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Case Number 26675: Small Claims Court

Buy Power Rangers: Seasons 8-12 at Amazon

Power Rangers: Seasons 8-12

Shout! Factory // 2000 // 2610 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 12th, 2013

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson activates his magic space watch and turns into a spandex-wearing superhero. Then the cops place him in protective custody.

The Charge

This Zord-a be good.

The Case

Here we go kids: 2000+ minutes of Rangering!

Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue (2000-2001)
When some hapless Egyptian mistakenly disturb an ancient tomb, the evil Diabolico returns from a 5,000-year dormancy and brings with him an array of creatures and ghosts and general awfulness. Captain Mitchell recruits a diverse selection of action-packed young people to repel their evil: a stunt pilot, a firefighter, a paramedic, a karate expert, a rock climber and a guy who rides on killer whales at the local sea park.

These new heroes are based in a secret underwater lair and when evil comes calling they deploy in a tricked-out Humvee (?!) and battle cannon fodder in slick rescue jackets. They bring the pain to a new level by activating their Lightspeed Rescue swatches and transforming into Power Rangers and yes, the Yellow Ranger still gender bends during the transformation process.

All PR elements are present and accounted for: intro to the monster of the week, some gentle melee with the foot soldiers, vehicular combat and the inevitable embiggening. The twist? Since these guys are rescue-oriented, their motorcycles have sirens on them! Added bonus: the first all-American Ranger with no Japanese counterpart, the Titanium Ranger. Five discs, forty episodes

Power Rangers: Time Force (2001-2002)
In the distant future, a roid-raging assemblage of '80s apocalyptic movie clichés named "Ransik" has decided to blow out of town and time travel back in the past where it might be easier to take over the world. He brings with him his cadre of scumbag crime mutants, overwhelming the authorities of past Earth.

No fear! Remnants of the Time Force that put him behind bars in the future travel back with their future tech and anachronisms and green hair. They join the ancestor of their fallen brother the Red Ranger and put the team together to battle Ransik and his cronies.

Have to say, this iteration of the Power Rangers is tad bit darker than its predecessors. Not a whole lot of course; you're still dealing with a group of goody-two-shoes learning life lessons and punching robots and one of the mutants is named "Fat Catfish," which is fantastic. But the main villain is Mad Max nightmare with huge spikes on his shoulder and the Red Ranger gets iced in the first episode. Bonus points for making the Pink Ranger the main hero!
Five discs, forty episodes

Power Rangers: Wild Force (2002-2003)
Deep underground the evil Orgs are hatching a villainous scheme to overrun the topside of Earth with fat, ugly monsters. Standing in their way is the new breed (so to speak) of Power Rangers: The Wild Force. Comprised of four hard-working millenials, struggling to withstand the onslaught, the Wild Force is in desperate need of reinforcements. Which happens to come in the form of a jungle man who was raised by Neanderthals. After growing accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of the civilized world like plumbing and CGI, he joins the crew.

Now, when danger strikes, they call down the Wild Zords from a magic floating animal reserve in the shape of a turtle. There's a lion and a tiger and shark and an elephant and an eagle. The Megazord they form into still looks like an indecipherable jumble of plastic.

As "grounded" as Time Force might have been, Wild Force takes a flying leap off the deep end. This Jungle Book stuff was laughably incoherent. Also, the Rangers' home base is a set from The Lion King traveling show and their sensei is a hippie woman with a flower in her hair. On the other hand: punching!
Five discs, forty episodes

Power Rangers: Ninja Storm (2003-2004)
Lothor is the latest super-powered scumbag to return to Earth seeking revenge after being banished for various malfeasance. He brings the usual assortment of sneering freaks and atmospheric disturbances. The latest crew pressed into Power Ranger activity features three teens named Tori, Shane and Dustin. They are recruited by a talking hamster and given the requisite Power Ranger wrist-wear, which transforms them into special Wind Rangers. They've got the usual assembly of toys to combat evil: swords, laser blasters, hammers and…hang gliders?

As the Wind Rangers continue on their adventures they encounter a pair of Thunder Rangers (Magenta and Ocean Blue, I think) and unlock their fearsome Zord powers (which, for some reason, transform from an ocean liner, passenger 747 and a roller coaster).

A return to a lighter touch for the franchise, which, considering the Rangers take their orders from a rodent, isn't very surprising. For sure there is still plenty of Ranger action to be had and at this stage of the game you know what you're in for. The primary villains are essentially palette swaps and pyrotechnics abound.
Five discs, thirty-eight episodes

Power Rangers: DinoThunder (2004-2005)
Three young students carved out of the everlasting block of Teen Stereotypes find themselves in the middle of the latest Interdimensional Rubber Space Monster War. There's the aloof jock, the ironic hipster and the computer geek and they all have something in common: they've been taken under the wing of the cool new paleontology teacher (in high school?), Mr. Oliver (Jason David Frank). Yep, it's Tommy, back to dispense righteous justice and he's running point on a new group of Dino Rangers to wage violence against some fish-headed freak.

A familiar face infuses some juice into the series as it churns through the millennium stretch. With such a revolving door of cast members, it's good to see arguably the most popular player in the series return to, er, turn into a dinosaur.
Five discs, thirty-eight episodes

There you go. Quite the travelogue of the Power Ranger universe and it's a varied experience. Five seasons, five different iterations. Of course, regardless of the moniker, they're still the Power Rangers and they still go about business the same way against rogues galleries that possess similarly dumb strategies (dispatch a pile of morons to get kicked around, dispatch a rubber monster to get shot with laser blasts, dispatch a huge version of the rubber monster to eventually get shot with more laser blasts). A few perks as the show matured: the difference between the Japanese and American versions were reduced so the grainy dubbed stuff was minimized.

Credit to Shout! Factory for giving fans some great discs. Episodes themselves (1.33:1 full frame, Dolby 2.0 Stereo) are standard-issue, but the bonus disc of extras is a treat. You get a fun retrospective of the extensive dubbing process, cast interviews, a featurette on the Titanium Ranger, a hefty segment on the Rangers' fan base, some Ranger katas, a Jason David Frank promo and some bonus footage.

The Verdict

Morph me, Not guilty!

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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
Running Time: 2610 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Action
• Adventure
• All Ages
• Crime
• Fantasy
• Martial Arts
• Science Fiction
• Superheroes
• Television
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Footage
• Featurettes
• Interviews

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