What’s Next? Power Rangers 2

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been toying with the idea of a new kind post for my website.  The idea that I finally settled on was something called, “What’s Next?”  So, what’s “What’s Next?”  It’s a new series about what I think needs to happen in a follow-up to a film that I think could either use one, or one’s pretty much going to happen, but hasn’t been announced yet.  I’m also going to go over stuff that I would really love to see in a follow-up film.  These posts are only going to cover movies that have the potential for sequels or some kind of follow-up.  So, movies like 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot aren’t going to count.  Also, movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe are out of the question, because it’s almost guaranteed that any movie in the MCU is going to be getting a follow-up.  Star Wars is out, too.  The movies I’m covering in this new series are ones that aren’t necessarily ultra-successful.  So, with that out of the way, let’s get into our first pick for “What’s Next?”: Power Rangers.

I have to be completely honest:  When I heard that they were going to do a film reboot of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers tv show, I was a bit skeptical.  What route were they going to go down?  Who would they cast as the teenagers?  Were they going to use Rita Repulsa as the main villain?  What would the suits look like?  When the first concept art of the film started coming out, especially Rita, I was rather intrigued.  It was definitely going to be a different look for sure.  Then they announced the cast.  You have a bunch of unknowns such as Dacre Montgomery as Jason, Naomi Scott as Kimberly and RJ Cyler as Billy with bigger names like Bryan Cranston as Zordon and Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa.  Interesting.  I’m starting to get sold.  Then the trailers start coming out, and I’m cautiously optimistic, but unsure.  When the film was released in late March, I was genuinely surprised at how well the film came together.  The cast was very solid and the writing was actually pretty sharp.  These kids felt like teenagers with real attitudes, which was more than I could say for the show.  They all had their own real issues to deal with.  I was rather surprised at how menacing Elizabeth Banks was as Rita.  She’s far more intimidating in this film than anywhere else.  She gets down and dirty, because she used to be a Power Ranger.  THAT’S interesting.  While the film had its problems, I was on board throughout the entire film.  It was very good.

Unfortunately, the film didn’t perform as well as Lionsgate had hoped, but it was not really a flop.  It was not the kind of performance that would guarantee six films like Saban had wanted.  Now, the word is that Lionsgate is conducting negotiations with Saban on how to proceed with at least one sequel.  If the sequel can do better than the original film, we may see more films in the franchise.  There are a few things that need to happen, though.  First of all, lower the rating to a PG.  Don’t get wrong, I’m glad that Power Rangers was PG-13, but it probably scared away a lot of potential business, because the film get pretty damn dark.  There were a few visuals that would’ve scared the youngsters.  Those are the kinds of people you want to try and attract to your movie.  However, a PG rating does not necessarily mean you have to be as cheesy as the 1995 Power Rangers film, but you have to take into account the audience you’re trying to reach.  Next, you need to have more Power Rangers in your Power Rangers film.  I mean, you need to have more action with the kids in their suits before escalating the fight with Zords.  You also need to have more action.  The action in the film wasn’t bad, I rather enjoyed it, but it took an entire movie to get to that point.  They could have done a little bit better.  With the stinger in the end credits, it’s guaranteed that Tommy Oliver is going to show up as the Green Ranger.  For that to work, don’t try to copy what the original show did with the “Green With Evil” story-line.  You won’t be able to improve on that story arc.  Also, bring back Dean Israelite as the director.  He did a fantastic job with what he was given, so I think he deserves another shot.

Let’s talk about what I want to see in Power Rangers 2.  For one, I want to see Lord Zedd.  Now, Mr. Israelite says he wants to bring in Zedd for the sequel, because that’s the next logical step in terms of the villains.  For those of you who don’t know who Lord Zedd is:

The only question is, is what will he look like in the next movie?  At this point, it’s going to be at least another year before we see anything.  So, why bring in Zedd?  What, aside from the fact that he is the strongest and most devastating villain that the Rangers have ever encountered?  This guy managed to destroy the Dino Zords and eliminate the Green Ranger entirely in the show.  Seeing Zedd would be totally awesome.  Obviously, we want to see the Green Ranger in a new film.  We briefly saw the design of the Green Ranger at the very beginning of the film when Rita was a Ranger.  Some people want to bring in Bulk and Skull as the bullies.  I don’t.  They worked for the show, but they would feel a little out of place in the new film franchise.  I would also love to see the Ultrazord at some point.  Music-wise, Brian Tyler was a good choice for the film, so bringing him back as the film’s composer would make sense.  Also, I would love for them to close out Power Rangers 2 with this:

