Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997)

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Released 12-Nov-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Theatrical Trailer-1:03
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 95:30
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (48:35) Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Winning
Shuki Levy
Studio
Distributor
Saban International
Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Johnny Yong Bosch
Nakia Burrise
Jason David Frank
Catherine Sutherland
Amy Jo Johnson
Steve Cardenas
Austin St John
Jason Narvy
Paul Schrier
Blake Foster
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $31.95 Music Shuki Levy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, all the toys...
Action In or After Credits Yes, during start of credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Disbelief suspension system on. Let's start this movie.

    We're getting major stress on all structural members. System overloading!

    Suspenders to turbo mode — we can make it!

    They can't take it!  They're breaking up. They're breaking up...

(cynic mode engaged)

    I've watched a lot of movies. I've watched a lot of bad movies. I've watched a few movies that contain sequences which are intended to sell merchandise (a prime example is Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, where the pod-racing sequence exists solely to sell the Nintendo Pod Racer game). But I don't think I've run across something quite as awful as this.

    The movie begins with a scrolling message (a la Star Wars) explaining the plot — the message is also read out, because some of the target market can't read. Then we see the wizard Lerigot (a small cuddly creature — franchise for the stuffed toy available) running from the minions of Divatox (doll franchise still for sale — can probably re-use Xena dolls with some gloss paint). Cut to Earth, Angel Grove, where some teenagers are practicing a form of martial art in a boxing ring. These are some of our heroes: Tommy (Jason David Frank), Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch), and Rocky (Steve Cardenas). Rocky gets a bit impetuous after failing, and leaps for a target, misses, and falls to the floor outside the ring, injuring his back (clearly their martial arts training neglected falling techniques, something taught fairly early in most...) — thus they lose the Blue Power Ranger. Cut to a bus full of children singing Row Your Boat (over and over and over, but not singing in rounds, which is the whole point of that song). The children are supervised by two girls: one in yellow, Tanya (Nakia Burrise), and one in pink, Kat (Catherine Sutherland) — no prizes for guessing who they are. Interestingly, the one in pink has an Australian accent.

    Lerigot lands on Earth in Africa (so they can show some pretty pictures of animals). Kat and Tommy teleport to Africa to find Lerigot. Kat, being the Pink Ranger (the pink one is always the one who needs rescuing), is attacked by a giant snake (strange, I thought giant snakes like that were South American, not African...), then hurts her leg getting away.

    When they get Lerigot back to safety they discover that Divatox, in her evil submarine, has come to Earth, and kidnapped some humans, as well as having seized Lerigot's wife and child. The first pair of humans they capture are Skull (Jason Narvy) and Bulk (Paul Schrier). They are judged to be inadequate as sacrifices, so they kidnap another pair, who turn out to be Jason (Austin St John) and Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson) — two of the original Power Rangers. Kimberly was the original Pink Ranger (and still needs rescuing on occasion...).

    After a hostage swap that goes wrong, the Power Rangers gather, and Zordan tells them that their existing Zords aren't strong enough for the task ahead (read: sales of the toys are dropping). Suddenly they are capable of manufacturing new Zords and morphing stuff, and they do so. This time around the Zords take the form of motor vehicles (models made by Mattel, one guesses). They have different hand weapons, a bow and a sword, for example, (plastic toys probably available at Toys'R'Us), but they're just blasters (why make a blaster look like a bow?).

    If you've seen much in the way of Power Rangers you know how the rest of this runs: Power Rangers go to where big bad guy is to be awakened. They fight low-powered monsters as themselves or as Power Rangers, then the big bad guy appears, so they transform into the big thing (called Turbo Mega Zord this time) and fight the big bad guy. The presence of the two original Power Rangers makes things a little more interesting, and the emergence of a new Blue Ranger is kinda inevitable (and who they chose is another marketing-driven exercise...).

    The scriptwriters obviously didn't have a lot of faith in the ability of Catherine Sutherland (nickname Cat) to react to the name of her character — her character's name is Katherine, nickname Kat...

(cynic mode suppressed)

    As a movie, this could be worse — the special effects aren't that bad (cheesy, but not bad), and the music, although a bit clichιd and raucous, isn't altogether dreadful. But most of the acting is awful, there are some big holes in the plot, and it feels like they've lost some of the fun of the original.

    I can't really recommend this. If you want a Power Rangers movie, get Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers instead.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is close to the intended ratio of  1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is pretty good — a little soft, but clear enough. Shadow detail is not bad, either. Film grain, although often visible, does not detract from the picture. There's no low-level noise.

    Colour is rather good, as you might hope for a show that depends on multi-coloured heroes, but there are some moments when colours look a bit off (Kimberly's pink top seems to change colours, for example). There are no signs of over-saturation or colour-bleed, though.

    There are some very small film artefacts every so often, but nothing worth mentioning.

    There is some aliasing, but it's not troubling. There's an occasional touch of moire, but no shimmer. There are no obvious MPEG artefacts.

    There are subtitles in six languages, including English. Both the English and German subtitles are Hearing Impaired, but the English ones don't subtitle all the Foley effects. They are reasonably accurate, well-timed, and easy to read.

    The disc is single-sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 48:35. Even though it falls between two scenes, it's rather obvious, and a bit disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This disc, like the previous Power Rangers movie, is presented with five Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, including English. I only listened to the English.

    The dialogue is clear and comprehensible. There are no audio sync errors, apart from some questionable lip sync on the cameo of Rita Repulse.

    The score is credited to Shuki Levy (he was rather busy — he also shares credits for directing, producing, and story). The score is not particularly original. There are several loud songs during action sequences.

    The surround speakers don't get a lot to do — when there's a sound from the rear it's a bit of a surprise, which spoils the effect.

    The subwoofer is kept reasonably busy during action sequences, but it's fairly well integrated and not especially noticeable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static and silent — very similar to the menu for the previous movie.

Theatrical Trailer (1:03)

    This is the only extra. It's not that bad a trailer, but it blows the only big surprise in the movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 offering is a double-bill of this movie and the previous one on a single disc. As far as I can tell, the R1 disc is double-sided and single layered, so both movies must have been more heavily compressed so they will fit onto a single layer — that bodes ill for the quality of the image.

    The Region 1 disc is missing:

    The Region 4 disc is missing:

    I think the video quality of the R4 disc is probably better. If you really want this movie, then the R4 is probably the one to get. One good thing about the R4 discs: if you only want the other movie, you don't have to buy this one as well!

Summary

    A reasonable DVD of a fairly awful movie that is really an hour and a half of advertising for merchandise.

    The video quality is rather good.

    The audio quality is quite good.

    The only extra is a trailer that spoils the movie.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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