Not a big fan of guys who try to ice skate uphill.

It’s that time again, where we journey to the world of Marvel Comics adaptations, but this time instead of looking at various adaptations of Marvel properties, were just focusing on one series of movies and one TV show featuring Marvel’s resident vampire hunter, the daywalker himself, Eric Bishop, AKA Blade.

Everyone likes to talk about how Deadpool was the greatest R-rated comic book movie, but they seem to forget that Blade was the first R-rated comic book movie, if it wasn’t for Blade, we wouldn’t have had a certain series of movies that would be the subject for next year, people wouldn’t have been as interested in comic book movies as they are now, and we wouldn’t have the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But, one question remains, does any of the movies, or the TV show still hold up after all these years?

Find out next week as we look at Blade.

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SHIFT IN-TO TUR-BO!

PLOT

On a distant planet, a wizard named Lerigot is being hunted by Divatox; an intergalactic space pirate, who seeks his golden key in order to traverse an inter-dimensional gateway and enter into matrimony with Maligore, a demon who promises to grant her great riches and power. Lerigot escapes Divatox’s forces and travels to Earth in search of Zordon and his friend Alpha 5, but lands in Africa instead. Weakened by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, Lerigot meets a pack of common chimpanzees and wanders off with them. Meanwhile, Divatox sets off for Earth in pursuit.

In Angel Grove, Rocky, Adam, and Tommy are training for a charity fighting competition to save the Youth Shelter, when Rocky accidentally injures his back. Kat and Tanya arrive with Justin, a kid who admires Rocky and frequents the shelter. As Rocky is rushed to the hospital, Justin follows the group and learns that they are Power Rangers. Zordon sends Tommy and Kat to search for Lerigot. They manage to find him and return to the Power Chamber.

Divatox’s nephew, Elgar searches for two human sacrifices to revive Maligore. He abducts Bulk and Skull, but Divatox rejects them for not being pure of heart. Divatox finds two perfect specimens who are scuba diving nearby and captures them. While recovering, Lerigot is contacted by Divatox, who has captured his family and demands that he surrender himself. Divatox also uses the two hostages, revealed to be Kimberly and Jason, to pressure the Rangers. At the exchange site, Elgar tricks the Rangers and takes Lerigot without releasing their friends.

Zordon and Alpha create new powers for the Rangers to defeat Divatox. With the new Turbo powers and their new vehicular Turbo Zords, the Rangers drive across the desert to a ship called the Ghost Galleon. They are joined by Justin, who has received Rocky’s Blue Ranger powers as the new Blue Turbo Ranger as Rocky is unable to rejoin his friends. On Divatox’s submarine, Jason and Kim work on a plan to escape. When the Ghost Galleon and Divatox’s submarine arrive at the inter-dimensional gateway known as the Nemesis Triangle, Divatox forces Lerigot to allow them to cross while the Rangers do the same with the keys to their Ranger powers.

Once they reach the island where Maligore is imprisoned, Divatox torpedoes the ship and Rangers narrowly escape. Bulk, Skull and Kimberly escape the sub, but Jason is trapped and left behind. Kimberly has been captured by the Malicians; inhabitants of the island, and Divatox forces Lerigot to make the Malicians join her with Kimberly. At the temple in the volcano, the Rangers fight Divatox’s forces, but are unable to free Jason and Kimberly before the two are possessed by Maligore and attack the Rangers mercilessly. The Rangers free Lerigot and his wife Yara, who undo the possession.

Angered, Divatox sacrifices her nephew and successfully revives Maligore. The Rangers summon their Turbo Megazord to fight Maligore. They defeat him as Divatox and Rygog flee, vowing vengeance. The Rangers pick up Jason, Kimberly, Lerigot, Yara, Bulk and Skull and return to Angel Grove. At the competition, Jason takes Rocky’s place, and they win the tournament, earning the money in order to save the shelter.

