My Sore Throat Routine

9 01 2017

halls-soothers

Last week, I got a cold and a sore throat. This was very annoying as you can expect, but more annoying than most as I had plans for the weekend (it was a Thursday that I got it), and had work the day after I got it.  In 2016 I had a wave of sore throats and colds as the year went on; mostly sore throats, about 6 or 7 in total as far as I can remember, sometimes within a few short weeks from the last one. It was a horrendous time, and after a year of mostly sore throats, I was hoping 2017 would start off much nicer, but in less than a week, boom, another one. At the time of writing this, things are finally starting to wear off, but I am not letting my guard down. My sore throat is about gone, what currently remain are a cough, and an infected feeling at the back of the roof of the mouth. My cold is going down, my nose still feels twitchy, but I ‘hope’ that it does not get worse. It was really annoying as it pretty much ruined my weekend, and decided to prolong within to about a day of something big happening. For the most part; colds I can just about stand; yes they are really annoying and can cause violent cases of sneezing, however a sore throat is worse, as that is sheer pain!

difflam-spray

Luckily however, due to a lifelong battle of on and off colds and sore throats, I have managed to learn a few tips and tricks to help it not to prolong too far. For starters, if I feel that one is about to come on, I will buy some Soothers to help beat it back. If things escalate, I may consider the purchase of some Strepsils and start putting on Vapour Rub. When it does kick in though, I know what I need to do. I have a select group of medicines I instantly go and buy, knowing that they work just fine.

Difflam Spray is a spray that comes in a nice green and white bottle. Basically spray it directly into the mouth onto the infected area. What’s good about it is a quick action that while minor-ly relieving the pain, it does act fast to slow down the infection. The ultimate bonus though is that it does not have a limited day use, as long as you separate the use of it by at least the times on the bottle, you can keep using it all day long. Soothers and Strepsils (I like the Honey and Lemon ones best) are more just lozenges to help soothe the pain, as Sore Throats can last a while, and are shockingly painful; as such, lozenges help to soothe the pain. Vapour Rub helps with breathing, which on occasion I will wear during the day in cases of the most pain, but is especially useful when going to bed, as every time you breathe in without it, you can’t hope to fall asleep with that much pain. Finally, you need something to which can not only help relieve the pain, but also fight against the illness to help you recover sooner than later. For this I have two choices. My main choice is Lemsip Day and Night pills; the reason for this being is that while they are strong and fast at working, the pack comes with night time pills, which aren’t loaded with caffeine, so this means you are not stark awake when what to be doing is going to sleep. In the case though that Lemsip is not available, I like to treat myself with Beechams Liquid, as I find it can work quicker than most, plus the taste of the liquid is enough to distract me from the pain briefly.

lemsip-day-and-night

 

Alongside these things, one thing I find that helps is to keep warm. I do this by wearing full body clothing (minus the head), and a jumper on top of my t-shirt. I also try to keep the room I am in as warm as I can, and only drink (as far as I can) hot squash. It’s just a minor little thing based on a scene from Rizzoli and Isles (although that was about having a fever) and my knowledge of cooking (germs hate heat, lots of heat should help). Anyway, there you have it, my system for when I get a Sore Throat (as well as a cold). I just thought I would share that with you in case you want some advice (and also to find a way to distract myself).

GENEPOOL





I Think The Word PPI Should Be Banned, Who’s With Me?

30 11 2016

Dial Phone

Unless you have no TV, Phone, Email Account, Facebook, Twitter, Video Games Console, Front Door, House, Windows, Friends and Never go outside; then it may be possible that you have never heard of PPI. PPI (of course) stands for Payment Protection Insurance and is according to Wikipedia: “An insurance product that enables consumers to insure repayment of credit if the borrower dies, becomes ill or disabled, loses a job, or faces other circumstances that may prevent them from earning income to service the debt. It is not to be confused with income protection insurance, which is not specific to a debt but covers any income.” Well since about roughly 3 years ago (if not more), rumours spread that banks and loan company’s might have miss-sold it to their customers, and there was an opportunity for those who were miss-sold it to reclaim it. That was great news if you were miss-sold as it meant that you could reclaim money. Being sure is very important in these circumstances, and you would prefer to have a definitive yes or no, and if it was the case that you were miss-sold money and be given the opportunity to have that money returned to you, you would jump on it. On the opposite side of the coin, if you knew for a fact that the answer was originally No to the question “have you ever been miss-sold PPI?” then you would be happy as it would confirm that you have not necessarily lost money either. When it comes down to those who found out the answer was ‘Yes’ however; they needed to be given the opportunity and service to reclaim that money. However for those who found out that the answer was indeed ‘No’, then you would think that they would just be left alone to get on with their lives, not be talked down to by TV Adverts or be phoned round the clock by harassment agents belonging to call centres for 3 flipping years.

