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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (Blu-ray Review)

Shout! Factory will be releasing Might Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie as a standalone release on Blu-ray June 4th. Previously, the film made its debut last year as a part of a complete series box set (Featuring the original series on DVD only). Now, for those only interested in owning the Ivan Ooze crisis, your dreams of holding this feature film adventure and debut of the Might Morphin Power Rangers has finally come true to grace your collection’s shelving unit. Featuring some new interviews as a bonus, you can easily pre-order now by using the Amazon link below. Its actually coming in at an unbeatable pricepoint for a Day 1 purchase. Don’t hesitate, lock that price in while you can!

Film 

Unleashed upon the good citizens of Angel Grove after six thousand years of imprisonment, Ivan Ooze strips the Power Rangers of their powers! Now they must journey to a distant planet to learn the secrets of the ancient Ninjetti. Only then will they become empowered with strength enough to restore their Morphin ability and defeat the evil Ivan Ooze. Join the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and their new Ninja Megazord as they fight to save Angel Grove and the world from evil!

Upon arrival, I’ll admit, I was into the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when it premiered in the US. I believe it was airing around the same time as Batman: The Animated Series, so I gave it a shot though I was probably just a hair over the line of being too old for it. But, I couldn’t help being curious and enjoying the whole Godzilla/Voltron/Transformers aspect to it that was right in my wheelhouse. It was probably just that first season that I kept up with, picked up some collectible toys, then called it a day, but I’ll never regret doing that. When The Movie arrived, I don’t believe I was watching the show anymore, but I’m positive I still rented it when it came out on VHS.

Looking back on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, its pretty damn silly and has some odd choices, but overall works well as one of those children’s movie relics that many know aren’t good at all, but still have a nostalgic fondness for. Power Rangers combines some of the best aspects of a 1980s family film (Cool, practical monsters, an ancient quest) with some of the absolute worst tendencies of the 1990s family films (Odd “Kids like this, right?” music choices, extreme sports!) that came in those films’ wake.

Oddly enough, my favorite character upon this first return viewing since the movie came out on VHS was the villain Ivan Ooze. Traditional baddies Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd are pushed to the side for this guy to come in. And he’s a complete over the top cheese-ball, with Paul Freeman chewing up every movie set he gets onto. Everyone else in the film is pretty flat, but he infuses the movie with some sort of pulse and character.

The film slightly digresses from its television show a bit in that it had to be wholly original rather than just borrowing some stuff from its foreign counterpart. Sets, costumes and creatures look ever so slightly different due to this. It feels “off” but its fine. One thing that doesn’t fare too well is the CGI incorporated in the film. Granted, this is early CGI, but this is admittedly terrible even for 1995. It doesn’t hold up now, but it didn’t then either.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie was a bit of a fun piece of 1990s pop culture to revisit. The film does drag pretty severely through the middle, but overall its not long and has enough pop to enjoy here and there. Oddly, Ivan Ooze was my hero through the whole thing. And I’m still baffled on the usage of Van Halen’s “Dreams” to close the film out. It feels so random, forced and uninformed as to who this movie is for. But, it also adds to the sorta weirdness and 90’s-ness that comes with the film.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie comes to Blu-ray in what is likely a 2K transfer. The film looks pretty solid and more polished with better depth and such than many films of the 1990s era. The CGI in it doesn’t fare too well and it looks fake as hell and was likely rendered at a low resolution as some blurring comes with it. Overall, on the practical, real-life stuff, it has plenty of good color, texture, detail and sharpness that is an easy thumbs up.

Depth:  This has some solid, above average spacing on it with some good moments in the more studio shot locations. Movements are smooth, cinematic, and don’t have any concerning moments of motion distortion to report.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty deep, closer to natural degrees of performance. Minimum detail gets lost in darkness/shadow. Film grain picks up a hair heavier in the darker corners of the movie.  No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are loaded in this film and they display very nicely with some good pop. Purple of course looks quite lovely here, but the Rangers themselves all carry a nice bold color that is strong and sticks out on the screen.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the film. Facial features and textures are easily discernible from close up and a majority of medium shots.  Textures on the costumed villains shines through and proves them even more impressive.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has a very solid 5.1 track that features some really strong moments and a few you’d expect to be a bit more bombastic. The mix features a pretty strong balance, though the music sorta takes a bigger jump than necessary when feature more prominently. Overall, there are some good hits and explosions to be had, though there are some moments that’ll leave you having wanted a little more.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Punches, explosions, blasts, crashes and more give a good rumble on the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: There are some surprisingly strong moments of motion in the mix with things swooping front to back and side to side. Primarily during the combat scenes, but most impressively during the giant Zord attack at the end of the film.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are pretty clear, upfront and audible during any bit of action. During said action they do take a lower, more muffled key. But they are also speaking under a helmet.

Extras 

The Mighty Leap to the Silver Screen (HD, 44:04) –  A look back at the movie with the cast and crew, including brand-new interviews with director Bryan Spicer and stars Johnny Yong Bosch and Paul Freeman. This is a pretty honest, and extensive retrospective documentary that covers every bit of ground in the making of the from, jumping from the TV show. Its also a pretty emotional journey for many involved to revisit. This is a fantastic compliment to the film and reason to make this a day 1 purchase for any fan.

Featurette (SD, 4;30) – A vintage, pretty generic EPK for the film featuring interviews from the cast and director.

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:13)

Summary 

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is a silly bit of children’s nostaglia from the 1990s. No harm, no foul. Its possibly better to indulge in this than trying to revisit a season of the show to scratch that itch. Shout! Factory’s Blu-ray comes with a rock solid audio and video presentation and a fantastic retrospective documentary to make this a legit release for collectors.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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