Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Time Life DVD

Up until now the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have never had a complete DVD release. There were some compilation VHS tapes sold throughout the 90’s, but nothing ever complete. Fans who wanted to see every episode of the show would have to watch bootlegs taped off of TV, where the show has been shown on a few different channels in different forms.

But Time Life has stepped in and hopes to fill that void with it’s complete 40-DVD, 338 episode set of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This has the whole seven seasons up through Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and includes all the seasons with the “original” cast. Take a trip back in time when we all wanted to have Kimberly as our girlfriend.

Exclusive Red Ranger figure

Although I liked Power Rangers well enough, that’s not why I’m writing about this DVD release. Time Life has teamed up with Bandai to produce a special exclusive action figure for the release. Time Life knows how to do DVD releases, as they always go above and beyond for their big box sets, but this is the first time I recall them using an action figure promotion.

Unfortunately, the figure is an odd one. It’s the Red Ranger in the Green Ranger’s armor. I don’t recognize that from a particular episode, but maybe it was one I missed. Still the idea of an exclusive figure is cool. However the figure looks to be the same semi-crappy Bandai releases we’ve seen in the states for some time. It would have been much cooler to have a FiguArts exclusive. Hopefully this means more action figure promotions in the future from Time Life, though!

Still if you’re a big Power Rangers fan and want to see them in the best quality available, with tons of bonus stuff including the figure, you can order it from Time Life for Zordon’s price of $220!

And of course if you like Power Rangers, you’ll want to check out our Ranger reviews of Red Samurai Ranger, Retrofire Jungle Fury Jungle Pride Megazord, RPM Wolf Ranger and my personal favorite Super Legends Lord Zedd.

Format: DVD

Directed by Chandler Tuttle
Starring Patricia Clarkson, James Cosmo, Julie Hagerty

Chances are that if you’ve attended High School in the last 15 years or so you’ve probably read the short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. Originally published in the early sixties, Harrison Bergeron is a staple of American classrooms, and a much beloved work by the second greatest American author, after Mark Twain.

The story tells the tale of Harrison Bergeron, who lived in a time when all people are equal. Not just in terms of rights and privileges, but in every way imaginable. No one is stronger, faster, or smarter than anyone else. Those with talents or skills are all handicapped with weights and mental disruptors to keep them from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

Harrison, an extraordinarily gifted young man, refuses to be handicapped, and as such he is arrested, locked away, and then escapes. Harrison takes over a television studio, declares himself the emperor of America, then flies with a ballerina.
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Hello all, I’m Rob, inaugural column and all, very exciting! What I’d like to do with these is to offer reviews of sci-fi movies, released on DVD for fans of the site who might want to consider buying them, but don’t know if they are worth the value, in the same way the Newt and his crew review toys and other pop culture paraphernalia. While I will occasionally review newer DVDs, I also want to give some love to older, less known movies that the casual watcher may not be familiar with. My rating system will break the DVDs down into 3 categories: Skip it, Watch but don’t buy, or Pick it up now.

So here we go! My first review 🙂

Doctor Who
The Movie
Special Edition

What’s that, you say? A New Doctor who movie! Does this contain the death of beloved, bow-tie wearing Matt Smith all ready? Has the series been restarted once again?

Let me explain.

New Doctor Who fans might be confused by this release, especially American fans for whom Doctor Who is only recently exploding in popularity. Sure, a portion of American Who fans have seen some of the older Who episodes, and for most of them images of the scarf bedecked 4th Doctor Tom Baker, or celery garnished 5th Doctor Peter Davidson may be as familiar as leather clad Chris Eccleston or besneakered David Tennant, but even the most dedicated new American Who fan has probably never seen, let alone heard of Paul McGann, other than in quick flashes in a few New Who episodes, and as a bonus figure in the 11 Doctors’ toy pack.

So what’s the deal with this film?

This movie is a perfect example of why Doctor Who is, and always should be, a British institution. In the mid 90’s Doctor Who had fallen on rough times. Incomprehensible plotline and poor budgets lead to the series ending in 1989. Who fans were crestfallen, although it did mean that a lot of really bad story ideas were kept from ever seeing the light of day.

