Movie Review: Power Rangers (2017)

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Plot:A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers,harness their abilities in order to save the world.

Rating: 7/10

The world has seemingly not run out of the need to reboot franchises. Before I get started about what I think is the ridiculously unnecessary reboot of Spiderman, I will just talk about Power Rangers. I really never thought I’d say this, but this film handled its’ source material in such a way that I didn’t want to laugh out loud in the cinema because of the cheesy factor.

I never saw the original Power Rangers series, that was on MNet in South-Africa and my parents didn’t really see the need for us to have that luxury. I somehow survived my youth without being too scarred about that admission and as a result I have no attachment to the Power Rangers. Hell, I thought there was only one girl Power Ranger so I was pleased when yellow was also a girl.

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This 2017 adaption is full of youths who have some or other trouble – Zac Efron-esque Dacre Montgomery plays Jason Scott, the Red Power Ranger. He’s been kicked off the football team after a cow incident – the exact incident remains quite unclear. He’s been sentenced to detention for the rest of his natural born life and there meets Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott). He and the cheerleader barely know each other which is complete BS because we all know that cheerleaders and jocks all know each other because rules of society. Kimberly is in detention because she was an awful person and slut shamed another girl via social media. Joining them in detention is Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler). He has some sort of behavioral problem and likes to blow up things, hence detention.

The three all end up at an abandoned mine, where they meet Trini Kwan (Becky G) and Zack Taylor (Ludi Lin). Billy causes an explosion and they discover their respective discs, and they are all bemused to find themselves alive and powerfully strong after a truck accident.

First and foremost I’d like to impress that I was impressed with the inclusivity of the film. Unlike the current administration in the States, the world has a need for inclusivity and for children to understand that they can be superheroes with any skin color. I liked that they didn’t make the black kid the black Power Ranger. Would have felt strange.The inclusion of a gay character was also necessary – because again, perhaps we should understand that people of all genders, races and sexual orientation want to see themselves represented as strong and capable.

The movie is not without humor and it is well placed and paced. RJ Cyler provided the majority of quips and he is very well suited. However, for a kid with behavioral problems he sure didn’t exhibit them too much. Naomi Scott and Becky G were very girl power and I liked them for it.

They only played the song Go-Go Power Rangers once. I think the producers couldn’t help themselves. It’s okay, I’ll forgive them as it was only once. It was included for nostalgia, and even I knew its importance and relevance, though I did laugh at it.

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Elizabeth Banks impressed me as the villain. She is actually quite the diverse actress when she wants to be. Her take on the villain was very one sided, but she can take some applause for the creepy way she handled herself throughout the film.

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The last part of Power Rangers is just one big spectacle, with motorized dinosaurs and burning Krispy Kremes (by the way, I will love to know what they paid for that product placement). The Power Rangers realize up until the very end that if they aren’t working as one team, they have no chance to save their city and ultimately the entire world – because if we are dealing with teenagers, let’s make it even more dramatic. This part was really a lot like Transformers. I don’t know about you, but I am not a Transformers fan for a very specific reason – it is stupid. I think a stronger message could have been passed with the team defeating their enemy without machinery present.

I  enjoyed Power Rangers. I never thought they’d be able to bring such ridiculous source material to the big screen in a remotely respectable fashion. I was wrong. The cast worked well together and the graphics were done really well.

PS: I will return in April with regular posting. I am just currently in a cold war with my service provider about data usage. See you soon!

Movie Review: Me, Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

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Plot: High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Rating: 7.5/10

In hindsight it might not have been the best idea to watch a movie about cancer when I just lost someone to cancer. If you want your opinions to change about cancer movies, see someone die because of it. In hindsight, that is such a stupid statement, but you know what I mean.

Movies involving cancer are most often idealistic and I don’t blame the producers for it. It is a very hard topic and by injecting some optimism here and there it can bring some happiness back into the world – for people who haven’t survived it / haven’t seen what the disease does.

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Me, Earl and the Dying girl is the best it is going to get without killing everyone’s happiness. I have great love for Sundance and this movie is so typical Sundance – relatively low budget, quite quirky and good enough to watch. The dialogue is very fast and hilarious. Greg Gaines (fantastic performance here by Thomas Mann) is a unique and entertaining character. It is easy to miss that this child obviously suffers from a crippling self-loathing and probably has a ton of social anxiety as well because he is intelligent and does not hide in his room – dangerous qualities in any teenager with problems. Greg’s friendship with Earl (RJ Cyler) is endearing, and Earl’s spot on assessment of Greg’s personality just shows that they will be friends forever.

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Oliva Cooke is Rachel, the leukemia patient. She is talented and memorable (I just had to substitute rememberable for memorable, because it is actually a real word). She did a good job with playing a cancer patient – it can’t be easy, and some of the things the character says will stay with me for a long time.

Nick Offerman plays Greg’s father, and it was nice to see him in something. Albeit strange, his character isn’t just another Ron Swanson knock-off, so it was good to see him be another character.

Jon Benrthal as Mr. McCartney is a character I really liked. Can we just get more of these teachers in school, please? Mr. McCartney wasn’t overbearing and he supplemented the story quite well.

I think the quirk and the originality of the film carries a lot of weight. It does well in addressing the genre, it isn’t this romantic film that is total bull. I enjoyed it, more than I thought I would, because it is funny and sad and has a lot of truth in it. Definitely recommended.

PS: Total LOLZ for the Hugh Jackman voice over. Was great.