Might Morphin’ Power Rangers: Dawn of a great new franchise?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been hyped for the new Power Rangers movie to release in theaters.  Growing up, the Power Rangers were always #1- just ask my parents how much money they spent on toys, videos, etc., and you’ll be met with a disdainful glare.  Being the man-child that I am, I cannot wait for March 24th when it finally does come out, so here’s what I think about it so far.

Based on the trailers, it looks really different from the Power Rangers we grew up loving.  Cool effects, developed characters, and signs of good production value (gasp!) are what emerged from the first trailer.  This wont simply be a monster-of-the-week type movie or franchise should they be successful enough to build one.

It looks darker than I remember the Power Rangers being.  My first thoughts of the trailer were that this would be Power Rangers if it was directed by Zack Snyder.  It does resemble his work so far int he DCEU, with Zordon looking like the Kryptonian dots/beads/ whatever they were and the putty patrollers looking a lot like Doomsday.  At any rate, I think going this route was a studio decision and so far the only thing I don’t like.  Power Rangers is supposed to be a lot of fun, and while there is humor in the trailer, if they don’t icnclude the fun spirit we know Power Rangers for, I’m not so sure the movie will be as good as it could have been.  I mean, look at any of the Fantastic Four movies- they did not capture the adventurous, fun essence of Marvel’s first family, and those movies were turdfests from start to end.

The cast looks great.  I can’t say much about the Rangers themselves considering they are all unknown at this point, but the supporting characters are impeccable.  Bryan Cranston is, well, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks looks awesome as Rita Repulsa, and Bill Hader will, in my opinion, bring the necessary humor that is needed to play Alpha 5.  Hopefully, they will carry the film if the young actors can’t, and will continue to appear in their roles should a franchise be born.

I’m a little disappointed they couldn’t make the megazord or their suits look like their original MMPR counterparts, but they still look pretty cool. If a franchise should be born out of this, I’d say to look out for a few obvious things: Tommy, hopefully as the white and green ranger, Lord Zed, appearances from the original rangers in roles, and potentially even Ivan Ooze.  That would be wild.

Are you gonna see this film?  Were you a fan of the original series?  Let me know your thoughts about it and how you think this movie is gonna do.  As always, be sure to follow me on instagram: @keithscreen.  Also, if you have any suggestions, feel free to message me or leave a comment.  Thanks for reading!

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Review: Logan, and what this means for the X-Men moving forward

An era definitely came to and end on Friday when Logan hit theaters.  I will keep the spoilers to a minimum here in case any of you haven’t seen it.  And if you haven’t seen it yet, what are you doing here?  This is something you need to go see as soon as possible, because it is, without a doubt, one of the best comic book movies ever.

Now, the gold standard for comic book adaptations is The Dark Knight, and I don’t ever see that changing.  That being said, Logan came pretty close in a few respects.  The raw emotion of the movie was something that was way  out of left field and was the driving force behind the movie.  That is something that was wrong with the X-Men movies we generally do not like- X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand come to mind- isthat they do not have enough emotion behind them.  Yes, effects are cool, especially in this universe where many of the characters have incredible powers.  Yet, any old movie can have effects, and the comic book movies that leave impressions are the ones that convey emotion the best.  The Dark Knight was phenomenal in this regard, but dare I say Logan is even better, simply because there’s not as many characters and they all did a great job of giving the movie the gravitas it needed to close out this chapter.

Speaking of the performances, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and all the others who we haven’t seen before brought their A-game.  It will be sad to see them go, as they are part of our collective memory now, but they did it on their terms, didn’t let the characters get boring, and made sure that we the fans would be satisfied by their final outings.  Fox needs to wait a while before they cast anyone else as Wolverine; I’d argue against it entirely, but they are trying to make money, and Wolverine will sell.  Nobody else is as iconic in their superhero role now, and Jackman will be remembered as Wolverine forever.  I’d like to say the same for Patrick Stewart, but in his three times playing Charles Xavier, James McAvoy brought the heat, especially in the appreciated-but-highly underrated X-Men: First Class.

The movie was a bloodbath from start to finish, not taking its R-rating for granted.  For a  movie so emotional, there is a ton of bloody, gory, glorious violence, and it really complements the emotion well.  It looks incredibly bleak, which goes well with the story.  the direction of the film was great; we knew what James Mangold could do after he did The Wolverine, but this movie took it to the next level.  Oh, and the soundtrack was perfect.  All those emotions were captured beautifully in the songs chosen.  Not wanting to give too much away, because there’s a lot of surprises in the move, the ending was the best part.  After all the movie’s events, we are left with this one scene that defines Jackman’s time as Wolverine, and personally, I thought it was executed flawlessly.  Last impressions are as meaningful as first impressions, and if this is what we have to remember Logan and Wolverine by, we are very blessed indeed.  In short, the movie was an absolutely perfect end to an iconic legacy.

Final grade for Logan: A+++++.

Back to business.  What does this mean for the X-Men in film now that the anchor of the franchise is gone?  Well, a few things.  One, since they recast all the important X-Men last summer in Apocalypse, I think we’ll see a few movies with that young and talented cast.  Hopefully Fox will smarten up and get someone other than Bryan Singer to direct; at this point his work is stale, and both us and the cast deserve better.  Marvel and DC are always trying out new things (those things may not always work out, but giving them a shot is admirable) so Fox should try some as well,  so long as those new things are thought out well and not a repeat of Fant4stic.  If we can get one more film out of James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michael Fassbender- who all have bigger fish to fry in terms of the roles they get- with this newer cast that is not an origin story, the X-Men will have changed their course for the better and we can rest easy knowing that it is in good hands with this new generation.  We need to see newer stories and different stories, because with Singer at the helm, we have simply seen all he can do.

