Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 17: V.R. Troopers – Santa’s Secret Trooper

Image

I was a Power Rangers guy growing up and I still am today. I love everything about that show from the cheesy acting to the awesome fight scenes. It’s something I will never get tired of watching. The good people of Saban back in the 90s decided to test that. Saban produced Power Rangers taking footage from the Super Sentai series in Japan. Power Rangers was a huge success, so Saban wanted to maximize this success by bringing in more shows from Japan. This is when we get shows like Masked Rider, Big Bad Beetleborgs, and today’s feature: V.R. Troopers. I enjoyed some V.R. Troopers when I was younger, but I never got into it as much as I did Power Rangers. I think that rang true for everyone since Power Rangers is still on today. V.R. Troopers features three teenagers as the V.R. Troopers. Ryan Steele is the leader of the bunch. I’ll be honest that I don’t know the personality traits of these characters well since this is the first episode I’ve watched in almost twenty years. I do know that Brad Hawkins who played Ryan Steele was almost cast as the White Ranger in Power Rangers while Jason David Frank was going to be the lead on V.R. Troopers which would be called Cybertron. Things worked out for the better. The other two characters are J.B. Reese and Kaitlin Star. Kaitlin Star is played by Sarah Brown who has made a living on the soap opera circuit. There’s a mentor character in Tao Chong and a professor that looks like an older Randy Jackson. There’s also a talking dog named Jeb. Let’s get going already.

The Plot

The Troopers are celebrating Christmas at Tao’s dojo. They are singing Christmas songs and cutting down trees. Your typical Saban Christmas. Thankfully it’s not a clip show. The Troopers and some kids meet an elf named Otto who works at the North Pole. I believe he was absent from I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger. I should note that V.R. Troopers plays like an episode of Power Rangers, but not as fun. The evil Grimlord. wants to kidnap the elf since he can grant wishes. I didn’t know elves had that power. Why didn’t Hermey the Elf just wish to be a dentist? The foot soldiers for Grimlord kidnap the elf and the bad guys mock him and make him grant a wish. The elf brings the Troopers to the bad guy’s lair and the elf took away their powers. I’m glad they had a good excuse for a reason to not let the Troopers morph. It’s a Saban tradition to not have a morphed fight in Christmas specials. The elf ends up tricking Grimlord into saying he wished he never met the elf and all is happily ever after. The kids are happy to see the elf back and they celebrate Christmas! Tao says they celebrate all religions actually once again proving that old school Saban cared more about other religions. Santa Claus shows up….and it’s the same Santa from I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger! Continuity! Power Rangers and V.R. Troopers take place in the same universe! Ryan’s father also shows up at the end and I’m guessing he had been gone for awhile. They sing one more song and Santa’s sleigh flies in front of the moon. Thankfully he doesn’t have a Robo Knight voice.

Final Analysis

It’s actually kind of entertaining. It’s fun in a cheesy Power Rangers way and I’d say it’s better than all the PR specials except I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger. I feel like it probably even advances the V.R. Troopers plot since his dad shows up at the end. I could be mistaken though. I’m happy the bad guy actually does something in this episode like what happened in I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger and Zeo’s A Season to Remember. So I’d probably recommend this for anybody who enjoys a fun, cheesy Christmas special. Nobody does cheese like Saban. Plus the evil guy has a great evil laugh and he pets an iguana. That’s awesome!

Advertisements

Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 3: Power Rangers Samurai – Christmas Together, Friends Forever

Image

I’m keeping up the Power Rangers theme by reviewing another one of their Christmas specials. There was no Christmas specials from Turbo to RPM, so it had been about 14 seasons since the Zeo Christmas episode. What Christmas hijinks did the Samurai Rangers get into this episode? I’m going to tell you!

The Plot

It’s a clip show….lame. Emily (Yellow Samurai Ranger) is telling the story of the entire team throughout the episode giving us information on the characters and what their personalities are like. I have been critical of Samurai in my viewing of it, but this episode shows me how much better it is than Megaforce. The clips actually made the characters seem entertaining. Now granted they probably just showed the best of everyone, but I’ll take it. So nothing really happens in this episode. The bad guys aren’t in it besides in flashbacks, and honestly Samurai had forgettable bad guys anyway. They open presents on Christmas and everyone gets something except Mike (Green Samurai Ranger). He wonders if Santa forgot about him. Maybe that high pitched elf from I’m Dreaming of the White Ranger didn’t like Mike for some reason. Nah, they tricked him and he got a nice motorbike thing outside. Mike is so happy about his gift that he gives it to Bulk and Spike! Spike is the nephew of Skull. Bulk and Spike are really poor people in this episode. They have no money to really afford gifts for each other. Spike got Bulk some tissues since he had a cold and Bulk gave Spike some gloves. They enjoy Christmas though so they went outside to build a snowman. I guess that’s when Mike gave them the motorbike. The episode ends with Santa flying off and sounding a lot like RoboKnight from Megaforce, and Bulk and Spike flying on the motorbike wishing us a Merry Christmas.