Yeah, it may be a bit cheesy, but it’s epic and absolutely perfect for a Power Rangers movie.  Also, no more post-end credits scenes.  I loved the new movie, but I think a follow-up has to be a little bit more action-packed.  Now, that they’ve established the world and the characters, they can focus on what really makes Power Rangers….well….Power Rangers.  Also, the putties need to be redesigned.   I’m not saying they should be the lame cannon fodder from the original show, but they need to feel a little bit more like they are actually there.  So, some of the CGI needs to pulled back a little bit.  So, in a lot of ways, Power Rangers 2 needs to be bigger, but in some ways, it needs to be a bit smaller.  There’s a real potential for a film franchise, if they can get it right.  This year’s film proved that they can, we just need to be able to get more people to see it.

That’s it for my first edition of “What’s Next?”  So…what do you think?

Movies That NEED a Sequel

My last post covered some amazing films that really didn’t need sequels at all, but got them anyway.  That’s not to say that all the sequels were bad, but they were generally inferior to the original production.  For this post, I’m going to be specifically talking about certain movies that deserve a sequel, but haven’t gotten one.  I’m also going to be including movies that while the film may not have been overly successful, a sequel is still a real possibility.  Let’s give it a go, shall we?

Power Rangers

When Power Rangers showed up in March, I was very surprised at how good the movie actually was.  My expectations for this film were understandably low.  What we ended up getting was a very compelling coming-of-age story with teenagers that actually felt like real people dealing with real problems.  The teenagers were very 3-dimensional and were very likable.  I also liked the fact that they had to earn the right to become Power Rangers.  This new film served as a film reboot of the highly popular Power Rangers franchise, and I feel that it did a really good job.  The suits were awesome and surprisingly NOT CGI.  Certain elements of the suits were, but the suits themselves were built from scratch.  The film didn’t exactly flop in the box-office, but the international response was not what the film-makers had in mind.  It has yet to open in Japan, from what I understand, but the future of the film franchise is up in the air at this point.  It’s a shame, because it is a very good movie.  It’s got a great story with fantastic characters and visuals that are pretty decent.  The word on the interwebs is that Lionsgate Studios and Haim Saban, the creator of Power Rangers are in talks to try and get a sequel made.  It looks very possible that we might get a Power Rangers 2.  The original plan was for at least 6 movies, but I’m not entirely sure that will happen.  We may get lucky with a trilogy, but I don’t see it progressing further than that if they don’t address some of the problems that the first movie had.  I’m actually fairly optimistic about this one, though.


This one’s a bit of a heart-breaker, because we know this one WON’T be getting a sequel.  It’s too bad really, because the 2012 adaptation of Judge Dredd is a surprisingly visceral and brutal experience that underscores how brutal the character is.  This one hurts because the film was universally praised for it’s unflinching and violent take on the character, who was brilliantly portrayed by Karl Urban.  They took everything that was great about the character and the world that Dredd inhabits and gave it a very stylistic and bloody look at the world.  It was very simple story that had some very extraordinary characters.  Unfortunately, the film bombed at the box office.  People were rightfully wary that the film was going to be too much like Sylvester Stallone’s film, so that had a lot to do with it.  Home video sales didn’t really help much, either.  It’s a shame, because it’s such a fantastic action film that pulls no punches.


Here’s another one that I feel needs a sequel and one that may eventually happen.  Warcraft, based on the popular video game franchise by Blizzard Entertainment, was met with mixed to negative reviews in the states and was considered a massive flop here.  In China, though, the film was a major success.  It’s entirely possible that because of the film’s international success, we might see another one.  I would certainly hope so.  Warcraft was a surprisingly decent movie that was faithful to the game.  The sets, the costumes and the character designs all look like they came out of the video game.  Now, Duncan Jones, the director of the film, has ideas on where to take another Warcraft film if Universal decides to go for it.  I’m not as optimistic about this one as I am about Power Rangers, but I’m secretly hoping that Universal will go for it.  There’s so much more story to be told.


Willow is one of those movies that manages to set up a very interesting movie, but didn’t do much to get a sequel.  It’s a shame, because this is a very good fantasy film.  The best films are character-driven and it’s no exception here.  The characters in the film which include Willow himself, Madmartigan, and even the evil Queen Bavmorda are memorable.  Unfortunately, the film was met with a lackluster box-office performance and mixed reviews by both critics and audiences alike.  It’s sad, because there was a lot of stuff they could have done with the world of Willow.  The movie had it all: Excitement, adventure, comedy and drama.  It was a good old-fashioned fantasy film.  The effects were stunning and the music by James Horner was truly wonderful.  Unfortunately, money talks, and Willow didn’t make enough to warrant another entry.  The film did end up with novels that take place after the film, but they were not particularly well-received.  It’s tragic, really.