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Ever since the word PPI made it onto the streets of the UK (if not the world), agencies were set up to try and ‘help’ you get your money back, (possibly for a cut of the returns) if you were one of those people who was genuinely miss-sold PPI, however for those of us who weren’t, we were still included in the seasonal fun of asking if we had. It’s nice to see some inclusion from these agencies for once, but after the number of times they have asked, told them that I hadn’t or that I was not interested, they still keep calling back. Now it is probably down to some kind of automated machine which brings up my house number for some lone drone to then ring me, but after 3+ years of being given the opportunity for any PPI to be refunded, you’d think everyone would have received it by now wouldn’t you? But supposedly the answer is No, and so they continue to ring up and ask to the point where they must be committing Harassment by now. It’s for this reason that I think the word (or at least those 3 letters of the three words in that order that make up those 3 letters in that order) PPI should be banned! These companies have now had plenty of time to find and return the money miss-sold, and now it’s time for this whole affair to end!

TV

Now there is one thing of course that could be a problem if it were to stop, and that is those poor people; who have been employed to ask everyone else, would be unemployed as a result. Alternatively, if they were allowed to spread their wings and be given an opportunity to go find other work, then they would be able to learn and maintain real skills and achieve proper prospects for themselves (more at least than they must be getting right now ). It’s a win for everyone: we stop getting harassed, and people in a slum of a job right now get a chance at far greater work opportunities. We of course still need to give those who may still be waiting (if any by now) to receive their money back, but I think the sooner the better. I was thinking maybe around March 2017. You know, these companies would then be given some time to have a proper hard go at their supposed job, but then come the first second of April 2017, they would have stop outright, and the term PPI would be banned, and any use of it down the phone could see the charging of a hefty fine (if not a Prison Sentence). Then we can get on with our lives and be safe in the knowledge that nobody will call us regarding our current PPI Status or be ruining TV with the use of that word either. Now if it was the case that some people still had money to reclaim, then in that case it should go down to professional investigators whose soul task it would be to do a proper professional audit trail and reward it justly (like the people on Heir Hunters), not harassingly. If by the end of that, there is still money to claim, but no one to claim it, then why not spend it on giving free ice cream to the people of the UK (not those who work at reclaim PPI companies, they don’t deserve it), and then we can get on with our lives. Now I realise of course that I have no real power to ban the letters or word PPI, and it will take some form of petition and act of government to achieve this, but as an idea, do you agree? Alternatively however, we could find other uses for the Letters PPI, maybe some kind of whimsically funny pun on something else, and then if that were to work; every time one of these people phoned up and said PPI, then we could just laugh at the funny lettering, and get some level of Joy from PPI instead? What do you think?

GENEPOOL





The Apprentice 2016 Top 5 Candidates I Really Want To See Get Fired!

9 11 2016

the-apprentice-uk

The Year is 2016, and once again the BBC treats us to one of the major BBC Highlights of the year; a TV show where a bunch of Clowns attempt to prove themselves in a series of business based tasks in hope of getting some money to start a business with. Yes, The Apprentice (UK) is back on the box and is already in full swing this year. In the past the show has delivered some spectacular moments as well as presented a series of candidates as well as a select group of clowns who most of us would not trust with a ball of string let alone £250,000.

It is one of my favourite shows of the TV Calendar Year, and is both interesting as well as very entertaining, all the time creating near cringe worthy moments, and bits and bobs which are just too painful to watch. Every year when the show returns I prepare myself for the oncoming assault of dim-witted decisions being made by people who are supposedly by their own admission ‘successful’ or ‘expert’ business men and women. Every series that comes around also comes with a select group of Characters who are in their own unique way surprising; as they somehow manage to get any distance in the show. The one thing though that gets the most surprise from me is that many of them are already running their own businesses, so why they need to come onto the Apprentice is anyone’s guess? In all honesty after nearly 12 series of The Apprentice, I am surprised that I still get surprised by all this. I know these things are coming, but still get shocked when they happen. As I look back into past series’, its amazing how far we have come, but also how contenders from previous series look far better now than anyone in the last few years. The candidates of Series 5 for instance look like viable candidates for anything thrown in their way, while more recent series (series 12 especially), show a group of jokers who don’t really appear qualified to do, well…anything.

