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PCR # 260  (Vol. 6, No. 11)  This edition is for the week of March 14--20, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Ring Two"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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The Ring Two
 by Mike Smith
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Dreamworks Pictures     
Starring: Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, and Sissy Spacek
Directed by: Hideo Nakata
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 50 mins

In 2002, "The Ring" opened with little fanfare and scared up some serious business at the box office. Based on the Japanese horror film, "Ringu," the film featured an English speaking cast teamed up with the original film's director. Sadly, that combination falls short in the follow up film, aptly titled "The Ring Two."

The film takes place six months after the events of the original. Reporter Rachel Keller (Watts) has moved with her son, Aidan (Dorfman) from Seattle to the small town of Astoria, Oregon. There she takes a job on the local paper and begins to put the events of the first film into the past. A quick refresher: "The Ring" dealt with a videotape that, when watched, brought death to the viewer in seven days. After Aidan accidentally finds and watches the tape, Rachel discovers that if you copy the tape and have someone else watch it, the death curse is transferred on to the new viewer. "The Ring Two" begins with a similar moment. With only 2 minutes to go before the curse kicks in a young man tricks his unsuspecting date into watching the tape. Nice guy!

While the opening of the film packs a few scares, the movie then goes off in a very different direction. For some reason, Aidan is suddenly fearful of water. Combine that with the fact that his body temperature keeps dropping and Rachel soon decides that Samara, the evil child dumped into the well in the first film, is back to finish the job she started in "The Ring." Rather then build any suspense, director Nakata fills the screen with multiple shots of bathtubs, fish bowls, oceans...pretty much anything that can hold water. Watts, who since "The Ring" was released has earned an Oscar nomination for her work in "21 Grams," turns in a strong performance. Like her best friend and fellow Australian, Nicole Kidman, she has a strong ability to draw the audience into the story and care for her character. Dorfman, his eyes wide and his face emotionless, seems to be auditioning for another remake of "The Bad Seed." Spacek doesn't have much to do in what is basically a cameo, but at least you get an idea of how Carrie White would have turned out if she hadn't snapped at the prom in "Carrie."

Like other sequels before it, "The Ring Two" is a film that has, literally, gone to the well one too many times. If you want to be scared rent "Carrie" instead. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "The Ring Two"  Two stars

This week's movie review of "The Ring Two" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.