REVIEW

This wasn’t as good as the first movie, and wasn’t as entertaining either. While it wasn’t as entertaining, it still had some redeeming qualities, like the fact that they actually made an original zord fight sequence, I know they did this already in Seasons 2 and 3 of Mighty Morphin, and a few episodes of Zeo, but I like to think this was done as a test to see if they can pull it off. It was also great to see Amy Jo Johnson again, despite the “Dear John” incident, and I thought the cameo from Rita and Zedd was funny. Everything else was terrible. The villains were terrible, Rocky’s removal from the main plot was dumb, and transition from Zeo to Turbo was laughably lazy. And no, I’m not going to complain about Justin, because its been done to death. Overall, I’d rather they just aired this on TV as a special, rather than release this in theaters. I can;t really recommend this as a movie.

RANK: 2 out of 5

So, thank you all for your patience and for helping the blog reach 200 post. Hopefully the 300th post won’t take as long. Next up, Marvel Month 5.0!

They should ditch the visors and mouthplates. Really show us their emotions, you know?

PLOT

The Power Rangers participate with Bulk and Skull in a charity skydive for the Angel Grove observatory, in anticipation of Ryan’s Comet which is scheduled to pass by in two days.

Bulk and Skull miss the target landing zone and accidentally land on a construction site where a giant egg has been unearthed. Lord Zedd, Rita Repulsa, Goldar, and Mordant arrive at the construction site and crack open the egg, releasing Ivan Ooze after 6,000 years, a morphological being who ruled Earth with an iron fist before he was overthrown by Zordon and a group of young warriors. Ivan lays siege to the Rangers’ Command Center and incapacitates Zordon, robbing the Rangers of their powers. As the Rangers return to the Command Center, they find it destroyed and Zordon dying.

Zordon’s assistant Alpha 5 sends the Rangers to the distant planet Phaedos to obtain the Great Power and save Zordon. On Earth, Ivan usurps Rita and Zedd, trapping them in a snow globe. Ivan sends his Tengu warriors to Phaedos and begins building an army. He uses his ooze to hypnotize the adults, forcing them to be his workforce to dig up his Ecto-Morphicon Titans, twin war machines built during his reign. When Fred Kelman, a friend of the Rangers’, discovers his father missing, he finds him working at the construction site and discovers Ivan’s plans.

On Phaedos, the Rangers are almost killed by the Tengu, but are rescued by Dulcea, Phaedos’ Master Warrior. After hearing of Zordon’s plight, she agrees to help them and takes them to an ancient ruined temple where the Rangers will have to overcome obstacles to acquire the power of the Ninjetti. Dulcea awakens each Rangers’ animal spirit: Aisha is the bear, Billy is the wolf, Rocky is the ape, Kimberly is the crane, Tommy is the falcon, and Adam is the frog. The Rangers make their way to the Monolith housing the Great Power, defeat its four guardians, and retrieve the Great Power.

On Earth, Ivan’s Ecto-Morphicons are completely unearthed, and he unleashes them on Angel Grove, ordering the parents to commit suicide at the construction site. Fred, Bulk, Skull and other students head to the construction site to save their parents. The Rangers return with their new animal-themed Ninja Zords and destroy one of Ivan’s Ecto-Morphicons. Ivan takes control of the other and battles the Rangers himself. The Rangers lead Ivan into space right into the path of Ryan’s Comet, which destroys him. His destruction breaks the hypnosis and the parents are reunited with their children. The Rangers then use the Great Power to restore the Command Center and resurrect Zordon.

In a mid-credits scene, Goldar briefly lounges in Zedd’s throne being served by Mordant only to panic when Zedd and Rita appear having been released after Ivan was destroyed.

REVIEW

So after all these years, this movie doesn’t really hold as well as it use to, but I still enjoyed watching it. The effects are obviously dated especially when you take into account that this was out six months before Toy Story, the dialog is corny as all get out, the plot holes, and then there’s all the behind-the-scenes issues that plagued the movie. I’m not sure if the video still exists, but try and find Linkara’s Introduction to The History of Power Rangers, which briefly touches upon the issues about the movie, or see his review of the comic adaptation which goes in better detail behind the movie. Problems aside, I still enjoy watching this movie, and I especially enjoy the villain Ivan Ooze. He’s corny and quotable as all hell. Overall, while it’s not a great movie, it’s still very fun to watch from time to time, if you have the time I recommend seeing it for yourself.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next is their canonical trip to the big screen with Turbo’s glorified pilot episode.

Two movies, one milestone.

200 posts in and seven months later, and I’m still tingling with Power Rangers fever. So what better way to celebrate this nifty milestone, by talking about the first two theatrical movies from the Power Rangers franchise.