And so the series was in limbo, until 1996 when the BBC decided to team up with hip, American TV network Fox to produce a back door pilot for a new, joint US/Britain Doctor Who series to be shown on Fox and the BBC. A noble idea, and one that could have worked, if the BBC had more control over it, and Fox never came near it.

The Plot:
The 7th doctor, Sylvester McCoy, is summoned to the Dalek home world of Skaro to pick up the remains of his old foe The Master, who has been sentenced to death by the Daleks. The Doctor, travelling in a TARDIS whose revamped interior looks more like a steam punk wet dream than the hodgepodge control rooms new fans know today, gathers up the remains of his old foe inside a small box, which he locks with his sonic screw driver, and goes off to read a copy of The Time Machine, whilst munching on some Gummi Jelly Babies.

While in mid flight, the Master, now a transparent CGI snake, breaks free of the box, and gets into the TARDIS’ controls, forcing it to crash land in San Francisco, smack dab in the middle of an Asian gang war. Upon walking outside of the TARDIS to investigate what happened, the Doctor takes several bullets to the chest, and collapses on the ground.

Not the most dignified of Doctor Who deaths, you say? Hang on, it gets worse. The Doctor is rushed to a hospital where beautiful Doctor Grace Holloway, who has rushed from an opera performance in a low cut dress that would have made Peri Brown proud, attempts to save his life. Now, why call in a cardiologist to help a gunshot victim? Because he has two hearts of course, and since no one knows this until later, Grace botches the surgery, and the Doctor dies thrashing on the table to a wonderful opera sound track.

Later, his regeneration delayed by the anesthetic, the Doctor emerges from the morgue as the 8th Doctor Paul McGann, whose memory has been lost due to the long regeneration time. Stumbling around the hospital, he manages to find a Wild Bill Hitchcock costume, bond with Grace, and then run afoul of the new Master, played by Eric Roberts. Yep, old sneaky snake slid down the throat of Eric Roberts and took over his rapidly decaying body, hoping to capture the Doctor and steal his remaining regenerations for himself.

What follows is a nonsensical romp through San Fran, with the Master infiltrating the TARDIS and the mind of the young Asian street punk Chang Lee, who helps the Master in return for not killing him, er, I mean, for bags of gold dust, er, I mean, because they’re friends. Yeah, not real clear on why these two team up in the first place. Eventually the Doctor is captured by the Master, who, having discover that the Doctor is half human (yep, that was part of the plot) uses Chang and Grace to open the Eye of Harmony, the black hole at the center of Gallifrey that has, for unexplained reasons, been placed inside the Doctor’s TARDIS. Chang and Grace are killed, but the Doctor manages to escape and force the Master into the black hole, destroying him for now. Then, for reasons that no one can explain, Grace and Chang are brought back to life, and they leave the TARDIS, and the Doctor, who fails to tempt Grace to stay with him, leaves Earth, while listening to music and finishing reading the book his last incarnation had started.

The Review:
This film is, in a word, a mess. Not that it doesn’t try hard to pull it together, but it just has too much going on to make it really worthwhile. The problem is it tries too hard to try to connect to too many people. For fans of the old Who, it tried to drop in too many little bits and pieces of the classic show to try to show its street cred. But at a certain point you stop caring how many sly references they make to Tom Baker, and start wondering if they know anything of substance about the actual show itself. The fact that Skaro is still around (it was destroyed in Remembrance of the Daleks), the Eye of Harmony is in the TARDIS ( It was under the capital on Gallifrey. Apparently the Time Lords just gave it to the Doctor, a disgraced Time Lord, to power his outdated TARDIS with?) the Doctor is half human (on his mother’s side) and the Master is a goo spitting baddie in a big leather coat and sunglasses (who goes from menacing foe to campy diva) and you get a film that really just kills it for classic fans.

New Who fan will also be confused by this film. Especially because those fans who have seen Doctor Who rebooted correctly, and John Simms play a fantastic new Master to make any Whovian proud will not understand how the directors got this film so wrong. Plus, even new Who fans with little classic knowledge of the show will be confused by the inconsistency of the film, and by the several elements that just do not seem to belong.