It’s funny:  I was expecting to have a lot more movies on this list, but when I started to really think about it, there aren’t a whole of movies out there that need sequels.  Some people would argue that most movies don’t need them.  That’s a fair enough statement, but sometimes a sequel can open up a film’s world quite a bit more and delve more into certain character backstories.  How does one judge that a movie gets a sequel or not?  Ultimately, it comes down to money and how well-received a film is, but mostly money.  In an industry that is peppered with sequels and remakes, these are the movies that I feel need to get sequels.


Movies That Didn’t Need A Sequel

As I’m sure you’re all aware of, I’ve gone on many a tangent about the merits and detriments of movie sequels.  Long story short, I like GOOD sequels.  Sequels that not only give you more of what you already know but add new things to complement the old.  There are quite a few awesome sequels out there.  I’ve done lists about some of my favorite sequels of all time.  I’ve also done lists about some of the worst sequels of all time.  But for this list, I’m going to do something a little different.  I’m going to talk about great movies that got sequels/prequels that they didn’t need or deserve.  This will be a two-part project.  This first part is about movies that didn’t need a sequel, while part 2 will be about movies that definitely NEED one.  Some of these will seem rather….obvious, while others may seem somewhat questionable.  With all that said, let’s get into it.


Highlander is one of those movies that’s hard to explain why it’s so damn good.  When it was released in the states, it flopped hard.  Internationally, people ate it up.  I guess people in the states weren’t quite ready for sword-fights in New York City.  The concept actually works on a narrative level.    It’s got awesome characters, a story that you can sink your teeth into, and a villain that is simply iconic.  Highlander got not one, not two, not three, but FOUR sequels.  Highlander II tried to explain the origins of the immortals by saying that they came from a different planet.  Also, there was an environmental message in there.  It definitely didn’t work.  It was a complete disaster.  It went over-budget and was poorly received at the box-office.  While subsequent home video releases would eliminate the whole Planet Zeist angle, it didn’t help the fact that the movie was poorly made and poorly directed.  Michael Ironside was cool though.  Highlander: The Final Dimension and Endgame both sidestepped Highlander II, but failed to connect.  The less said about Highlander: The Source, the better.  Highlander: Endgame was by far the most interesting of the sequels, I thought.  It tried to combine elements from Christopher Lambert’s movies with Adrian Paul’s TV show.  It kinda worked.  The highlight of the film was definitely the fight scenes, many of which were choreographed by the legendary Donnie Yen, who also starred as Jin Ke.  Of the sequels, Endgame is the best, but it would’ve been better if the sequels didn’t exist at all.


Jaws is what many consider to be the first major blockbuster film.  It shattered all kinds of records and kick-started Steven Spielberg’s career as a director.  Why is it so good?  It’s more about the characters having to deal with a shark rather than the shark itself.  The characters are all very interesting and come across as genuine human beings.  Obviously, Robert Shaw’s Quint steals the show, but Richard Dreyfuss comes pretty damn close.  The movie worked because you didn’t see the shark until about three quarters of the way through the film.  Instead, John Williams’ score took the place of the shark and really amped up the tension.  It’s about as perfect a thriller as you could get.  The sequels never came close.  The second film was a re-hash of the film and pulled its punches.  Jaws 3 embraced its b-movie silliness and ran with it, but it was still not a good movie.  Jaws: The Revenge is easily the worst film in the series and pretty much grounded the entire franchise.  You can read my review on it by clicking on the Dunce Corner tab.  The problem with the sequels and most shark movies is that they focus more on the shark rather than the characters.  It’s the characters that drive the story, not the beast.  The original film remains untouchable and is still the king of shark movies.


Taken is probably one of the most iconic movies of Liam Neeson’s career.  His threat to his daughter’s kidnappers is legitimately scary and he goes about tearing through Paris to find her.  This works, because the premise is simple, yet very effective.  It’s a father looking for his daughter using “a particular set of skills.”  It’s not the most original premise, but it’s executed fairly well featuring a very strong performance from Liam Neeson.  The sequels were nothing more than obvious cash-grabs.  The second film isn’t awful, but it retreads a lot of the same territory that the first movie already covered.  The third movie?  It’s a complete waste.  It’s extremely derivative of better films like The Fugitive.  It also doesn’t help that the editing is crap.  It’s like the director/editor went to the Michael Bay School of Editing.  Honestly, stick with the first movie, it’s infinitely better.