As series 12 goes; this to me looks like the biggest list of candidates who should all be fired immediately and get the show over with on the spot right now. There are maybe 4 people I can see going the distance and be good candidates for the role, but one of those; Aleksandra, decided to quit in task 4, so now we are left with; Alana, Jessica and Grainne. For me, that’s it; you may as well sack the rest right now and jump straight into the audience’s favourite task: The Interviews. Some people in this series though have shown themselves to be in a class of their own when it comes to being top joker at clown school, and for this reason, I present to you; the Top 5 Candidates I Really Really Want/Hope to see get Fired this year:

paul-sullivan

5. Paul Sullivan – Paul Sullivan is one of those candidates that can be a real surprise. Ones who are practical in any situation and can be potentially good candidates if you give them half a chance; so far though he has not really done anything like that. No offence to guys like this, guys who are not just good workers, but also possibly brilliant leaders if people would just give them a chance (or more likely just Shut Up!). They are hard workers and come from said backgrounds, and for that they are worthy of respect. Paul though while looking like he has come from said background, has only really acted like a bullish bull in a china tea shop. He has shown high levels of attitude and frustration to tasks. Now I can respect that as watching them on TV makes me want to do the same, but has not really shown any commendable acts either. He is professional, which is more than can be said about most, but he is not much else either. There is still some hope for him I feel…but he really needs to show that he can work upon it.

courtney-wood

4. Courtney Wood – Courtney is quite clearly the Snake in the Grass for this series. For an idea of what I mean by that, here is an example from a previous series:

Courtney has not really showed himself doing much, but given that he has never been called into the boardroom, his actions have never come into question. However, he did shed his cloak on a treat a few weeks ago. Whilst out playing Croquet with his new ‘friends’, he said “I know I can beat everyone in this competition, every week I long triple firing because it just makes my life easier”. Now while this is probably the secret dream of all Candidates in the process, the simple fact he said this out of no-where, and was pretty much the first thing he said this series, just makes me lose sympathy for him. I think we all look forward to a triple firing, not just because it makes You’re Fired interesting, but also because it removes the dead weight and horrible ones a lot quicker!

sofiane-khelfa

3. Sofiane Khelfa – Sofiane is one those guys that really needs to learn how to thread; just so then he can thread his mouth shut! He talks quite a bit, maybe not as much as Karthik in all likelihood, but he has this way of making and doing things his way and only his way, and he does this by talking so much that by the time someone can actually speak and either suggest their own ideas or debate his, there is not enough time to do so. He comes off as being rude, and has made some controversial announcements, comments and actions in the show, and could be considered more of an achilles heel to a team than a player. Someone who talks too much can be annoying, someone who talks too much but for the sake of lambasting and shooting his own opinion forward to the point where it appears like no-one else’s matters – that is just horrible; and for that he needs to get the finger.

samuel-boateng

2. Samuel Boateng – If this was any other series, Samuel Boateng could potentially be a really good candidate, but it isn’t and he has proved that he is definitely not. Given the task of doing a crowd-sourcing project, he made the consistently fatal apprentice mistake of suggesting that his past experience makes him a ‘pro’ at such things, once anyone does this, they may as well just be handed a shovel. In past episodes he has actually been quite quiet and it’s only recently that he has begun to really show himself. He is pretty vocal about his opinions and suggestions, and does fight his corner well, but in a very defensive position, and when presenting upfront could be a lot more descriptive rather than hoping everyone gets him, because I don’t think anyone actually does. However, his lack of being a good candidate really came out last week, and this all relates to what I have just described. If it wasn’t for him hopelessly describing what he was trying to get a bunch of actors to play out in the middle of a train station while rehearsing it, not even the audience watching at home would have got it! It would have been just a man enjoying a thumping good walk around a station and a bunch of people falling over whenever they got nudged in the shoulder, who then burst into dance. What that represents is, well…nothing other than his belief that reincarnation involves a west end musical moment. He thinks everyone is on the same page as him, and that everything is as clear as day, but in reality he’s as clear as a concrete bunker. He is obviously a very creative person, but what he needs to do is less work on the conception and put work more into the execution; and hope he does so before his business dreams meet the point of Sralan’s (sorry, Lord Sugar’s) Index Finger of Business Death.

