Power Rangers Movie Review

So, I went to see Power Rangers on Thursday night.

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So, how was it?  Let me say something real quick first.

The first Power Rangers movie was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which came out in 1995 when the show as in its second season.  (The show is currently in its 24th season.)  I love MMPR:TM.  I loved it then (it’s actually what got me into Power Rangers), and I love it now.  I actually like the armor of MMPR:TM better than the armor of this movie, even though I’ll admit this movie’s Power Ranger armor is pretty sweet.  (My objection is solely the helmets – they don’t look enough like their animals.)  But, my point is this – MMPR:TM was a movie for the fans.

Power Rangers is a movie for anybody who likes superheroes.

I say that seriously.  Yes, it has a little cheese, but not like what you would expect when you hear Power Rangers.  I genuinely believe that if you like superhero films, you’ll like Power Rangers.

I’m not going to go too much into the depth of the plot in this review, but there are a few things I want to talk about.  There will be spoilers ahead, so bail out now if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Firstly, I have always been a fan of the Blue Ranger.  Billy was the Ranger that spoke to me from the original Power Rangers.  This is original Billy, played by David Yost.

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The new Billy Cranston is played by RJ Cyler.

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I could care less that the new Billy is black.  No one who is a Power Rangers fan cares about the race of the actors.  Power Rangers is known for its diversity.

I will admit that I was a little nervous about RJ Cyler playing Billy, though.  I felt he would be a better Jason or Zack, for this reason.  In today’s world of celebrity social media, we often get to see actors in their daily lives, and it feels at times that we get to know them.  RJ Cyler felt too cool to play Billy.  Billy is a nerd; Billy is a geek.  He’s a good guy, but he’s a little bit off.  I had never seen RJ Cyler act in anything, so I was skeptical that he could bring the nerdiness of Billy to the character in the same way that David Yost did.

Well, I am happy to say this.  RJ Cyler IS Billy.  His Billy is a little different than Yost’s Billy, but I feel confident in saying that Billy is the character that is the most similar from the show to the movie.

RJ Cyler is, in my admittedly biased opinion as a fan of the Blue Ranger, the best Ranger actor in this film.  Billy is the heart of this film, and RJ Cyler did an amazing job bringing him to life.

There has also been some chatter online about Power Rangers introducing an LGBT character and a character on the spectrum.  Some people feel like this is lip service that Power Rangers is paying.  I disagree.  Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, kiddie show that it was, was all about diversity.  No matter what you looked like as a kid, at some point, there was a Power Ranger that looked like you.

Well, Billy Cranston was our character on the spectrum, and I’ll readily admit that I am not an expert on autism.  But with Billy, it fit.  Perfectly.  It didn’t feel tacked on; it didn’t feel forced in.  It felt like his character, and I know a lot of that is thanks to Cyler’s acting ability.  I’ll get to the LGBT issue in just a moment.

Billy was the heart of the team.  In this new movie, the Rangers can’t morph until they have learned to work as a team.  Billy is the first to morph, accidentally at that, when he stops Zack and Jason from fighting.  In his attempt to protect friendships, he has become part of the team.  His friendship with Jason, forged early in the film, is amazing.  I know of no other way to say it, as silly as this sounds, but it warmed my heart to see Billy so protective of his friendship, relationship, and trust with Jason.

Now, on to Trini.  One thing to note – Trini was Trini Kwan in the original series, played by the late Thuy Trang.

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In the series, Trini was responsible, level headed, and basically a model citizen.  Oh, and she was also heterosexual.

The new Trini (last name omitted, for… reasons) is played by Becky G.  So yeah, it wouldn’t make sense for a Latina to have a Vietnamese last name, I suppose.  (For what it’s worth, I think they could have solved this by having her be adopted, but it’s not a big deal.)  It’s just that Trini’s lack of a last name definitely stood out when the other four Rangers all had their original last names.  Granted, Cranston wasn’t used in the show ever, but it’s still canonical, and I’m getting off track now.  Back to Trini.

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This Trini is reckless, a bit of a wild child, and literally nothing like the old Trini.  That’s okay; this version of Power Rangers is clearly supposed to be different.  A lot of the characters (mostly Zack and Trini) are wildly different from the originals.

And she may be bisexual or lesbian.  The director has said that was his intention, and it’s a pretty mellow example, but hey, it’s a start, right?  While the Rangers are trying to bond as friends, sitting around a campfire, Trini mentions she’s having problems, Zack asks if it is boyfriend problems, and then follows up with, “Girlfriend problems?”  And she alludes with her answer that she isn’t who her parents want her to be.  Again, it’s not like Trini was crushing on Kimberly (something I am actually grateful did not happen), but if you wanted to perceive her as gay or straight, the film is not that clear.  Maybe things will be different in a future film.