One of the reasons I’ve been gone for awhile is mostly because I had a lot of trouble trying to figure out what I was going to look at for the 200th. Another reason is that I don’t think anything is going to top the Robotech review, and the only reason I ever really tackled it for the 100th review was because I was getting into the show, and the movie was fresh in my mind.

I had a ton of ideas for the 200th post, Dragonball Evolution, Last Airbender, even Max Steel, but I really didn’t feel like doing those since I’d pretty much be saying what everyone’s been saying for years now.

So come back soon for the first part of this Power Milestone, as we look at the Power Rangers’ first foray on the big screen.

I’m back, and were looking at some commercials. Commercials bring us so many memories, and so I thought I’d look at some of my favorite adverts from when I was young.

10. Mortal Monday – There’s not much to say about Mortal Kombat that hasn’t been said already, the games (most of them anyway) are great, and this commercial is also great. There’s not much to say really it’s just a bunch of kids running around the city shouting Mortal Kombat, while a slowed down version of Techno Syndrome played. It’s enough to get your blood pumping for the game, even if it’s a toned down version.

9. Transformers G1 (Transformers 2010 Japanese Commercial) – I’m technically cheating, since I saw this later in life, but I still think it deserves some mention. It’s a commercial showcasing the new toys for the third season of G1, but it’s pretty chilling. It has some helicopters carrying off Optimus Prime (or Convoy in Japan) along with some other characters, with a crowd of people chanting Convoy, culminating with a boy shouting Convoy, and then silhouettes of Rodimus Prime (Rodimus Convoy) and the other new characters introduced in The Movie.

8. Sega CD – I’m a pretty big Sega fan, mostly because it’s what I grew up with, until the Playstation Line came into my life. One of the funniest (unintentionally) has to be for the Sega CD add-on, where a guy on TV tells the viewer to buy it, while showing off some of the not so great games (and Sonic CD). There was another one, showing off some other games that pretty much foreshadows what Sony had in mind in the future. “There is no Nintendo CD” the guy says. Irony!

7. Voltron X Sprite – So most people from the 80s know about Voltron from the anime, some kids from the 90s know about it from either the reruns on Toonami, or the CG cartoon that I have yet to review, and then there’s the kids from the 2010s who know about it from Voltron Legendary Defender. This is how I found out about Voltron. For some reason, Sprite teamed up with World Events to make a series of commercials where King Zarkon sends out a Ro-Beast to an Urban city, and it fights each of the Lions. But the twist is that there being piloted by popular rappers at the time. It was a little odd, but it was still good to see Voltron for the first time.

6. Star Wars Shadows of the Empire – This was Lucasfilm’s first big sub-project within the Legends Timeline, a massive project ranging from comics, books, a video game (that was exclusively for the N64, sadly), and of course toys. It even spawned a original soundtrack by Joel McNeely. Taking place between Empire and Jedi, the project explains how Luke and the others found out where Han was taken, while also following the adventures of possibly one of the best named characters in the Legends Timeline, Dash Rendar! Let’s hope e makes a comeback within the official canon someday.

5. Mentos, The Freshmaker – One of the few candy jingles I know word for word, and the commercials weren’t to bad either. It would always start with someone getting in some kind of trouble, and figures out a solution, by eating Mentos while that jingle plays in the background. The guy, woman, or group wonder what’s going on, the protagonist shows of the product, and everyone goes home happy. Also did anyone else know there was an extended version of the theme?

4. Got Milk – Which one, pretty much all of them. Weather you saw these in the 90s or in the early 2000s, the Got Milk campaign was one of the most clever and entertaining advertising campaigns ever made. Everyone as a favorite, wheather it’s a milkman joining The Avengers, or a parody/tribute to an episode of the Twilight Zone. By far my favorite has to be the one with the Trix Rabbit, mainy because it keeps you guessing.

3. Make 7Up Yours – No you’re not misreading that, this was an actual campaign for 7Up. For awhile Orlando Jones (only known for MadTV at the time) serve as the spokesman for 7Up, and so he came up with this oddball slogan. Throughout the commercial we see him walking down the street telling people “Make 7Up Yours” while wearing a t-shirt saying “Make 7” on the front and “Up Yours” on the back. He keeps saying it unaware of how people are reacting negatively, especially this one guy, but still sees this as a success.

