January 15, 2013 – I wrote my first review, on the live-action Sonic fan film. Five years later I’m still talking about everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog, but this time I’ll be tackling the show that aired concurrently with Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog… Sonic The Hedgehog, more commonly referred to as Sonic SatAM, as it aired on Saturday mornings, rather than weekday afternoons (or mornings, depending on where you live).
Just like in Adventures, the show takes place on the planet Mobius, where Sonic has to fight Dr. Robotnik, but there’s one major difference, Dr. Robotnik rules over the planet with an iron fist, alongside his nephew, Snivley, and Sonic has a team of Freedom Fighters, led by Princess Sally Acorn, and their friends Bunnie Rabbot, Rotor Walrus, Tails, and Antoine D’Coolette to help save the planet. Another major difference between SatAM and Adventures is the tone, while Adventures was light and silly, SatAm was far more serious, and at times pretty dark, with Robotnik turning the citizens of Mobius into robots through Roboticization, grief, etc. But once Season 2 came around, ABC ased the shows head writer, the late Ben Hurst to add more humor to the show, that season also saw some changes like Sally wearing a vest, and Rotor’s design.
Unfortunately, like most TV shows with a developed plan, it gets canceled before any of its plot points were solved, sort of. Without giving too much away, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters do defeat Robotnik, but a much bigger threat arises. Had there been a third season, we would’ve seen them fight the new big bad.
SatAM has a massive amount of talent attached here, you have Jaleel White playing Sonic, and Jim Cummings playing Dr. Robotnik, a role he would’ve played in Adventures, as mentioned last year. You also have voice acting vets like Charlie Adler, Kath Soucie, Rob Paulson, Cree Summer, even Tim Curry made an appearace.
While the show never had a proper ending, the fans of the show created a web comic, introducing new concepts and ideas that the show never had a chance to tackle, like the cancelled arc mentioned above, the Chaos Emeralds, Knuckles, more details Robotnik came to take over Mobius, etc. There are also plans to make a fan made animated season, with casting, and test footage. While there’s no news on fan series, the comic is still going, I recommend recommend checking it out.
Sonic SatAM was an great show and I hate that I never saw it when it first aired. The plot was amazing, Jaleel White is still amazing as Sonic, Jim Cummings made for an excellent villain, speaking of, Robotnik was a great villain, and actually has character, aside from being a bumbling villain. I also liked the show had a subtle environmental message, which I’m not sure if it was Ben Hurst’s intention, but he pulled it off masterfully. Overall, I enjoyed the show, and I’m sure you will too, fan or otherwise.
RANK: 4 out of 5
The fifth anniversary celebration isn’t over just yet, come back for a look at Sonic’s second greatest outing, you know what I’m talking about.
In the pilot, Krista Starr returns from military service in Iraq to learn that her twin brother, Zack, has died under mysterious circumstances. Her investigation reveals Zack had been a “familiar” – a kind of indentured servant of vampires, who agrees to do their bidding in the hopes his “master” will eventually reward him with eternal life. Krista’s search for her brother’s killer leads her to face Blade, as well as Marcus Van Sciver; Zack’s killer. Marcus is a powerful vampire and high-ranking member of the House of Chthon. Smitten with Krista, Marcus decides to turn her into a vampire by injecting her with his blood. Krista is then approached by Blade, who injects her with the same serum he uses to control his own vampire instincts, and offers her a chance to help him avenge her brother’s death and bring down Marcus and the House of Chthon, and revealed that Zack was trying to do a sting operation with Blade. The two form a reluctant partnership.
The remainder of the season follows Krista’s attempts to maintain her cover in the House of Chthon, all the while struggling with her growing predatory nature, and Marcus’s (supposed) efforts to develop a “vaccine” that will render vampires immune to all their traditional weaknesses; sunlight, silver, garlic, etc. It is later revealed that Marcus’s true purpose is to create a virus called the Aurora Project that will specifically target “purebloods”, the ruling vampire class, and leave the turnbloods (normal vampires like Chase and Marcus, who were once human) unscathed. He eventually unleashes his weapon in the series finale, surprisingly enough with Blade’s help.