Zack is a wildly different Zack.  I actually feel like Zack got the shortest end of the character development stick in this film.  Jason and Kimberly (save for a little bit of actual teenage attitude) are not that wildly different from the original Jason and Kimberly.  Zack is such a different character, he and the original Zack Taylor share only a name.  I didn’t feel a ton of connection with Zack’s character, although he does have a conversation with the gang about his relationship with his dying mother, which was definitely not in the show, and that gave him some real development.

Alpha Five was very different from the show Alpha Five, but he was fun.  Bill Hader did a great job with him.

Bryan Cranston as Zordon… Man, that was #notmyZordon at first, but he grew on me.  Zordon on the show was a wise, kindly, father figure.  This Zordon was straight up a jerk.  He was looking at the bigger picture, of course, in trying to save the world, but he also was using the Rangers for his own needs so that he could come back to life.  Don’t worry; Zordon doesn’t stay a jerk, but he sure started out as one.

What on Earth can I possibly say about Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa?  She was amazing.  She was scary.  She was just fun.  And creepy.  And again, I go back to scary.  This movie is rated PG-13 for a reason, and while some of it is the Rangers swearing a little (nothing worse than PG), I think most of it is Rita.  She straight up kills people.  Jason attends the funeral for one of her victims at one point.  She attacks Trini in her room at night in a scene that I can see being little kid nightmare fuel.

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There were some Easter Eggs for fans.

First of all, the original Power Ranger score from the 1995 movie is used to great effect when the Zords come out as a team for the first time.  I got goosebumps.  I wanted to stand up and cheer.  Seriously, as a fanboy, it was perfect.

There is a reference to two Power Rangers series, Lightspeed Rescue and Dino Thunder, when Jason’s dad mentions being between Mariner’s Bay and Reefside while driving.

The original Tommy and Kimberly have a cameo at the end.  They’re two in the crowd taking photos of the MegaZord with their cameras after the big fight.  I would have liked to see all of the original gang, including Karan Ashley (who played Aisha, Trini’s replacement) as the fill-in for Thuy Trang.  But alas, they didn’t ask me.  Or pretty much anyone else in the fandom who would have said the same thing. 

Trini delivered the final impact with the MegaZord that defeated Rita.  In MMPR:TM, Yellow Ranger Aisha delivered the final… ugh, knee to the groin with the MegaZord that defeated Ivan Ooze.

So, what did I not like?

I wish the Rangers helmets were more like the original.  I’m not sure that I liked that the Rangers’ helmets were open-faced during the Zord Battles.  I didn’t like that the MastodonZord did not look like a Mastodon.  It looked like if a machine gun, a spider, and a tank had a weird baby.  The other Zords were fine; just that one.  I didn’t like that there wasn’t a shared cockpit for the MegaZord.  I think that one may be my biggest dislike of all.  The whole movie is about teamwork; let us see them working as a team in the same cockpit rather than communicating via radio.

What did I like?  Everything else.

Oh, and one more nice little Easter Egg, when Trini morphs for the first time, she is wearing a shirt with the year 1973 on it, the year that Thuy Trang was born.  Coincidence?  I really don’t think it is.

There’s a mid-credits scene, but no ending credits scene.  The mid-credits scene is a nice teaser for the second film.

I really hope this does well enough to earn a second film.  Saban has said he has a planned six film arc.  Yes, please.

25 Pounds Down!

Just a quickie celebration post today.

At WW@WKU, I weighed in at 408.8, which is 25.2 pounds down from my highest!

March 20, 2017

Today’s Weight: 408.8

Change from Highest: –25.2 pounds

This is the longest stretch of weight loss I have had since my last successful bout in Weight Watchers in 2004.  I am beyond thrilled!  I have nowhere to go but down, and I’m confident I’ll take this all the way to the end.

Heck, my goal is to eventually be a WW leader.  Goodness knows the meeting room could use some more men (no offense to the amazing female leaders out there, of course).

I even got my 25 pound charm today.  Woo hoo!

Can I possibly lose 4.8 this week and hit 30 pounds next week?  Probably not, but that’s doesn’t mean I won’t try!

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Weight Watchers, Seven Weeks In

I had my first weigh-in at Weight Watchers at work on January 31st, where I weighed 434.0 pounds.  That was my highest weight ever.  I felt terrible.  I ached; I hurt; I didn’t like the way I looked.  My body was in pain.  At my weight, I’m basically carrying an extra 250 pounds more than I should be. 

In the last six weeks, I have lost 21.8 pounds.  That’s an average of a little 3 pounds a week.