Did you see Logan? Did you think it was as good I as think it is?  let me know, and let me know what you think of the X-Men too.  As always, follow me on instagram so you don’t miss any posts.

Breath of the Wild: Initial Thoughts

First things first, Nintendo definitely delivered.  I spent most of my weekend playing this game and I was hooked from the first second of it.  Here are some of the highlights so far:

Plays great.  Any way you cut it, this game is a first for anyone playing it- the first Zelda game for Wii U or the Switch.  The game uses the console technology well, which up to this point (for the Wii U) was grossly underutilized.  By making the  most of the system, which includes the control scheme and the physics of the game, Nintendo was able to take what was a great game story-wise and follow through on things like how it plays which do make a big difference.

Huge map. A lot of this game is spent wandering from place to place, like in any Zelda game.  Yet, this one is different because of the added elements of food, hunting, and making your own elixirs and the like.   Yes, once you’ve visited a tower or shrine you can  warp to it, but walking through the various landscapes the game offers is the best thing to do to pick up supplies, weapons, and food.  And you will be doing a lot of walking,  because Hyrule is massive.

Story is a banger. I won’t go into too much detail here in case any of you haven’t played it yet.  I went in with a blank slate in terms of story and I will say I am blown away by it.  I really shouldn’t expect anything different from this series, but hey, after waiting so long, can you blame me for not having the highest expectation?  Anyway, I haven’t gotten too far into the game, so I can’t say how it will develop further, but so far, I could not be more pleased.

Music is awesome. No Zelda game is complete without a great soundtrack.  In terms of this one, I am blown away.  Many unique sounds and instruments were used to create this game’s soundtrack, and the results are fantastic.  Every area has its own music which fits perfectly with the feel and view of it.  And, of course, there are the timeless themes we all know and love, and they sound better than ever in HD.

Looks fantastic. When I first saw the trailer for the game, the graphics were the one thing I took away from it.  Kinda Windwaker-y, but less cartoonish, this game looks beautiful.  All the characters, landscapes, shrines, etc., look incredible.  The visuals to the game are important because they enhance the feeling of wilderness that Nintendo wants us to feel.  As soon as I started playing I fell in love with this game’s look.  It only got better once I found out how great everything else about it is.

Final Thoughts: if you haven’t already, go out and get it.  I can’t wait to come home from work today just so I can dive right back in.  If you l0ve Zelda like I do, you will feel right at home.  If you don’t have that same appreciation, this is a great place to start.  A perfect pairing of the old and the new, Breath of the Wild is easily my favorite game in recent memory.

What do you think of this game?  Do you share my sentiment or were you disappointed?  Let me know, and as always be sure to follow me on instagram: @keithscreen.

What we can expect from Iron Fist

Two weeks away from its Netflix premiere, Iron Fist has already generated some buzz around itself, and not all of it is positive.  Obviously, fitting into the already stellar Defenders lineup, we have lofty expectations and rightfully so.  Yet, Netflix got themselves into a little bit of a mess by casting white actor Finn Jones to play Danny Rand, sparking an outrage that they did not cast an Asian actor to play a character who is a martial arts master (even though Danny is white in the comics).  In any case, I won’t get into that, as that’s not the purpose of this blog, but I felt the need to mention it because it is one of the big things to know heading into the series- some people already have a negative perception of it.

The fourth Defender, and the final one before Netflix comes out with The Defenders, the tone of the show will be familiar.  Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones comprise the lower-level heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Univerese, and while htey may not be travelling between dimensions or fighting evil robots, these heroes are much darker and more captivating than their colleagues on the big screen.  Iron Fist should be no different, as we can expect the dark, dramatic feel to continue through this show as well.

Finn Jones is a face familiar to many through his time on Game of Thrones.  Personally, I think casting him was a good choice.   He is familiar enough but still not popular enough for us to have any real impression of what his performance will be like, similar to how we did not really know the other three stars of the Defenders shows before those came out, aside from maybe one or two things that we had seen those actors in.  As always, we know to expect familiar faces, such as Rosario Dawson, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Wai Ching Ho who played Gao previously in this Netflix subset of the MCU.  Building up to the Defenders, familiar faces are always welcome to create that sense of a shared universe, and those actors have all done a fantastic job so far in their roles.

Going back to the buildup of the Defenders, we should expect to see a lot of crossover in that regard.  We didn’t get much of it in Luke Cage which was a little disappointing, but with this being the last stop on Marvel and Netflix’s path to the Defenders, I think we may see the other titular heroes at some point.

Iron Fist as a comic book series was never popular until they paired him with Luke Cage.  Also, we already have another martial-arts centered hero in this universe in Daredevil.  I think that Iron Fist will be slightly out of place at first, but as the series progresses he will find his niche in this universe, and I have high expectations for this show.  Luke Cage lost a lot of steam once Cottonmouth died, and rightfully so- Mahershala Ali brought a lot of charisma to the screen and replacing him with anyone would have been difficult.  Daredevil‘s second season was a let down for some people, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.  And last but not least, I have been itching to see more of Jessica Jones, because the first season was so good and completely out of nowhere- I have certainly never seen a comic book adaptation quite like that one.  Season 2 of that won’t get here soon enough.

How do you think the show will do?  Where do you think it will rank among the other Marvel series on Netflix?  Let me know and be sure to follow me on instagram (keithscreen) so you don’t miss anything.

All episodes of Iron Fist  will be available to stream on Netflix on March 17.