The Matrix

A lot has been said about The Matrix Trilogy.  Most people tend to agree that the sequels are significantly inferior to the original film.  The Matrix, which was released back in 1999 was revolutionary.  Not only did the film offer a unique cyberpunk story, but it also pioneered a new level of visual effects.  On top of that, you had a really strong cast featuring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Hugo Weaving.  The Matrix had a very mind-warping concept that utilized Rene Descartes as its inspiration.  It all came together very well, but it also had some of the best fight choreography seen in Hollywood movies.  Why?  The kung-fu sequences were choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping, one of the best fight choreographers that Hong Kong has to offer.  The sequels would try to explore more of the world of The Matrix including Zion, the fabled city which was mentioned in the first movie, but never seen.  That was pretty cool.  However, the film gets bogged down by mindless philosophical mumbo-jumbo in an attempt to be more clever than it actually was.  The final movie was even worse, with a climax that was so out of left-field and so anti-climactic that it’s been constantly mocked.  You didn’t need the sequels, the first film was good enough.

The Crow

The Crow is one of the best comic-book movies ever made.  Period.  Everything about this film from the soundtrack to the visuals was sublime.  The acting was amazing and the action was brutally spectacular.  Brandon Lee was truly at the top of his game when he tragically died on set.  One could make the argument that the film is memorable for that reason, and one would not be wrong.  It’s difficult to say whether or not the film would be as good had Mr. Lee not been killed.  That being said, The Crow was one of the defining films of the early 90s.  It featured a hard-rock soundtrack coupled with a Gothic visual style that has been often imitated but never duplicated.  This was one film where any sequel would feel insulting.  Yet, we got three of them.  City of Angels is the best sequel, but it’s by no means a good movie.  It’s just a carbon copy of the original film only not as well-done.  The worst offender has to be Wicked Prayer which featured Edward Furlong as the lead character.  Big mistake, bad movie.  The less said about it, the better.  The Crow is one of my favorite movies of all time and few movies have been able to match its power.

Those are some of my picks for movies that really didn’t a sequel, but got anyway.  I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I had making it.  Stay tuned for the movies that NEED a sequel, coming soon to a website near you.


Jaws: The Revenge

Released: July 1987

Rated PG-13

Run Time: 89 Minutes

Director: Joseph Sargent

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Lorraine Gary: Ellen Brody
Lance Guest: Michael Brody
Mario Van Peebles: Jake
Karen Young: Carla Brody
Michael Caine: Hoagie
Judith Barsi: Thea
Mitchell Anderson: Sean Brody

Back in 1975, then up-and-comer Steven Spielberg unleashed one of the greatest thrillers of all time: Jaws.  It scared the hell out of everybody.  Anybody you talked to back then and even today can tell you that Jaws is the reason why they didn’t go into the water, whether it was a lake or the ocean.  Funny thing is, is that you didn’t even see the shark until towards the end of the movie.  Spielberg was forced to take a “less is more” approach, due to the fact that the mechanical shark was not working.  As a result, we have an absolutely phenomenal and intense thriller.  Apparently somewhere along the way, some genius saw the immense success of Jaws and thought, “what about a sequel?”  Sequels were not really the thing during the 70s, with the exception of the Planet of the Apes franchise.  So, it was still a relatively new idea.  Jaws 2, directed by Jeannot Szwarc, hit audiences in the summer of 1978.  It was okay for a sequel, but without the deft hand of Steven Spielberg at the helm, it didn’t even come close.  In 1983, Jaws 3-D, the first 3D entry in the series, hit theaters to very mixed reactions.  As far as I’m concerned, Jaws 3 is the very definition of a B-movie.  It embraces that title and runs with it.  In 1987, we get our final film in the franchise:  Jaws: The Revenge.  Oooh…sounds dramatic doesn’t it?  “The Revenge!”  It’s widely considered by many to be one of the worst movies ever made and easily the worst film in the franchise.  Well, I’m here to tell you why Jaws: The Revenge is the GREATEST worst movie EVER!!!

