scene and wish they elaborated it on more. Maybe have a couple of scenes with a potential girlfriend or a crush even. I mean, she doesn't have to be in a  relationship to be gay but in movies, you have to be visual. But the fact that they tried is great. I seriously never expected a gay Power Ranger, probably not one on  the show because it airs on a  children's network (even though Loud House has gay parents in it). There is a campfire scene where the team open us and it almost makes me tear up as I am gay and also had to take care of an ill mother. 

I enjoyed the movie, it had great writing, good acting, immersive action scenes and funny scenes. IGN still called it campy and some reviews said the movie might not appeal to non fans. The movie is what I expected, it would appeal to fans but probably wouldn't be a general audience hit. It so far is exceeding expectations. A disclaimer for parents who take kids under 13 to a PG-13 movie, my 7 year-old grandnephew was creeped out by the soul-sucking Rita and a doomsday prediction scene. I liked Elizabeth Bank's portrayal, she hammed it up and was creepy, but wish she was a bit more menacing and a scene where she was more disarmed. In this version as fans deduced, Zordon was the Red Ranger and Rita was the Green Ranger. She has the dragon coin. There is a mid-credits scene and it hints at Tommy Oliver but we don't see him, hinting to a sequel. Lionsgate originally said they planned 7 movies, Haim Saban says now 6. If the movie does well which I am now thinking of it might. Like Rita says in the movie: "There will be more." In the zord scene that they start playing the 1995 movie theme, I was so pumped up.

Kind of glad they didn't update it what with so many updates with Samurai and Megaforce and whatnot. My niece is a non-fan and she liked it. My 3 year old grandniece liked it and stayed in her seat throughout save for a bathroom break. I think general audiences new to the franchise that are younger than 30 might like it but adults that didn't like it when it first came out might still be jaded. Like I said before Power Rangers is a hard nugget to crack. It's a hard mix of drama, comedy, camp and action to balance. Past seasons have proven this (Operation Overdrive, Samurai, etc.) I think this movie balances it nicely but IGN doesn't think so. The camp does get a bit too campy but not as much tongue and cheek like Batman and Robin thankfully. Krispy Kreme does have a heavy promotion in  this movie which a scene of Rita enjoying a donut makes up for.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MMPR Cover Song to be released Friday

Song celebrates franchise’s latest theatrical release in North America

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – March 24th, 2017 - Music production company Strawberry Hill Music is pleased to announce that singer-songwriter Raj Ramayya has released a heavy metal cover version of the iconic Power Rangers theme song “Go Go Power Rangers”, in recognition of the release of the franchise’s newest film release Saban’s Power Rangers. The song is available for both download and streaming on digital music services like Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Music, Pandora, etc worldwide.

The song was originally written by American musician Ron Wasserman under the pseudonym Aaron Waters – The Mighty RAW and released as a single in the United States on CD & cassette on December 2nd, 1994. Wasserman would later release a remastered version of the song on iTunes and Bandcamp in 2012 as part of his Power Rangers Redux album.

Initially, the song was covered and released for the franchise’s first theatrical release “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” on May 30th, 1995 by the Power Rangers Orchestra, whose members included Mr. Big front man Eric Martin and former Guns ‘n Roses drummer Matt Sorum. Popular Japanese rock vocalist Maasaki Endoh (JAM Project) would also cover the song for his cover album Enson, released on June 11th, 2008.

On August 19th, 2016, Ramayya released a cover version of the Pokémon theme song to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary, and a remixed version by the late James Laurence of the EDM group Friendzone was released on December 16th later on that year and dubbed the LVC “Sun & Moon” Remix in recognition of the latest instalments of the Nintendo handheld game series, Pokémon Sun Version & Pokémon Moon Version. On February 28th earlier this year, Ramayya released “Butter-Fly (Dual World Version)”, a cover of the Digimon Adventure opening theme originally recorded by the late J-Pop artist Kouji Wada. All songs are available for download and streaming on digital music services worldwide.

ABOUT RAJ RAMAYYA: Raj Ramayya is an Indo-Canadian singer, composer and lyricist based in Marin County, California. His claim to anime fame would be his musical collaborations with famed Japanese composer Yoko Kanno as a member of The Seatbelts. Ramayya sang the opening credits song "Ask DNA" and wrote the lyrics for "Cosmic Dare (Pretty with a Pistol)" from the fan favourite feature film Cowboy Bebop: the Movie, and both sang and wrote the lyrics for "Strangers" from the anime series Wolf's Rain. Not limited to music in anime, he has also worked on songs for video games from the likes of Konami, Sega, and Capcom.

Ramayya has been featured as a guest vocalist/composer with several distinguished artists, ranging from talented composers Yoko Kanno (Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain) and Tatsuya Oe (Captain Funk, Hotei), to gifted lyricists Chris Mosdell (Eric Clapton, YMO) and Ron Sexsmith, and everyone in-between. His work has won him multiple awards and critical acclaim from around the world.

Among his other projects are the alternative Indian-influenced folk rock band "The Beautiful Losers", the anime cover band “Raj and the Zen Masters”, the electronic Indian fusion music project "Bhang Lassi", and session singing for products ranging from Asahi Beer and KFC, to Toyota and Coca-Cola. He is also a guest vocalist with three different Japanese electronic music groups; Captain Funk, Akakage, and Studio Apartment, with SA's song "Strawberry Rainbow" (which Ramayya both sang and wrote lyrics for) hitting #1 on the iTunes Japan charts.

If you would like to contact Raj, visit his website, like his Facebook page (, and follow Raj on Twitter @rajramayya.

ABOUT STRAWBERRY HILL MUSIC: Strawberry Hill Music is a music production company based in San Francisco, CA. They specialize in music recording and production/post-production for film, television, animation, video games, commercials, audiobooks, and web-original series. They also produce and engineer music for artists such as Amanda Abizaid, Marsha Yuan, and Damon Mahoney (Three of Swords).

For more information, please visit SHM’s official website (, and follow them on social media through Facebook ( and Twitter @StrawberryHillM. 

Song will be released Friday March 24.