When the show first came out I avoided it like the plague, due to my experiences with Blade Trinity, and I regret making that decision, as this was a pretty good show. While I prefer Wesley Snipes (he was even offered to reprise the role, but declined), Kirk Jones a pretty good replacement for Snipes in the role. So was Jill Wagner, as Krista. I would’ve loved to have seen what would’ve happened if the show kept going, there was a shout-out to Moon Knight, so we could’ve seen him at some point, I’d even like to see them tackle the Deathstalkers, but gradually build up to them, not throw them at us all at once like in Blade Trinity.
Overall, I wished I could’ve seen this when this was on TV, this is a good show, and I’d love to have seen this go somewhere if it wasn’t canceled.
The series was released on DVD, and it’s available for streaming. However, since the show is owned by both Disney and Warner Bros. (via New Line) it can be viewed on both Marvel’s website and the CW Seed.
RANK: 4 out of 5
And that was this year’s longer-than-usual Marvel Month, come back soon for an explanation, and a surprise later.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Oh! And check out this hilarious fan dub of the show, performed by the cast themselves.
A group of warriors from prehistoric Earth, the Power Rangers, were given the mission to protect the lifeforms on Earth and look after the Zeo Crystal. However, the Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa, eventually betrays them. The Red Ranger, Zordon, takes the Rangers’ source of power, the Power Coins, and hides them while ordering his assistant Alpha 5 to perform a meteor strike, killing Zordon and sending Rita to the bottom of the sea and destroying the dinosaurs.
In modern Angel Grove, football star Jason Scott is thrown off the team and placed under house arrest after a failed prank. He is sent to detention, encountering Billy Cranston and Kimberly Hart. Jason and Billy head to an abandoned gold mine to explore. Billy detonates explosives to destroy some rock, attracting the attention of Kimberly and fellow students Trini Kwan and Zack Taylor. The five discover the Power Coins just as the police arrive to investigate. While escaping, their car is hit by a train. The five find themselves at home the next day, and discover they have been granted superhuman abilities. Elsewhere, Rita’s body is found. Rita rises, and goes on a rampage, taking every piece of gold that she can find in order to raise her minion Goldar to find the Zeo Crystal.
The five teenagers return to the mine, discover an ancient spaceship, and meet Alpha 5 and Zordon’s consciousness. They inform the teenagers about the original Rangers and about Rita, warning them that they have 11 days until Rita has her full power and finds the Zeo Crystal and uses it to destroy all life on Earth. The five teens leave the ship with no intention of returning until Zordon pleads with Jason to convince the team to prepare for Rita’s oncoming attack.
The new Rangers return to train the next day, but they cannot morph. They spend the next week training against simulated Putties and unsuccessfully trying to morph. In an attempt to inspire the Rangers and get them to morph, Alpha reveals the Dinozords. Zack takes his Zord out for a joyride, and almost kills the other Rangers when he crashes it into the cave where they train. This angers Jason and they get into a fist fight. In trying to separate the two, Billy spontaneously morphs into his battle armor. However, when Zack touches him, it disappears. Angered at their lack of progress, Zordon dismisses the group. Jason returns to the ship to confront Zordon and discovers that once the Rangers morph, it will open up the Morphing Grid and allow Zordon to restore himself in a physical body. Feeling betrayed, Jason accuses Zordon of using the team for his own benefit. That night, the team camp out at the mine above the ship and bond with each other.
Later that night, Rita attacks Trini in her home and tells her to bring the Rangers to the docks. The team head to the docks to finally kill Rita, but are quickly defeated. Rita forces Billy to reveal he found the Zeo Crystal underneath a Krispy Kreme, kills him, and releases the others. The Rangers take Billy’s body to the ship and ask Zordon to resurrect him, but he tells them that he cannot. The Rangers admit that they would give their lives for each other and resolve to defeat Rita. In doing so, they unlock the Morphing Grid, and rather than use it to restore himself, Zordon revives Billy instead. With the team restored, the Rangers morph into their armor.
Rita creates Goldar, raises an army of Putties, and attacks Angel Grove to find the Zeo Crystal. The newly morphed Rangers battle the Putties, then set off to Angel Grove in their Zords. After the Rangers destroy all the Putties, Goldar pushes the Rangers and their Zords into a fiery pit. In the pit, the Zords combine, forming the Megazord. Rita merges with Goldar and attacks, and the Rangers battle and destroy Goldar. After refusing Jason’s offer to surrender, a defiant Rita tells the Rangers that more will come for the crystal and leaps at the Megazord only to be slapped into space. The Rangers are praised as local heroes.