karthik-nagesan

1. Karthik Nagesan – Every series of the Apprentice has at least one character, someone who stands out as more than just a candidate, someone who is unique by how much of a fool they are. This year it comes down to Karthik (or K as he wishes to be called) to fulfill this role. When a new series starts, many of these contestants like to share their own opinion about themselves; but you really have to worry for someone if at any time they suggest that they are like Napoleon or Alexander The Great and consider themselves optimistic enough of their chances to one day become Prime Minister of the UK. Basically, Karthik wants to be the UK version of Donald Trump (I’ll let that one sink in). It’s not his status though that makes me want to see the back of him sooner than later. On the BBC website, there is a quote which suggests that he believes himself to be firm yet polite. Now there is one key word here that is very possibly a complete lie; the word ‘polite’. Karthik has proven himself to be possibly the most untrustworthy person in the show’s history. He is someone who believes that no matter who the actual Project Manager is for a given task, that in actual fact it is him. He feels that his words should be respected no matter how much dribble they are, and that he should be able to do no matter what he wants no matter what others like the PM say. Now while he has since calmed down, week 2 of the process should have seen him gone. For one, his idea of being allowed to sit with the advert editor for 5 minutes just to do what he wanted without articulating to his team what he wanted to actually do was just absolute nonsense and should only be reserved for the audience, plus there was no need for that level of attitude! Then his latent disrespect towards Lord Sugar in the Board Room was beyond the pale. He talked down to Lord Sugar in the same manner as someone would talk down to a child. It was the pure personification of cringe worthy and one he should have been sent home for. But of course he has since calmed down, so he could consider that his lucky break, but given what he has shown himself to be like, I doubt he will be able suppress it for long; next he will be asking for 5 minutes alone with Claude Littner (“FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!”).

GENEPOOL (Who would you like to see get the Business Finger of Death – or Fired as its more widely known?)





The Lost Reviews – Governor of Poker 2

18 10 2016

GOP29

If you like board and card games as much as me, you may have a huge stack of games. Lots of games you enjoy, some probably more than others, and maybe some you have yet to play, but the one thing that is probably more true than most is that, you probably don’t get to play many of them all that often. There maybe a few for instance that you have not played in a while. This is definitely true of me; some of the time I play more of than others, while games like Munchkin for example I don’t get to play as often as I would prefer, because sometimes they are hard to bring to the table. Some of the time when you play games, it’s best to play ones other people have experience of just so everyone can have a good time, and don’t need to learn a lot of new details. This can be true of other games too, and in my experience I can go long periods of time not playing a basic card game like Poker.

GOP23

I was introduced to Poker over a decade ago, but it can be hard to get a game of it in. I can watch it on TV, like I used to during the good old days of the William Hill Poker Grand Prix, but there is nothing like actually playing it, which is why it’s a good thing that there are many video games out there that allow me the opportunity to play a game of poker in the meantime, whenever I want to, and in my experience, there is none finer than Governor of Poker.

GOP24

I originally used to play this games predecessor on Kongregate, but then it was more of a demo, never got to play the original in its full form, however when I noticed this sequel on Steam; I near leapt at the opportunity. In Governor of Poker 2 (by Youda Games), much like the original, you are a wannabe poker champion living in Texas, and you spend your days go from town to town, competing in games, acquiring enough to take over the entire town, before moving onto the next. Purchasing buildings provides you with an income, while competing in tournaments and cash games provides you with an opportunity to acquire more money much more quickly while also building up your reputation. As you progress, you will encounter star NPC players, taking them on in the hope of becoming the number one poker man in the whole of Texas.

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The games main piece though comes to its Poker games, which thanks to the Wild West theme, mean that you and everyone else are represented at the table via hats and hands. This part of the game really does come down to the core gameplay of most Poker games, and there can be tells, there can be bluffing, while all the time still creating tension and panic as you watch the chips build up, change colour or reduce in quick fashion. From there on it comes down to how good of a poker player you are, and how far you are willing to go to get the table win.

