Franchise Weekend – The Ring (2002)

Director: Gore Verkinski

Writer: Ehren Kruger (Screenplay) Koji Suzuki (Novel)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Lindsay Frost, Amber Tamblyn

 

Plot: A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.


Tagline – In the well, no one will see.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Scary Horror Mystery

 

Story: The Ring starts when Rachel’s (Watts) niece dies suddenly after giving us the idea of what happens with the mysterious video tape, that if you watch it, you will receive a phone call saying, you will die in seven days.

Rachel being a reporter starts to investigate the mysterious death, which medical personal simply can’t explain, she ends up watching the tape filled with the horrific images, receiving the phone call, facing the seven days to solve the mystery about the tape.

 

Thoughts on The Ring

 

Characters – Rachel is a single mother and reporter that starts investigating the mysterious death of her niece, this leads her to a VHS tape which puts her in the same seven day warning, forcing her to investigate the tape, she uses her connections and skills as a reporter to unlock this truth, while become more desperate after her son watches the same tape. Noah is the ex-partner and father to Aidan, he is still dating college students, which is why they no longer date, he is however an expect on video, which sees him being used to help break down the tape, which does including him watching it, he doesn’t come off like a nice guy, but we get the scene which shows why he is the way he is. Aidan is the son of the two, he seems to be the most grounded of the three, he is always prepared for the day, knowing that his mother will be late, only he watches the video making him one of the targets for the curse within the video. Richard is the adopted father of Samara, his love for the horses as seen his life destroyed even with his connection to Samara being the reason for the curse.

PerformancesNaomi Watts in the leading role is great, she gets to show us just how difficult being a single mother can be, while trying to face a life and death situation with trying to find the answers. Martin Henderson is solid enough in his role which sees him being a bad father that could learn over this week. David Dorfman does give us a creepy kid performance, while Brian Cox in his limited screen time makes a big impact.

StoryThe story here follows a reporter that is investigating the death of a family member that is connecting a video tape which will give any viewer seven days to live. This story is a remake of Ringu and does fall into one of my favourite sub-genres of horror, the ghostly haunting investigation one, which is looking to solve a mystery and isn’t afraid to give us a moment of hauntings to push everything in the right direction. It is strange that part of this film has dated with the technology advances which could see the VHS side of the film going over people’s heads, but away from that seeing just how everything is connected, with glimpses of the video appearing through the film needing to be solved by both the character and audience gives this an interesting element for the audience to get involved in.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the horrific imagines we see on the tape, we also know early on what will happen to anybody that watches the tape, by seeing just how the first opening kill looks. The mystery comes from just what we are seeing in the tape, it is a host of clues which will unlock the truth.

SettingsThe film shows us the settings through the tape, each one has a connection to everything going on and makes us want to know just what the connection is going to be.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are fantastic to watch, with one of the greatest effects scenes in the closing of the film which will shock and wonder how it was done.


Scene of the Movie –
The Horse on the boat is a horrific scene to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me VHS has dated out now.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest horror remakes, it remains scary through the years along with giving us the time scale everything is going to be revealed.

 

Overall: Wonderful horror remake.

Rating

 

 

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James Bond Month – From Russia With Love (1963)

Director: Terence Young

Writer: Richard Maibaum (Screenplay) Ian Fleming (Novel)

Starring: Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi, Pedro Armendariz, Lotte Lenya, Robert Shaw, Bernard Lee, Eunice Gayson

 

Plot: James Bond willingly falls into an assassination plot involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: James Bond Is Back!

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bigger Better More Enjoyable

 

Story: From Russia With Love starts by following SPECTRE’s next move after Bond foiled their last one, we see how Grant (Shaw) a ruthless assassin trained to kill is bought into wait to finish off Bond, working un Rose Klebb (Lenya) who has assigned young Russia operative Tatiana Romanova (Bianchi) to get close to Bond to give away secrets.

James Bond (Connery) must travel to Turkey to come face to face with Tatiana who is offering information for safety, only Bond now knows what he is up against, the bigger organisation that will stop at nothing to terrorise the world.

 

Thoughts on From Russia With Love

 

Characters – James Bond is forced into his next mission which includes seducing a spy that is wanting to turn on Russia, he shows us again just how skilled he is when it comes to dealing with life and death situations and his awareness of dangers around him. Tatiana Romanova is the Russian spy that has offered to give up information for safety to England, she might not be as true as James is told about, even though we know she is being forced into this mission. Rosa Klebb is the one that is recruiting the agents with Tatiana and Grant being her picks to help SPECTRE eliminate James Bond. Grant is the newest recruit assassin, hard as nails, resourceful and everything James will find difficult to beat in a fight.

PerformancesSean Connery has grown into this role being even better than the first film, he become the superstar name after this outing. Daniela Bianchi is good for a Bond girl, she is stronger than the first one and now we know what type of women will get in this role. Robert Shaw as the villain is great, he looks cold calculated through every single scene.

StoryThe story here is a lot more interesting than the first film, we learn early on about the SPECTRE plan which shows us how we have a growing villainous threat for Bond to tackle. This helps make the franchise even more enjoyable because it isn’t just Bond solving a case, it is him trying to stay ahead while we know the twists coming. The story leaves us open to learn more about SPECTRE in future film which again is a pleasure for the audience to be seeing. How everything unfolds well we know Bond can solve the problems he is facing and we get to see the start of the infamous gadgets.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is bigger, the fights last longer and the adventure that Bond must go on is showing us just how big the terrorist battle will be.

SettingsThe film takes place for the most part in Turkey, which shows us another neutral country in the middle of the battle, the train sequences could be argued to be the most enjoyable though.


Scene of the Movie –
The gadgets being introduced.

That Moment That Annoyed Me James Bond attitude toward women.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful second instalment in the franchise, it gives us a bigger threat for long term villains in SPECTRE and does have big action throughout.

 

Overall: The sequel that makes things bigger.

Rating