Like I said in the non-spoiler review, this was a great movie, I really enjoyed it. I have not felt satisfied with a hotly anticipated movie since The Avengers came out.
The acting was outstanding on all sides, Bryan Cranston was great as Zordon, a real step up from playing Snizzard, you can tell Elizabeth Banks enjoyed chew the scenery as Rita Repulsa, but by far the real star of this show was RJ Cyler who basically stole the show as Billy. I know everyone was worried this going to go the route of every dark and gritty reboot, like that fan film from a while back, speaking of I really have to review at some point, but it’s not dark and gritty nor is it goofy and campy, it’s a nice mix of both. Kinda like Digimon Tamers The effects were very impressive, especially for the Rangers’ armor and the Dinozords. Only real downsides I can think of is that we had to wait an entire movie to see the Rangers, and that Goldar doesn’t speak or grunt at all, despite having a voice actor credited: Fred Tatasciore.
True story, when Go Go Power Rangers started playing, I almost teared up. I know, I know it’s silly, but, it was the first time I heard it on the big screen, and it just felt awesome. Now, I understand why Blockbuster Buster teared up when he saw Serenity in theaters.
Overall, this was well worth the wait, I’m very happy with what I saw, can’t wait to see what’s next. Speaking of, mid-credits scene, stay during the credits, and while your at it keep watching he credits just to listen to Brian Tyler’s score, or at least up to his rendition of Go Go Power Rangers. I also recommend check out the sequel comic Power Rangers Aftershock it’s a pretty good read.
RANK: 5 out of 5
Next I’m working on an easter egg post talking about all the references and mythology gags in the movie, till then, may the power protect you.
Well, March 24th came and went and I can safely say, it was well worth the wait.
Power Rangers has officially become the little movie that could, everyone thought it was going to fail, but it didn’t, it’s currently at 2nd place in the box office against Beauty and the Beast, I have hope it’ll beat the odds.
Power Rangers is a modern retelling of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. (Almost) All the characters your familiar with are here, as we see five teenagers uncover the mysterious Power Coins and train under the tutelage of Zordon and his assistant Alpha 5, these new Rangers will go up against Rita Repulsa, as she searches for the Zeo Crystal.
The movie is great, the visuals were amazing, the actors was very good, and I really can’t wait to see what becomes of this franchise in the future.
I’ll give my official ranking in the spoiler review in three weeks. I’m also putting together a easter egg post which will be out after the review, until then…
Before we begin, I wish to apologize for lack of recaps for Season, between school, the year-long Star Trek event, along with some personal issues, I just didn’t have the time to tackle recapping the season. So with that said…
So, this season sees the kids and Cory heading to high school, continuing to learn, grow, and expand on the kids friendships. But as the season progresses the kids’ lives change in some significant way. Riley for instance learns that sometimes her welcoming, happy-go-lucky behavior won’t work on everyone, that despite being a good person, you won’t always get your way with certain things. Maya finally has a family now that Shawn finally married Katy, and that her brief period impersonating Riley had more of an effect on her than she and Riley realized, and goes on a trip to rediscover herself, which also lead to Shawn rediscover himself and realize that he’s in love with Katy. Farkle also get’s some development, during an episode about discovering their heritage and learning that he had a relative who survived the Holocaust, and was more than likely the only one of his family to survive. The only form of development for Lucas was the (godforsaken) love triangle which finally came to an end when Lucas chose Riley, and Maya and Josh decided to “play the Long Game” meaning their gonna wait for each other, and where did all of this happen, at the Ski Lodge, the very same Ski Lodge that nearly destroyed Cory and Topanga (“America’s Sweethearts!”), and who works at the Ski Lodge? a young man named Evan, who just happens to be Lauren’s son. Who’s his father? Unknown. Something surprising for me this season was that Ava got to have a storyline, and it was a great subplot, involving the split of her parents, and Auggie and Topanga (and at one point Maya and Cory) helping her cope with everything. While I enjoyed this, I kinda wished Ava and Maya would’ve interacted a little more, since Maya knows what she’s going through. Aside from helping Ava, Topanga didn’t have much of a subplot until the final episodes where she’s offered a high paying job in London.