The film opens on the week before Christmas and Deputy Sean Brody is tasked with removing a piece of wood from some piece of equipment in the harbor of Amity.  As he attempts to free the piece of wood, he’s attacked and eaten by a Great White shark.  Afterwards, Michael Brody, the older brother of Sean and Ellen Brody’s eldest, flies in from Jamaica to attend the funeral.  During a dinner scene, Ellen seems to get it in her head that her family is being deliberately targeted by a Great White.  What is it?  The Shark Mafia?  Anyway, the rest of the family flies down to Jamaica with Hoagie, the pilot.  Ellen still seems to think that the shark is after her.  I can’t help but wonder who approved the script for this thing.  I thought Jaws 3 was silly.  This is just plain bonkers!  Do you mean to tell me that a Great White shark had deliberately followed the Brody family from Amity Island all the way to Jamaica?  I’m at a loss for words at how ridiculous the script is.  This got made and released into theaters!  Not only that, there are moments in the film where Ellen has flashbacks….to events she did not witness.  Oh, and we can’t forget the dream sequences.  You know, the things that every other fucking horror movie has done in the past.  Not just one, but TWO.  There is also a moment when Ellen is talking to Hoagie at the same time Michael and Jake’s boat is attacked by the shark.  She immediately seems to sense the attack.  Does she have some sort of psychic connection to the shark?  Is her Shark Sense tingling?  The writing in this film is awful.

Let’s talk about the acting.  Surprisingly, it’s not awful.  Everybody does a surprisingly decent job considering the material they were given.  Mario Van Peebles is pretty entertaining as Jake, even though he really butchers the Jamaican accent.  Lance Guest is not a terrible actor.  He was actually pretty good in The Last Starfighter.  Lea Thompson, who was in the Back to the Future films is pretty likable as Carla, Michael’s wife.  The real standout of the film is Michael Caine.  He plays Hoagie, the pilot with a sandwich for a name.  God, I can’t even write his name with a straight face.  Every is mostly disposable.  There’s a reason why Lorraine Gary quit acting for good, and the movie is Jaws: The Revenge.  I don’t why she decided to come out of retirement for this movie, but she quickly went back into retirement after the film was released and I don’t blame her.  Her performance was scatterbrained, but it was mostly over-the-top hysterics.

Since this is a Jaws film, let’s discuss the shark.  Half the reason the original film worked, was because we couldn’t see the shark.  That made things a lot more intense.  Here, they show the shark in all it’s “glory.”  Where’s the suspense?  We know what the shark looks like now, so we have an idea of how it attacks.  Let’s not forget the fact that the shark spends a great deal of time OUT of the water.  Really?  Oh, you wanna know the best part?  During the final battle with the shark Jake and Mike use these little electronic devices to give the shark electro-shocks.  This apparently has the effect of having the shark jump out of the water…..and it roars….like a lion.  Last time I checked, sharks couldn’t roar because they have no vocal cords or lungs for that matter.  They’re fish, they have gills.  Oh and let’s discuss the ending as well.  Both of them.  You know, I generally don’t like spoiling the end of movies, but this is a very special case.  See, there were two endings that were filmed for the movie.  Both had Jake getting nabbed by the shark, but in one the releases, when Ellen rams the shark with the boat, the shark EXPLODES.  The filmmakers also had the audacity to literally rip the exploding shark from the original film.  Rather than continue to explain, I’m going to show you both endings.  One was for the international release, the other one was for the theatrical and was actually the better ending, oh and this clip will show you the shark roaring:

Aside from all that, there a lot of continuity issues.  The most famous of which is when Hoagie is attacked by the shark in his plane, which he crash-landed, he climbs into the boat and his shirt is completely dry.  There’s a lot of issues like that throughout the entire film.  One of the few things that the film manages to get right is the music.  It reworks John Williams’ signature theme and makes it a bit more grand.  We can thank Michael Small for that.  I actually really like the music for Jaws: The Revenge.

I’ll be honest:  I loved this movie when I was a kid.  That was back before I knew anything about screenplays and scripts and having things make sense.  While the film still doesn’t make any sense, I still have a soft spot for it, despite how bad it is.  It really is bad.  There’s only a small handful of things that are good about it.  The rest of it is just plain terrible.  Of the sequels, I chose to review this one first, because its awfulness was the stuff of legends.  There aren’t a whole lot of movies that manage to get nearly everything wrong, but The Revenge does an admirable job of getting almost everything wrong.  This is a movie that is most fun when you can poke fun at it.  It deserves a Riff Trax/Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment, for sure.  I loved Jaws: The Revenge as a kid, but as an adult, I find it completely fascinating.  It is something to behold, that’s for sure.

Final Recommendation: Grab some alcohol, grab some friends and point and laugh.  4/10.