I’m attaching this photo, just because I think we need to have visual representations of our weight loss.  This first photo isn’t great; it’s actually a screen shot, which is why I look like a little, uhm, weird.  Next to it is a photo I took this morning, at my current weight of 412.2. 

jan to march 2017

(Quick note: 1st photo weirdness – video screencap.  2nd photo weirdness – I hate selfies.  I really do.  I’d much rather have a candid, unplanned photo of me that someone else took.)

Smile aside, I can see some differences in those photos.  This isn’t a great comparison shot; I have a different stance in each picture, so I naturally look a little more broad in the first picture than I do in the second.  But I do think I look a little slimmer in the face.

For what it’s worth, I do have a nice, proper front shot of me at my highest.  However, it is me without a shirt, and while that photo will someday see the light of day, that day is not today. 

I’m not a selfie person.  I just don’t feel a need to take pictures of myself on a regular basis.  Maybe it’s because I’m fat, maybe it’s because I think it’s just a little arrogant – I don’t know.  But I will try to take pictures somewhat regularly to highlight my progress.

I feel REALLY good about this.  I feel like I’m finally going to make it to the finish line.  These past seven weeks have shown me more weight loss than I’ve experienced in YEARS (literally, almost ten years at this point).  I feel like it has finally clicked.  I have said “I’ve got this” tons of times without meaning it, but this time, I’ve got this.

My current Weight Watchers at work cycle ends in the middle of April.  We have about five weeks left.  I won’t be quitting Weight Watchers between the spring and summer sessions, though.  I’ll either do it on my own or pay the fee and go to my local WW center. 

I have two goals, one of which is fairly achievable and the other of which would be a beating.  I’m going to try and hit both.

My first goal: I want to be in the 300s (read: at least 399.8) when WW@WKU ends in a few weeks.  This is a weight loss of 2.5 pounds a week, which is very achievable.

My second goal (the crazy hard one): I want to hit 10% when WW@WKU ends in a few weeks.  This will be a weight loss of 43.4 pounds, which will put me at 390.6.  That’s huge; that will require a weight loss of OVER four pounds a week.  This isn’t impossible, but it’s not a WW approved amount of weight loss.  However, it is possible, especially at my weight.

I’ve actually lost over 4 pounds every week I’ve weighed in except for two.  One week I gained 0.6 pounds, and this week I only lost 0.8 pounds.  The other weeks have all been over four pounds.

I’ll not beat myself up if I don’t hit either goal, but I’m giving myself a stretch goal to see if it can be done.

I’ll try to update my progress here weekly.

Feel free to email, comment, or follow me on Instagram at therangerproject, where I am much more active than I am here.

Weight Watchers at WKU, Weeks 1-3

One of the great job perks at WKU, my place of employment, is that we are given free access to Weight Watchers.  WKU offers three 12-week series of WW a year, one for spring, summer, and fall semesters, and so long as we attend at least 9 of 12 meetings, we pay nothing.  It’s a pretty sweet deal, and I am taking advantage of it.

I’ll be honest; I’ve done WW at WKU before and just piddled my way through, up and down and not really making much progress.

However, I have started again this spring, and for whatever reason, this time, it is sticking.

I weighed in at my absolute highest weight ever on January 30th at 434.0 pounds

January 30, 2017 – 434.0

But then… I stuck the program, I got a nice journal to track in, and… I’m losing weight!  And while it is a little tough, it’s not impossibly difficult.

February 6, 2017 – 424.8 (loss of 9.2 pounds)

February 13, 2017 – 421.2 (loss of 3.6 in one week, total of 12.8 pounds)

I obviously do not expect to have a loss like that again this week, but I’d be beyond thrilled to lose two pounds a week.  And I feel good about it.

I’m exercising, although I’m admittedly going very light.  It’s funny; I can look back at how much more physically fit and active I used to be, but I just lost it.  Rather than bemoan that fact, I’m starting super slow.  I do about 20 minutes on the treadmill every night.  It feels almost embarrassing to admit that, especially when I used to be able to do so much more, but that’s where I’m at.  I’m slowly upping my speed, and I’m about to increase my duration as well.

I’m still on my quest to become a Power Ranger.

I’d encourage you to follow me on Instagram, as I’m a much more frequent Instagrammer than blogger, but I will try to stop in here every few weeks and track my progress toward becoming a Power Ranger.

Goodbye 2016! And My Word for the Year!

Fare the well, 2016.  Never come back.

Some good things happened in 2016.  I got my doctorate.  My family is still alive.  My house didn’t burn down.  We got a new car (to replace the old crappy one that was about to drive me completely insane).

So yeah… 2016 can suck it.

I’ve done resolutions in the past, and I’m not going to do those this year.  I never reach them.  Instead, I’m going to do something that I’ve seen lots of other people do.