2. Bionicle: Toa Inika – The commercials for Bionicle were already great, but the ones for the 2006 storyline were on a whole other level. While it was cool starting off with the bad guys first (the Piraka), the rap in their commercial is kinda laughable, but then there’s the commercial for the former McToran turned Toa, the Inika, showing off their new Zamor shooters and light up weapons, and set to Move Along by the All American Rejects.

1. Crossfire – Of course I can’t talk about commercials I grew up with, without talking about one the greatest commercial ever made. “It’s sometime in the future”. Kids in leather jackets engage in an epic battle of marbles and pucks. Two kids enter, one gets teleported to oblivion. And of course that awesome jingle. There’s not much to say except, “you’ll get caught up in it”.

Honorable Mentions

Lazer Tag Rocky

Wonder World

Skip It

Chrono Trigger

Socker Boppers

Diet Pepsi Max

Star Wars Vector Prime

Alright folks, when we return, the 200th post, then Marvel Month, and some other stuff after and in between!

See you then!

We are VR!

We are VR!

After Power Rangers became a breakaway success, Haim Saban and Shuki Levy decided to make another Ameri-toku series, this time, adapting three shows from the Metal Heroes series, Superhuman Machine Metalder, Dimensional Warrior Spielban, and Space Sheriff Shaider (in season two). Together these three shows would make up the basis for VR Troopers.

ORIGIN

VR Troopers began life as a starring vehicle for Jason David Frank called Cybertron. It pretty much follows the same plot as VR Troopers, but it just focuses on the Metalder footage, JDF would’ve played Adam Steele, the Troopers martial arts instructer Tao Chong would’ve helped train Adam to become Cybertron, he also had a daughter all of Grimlords minions were called War Drones, Karl Ziktor was called Cyrus Riktor, he also had a son Percy, and for some reason Jaime Kennedy was part of a Bulk and Skull-like duo. The pilot was reworked and renamed Psycon, most likely to avoid a lawsuit from a certain toy company, who just happens to own the term Cybertron.

The world got its first official look at VR Trooper in the form of a trailer that played before or after various Mighty Morphin Power Rangers VHS’, and while some things carried over from Cybertron, like Tao and Grimlord, once again there were some differences between it and the final product. For instance, Adam is now called Ryan, Kaitlin’s last name was Hall in the trailer, but was changed to Star in the series. The most notable difference, is the Troopers’ mentor Professor Horatio Hart, in the show he was an black, but here he’s caucasian, and rocking the Einstein look, and Jeb, Ryan talking dog, doesn’t sound like he’s impersonating Jack Nicholson as he does in the show.

Once the final changes were made, the show officially aired in syndication from September 3, 1994 to February 21, 1996

PLOT

The show focused on three young adults in their late teens, Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Star, and J.B. Reese, living in the fictional West Coast town of Cross World City, California. They regularly attended and were teachers at “Tao’s Dojo”, a karate studio. Ryan was the most focused martial artist; J.B. was the computer wizard; while Kaitlin was a photographer & budding reporter for the local newspaper, the Underground Voice Daily. One day, Ryan’s search for his long-missing father led him and his two friends to a strange laboratory. Inside, a digitized head of Professor Horatio Hart, a friend of Ryan’s father, Tyler, explained the truth about his life’s work of having developed extremely advanced virtual reality technology in secret. “VR” is a dimension existing alongside our own; within it lie mutants bent on conquering both worlds. The main ruler of these is a creature known as Grimlord, who, unbeknownst to anyone on Earth, has a human identity as billionaire industrialist Karl Ziktor. As Karl Ziktor tries to overcome the barriers of the true reality to allow his armies easy passage from virtual world, the responsibility falls to Ryan, Kaitlin, and J.B. of defending the planet on both sides of the dimensional barrier. They have assistance in the form of armored bodies having incredible firepower. This included eventual additions to their arsenal, such as a Turbo Cycle, Techno Bazooka, VR Troopertron, VR Shoulder Cannon, VR Battlecruiser/Interceptop and a flying, laser-blasting Skybase.