GOP28

The game is nicely designed, even if the designs themselves have not changed much since its predecessor. The animation is nicely implemented, from walking, to cut scenes, to even the flicking of chips at the poker table. The only issue I really have with the design side is that the maps are rather static. The only person moving around is you, while everyone else stands mega still not moving before or after you enter a saloon; it does not carry much in the way of life. The game’s soundtrack is nicely designed as it comes more down to a couple of pieces of music, but leaves everything else to the stiffening sound a bliss of silence, with a little bit of noise coming from other characters and of course the dealer. While the original definitely still carries the best theme tune, the game’s soundtrack is at it’s best when there is virtually no sound at all. The gameplay is nicely mixed up, and the differences between games, hats, and even the allowance to buy houses and make an income is rather good, I just don’t think there is really any need for a story in this game, it does not adapt or change over time, it just sort of pops up when you reach a goal, even if reaching that goal requires you to play for several hours before you reach the next one. The only thing you really feel, is the disappointment and crunch as you begin to lose money and property, and wonder how you are going to get back onto your feet. There is a lot to like, and a lot to enjoy, but there is a lot of crowding and a lot of wasted bonuses which just don’t work or appeal, it brings a down note to what is actually a pretty competent and thoroughly enjoyable game.

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Don’t get me wrong, I really do like this game; I just think it provides you with things you don’t need or even want. At heart, its basic charm is how this game succeeds, it’s not because you want to free poker from the corrupt hands of those who would rather not play it, but because you want an environment that allows you to play Poker, as close to real as possible. At the tables, you get a real sense of dread, passion and emotion as you win or lose, and as you strive to believe that you can win, and know when it’s time to push or pull back. Everything is there, the poker side works, and the other gameplay pieces included continue to enhance your experience. That’s all this game in the end needs to provide, it does not need a story, just a sense that you are awesome at poker……….at least when you are.

GOP25

GENEPOOL





Go Go Boom Or Busters – Why A New Group Of Teenagers With Attitude Could Potentially Be The Biggest Failures This Decade

21 09 2016

Power Rangers (Lionsgate - 2017)

In 1993, upon seeing the success and potential of a Japanese kids show about a group of brightly coloured heroes and their personal giant robots; Entertainment businessman Haim Saban with assistance from his business partner Shuki Levy created a TV show about a group of attitude ridden teenagers whose job it was to save the world from an impending invasion from an out of this world villain living on the moon. The show was called Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and was a TV Hit for anyone aged 10 or under. Haim Saban had basically unleashed his own monster onto the world, and what followed was one of the longest running (and at one point easily the most popular) kids TV franchises in history with several toy lines being produced and even a movie.

White Tigerzord

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a bona-fide sensation with fans across the globe, including me; being glued to the screen on a weekly basis as we watched our favourite TV Heroes fight a range of rubber suited villains, before then having to call upon some giant dinosaur shaped robots to fight the ever so larger rubber suited villain. I remember, must have been for my 5th birthday receiving a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Megazord set, playing with it with my friends at Church, and then I think must have been the following Christmas receiving the White Tigerzord as well: so much fun. It was one of the biggest franchises and TV hits of the early 90’s, but since then just sort of disappeared. After a couple of years it just went away from the minds of the many, and became a show only the dear hearted fan would watch. I mean, it must have been relatively popular in order for it to continue, but it would be fair to say that it has never since the 90’s been able to enjoy the success and hype it once enjoyed when it first arrived – but could this be about to change?

New Power Rangers Zord

Back in August, for one reason or another I decided to look up clips from Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue (in particular the weird story-line about the Snake Tattoo). As to why I had that in my head all of a sudden I cannot explain, but despite not knowing how this happened, part of me was actually rather glad. On the one hand it meant that I could take a stroll down memory lane and think back upon the times I used to watch Power Rangers with a passion. On the other though; it meant that the analysis part of my brain which regularly likes to delve deep into things in such great detail could have some fun. The key question as to all of this analyzing of an in and out TV Show that has been going for over two decades and which I have enjoyed now and then; was whether or not the new big budget movie from Lionsgate; due out next year was going to be any good or not. Well, technically it was actually a bit more complex than that and it was not necessarily a question: it was more of a statement and belief that next year’s new Power Rangers Movie has a lot of potential to be good, but also a lot of potential to fail horribly. Why? Well that is what I would like to try and analyse/explain over the course of this post.