Final Thoughts

I wish it had more Christmas stuff in it. It’s mostly a clip show with Emily telling her sister her Ranger adventures. That’s nice and all, but I would have preferred a real episode. The Christmas scenes we do get are very good and I enjoyed them. Once again we do not get the rangers morphing and using their Megazords. We did see them in the flashbacks, but no new footage. So the episode itself is rather bland and I’ve never been a big fan of clip shows. It could have went more holiday themed like the last couple with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa tied in, but I will take what I get. It’s a decent watch, but nothing spectacular. It needed to be more fun! Damn it, why did Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have to be so damn entertaining.

Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 2: Power Rangers Zeo – A Season to Remember

Image

Stronger than before! Go, Zeo! I love that theme song. I have another Power Rangers holiday episode for us today. I called this Merry Christmas, Movie House and I haven’t reviewed a movie yet. Power Rangers Zeo is the fourth season of Power Rangers following three years of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Some changes have happened since I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger. Tommy is now the Red Ranger. Adam is the Green Ranger. Rocky has moved to the Blue Ranger. Tanya has replaced Aisha as the Yellow Ranger and Kat has replaced Kimberly as the Pink Ranger. None of that even matters in this episode because they don’t morph. I guess the writers of this show had something against the Rangers morphing in holiday episodes. Most have been because they had Tommy as the White and Green Ranger in Alpha’s Magical Christmas.

The Plot

The episode starts with an old man telling his grandson a story about the Rangers during the holidays. He sadly did not tell of the time the Rangers actually met Santa. The Rangers and Raymond (a recurring character during Zeo) are throwing a party at the Juice Bar promoting different holiday traditions. They are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and probably others. Power Rangers once again does a good job of showing off all the holidays. The Machine Empire led by King Mondo are the big bads this season. Of course they don’t understand Christmas since they are robots and stuff. Mondo sends Prince Sprocket to mess with the Rangers’ minds. Sprocket makes them not respect other religions leading them to argue. It’s a bit comical listening to Tommy tell Raymond to go pick a Christmas tree instead of worrying about his Jewish stuff. Tanya is pretty hilarious too being really angry that nobody is respecting Kwanzaa. Mondo also makes all their holiday items disappear making everyone want to cancel the party. Mondo’s plan is working until a little girl convinces the Rangers through a bad song that diversity and having friends is good. Mondo’s plan is foiled. They have the party and all is well in Power Ranger land. There’s two other quick things I want to discuss. One is a subplot where Lt. Stone tells Bulk and Skull to find the missing fruitcakes. There is a running joke about Skull’s Aunt Millie who loves fruitcake. They eventually follow the crumbs to a giant fruitcake which was created by Goldar and Rito since they have amnesia and they believe Bulk and Skull are their masters. It’s funny but stupid at the same time. The last thing I wanted to mention was a scene where Zordon and Alpha are in the Command Center. Alpha has the place decked out in Christmas lights. Somehow Zordon gives Alpha a present which is a pair of slippers. I guess the magic wizard in a tube can do that. Alpha gives Zordon a Christmas hat. It’s another silly scene, but I will take Alpha and Zordon over the bores that are Gosei and umm…I can’t remember the name of the robot in Megaforce. Oh, it’s Tensou. It took me a minute.

Analysis

I already mentioned that I liked the different holidays aspect. It’s good to see Power Rangers go above and beyond just focusing on Christmas. I liked that old school holiday special feel of an old man telling his grandson the story. It’s sweet. We find out in the end that Tommy is the old man and that he’s married to Kat. They make a cute old couple. You might ask what happened to Kimberly after their mistletoe kiss yesterday. Well, she sent Tommy a “Dear, John” letter. That was the end of that relationship. The best part is when the older grandson comes to pick up his brother, but is called away because of his communicator. When it goes off, Tommy is ready to get into action. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger!

Final Thoughts

It’s not as fun as I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger. They don’t morph in this episode like in the other holiday special. That’s once again unfortunate. I like when the Rangers fight the bad guys! There isn’t any fighting at all in this episode. The most interesting parts might have been Bulk and Skull trying to find the missing fruitcakes. The Rangers as a whole seem to all get a little more equal time in this once. Tommy, Kat and Tanya seem to get the most time. Tanya because she is promoting Kwanzaa and Tommy for arguing with Raymond. Raymond gets a good deal of time in this episode. Kat is important for the end with Tommy and she talks with the little girl the most. Rocky makes some funny jokes and Adam is just kinda there.  In conclusion, watch the MMPR Holiday Special over the Zeo one. This was the last holiday special until Samurai, and I can see why. It’s okay, but it’s not great.