The series didn’t see as many returning characters here, the biggest being just Shawn and a one episode appearance by Mr. Feeny, though it’s made up for it in the finale/penultimate episode (more on that shortly) where everyone form Boy Meets World, even the original actor for Josh came back. Though we don’t see all of them interact with one another (there was going to be a scene with Harley and Stuart that got cut). And I’d be completely remissed if I didn’t mention the new opening titles, which was a shot for shot recreation of the BMW (seasons 5-7) opening. As, per usual, the episodes are aired out of order again, this made evident, in the behind the scenes episode, which if you follow the production codes, is the actual series finale. Speaking of the finale, I thought it was very enjoyable, but it felt a little to similar to BMW’s finale, at least till the ending. Though I will admit, I did laugh my ass off at the Morgan scene.
THE SERIES ITSELF
This series was great, I remember when I first heard rumors circulating about a sequel series, I was excited, even if it wasn’t true, the idea of a continuation to Boy Meets World, and the idea of Cory and Topanga passing on what they learned to the next generation, however I was kinda iffy about Disney Channel airing it, as they’re not the best network to handle the things that Boy Meets World was able to tackle in its seven year run, not to mention back when they aired the series they skipped two episodes (an episode about underage drinking and sex and being friends with benefits. Yet they aired the parental abuse episode with no problem, go figure).To put it simply, they love to play it safe. But, I don’t know how they did it, but they manage to tackle parental abandonment, religion, autism, and politics in a way that didn’t involve talking down to audiences. I really hoped that GMW was going to be the show on the Disney Channel to go the distance, to break the “four season limit”, and go on for at least five or six years. But, the higher ups didn’t see it that way. There are varying reasons for why the series was cancelled ranging from lack of merchandising to the show outgrowing and alienating it’s target audience, personally, I think that’s crap. Was I upset when I found out, yes. Was I happy with the ending we got, yeah, but I still think Disney Channel should’ve stopped the whole random episode airing nonsense, and aired World Meets Girl as the actual final episode.
Oh, and if I didn’t mention it someone else will, there are campaigns to keep the series going on Freeform, or streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu of the like. While they showed interests, and the millions of subscribers kept requesting it, the Netflix campaign failed, why? because Disney doesn’t want to give up the rights. Michael Jacobs said he has said he’s working on saving the series, but only time will tell if that’ll work out or not. Personally, I hope it does work out, because the writers aren’t done telling stories about these kids, they haven’t moved on to the next stages of their lives, and we really want to see where they go. So let’s hope we’ll see them again.
Overall, this was an excellent season, and I’ve said before, I’m gonna keep saying it again, this was an outstanding series. Disney were complete fools for letting this show go. I mean, so what if it didn’t have much in merchandising, or that it was starting to outgrow it’s target demographic, THAT WAS THE POINT OF THE SHOWS! Girl Meets World and Boy Meets World, told the story of the trials and tribulations growing up and the things you learn as you grow. It’s like the header said, no matter how old you are, you’ll never stop meeting the world.
Lastly, to Michael Jacobs, April Kelly, Rowan Blanchard, Sabrina Carpenter, Peyton Meyer, Corey Fogelmanis, August Maturo, Ava Kolker, Ceci Balagot, Amir Mitchell-Townes, Cheryl Texiera, Uriah Shelton, Danielle Fishel, Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Danny McNaulty, Lee Norris, Will Friedle, Anthony Tyler Quinn, Betsy Randle, William Russ, Lilly Nicksay, Lindsay Ridgeway, Trina McGee, Matthew Lawrence, and of course, Mr. William Daniels.
Oh, can’t forget about Darby Walker and Sarah Carpenter.
Thank you all for three great years, let’s hope you’ll all come back again someday. And let’s hope it doesn’t take another 20 years to make it happen. Until that day…
RANK: 5 out of 5
I am going to start recapping a new series soon, and I think you might be surprised what it is. In the meantime, come back when we pay tribute to one of the best shows on Cartoon Network.