I’m setting a word for the year.  This word will inspire everything I do: career, weight loss, personal improvement…

And that word is Focus.

I’ve seen people use words like Surrender or Trust or Balance.

I want to focus.  I often feel like I’ve drifted through life, just bumping into whatever comes my way.  Not always, but definitely sometimes.  I need to focus more.

I’ll try to blog monthly about how my focus is helping me.

In weight loss news, Tina is starting a weight loss challenged called Fit Girls on Monday, and I’m doing it with her.  More info (including weigh-in) then!

It’s almost Christmas Weigh-in! #002

Just a real quick post today.

We’ve been celebrating Christmas.  We’ve been going from house to house.  We bought a new car this week.  We have been WAY out of our routine.

But we still weighed in and did our best.

Jeremy’s Weigh-In

Last Week: 424.6

Today’s Weight: 423.2

Change from Last Week –1.4 pounds

Change from All-Time Highest: –6.8 pounds

 

Tina’s Weigh-In

Last Week: 246.0

Today’s Weight: 245.0

Change from Last Week: –1.0 pounds

Change from All-Time Highest: –7.0 pounds

I’m gonna beat her this week.

Story #01

I love to write.  I have been writing pretty much since I have been able to read stories.

For the past three years, I’ve been working on my doctorate.  I spent several months this year writing my dissertation.  Cranking out 187 pages about the impact of a literacy intervention course can take it out of you.  It wears out the writing muscle, but it doesn’t satisfy the need to write.

Fortunately, now, I am done with schoolwork.  (Well, my doctorate at least.  C’mon, I get free tuition!  I’m working on a graduate certificate in measurement, evaluation, and research.)  But the writing itch is back, and this time, I’m satisfying it with fiction.

I graduated in the summer, and I took an undergraduate course this fall just for the heck of it.  (Two, actually.  One was Supernatural Folklore – greatest class ever.)  The other class (also greatest class ever) was Psychology in Science Fiction.  It really woke up my desire to do some science fiction writing, and I have decided to marry my love of writing with my desire to lose weight.

I’m going to write a science fiction short story about the different emotions, experiences, thoughts, and whatevers about losing weight.  I’m also going to pursue publication of these.  Now, it remains to be seen if I am good enough to be published,  I suppose, but if I don’t try, then I’ll never be published.

My first story, still untitled, is about the stress of experience massive weight gain after a massive weight loss.  After all… this was me at one point.

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This is me at about 320.  This is also an exceptionally good photo, because 320 is by no means an acceptable weight.  (I’m 6’0”, not 8’2”.)

This is me in the present (well, at Halloween) at 425 pounds.

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This was me a few weeks ago at my hooding ceremony on the night before graduation.  (Before the actual hooding ceremony, so I’m just wearing my wizard robes here.)

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There are a lot of emotions that I have to deal with.  Embarrassment.  Shame.  Anger.

So I’m writing a story, set in the future, about a man named Marshall who is going through the same thing.  With a sci-fi twist, of course.

I’m about 1500 words into the short story right now.  As previously mentioned, I’m going to pursue publication, which means I won’t be sharing the stories I write here UNTIL I have amassed 20 rejections per story.  Of course, if I am lucky enough to get published, I’ll certainly share where to find the story, but if not, it’ll take 20 rounds of rejections before I share it here.

This is something new I’m trying to keep me motivated.  I’ll continue to share my progress, both in weight loss and writing.

See you on Friday with our 1st weekly weigh-in!

A Husband and Wife Weigh-In #001

Tina and I both need to lose weight.  We’ve talked about waiting until after Christmas and New Years, but we’ve also both agreed that this is a bad decision.  Even if we just maintain for the last two weeks of 2016, that’s better than just waiting until 2017 and gaining weight over the holidays.

2016 has been a rough year, in a lot of ways.  I’m glad it’s almost over, but I want to do my best to at least not gain more weight in the next two weeks.  And losing a little will be even better.

We’re going to start weighing in here every Friday.  I hope to blog here periodically, but we’ll see.  I’ve never been a terribly consistent blogger.

In any event, here are our weights for December 16, 2016.

Jeremy’s Weigh-in

Highest Weight: 430.0

Today’s Weight: 424.6

Change from All-Time Highest: –5.4 pounds

 

Tina’s Weigh-in

Highest Weight: 252.0

Today’s Weight: 246.0

Change from All-Time Highest: –6.0 pounds

We hope to blog about some healthy recipes, our weight loss efforts, how we’re exercising, and other things about how our family is trying to be healthier.  We’re also blogging about our homeschooling efforts at wherearemypantsblog.com if you’re interested in following us over there.

I’ll share in upcoming days how we’ll be losing weight (quick story: calories in, calories out).

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