Bonus Features:
This is a special edition re-release, although for US fans this is the only release. Fox and the BBC argued for years about distribution rights, meaning that only British fans could buy the original DVD release, and US fans had to pirate it off the internet, or get a region free DVD player like me.

To be fair, this DVD is chocked full of bonus material, including 2 commentary tracks, one by director Geoffrey Sax, and one featuring Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy, moderated by Nicolas Briggs. Why Briggs? Because in a movie where you barely mention the Daleks, you want the guy who voiced them to have his say.

This DVD also includes several documentaries, although most are rather short. There is a brief tour of the new TARDIS, chocked full of throw away hidden features that show that the producers did their research into what was in the show, but not what actually made the show work.

The one feature that is worth watching is the The Doctor’s Strange Love, where a group of fans and writers sit around and chat about the show for 15 minutes. They do address some of the problems with the film, but in the end they all love it, even though they raise some serious problems with the episode, including the fact that it ends on such a strange point no one knew where the story would go from there.

Score Recap:
Package: 5/10 (it’s shiny)
Film itself: 2/10
Commentary tracks: 7/10
Bonus features: 6/10
Total Score: 4/10 (yes I rounded down, it deserves it)

My Recommendation: Watch it. What!? I know what you’re thinking, but if you really call yourself a true Who fan you have to pay your dues and watch this film, if for no other reason than the fact that if Davies ever gets focused enough to do a movie over the Time Lord/ Dalek Time War McGann is going to be in it, and you need to know some things about the guy. Plus, if it is any consolation, McGann’s doctor is not bad, he’s just trapped in a bad movie.

The casual fan will probably want to skip this, and I do not recommend buying this unless, like me, you enjoy forcing your friends to watch old Doctor Who episodes to MST3K them together.

Hunter Prey
Directed by Sandy Collora
Available Now on DVD

It’s been a while since we’ve done a movie review here at Infinite Hollywood, but that’s a trend I hope to buck in the new year. The film we’re looking at today is a low budget science fiction movie that just saw it’s DVD release a couple months back. Hunter Prey is from director Sandy Collora and although you may not know the name, you’ve probably seen at least one piece of his work. Collora is most famous for Batman: Dead End, the short film that’s been a hit with fanboys and cinefiles alike for some time.

Batman: Dead End has it’s problems but managed to have the single best Joker ever put on film in my opinion, despite the limited nature of his appearance. Collora has done a few other of these small features, including World’s Finest. Without getting too much into my thoughts on those little films, Sandy is without a doubt “one of us”. He’s living the dream (perhaps the nightmare at times) and he still loves toys. He’s a big Mego maniac and generally a cool dude. That’s not something you can say about most directors out there.

Hunter Prey is to my knowledge, his first feature length film and is a sci-fi story with a pretty basic premise. The crew of the Prometheus crash land on an unknown planet in route to transfer a prisoner. In the crash, all hell breaks loose and the prisoner escapes, killing several of the crew in the process. As the crew try to get rescued they must reacquire the prisoner and keep him alive. A cat and mouse game begins between the remaining members of the Prometheus and their alien captive. As we learn later in the film, the prisoner has information that could lead to the destruction of the entire world, which is why his safety is so important.

The movie has several twists, which I won’t spoil here. The best one comes about 30 minutes into the film and changes the entire pace of the movie. I hesitate to say that it makes the film uneven, but it definitely blurs the line of who is a good guy and who is the bad guy. The prisoner and Centauri 7 (the toughest member of the Prometheus crew and a dead ringer for a NeoSapien from Exo-Squad) do battle with wits, skill and intestinal fortitude. Who is really the Hunter and who is the Prey?

Throughout it all, the special effects and costumes are quite well done. We get some Boba Fett/Clone Trooper inspired costumes and one set of clothes even reminded me of Logan’s Run. It never feels “low budget” in the traditional way that low budget movies can. Instead the budget is restrained by having one set throughout 99% of the film (a desert) and a very small cast count. Your appreciation of the film will hinge on these two things. There is a certain repetitive nature with the characters sort of chasing each other around the desert planet with no real end destination. We’re just waiting for them to capture one another and for the rescue shuttle to come and pick them up.

