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Case Number 27184: Small Claims Court

Buy Power Rangers: Seasons 13-17 at Amazon

Power Rangers: Seasons 13-17

Shout! Factory // 2005 // 3300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 6th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson's Zord is the spleen in the Megazord.

The Charge

"Morph me, he cleared it!"

The Case

The party never stops. Five more Power Ranger seasons and 55 hours of high-tech laser-blasting throwdowns.

Power Rangers S.P.D. (2005)
The Plot—It's the futurish future (give or take a couple of decades) and humans and aliens are living together. To manage any malevolent fallout by evil alien interlopers, the Power Ranger Academy churns out SPD (Space Patrol Delta) teams, police-like squads of Morphin' heroes tasked with deploying their emergency vehicle Zords and random assortment of lasers and swords and Palm Pilots in defense of Earth. Led by the Red Ranger, a benevolent criminal turned crime-fighter and a Ranger from the far-flung future named Sam, our heroes wage big-ass battles against plastic villains.
The Take—Good times. The SPD setting is fun. Future tech, crazy aliens, boffo set designs and a sensei with a cougar-head—this is straight Ranger dopeness. The two-part ending in particular deliver the goods, with all manner of TV-quality special effects and pyrotechnics combining in a full-on alien assault on Earth. If the Rangers are your bag, S.P.D. features everything you probably like about it.
The Verdict—Morphenomenal.

Power Rangers Mystic Force (2006)
The Plot—There are strange things going on in the forests of Briarwood—talk of magic and witches and other assorted supernatural tomfoolery. When a group of teens venture into the woods to explore they meet a sorceress called Udonna who politely informs them that they are the next generation of Power Rangers. They call upon their powers using elements of nature like fire, wind, water and wind. Their opponent: Morticon, who's got a dope name but doesn't differ much from any other Ranger heavy. Still, with an army of cannon fodder at his disposal and the usual weaponry, he's a force to be reckoned with and our heroes will have to call upon all manner of magic mojo to bring the pain.
The Take—This one is a reach. Where S.P.D. was futuristic and scifi-heavy, Mystic Force aims to capture the Hobbit crowd, deploying magic spell books and costumed goblin men in the service of the fight against evil. It's a…different look for sure. The fantasy stuff is corny and for a Power Rangers show to be even cheesier than normal is quite an achievement. Everything else is the same, though (big Zords, explosions, incoherent bad guys, etc.).
The Verdict—Morpheicore.

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (2007)
The Plot—World-famous adventurer Andrew Hartford stumbled on the discovery of a lifetime: the Corona Aurora, a magical crown that is imbued with mystical powers and promises wealth and power for anyone lucky enough to claim it. Unfortunately, there is one small, negative side effect: it will summon demonic hordes to kill and enslave the Earth's population. Thankfully, Hartford is willing to leverage his endless wealth to recruit and arm the next wave of Power Rangers, led by this robot son. Wait, huh?!
The Take—That's right—his robot son. Not only does this Rangers installment deliver the requisite chop-socky and robot thrills, but also tackles existential crises. Fortunately for humankind, robot or not, the son is up to the task of leading the Rangers into battle. All the ingredients are present, but the twist of having the Rangers being bankrolled by a billionaire is semi-interesting and the ending is fun.
The Verdict—Morphtacular.

Power Rangers Jungle Fury (2008)
The Plot—Three kids semi-skilled in kung fu find their ultimate destiny in, where else, a pizza party. That's where they get clued in on the plans of the malevolent, ancient Dai Shi, an evil spirit intent on reclaiming the Earth as his personal urinal. Our heroes adopt animal totems and transform into jungle-themed Power Rangers (furious jungle-themed Rangers, that is) and bring the usual artillery.
The Take—Credit to the brain trust for keeping things mixed up. Two seasons ago it was sci-fi and robots last season it was Batman-lite and this go-round brings us crazy animal warriors. The motif hangs tough throughout, with this batch of Rangers employing all manner of creature hijinks (including the dopiest helmets yet). As usual, a couple of bonus Rangers joins the squad to juice up the narrative along the way; the payoff, however, offers a nice dollop of redemption, which should play well with the kids.
The Verdict—Mooooaaaaarrrrrph.

Power Rangers R.P.M. (2009)
The Plot—And now for something completely different. In whatever timeline we're in now, Earth has been overrun by an evil computer virus named Venjix that has turned the planet into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The remnants of humanity have holed up in the sanctuary city of Corinth. With his army of robot grunts and giant monstrosities, Venjix wages an all-out assault to purge the planet from all carbon-based bipedals, with only the RPM detachment of the Power Rangers—and a mysterious Mad Max wannabe with circuitry in his pancreas—to stem the tide.
The Take—Keeping the theme going, R.P.M. is a total departure. The villain is a computer virus, the cannon fodder are automatons and the Rangers bounce around in ATVs. I know I sound like a broken record, but, again, all the beats remain the same. The new setting and "mythology" adds juice and I'm a sucker for any kind of post-apocalyptic story, no matter how many of the heroes traipse around in pastel spandex. I'd wager this is one of the more ambitious Rangers series, with the grim futuristic setting and some of the gonzo special effects (the finale is particularly over-the-top).
The Verdict—Morph-o-licious.

Bonus Disc
• "Props"—A look at the brains and skills behind the creation of the crazy plastic props used throughout the series.
• "Rangers on Set"—Location, production design and assorted wacky sets utilized in the different seasons.
• "Ranger Tales"—75 minutes worth of retrospectives from the cast of RPM, SPD and Jungle Fury.
• "Collect 'Em All"—The requisite fan segment and this one delivers major-league geekiness, with collectors showing off their ridiculous toy collections
• "The SPD Rangers Want You"—Vintage promos from each SPD Ranger • "Special Messages from the Mystic Force Rangers"—Special messages from the Mystic Force Rangers.
• "Ranger Secrets"—More throwback Mystic Force bonuses, with the Rangers answering a series of fake questions.
• "Mystic Force: Forces of Nature!"—A three minute promo.
• "Operation Overdrive Files"—Recycled featurettes from the OO series.
• "Original Promos"—Pretty much what it says.

Once again, a humongous helping of Power Rangers action, totaling five seasons and 55 whopping hours. This is my third adventure through these Shout! Factory bundles of Rangers lore and though I am battling a crushing headache and have seen more slow-motion leaping away from pyrotechnics than I thought I ever would in my life, I've come to a conclusion: These guys know what they are doing and obviously had fun doing it. Compartmentalizing these seasons into stand-alone stories is a great idea. Again, the playbooks don't change (Teenagers! Swords! Martial arts! Robots!) and the villains and Zords and weapons ultimately become interchangeable, but having new settings and plots and protagonists, I would think, gives the writers enough creative juice to keep things fresh.

Shout! Factory keeps it going with their high-end releases: Decent tech specs (standard def 1.33:1 Full Frame, Dolby 2.0 Stereo), sturdy packaging, and a fully loaded bonus disc.

Look, when you get right down to it a Power Rangers season is a Power Rangers season, but invariably everyone involved goes for it, slathering on the visceral over-stimulation and pumping out progressively nightmarish costume design. I've got no problem with that.

The Verdict

That's a-morph-e!

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Shout! Factory
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (CC)
Running Time: 3300 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Action
• Adventure
• All Ages
• Comedy
• Fantasy
• Martial Arts
• Science Fiction
• Superheroes
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurettes
• Promos

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