Super Sentai Logo

For my reasoning of this to be understood, I would like to give a brief but possibly detailed history of Power Rangers (if you would rather skip, please jump to paragraph 10). Nearly twenty years before Power Rangers even existed, there was a show that was produced in Japan about a group of super heroes dressed in colourful clothing who every week would fight villainous monsters both on a human giant-sized scale. The show was called Super Sentai, and is still going to this day, all be it the show has been revamped several times during that period. The show was made by Toei Co., Ltd. and Bandai, and has gone on to become one of the most successful TV franchises in all of Japan alongside such shows as Kamen Rider and the Ultra Series. Roughly less than two decades after Super Sentai’s debut, while on a business trip to Japan, businessman Haim Saban saw potential in the series. His plan was to create a brand new show for the American market which would later be known as Mighty Morphin (correct spelling) Power Rangers. He quickly produced a pilot with help from business partner Shuki Levy and spent roughly five years trying to find a channel in America willing to take it up; the eventual picker uper being Fox Kids. The show was about a group of teenagers who supposedly had ‘ATTITUDE’, and who every week would fight to save their home town (mostly) and the world from a big villain. Every week they would have to fight in hand to hand combat with the villain’s minions whom in turn would more than likely at some point get much bigger, and would then be cause for the teenagers with ‘supposed attitude difficulties’ to call down their mighty robot Zords who could transform and combine to become a much larger fighting machine to which they would then be able to defeat the greater monster.

Megazord

The show was produced in a relatively simple way that on the one hand could be expensive in one area, but in the other keep overall production costs down. Basically, the show was actually made up of footage from Super Sentai. Footage from fights between the costumed wearing heroes, as well as the fights between the giant villains and Zords was actually from the Super Sentai show and that was simply slotted into the program. Any shot involving a character not in costume was then filmed and put in alongside it, with any voicing needed for the heroes while in costume being dubbed over. It was a simple way of producing a TV show and has been done ever since, with Power Rangers still borrowing clips from the new versions of Super Sentai and then re-branding them as Power Rangers. In a more simple way to understand it all, it’s sort of like the car industry. Some cars are made outright, while others are the same model with bits changed around to make it look like an entirely different car. In the case of Power Rangers it’s like taking a model from Japan, and then changing the body and the badges: simple, effective and overall potentially nice and cheap.

Power Rangers Suits

Something must have worked because the show was a major hit when it first debuted making stars of its young cast nearly overnight. Some stars of note include Amy Jo Johnson portraying the original Pink Power Ranger Kimberly Hart, and martial arts star Jason David Frank portraying the Green, then White Power Ranger Tommy Oliver. Other stars of the show included the wise mentor Zordon (David Fielding and Bob Manahan), bullies Bulk and Skull (Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy), and series antagonists Rita Repulsa (Soga Machiko and Barbara Goodson) and Lord Zedd (Ed Neil and Robert Axelrod). Another big star of the show though was the theme tune. Something of a near metal like style of theme, very fast, very energetic and packed with the lyric “Go Go Power Rangers”. The production was simple, and so was the formula; however the show worked hard to make sure things never stayed easy, as the Power Rangers would have to come to learn and fight harder over time gaining experience as they go, but also have to come to acknowledge the occasional defeat in order to gain a future victory. As the series progressed, villains would get tougher, but in response the Rangers would get better, as well as receive boosters and upgrades for their mighty Zords which also included additional Zords for them to deploy. In the end, the show was not just about heroes, but also a lesson in the understanding of teamwork. Not everyone though could be considered a fan of the show as many parents considered the show to be rather violent for children to watch it and several complaints were made to the FCC (The Federal Communications Commission). Other issues aired included possible racial overtones in the colours of the power rangers to the colours of actors skin including casting Austin St. John, Walter Emanuel Jones and Thuy Trang as the Red, Black and Yellow Ranger’s respectively. Potentially the show also had an issue in Malaysia, as the show’s use of the word Morphin was viewed as being too similar to sounding like the drug Morphine.

As the show reached ever more dizzying heights of success, toys were released of course, but more importantly some films were made, both of which tied directly with the show at the time of release, however it would be good to say that these said film were as good as the show; which I can’t, because they were terrible. The first film: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie involved the reawakening (let’s move quickly on with this one) with an ancient villain known as (big sigh)…..Ivan Ooze. The plot revolved around the heroes having to lose their powers and then regain them to defeat their biggest threat to date. In a word; it was Pants! A couple of years later however, another film was released: Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. Now I have only seen bits of it, but I can remember it dually being weird, but not necessarily as bad (however this one was released during a later series). Despite this kink in the armour, the show looked to succeed further, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers looked like it was not going to slow down anytime soon running in total for three seasons. Then it just sort of changed. I had stopped watching the show before this, but the earlier change of characters and Zords was easier to see and understand. Future changes for Power Rangers occurred differently. Basically, out went the Mighty Morphin tagline, as Power Rangers were now not mighty, nor Morphin, some of them were not even of the previous incarnation. It started with Turbo (check aforementioned second film) and then went from there. Future incarnations of the show would become less about having long running programs, but one-off series, sometimes set in different locations and time zones. The characters were different, some colours were different, even the Zords were different. Gone was the Dinosaurs and animals, it went on to become a variety of things including cars, ninjas, animals, rescue vehicles, planes, trains, even insects. Animals and Dinosaurs would make the most re-appearances, but the show was much harder to grasp unlike its previous Mighty Morphin stage which simply continued rather than ended.

