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HTF DVD Review: Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Blue Sapphire

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Matt Hough, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    Matt Hough
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    Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Blue Sapphire
    Directed by Charlie Haskell, Vanessa Alexander

    Studio: Disney
    Year: 2007
    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    Running Time: 161 minutes
    Rating: TV-Y7
    Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo English
    Subtitles: SDH
    MSRP: $19.99

    Release Date: November 27, 2007
    Review Date: November 20, 2007


    The Series

    3/5

    The third volume of Power Rangers picks up the story where it left off in volume 2 with the Rangers and their philanthropist hot on the trail of the remaining jewels for the Corona Aurora. Having found the pearl at the end of the first set of adventures and the diamond at the end of the second, the team now turns its attention to retrieving the Blue Sapphire. Their adventures take them from Brazil to Mexico and surprisingly find the Rangers not always on the winning side.

    The team initially is made up of the same five rangers: Red Ranger Mark (James Maclurcan), Yellow Ranger Ronny (Caitlin Murphy), Black Ranger Will (Samuell Beuta), Pink Ranger Rose (Rhoda Montemayor), and Blue Ranger Dax (Gareth Yuen). Together with billionaire philanthropist Andrew Hartford (Rod Lousich) who funds their adventures and his butler Spencer Spencer (David Weatherley), the team again battles the evil twin demons and continued skullduggery by witch Miratrix (Ria Vandervis) (though she‘s around somewhat less in this volume). The seven adventures in this set have for their primary villains a pair of evil Fearcats who provide an ample challenge for our heroes. Coming to their aid is a character introduced in Volume 2, the alien Tyzonn (Dwayne Cameron) who eventually becomes the sixth Power Ranger - the Mercury Ranger.

    Once again, the special effects aren’t going to give George Lucas or Steven Spielberg any nightmares, but some of it is pretty impressive for the limited budget this series is obviously being produced with. Yes, the miniatures and animation are still painfully obvious, but the stunt work and explosions continue to impress. These are true athletes at work here.

    The storylines maintain their primary level of thematic simplicity, but the writers have included life lessons in the episodes about individuality, teamwork, and not believing in superstitions. And the writers manage to find spotlight moments for all of the rangers during the course of these seven episodes.

    Here’s the rundown of episodes on volume three:

    1 - Man of Mercury, Part 1
    2 - Man of Mercury, Part 2
    3 - Behind the Scenes
    4 - Just Like Me
    5 - It’s Hammer Time
    6 - Out of Luck
    7 - One Gets Away


    Video Quality

    3.5/5

    The show appears to have been filmed for 4:3 televisions though occasional scenes are squeezed so that all six rangers can fit into the frame. The episodes feature bold color (sometimes too bold bordering on over saturation), good sharpness, and occasional grain. The images are clean and bright, perfect to hold the interest of the target audience. Each episode has been divided into 6 chapters.

    Audio Quality

    3/5

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound is at a lower audio level than on previous releases. I found myself cranking up the volume a bit for maximum impact. Every kick, grunt, and expletive is clear and precise though loud explosions and the general destruction that are a part of every episode could have more power and drive. The sound could really use a legitimate surround track, but if one is listening merely through TV speakers, he likely wouldn’t notice the difference.

    Special Features

    2/5

    Ranger Vehicles is a 5-minute summation of the Zord vehicles used by each of the five original Power Rangers. For those new to the characters, it’s a valuable short cut in establishing which character drives which power Zord. (These often morph into a Megazord at least once per episode and sometimes more. It might have been beneficial to deal with this capability a bit more in this featurette.)

    Ranger Reserve Training Course Level 3 consists of a game of three levels for younger viewers. The first is a trivia quiz on events that happen in the disc’s seven episodes. Once past that round, there is a type of obstacle course that must be maneuvered to get to the island where the Blue Sapphire has been hidden. The third round is a search puzzle to find the gem.

    The DVD features a selection of trailers from other Disney-related films and DVDs including Underdog, The Game Plan, Wall-E, 101 Dalmatians, and High School Musical 2, among others.

    In Conclusion

    3/5 (not an average)

    If you have small fry, male variety, looking for something to occupy their TV time, this third volume of Power Rangers will likely serve their needs more than adequately. These juvenile adventures continue to show improvement in story and character development as the series progresses.


    Matt Hough
    Charlotte, NC
     

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