• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

TITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

YEAR: 1995

GENRE: Family and Science Fiction

Anybody who was a child or the parent of a child for that matter in the early 1990’s remembers the smash hit “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” television show on Fox-TV Saturday mornings. For the uninitiated, this television show consisted of fight footage from the Japanese children’s show ‘Zen Rangers” pieced together with storyline footage of five to six goody two-shoes teenagers called to save the world from giant monsters sent by selected bad guys. This show was a sensation in the 1990’s and to this day still has pretty extensive merchandising including action figures, video games, and toys. Hollywood movies were also made for the kung fu action series that may have had larger budgets but still delivered the television qualities one would expect from a show geared toward the 8-12 demographic. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is a proverbial low budget cheese fest, but it also has some redeeming qualities that give the film a certain cult status among viewers under 30.

Six unassuming high school students—Tommy (Jason David Frank), Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson), Billy (David Yost), Rocky (Steve Cardenas), Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch), and Aisha (Karan Ashley)—secretly serve as the Power Rangers, a form of galactic police protecting the Earth from the attacks of evil masterminds Rita Repulsa (Julia Corte, voiced by Barbara Goodson) and Lord Zedd (Mark Ginther, voiced by Robert Axelrod). After a construction crew in Angel Grove inadvertently releases international bad guy Ivan Ooze (Paul Freeman) who imprisons Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd in a snow globe of sorts and works to extract revenge on Zordon (Nicholas Bell, voiced by Robert L. Manahan), international do-gooder who is also the source of the Power Rangers’ muscle and assortment of weapons. In order to stop Ivan Ooze and return power to Zordon, robotic assistant Alpha-5 (Peta-Maree Rixon, voiced by Richard Wood) transports the six teenagers to the distant planet of Phaedos in search of new Ninjetti powers including new zords, giant robots used to fight giant monsters. The teens find immediate trouble until they are saved by Dulcea (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick), a barbarian warrior-type in a leather cavemen-style bikini. The teens become the Power Rangers again with new, amazing powers, but Ivan Ooze has brainwashed the adults in Angel Grove and Zordon is fading fast. Are the Power Rangers too late?

The TV series was pretty low grade trash, but Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is a tad bit better in the fact that it takes itself a lot less seriously than the first couple seasons on Fox-TV. The special effects and the costumes are significantly improved, which means it looks like a B-grade American independent film compared to a Z-grade one. The fight scenes are acceptable and amusing to watch especially when one of Ooze’s henchmen bites the dust and explodes in a mess of purple snotty goo. The best part of the film is the snappy one liners during many of the fight scenes from the teens, but the greatest lines come from Ooze. Freeman (who also played Rene Belloq, the archrival to Indiana Jones in Raiders Of The Lost Ark) serves up his character with generous portions of British ham along with the cheese whiz and is easily the best aspect of the film; for example, while trashing Zordon’s headquarters Ooze laments “Of all the things I missed—the Black Plague, the Spanish inquisition, the Brady Bunch reunion!” Perennial evil sidekick Goldar (Kerry Casey, voiced by Kerrigan Mahan) even gets into the act with bad puns; as he watches Ooze morph into a giant robotic monster and fly off to confront the Power Rangers he yells “Go get ‘em, booger man!” Speaking of Goldar, make sure to survive through the ending credits as Goldar is featured in a comical ending scene. One also has to love the giant robotic fight scene at the end when the Power Rangers’ zord kicks Ooze in the grapefruits during the battle.

The six teen stars from this movie had varying degrees of film success: Frank stayed with the Power Rangers franchise until 2004 with offshoots “Turbo”, “Dino Thunder” and “Wild Force”; Johnson has had great success on Broadway as well as television including the starring role on the Canadian TV hit “Flashpoint”;  Bosch has built a reputation as a voice actor including voices in ‘Bleach” and “Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion” as well as a regular guest at anime conventions; Ashley has had special guest appearances on a few television shows and is a mainstay at Power Ranger conventions; Yost suffered a nervous breakdown after attending a Christian conversion therapy camp to subdue his homosexuality but now is an advocate for LGBT rights; and Cardenas stepped out of acting after his days as a Power Ranger and now signs autographs at anime conventions. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is a stupid movie, but it is a fun stupid movie and is pretty harmless entertainment for the pre-teen sect or for the twenty-something who desires to relive a pleasant memory of their childhood.

* * *

–Mark

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