Some of the show’s later depictions would actually draw me back into it. Originally starting with Lightspeed Rescue, this new form was rather interesting as a bunch of rescue service…..teenagers would fight a horde of demons trying to take over the world. The show had some interesting new characters like Kelsey (Sasha Williams), as well as some interesting stories like the Titanium Ranger (Rhett Fisher) and his Snake Tattoo. Although looking back at it now I can see that the villains could have done with some more work as their quivering lips did not really hold much to the imagination, but they still looked pretty creepy though. I would actually continue to watch Power Rangers for a few more versions, but the only ones that really did anything for me were Lightspeed Rescue, Wild Force and Dino Thunder. After that I just stopped again, pretty much as soon as I saw that human dog thing in S.P.D. 

Zen Aku Flute

Even if you continued watching it, stopped or never saw it, Power Rangers as a franchise is still going to this day, all be it a very scattered one which is hard to keep a grasp on due to its changes of theme and story. Or could this be more due to the changes in Super Sentai. Could it be that the show changed on purpose, because the show it was being borrowed from was changing constantly, or could it be that unless it did change, it would grow stale and lose popularity? Maybe we will never know…well actually we can because according to Wikipedia: Power Rangers “In Space was a turning point for the Power Rangers franchise, as the season brought closure to six seasons of plot, and it ended the practice of having regular cast members act in consecutive seasons”.  Anyway, the show may have changed some levels of production, but others it did not. The show over the last 20 years has continued to borrow footage from Super Sentai and since its inception; Saban Entertainment has continued to produce the show except for a seven-year period when it was sold to Walt Disney, only having regained control of the show in 2010.

Power Rangers Kira

When I first heard that a film was being produced of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, I was instantly interested. Back in 2013, while waiting for Pacific Rim to be released, a friend of mine sent me a link to a Power Rangers inspired rip on the film’s trailer, even going as to put the music from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the background. Just over a year later I watched that trailer version again, and from looking at the effects in the trailer for the Pacific Rim Jaegers, I saw that there was potential for a new Power Rangers film and wanted to do one. So, I was a bit miffed when one was announced, and I wasn’t involved. Anyway I thought that with all these new glossy special effects that we have today, that with some real talent as well as critical yet creative thought that a new Power Rangers Movie could have some real potential. So far we know that the film is being filmed and is due for release next year, and we have already been teased with images of possible Zords and the choice of suits for this film. We have even been provided with cast names including two big Hollywood stars in the form of Elizabeth Banks playing Rita Repulsa and Bryan Cranston (ironically) playing Zordon. From what has been announced and teased so far there is actually a lot to be excited about with this new Power Rangers film and it does show a lot of potential. So why is it then that whenever I think about it, I get this niggling little doubt that this film is going to fail catastrophically.

New Power Rangers Suits

When the idea was first thought about, I knew that the one thing that had to be done above all others for a big budget Power Rangers movie to work was that it had to be its own story. It could not in any way be connected to the TV Shows at the time (which was initially the plan). It had to be independent, and not rely on people needing to watch a specific storyline or episode from a show that they had all but forgotten about. Luckily the film is promising this; it’s stated that it will be a reboot of the original series. Same characters perhaps, but not the same actors, a new fresh start and a film that could be picked up to begin with at least, from the first frame; first box ticked, good start. You can forgive me though for thinking that a new Power Rangers movie though could cause an element of self-doubt, as to date we have already had two PR movies, neither of which was very good. They were both very openly boring with the first one having some of the worst special effects I have seen in any film, had a villain which did not make much sense, a story that did not make much sense either, and bits and bobs that went on to suggest that there is a hero in all of us done in the most convoluted way possible. It was all up in the air and sort of made for a film that was probably made for the purposes of money rather than producing something for the purposes of entertainment. But that is just one bit of the niggling doubt in my head.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction (Paramount Pictures - 2014)

