“Together We are More”: How Power Rangers Stayed True to Its Roots

[There will be some spoilers]

It’s been a month since I saw the Power Rangers movie bright and early on the Saturday of its opening weekend and I still can’t believe my childhood favorite was a good time. The most surprising thing is that the film stayed true to its roots. Mainly that teamwork, friendship, and optimism is what’s needed to face the world.

It would have been so easy for the movie to embrace the cynicism of the world and have the team crack sarcastic quips about one another and spout out the ridiculousness of the intellectual property that the movie was based on. And yet, it avoided all of it. The movie decided to be genuine, something that seems impossible in our age of crafting near-perfect online personas, and instead asks and answers an important question: Can friendship and optimism still exist in this world?

The answer is a resounding yes as we see a group of teenagers that, as Kim describes, are a bunch of screw-ups. Yet here they are coming together as symbolized by their morph and the eventual formation of the megazord (by the way, I love that moment). It works even better when contrasted with what we’ve seen of the former team. Zordon, the former red ranger, is a cynical old guy who believes he is right and doesn’t care about this new team. Rita, the former green ranger, is a great example of when people decide to choose selfishness and power over the greater good and their team. Both ultimately couldn’t accomplish what they wanted because they cling to cynicism and forgoing any thought of others. Zordon becomes a greater help when he finally releases of his cynicism and lets Billy have the chance to live.

While I don’t believe it was their intent, the timeliness of this movie’s release couldn’t be any more perfect as we all grapple with what’s going on in the world. We have to ask ourselves, do we become Rita and only go for power? Do we become Zordon and believe only we are right? Or do we become Jason, Billy, Kimberly, Zack, and Trini and come together despite our differences?

 

 

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“It’s Personal”: A Look at Oldboy’s Theme of Revenge

Disclaimers: I have three disclaimers before going into this analysis. In my discussion of Oldboy there will be some spoilers that give away the big twist ending. If you do not want to be spoiled, this is you chance to close the post, watch it, then come back. The second part is that this analysis is about what I believe the theme is for Oldboy not if I believe in the statement personally. Lastly, there will be a discussion of material that may be uncomfortable. I put this post under “read more” so you can safely navigate my blog. Without further ado, here’s my analysis of Oldboy. Continue reading

No Sole Creator to Movies

Cover of "Making Movies"

Cover of Making Movies

Back in 2010, I visited an exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center titled “Making Movies”. The exhibit basically outlined all of the jobs that take to make a film, from the producer and director to wardrobe and props. The exhibit was an eye opener for me as a second year RTF student who was still trying to find where they fit.

I bring this up because I thought about the exhibit and I came to an interesting realization about the nature of films: There is no sole creator. Yes, there are lead creators, people who spearhead the creative teams but they are not the only people to create these characters, these scenes in the movies we all love. The producer decides what will be considered palatable to audiences, the director orchestrates, the writer gives them language, the wardrobe give characters style and the actors bring their own gestures and dialect to their character. Not to mention that cinematographers, lights and stunts help to bring settings to life. If any of these people fail, the movie begins to suffer.

The purpose of this post was simple a short appreciation for everyone who is involved with the art of film making and television and to have people understand that a movie is not just director, writer and actors but a group of people coming together to make art. I definitely encourage all of you to look into the film making process more.

 

Snow Days & Black History Month

First things first, it’s actually snowing in Austin, TX!

Second things second, it’s Black History Month! So to celebrate this month, I decided to do a few posts focusing on Black directors and producers, first achievements for Black people in the entertainment industry and films made and starring Black people. The first person I’m going to talk about is Oscar Micheaux. Micheaux is widely regarded as the first Black filmmaker producing over 44 films, mostly race films. Remember folks, this was back in the early 1900s where Black people didn’t have the rights and means to do their own films, so for Micheaux to be completely independent and produce films is an achievement in itself. One of his most famous films is Within Our Gates, a film made in response to Birth of a Nation and the negative stereotypes of Black people that were portrayed by showing a more complex version of the early 20th century. Unfortunately for most film majors, Micheaux tends to be left out of film history textbooks despite his major achievements in independent film. I mean, the only reason why I manage to hear about him was because my film history professor dedicated a lecture to him because our book ignored him. I’m not going to go into extreme details about the man because I want you all to go look for yourself. This man is and should be an inspiration to all indie filmmakers for the fact that despite adversity from the white dominated film world, he still managed to produce and showcase his own films to the public.

Unwatchable Film: Why Not Seeing Certain Films Makes Me Feel Inadequate

What is an unwatchale film? For me, it’s that one film out there that everybody raves about. It wins all these awards, does well in the box office and even makes the most curmudgeon of filmmakers appreciate its beauty. Yet for some reason, you’re not interested in it. I’m writing about this now because this is happening to me right now with the movie Inception. In my mind, I know it’s going to be a well-crafted film, I trust my friends’ opinions when it comes to movies to know this. So why can’t I get into the mood to watch it? It’s right now taking up almost 3 GB worth of space in my rental queu and for a whole week I haven’t brought myself to watch it. Hell, I haven’t been able to get in the mood to watch it when it came out back in July. Back to the question, why is it? Is it because of some unconcious fear that I won’t like it despite the hype and rave reviews, making me seem like a failure in my major? Is there really some obligation for me as a film major to go see it, such as when my professors tell me to watch Citizen Kane?(By the way, I haven’t seen that either) I don’t have any answers but I’ll try to make some sense of it. As we start becoming entrenched in a certain hobby, major or profession, I think there’s this expectation you’re suppose to go along with the majority consensus of what and who is necessary to pay attention to. One example for probably some English majors out there is reading the “classics” like Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the like. Though unspoken, I think there’s this opinion formed of you if you didn’t read them. For us RTF majors, if you mention you never watched any film by Hitchcock, Coppola or Scorsese you will at best get looks of bewilderment and at worse, looks of condscencion as if to say “What the hell are YOU doing in this major?”. Maybe I’m looking way too much in to this topic but I can’t help this feeling and Inception isn’t helping by bringing these thoughts back to the forefront of my mind. Unlike most of my RTF peers, I have recently decided to pursue this major and only starting to get into it my 2nd year at school. That means I never got to see all the classics until I took the classes. I’m trying to catch up with some of my more film worldy people but I feel behind the crowd. These are the days where I wish there wasn’t some unwritten list of films that I MUST go see as a film major.

So I ask you all, is there some movie you feel pressure to see, whether by internal or external sources, but you just have no interest in? For me, I think I might try to step away from the multitudes of reviews and friends’ recommendations and start to go with my gut feeling of what to see and not to see. Who knows? Maybe three years from now when the Inception hype has died down, I may finally pick it up.