Other regular characters on the show included Zeb as Jeb, Ryan’s hound dog, who, after an accident in Prof. Hart’s lab, was now capable of human speech; Woody Stocker, Kaitlin’s wacky hat-loving boss at the Underground Voice Daily; Percy Rooney, the local mayor’s nephew and Kaitlin’s bumbling rival reporter; and Tao, the wise martial arts sensei who owns the dojo and a family friend of the Steele Family. Recurring villains include General Ivar, Colonel Icebot, Decimator, the Skugs, and more throughout.

During the second season, the show changed format very slightly. Ryan’s father was finally found and restored to normal. Then, he quickly left to help the government research further Virtual Reality based technology. With him came Ryan’s new V.R. armor and an upgrade to his powers. Grimlord’s base of operations switched from the virtual dungeon to a massive spacecraft, and added new Generals such as Oraclon, Despera, Doom Master and his Vixens. The Skugs now had the ability to become more powerful in the form of Ultra Skugs.

Like Masked Rider, V.R. Troopers never had an official ending due to the stock footage from all Metal Heroes shows running out. There were plans to use the footage from the series Heavy Shell Beetle Fighters, and use that as the third season, but the plans were scrapped, and retooled to become another show that I’ll look at in the future, Beetleborgs.

REVIEW

The show is pretty decent. Like Power Rangers, it pretty much made me an instant fan of the Metal Heroes franchise, while it’s pretty corny and cringe-worthy at times (which is pretty much par for the course in most Saban productions.), it’s still fun to watch from time to time. With the advent of new V.R. technology in the real world, I could see this series making a comeback, as either a new series, or even a movie akin to the Power Rangers movie (though that seems a little unlikely since the movie kinda bombed). Overall, while corny, and may or may not have single-handedly killed the Missing Father cliche, I still think it’s worth checking out.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, something.

Oh! And check out this hilarious fan dub of the show, performed by the cast themselves.

Had to include this shot of the Zords.

Best scene of the whole movie!

TRAILER 1

Jason and Kimberly’s kiss was a reference to the budding relationship that was planned for the two before the Green With Evil saga.

A very small and barely noticeable one during the morphing sequence at the end, Trini wears a shirt with the year 1973. 1973 is the year Thuy Thrang was born

TRAILER 2

The “I’m black” joke was of course referring to the accidental racist casting with Walter Jones being cast as the Black Ranger and Thuy Trang being cast as the Yellow Ranger (and to a later and lesser extent Jason David Frank as the Red Zeo Ranger).

Kim’s line of “We’re talking to a wall” is similar to Zack’s line “We’re talking to giant floating head” in Day of the Dumpster

The Superhero landing as mentioned in the Trailer 2 review before reminded me of Gatchaman.

The Dino Megazord itself (or at least the toy) bares a resemblance to the super robot Mazinger Z

ALL STAR TRAILER/TV SPOT

The song in the background has the sing saying “ay yi yi yi yi” repeatedly, which is Alpha’s catchphrase. Alpha says this twice in the movie.

The shot of the Dinozords charging through the desert/quary (as seen above) was an homage to the exact same scene on the show.

THE MOVIE

The movie’s opening in the Cenozoic Era is both a reference to Abaranger and Dino Charge.

Jason, Billy, and Kimberly meeting each other in detention, is similar to how Connor, Ethan, and Kira met in Dino Thunder.

Zordon and the original Yellow Ranger bore strong similarities to the Aquitians from the Alien Rangers from the Alien Rangers arc/series. Zordon also looks like his depiction in MMPR The Movie

As usual, the Rangers wear the respective colors in civilian attire.

Squat, Finster, and Putty Patroller action figures appear in Billy and Trini’s rooms respectively.

Power Rangers has the distinction of being the first superhero movie to feature heroes that are on the Autism Spectrum (Billy) and LGBTQ (Trini)

The three rules of being a Ranger (1. never use your powers for personal gain, 2. never escalate a fight unless forced to, 3. keep your identity secret) is stated word for word here.

When the Rangers morph for the first time it is reminiscent of the Rangers’ first morph in Turbo A Power Rangers Movie.

Rita refers to the Rangers by color similar to Dr. K in Power Rangers RPM.

Rita says “Make My Monster Grow” as Goldar takes form.

The 1995 version of Go Go Power Rangers plays briefly during the Zord sequence.