When I think of this film, I feel a real sense of potential. I can see possibilities and dream opportunities. To compare to a product in aid of an image, I would say that the way I can see this film going is like that of the Transformers series which began less than a decade ago. Now opinions for those films are one thing, but when it comes to production value, you can’t necessarily say that the production of those films was not pretty well done. Visual effects have moved on a lot over the last two decades with films and series of mention coming to mind include: Avatar, Jurassic World, The Avengers, Transformers, Lord of The Rings, Pirates of The Caribbean and Harry Potter to name but a few. What do all of these films have in common, all of them are live action, and all of them are big films with varying degree of opinions and reviews but all of which have big and detailed uses of special effects. Whether or not they were any good is up to the consumer, but as to how well they were done in the visual effects department, there is no arguing that they could be considered colossal. When it comes to this Power Rangers Movie next year, one thing is clear, that in order for it to work and really grab people’s attention’s, the special effects need to be as detailed and as polished as this. If it is anything less, then it will more than likely falter. Imagination is something that this film needs to keep on its side. There is no question or shadow of doubt that this film needs to be taken double seriously and effort needs to be piled in to make it as good as possible. It needs to be grounded not overblown, it needs to be quirky not silly, it needs to be light-hearted and funny, not outrageous to the point of terrible. There is a lot that needs to be covered, because like I said before, I really think this can go all the way, and become the new Transformers. With the right detail of special effects, the imagination that this film could produce could have one of two effects, both good. For one it could inspire a new generation of children to get as excited as I did about Power Rangers when it first started, and also, those people who watched the original series could feel a wave of nostalgia building deep inside that would want to make them return and revisit. This in turn could produce a third effect, one which made Jurassic World such a successful film, the effect that those who watched the original series, now all grown up and with kids of their own may want to take their kids to go and see it, therefore bringing back an old audience while creating a new one.

Jurassic World (Universal Pictures - 2015)

The Transformers representation is in the form that it created nostalgia for its original audience while introduced itself to a brand new audience, while at the same time grounding itself, being super serious in its production and even if in the end it was a catastrophic failure, no-one could argue that they gave it a good go. But they did, and it was good (at least I enjoyed it and its subsequent sequels). But that’s the point I am trying to make here, that with due diligence, Power Rangers could meet a similar success to that of Transformers. Special effects aren’t everything, but there is a difference between done well and done badly. A good visual effect is one that provides something reality cannot provide, but still looks real (like Jurassic Park’s Dinosaurs), while a bad one is one that is obviously noticeable and looks rather camp, shabby, blocky, not very detailed and just generally un-aesthetically pleasing to the eye (such as those of the Zords in the first PR movie). At the same time of course, it cannot solely rely on its giant robots as that was never the be all and end all of Power Rangers and so at the same time needs to weave a story of discovery but also create flaws and moments of drama as the characters come to discover their destiny’s while also the need to live in ambiguity and strain this can cause to their personal lives. One thing that could potentially be explored is that while being heroes, they could be seen as vigilantes and a future story could develop as they get sought out by the government and military for the use of their Zords but also to keep them down and answer for the destruction they may cause in saving the day (just a thought).

Power Rangers Zack

Altogether, this new film has a lot to prove. If anything it needs to take a really detailed look at itself and work hard to prove itself. It needs to demonstrate that it has forgotten its movie ancestry and is willing to improve and move on, helping us in turn to forget as well. It needs to take it’s self seriously, and be produced coherently in order for us; the audience to get the best outcome. It needs to target new audiences while also not alienating older audiences; not just those who saw it originally, but those who may be forced to pop along as chaperones to see it. It needs to be all-inclusive and provide a general level of entertainment for all to enjoy. It needs to provide the best special effects money can buy, one so that it looks realistic, and two not to look downright silly. The right effects can make a film a success these days, whether or not the actual content is good or not. If done terribly; well, we have already seen those kinds of results haven’t we? Overall, this film does have a countless deal of potential, but at the same time could create one of cinema’s greatest failures if not done appropriately. In order though for us to stop thinking like that, it needs to start showing itself to us. It needs to show more images, and a teaser trailer sooner or later, in turn providing us with the imagery needed to see what this film is going to encompass and whom it is directed for. I am genuinely excited to see this film and hope that it will be a genuinely entertaining and fun film; but let me ask you this (whether or not you are a fan, or have never even seen an episode): Are you sure you don’t have any niggling little doubts?

GENEPOOL








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