That would probably be my main problem with the special effects. We see a moon or another planet superimposed on the landscape background over and over. This was a neat trick in Star Wars and I appreciated it here, but it’s overused. By the 15th time I’ve seen it, I’m annoyed. Obviously they were put there to let us know that this was an alien planet and not Earth, but it was a tad overused.

Collora is smart for the most part however and uses the introduction of new characters and elements at the exact moment where you start to get bored. Because of the limited budget, the pacing is stretched, but I think he manages to introduce just the right spice to kick things up. I did find the ending a bit contrived and the last 15 minutes or so I wasn’t as interested in these characters anymore.

Ultimately I think some of that can be blamed on the script as the constant flip flopping between who is the hero and who is the villain. We’re never given a clear cut bad guy and I think that takes away from the finale. Without spoiling too much, we’re sort of told that one faction is bad, but it’s only vaguely hinted at. Perhaps had the film focused a little less on creating anti-heroes and twists, it would have been more successful.

This movie has no “stars”. The most famous two people in the film, we never see. Isaac C. Singleton Jr. has been in many movies and you’d probably recognize him as “that guy” if you saw his face, but his small part is obscured by makeup effects here. The other known actor is Erin Gray, who has been in everything from Silver Spoons to playing Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers. She is simply the voice of a computer program Clea, which has an important role in the plot of the film.

Honestly, it’s probably for the better that we don’t see them. Singleton’s character is flat and unrealistic and when he’s removed from the plot, it’s better. Clea herself I found particularly annoying and I think that subplot was more of an unnecessary burden than a delightful treat. Despite these minor issues, the movie is good and definitely worth a rental. Of course buying the film would be a great service to independent filmmakers everywhere, but I digress.

This movie is good, not great, and if you liked 80’s-90’s low budget sci-fi, you’ll likely find yourself right at home. It’s got a certain charm and knows it’s limitations. I can say this for certain, it’s a hundred million times better than any movie that the SyFy (Sci-Fi) channel has churned out in the last decade or more. Granted that’s not a high bar to set, but it seems that most low budget sci-fi these days is on that level. This far exceeds that drek and if you liked movies like Arena (1989), Robot Jox or Robot Wars, you’ll probably enjoy this.

I came into this movie with an understanding of what it would be about, it’s budget limitations and a good impression of the director. I’m certain that makes me slightly biased, but my thoughts on the film are still pretty unhampered. I should mention though, that my GF tried to watch the movie and fell asleep about 20 minutes in. The first 10 minutes or so of the film are a bit slow. She also told me she didn’t like it. She didn’t see most of it, but she didn’t like it. Of course, I think she was biased as well, because once I told her that the movie was from a guy on one of my toy forums, she lost interest.

I’d be lying if I told you this was the perfect low budget sci-fi thriller. It’s not, but it’s not just a rehash of Enemy Mine as some has dismissed it. It gets a decent recommendation from me. It’s not a big budget adventure, but it’s small scale done reasonably right. If nothing else check it out on Netflix when you run out of stuff to watch. I’ve killed an hour and half watching worse stuff.

Congratulations goes out to our two big winners of the Japanese Monster Week giveaway, Mecha-Shiva and CompyRex! Both men had quite a few comments and were nice enough to play along. If you didn’t win, don’t worry I have a super huge Christmas giveaway planned in December.

Once again, Congrats to the man who’s a mix of Compsognathus and Tyrannosaurus Rex as well congrats to the Hank and Dean Venture parody of the supreme God in Shaivism. It’s CompyRex and Mecha-Shiva! They know need to contact me within 10 days to collect their DVD at Winner Redemption with their mailing information and claim their Kaiju prize. Let’s hope these two boys get together and have a Godzilla versus Mecha-Godzilla marathon!

These prizes come from the generosity of my own small wallet, but if you’re looking to sponsor a prize giveaway then you can contact us at Prize Sponsors, and help pop culture and toy lovers everywhere have some fun.