The Dinozords run past a store called Dex’s Door and Window, a possible reference to Masked Rider.

The Dino Megazord coming out of the fiery pit, is similar to the Tyrannosaurus and Pterodactyl Dinozords coming out a volcano

Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank (Kimberly and Tommy respectively) cameo as bystanders at the end of the movie.

In some behind the scenes photos there are street signs for Ocean Bluff and Reefside. These are the name of cities in Jungle Fury and Dino Thunder respectively. Mariner Bay (the city Lightspeed Rescue takes place in) was also mentioned during the climax.

After the Dino Megazord bang-zooms Rita to the space, you see the moon right behind her, a reference to her castle from the show.

Rita mentions that there are others that’ll go after the Zeo Crystal, this may be a reference to Lord Zedd, King Mondo and his House of Gadgetry, and yes, even Divatox.

Tommy Oliver is mentioned in the mid-credits scene

Lord Zedd (despite being mentioned in promotional material) does not appear or is even mentioned (outright) in the movie

OTHER

In Russia, Power Rangers is rated 18+ (the equivalent of an R rating here in the US), due to their negativity on LGBTQ.

Bryan Cranston. Outside of being (or not being in some cases) the inspiration of Billy’s last name, he worked on Power Rangers before, doing voice work for two monsters of the week (Snizzard and Twin Man) .

In the movie and trailers Billy mentions Spider-Man, Elizabeth Banks was in the Sam Rami Spider-Man trilogy as Betty Brant.

Rita’s new look harkens back to Divatox, Trakeena, and one of Rita’s commanders on the show, Scorpina.

RJ Cyler’s casting as Billy Cranston is actually a bts reference to Walter Jones originally auditioning for Billy instead of Zack.

Becky G’s casting as Trini is a reference to the original Day of the Dumpster pilot, where Trini was played by fellow latina actress Audri DuBois.

The Angel Grove High blog had Andre Meadows (Black Nerd Comedy) serve as a writer for a brief time. If you watch his videos you know he loves Power Rangers just as much as I do.

The Power Morpher bares a striking resemblance to the Typhoon Belt from Kamen Rider

The Power Coins seem to be a combination of the Power Coins from Mighty Morphin and the Dino Gems from Dino Thunder.

Since her reveal, there have been rumors (which have since been confirmed) that Rita might be the Green Ranger, and that her staff has the Green Power Coin inside it, here’s a fan replica of what the coin might look like.

There’s a promotional service on Facebook that allows you to chat with Alpha, during the chat Alpha mentions Zeo Crystal. The Zeo Crystal is a major plot device for the movie.

In a copy of his autobiography A Life In Parts, Bryan Cranston autographed to Andrew Gray (Troy Burrows/(Super) Megaforce Red): To a Power Ranger, from a Power Ranger. This helps confirm the rumor that the Movie Zordon is a former Red Ranger.

There are also references to Super Sentai itself

EXAMPLES INCLUDE

Despite no Super Sentai footage, the franchise is given equal credit in the movie alongside Power Rangers.

Alpha’s manerisms are similar to Peebo, and Billy’s death harkens back to Choudenshi Bioman. Incidently, Haim Saban attempted to adapt Bioman long before Zyuranger was made.

“Teenagers With Attitude” was a concept that existed all the way in 1989 with the show that should’ve been adapted to Power Rangers Turbo, Kousoku Sentai Turboranger

Zack’s personality is almost on par with Gai Yuki/Black Condor from Coujin Sentai Jetman.

Zordon’s appearance actually resembles Empress Meadow, the primary villain from Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman.

There’s a subtle reference to Zyuranger where Trini’s brothers think the Yellow Ranger is a guy.

Rita being a Ranger that turned evil for personal gain, and killing (most of) her former teammates is similar Ryo’s (Ryu Ranger) father from Gosei Sentai Dairanger and Brajira from Tensou Sentai Goseiger.

The opening taking place in the Cenozoic Era is a reference to Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger

The Zeo Crystal being inside the Earth’s core is a reference to the current season of Sentai Uchu Sentai Kyuranger.

And there you have it, if there’s any other easter eggs I missed I’ll update this page accordingly. Next we explore the world of Virtual Reality with the V.R. Troopers.