Franchise Weekend – The Ring 2 (2005)

Director: Hideo Nakata

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

Starring: Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, David Dorfman, Elizabeth Perkins, Gary Cole, Sissy Spacek, Ryan Merriman

 

Plot: 6 months after the incidents involving the lethal videotape, new clues prove that there is a new evil lurking in the darkness.


Tagline – Fear comes full circle.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Weaker Sequel

 

Story: The Ring 2 starts as Rachel (Watts) and her son Aidan (Dorfman) have set up to start a new life after the events of the first film, Rachel in a small paper, while Aidan has taken after his father, with his love of photography.

When the town has its own video tape going around, killing people, Rachel decides to burn the tape, which only draws the attention of Samara again, as she sees her son targeted by Samara, with Rachel needing to get to the bottom of the tape once again.

 

Thoughts on The Ring 2

 

Characters – Rachel has moved her child to a smaller town to start a new life away from the pain of the previous one. she gets a new job, only for the first day on the job, Samara takes her next victim. Wanting to stop the spread of the curse in this new town, Rachel destroys the video tape, only to see herself become the target once again of Samara. Rachel will need to continue the investigation into who Samara was and why she is still haunting the world. Max is one of the co-workers at the newspaper, he isn’t trying to hit on Rachel, but does become the only person that Rachel can turn too. Aidan is the son that has started to take after his father with his love of photography, he does become the target of Samara, we see two different sides to David in this film. Dr Temple is trying to figure out what has been happening to Aidan, first seeing that it could be child abuse, she needs to make sure the child is safe before anything else.

PerformancesNaomi Watts is still strong in the leading role, we need her to show extra motherly emotions in the film this time around. Simon Baker doesn’t get a chance to get going in this film, while David Dorfman does make a big improvement because of the extra additions to his character. The supporting cast are not the strongest either with most getting left to limited screen time.

StoryThe story here continues to see Rachel haunted by Samara needing to continue to unlock the truth about Samara to save her own son from her curse. Now this is a confusing as for a story because everything felt pretty wrapped up at the end of the film, this did end up just putting a forced sequel out there which tries to build more on the Samara legacy. Where this falls short in the story as by giving us weak supporting characters, having the events literally start the day Rachel arrives in the new town and going against certain things that happen in the first film.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film does give us basic moments of scares, though dream sequences a hoping the same jumps can worked in the first film. the mystery continues to look at the mystery about Samara and why she has continued to haunt people.

SettingsThe film was moved to a smaller location, while returning to certain other locations with them being an extra clue involved in the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film have dated already, you can see certain green screens being used, which were meant for uneasy scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
The bath surprise.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dated effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weaker sequel that tries to build up on the original legacy, only to dive further into something we didn’t need to get more about what is happening.

 

Overall: Simple and weak sequel.

Rating

 

 

ABC Challenge – Biopics – # – 42 (2013)

Director: Brian Helgeland

Writer: Brian Helgeland (Screenplay)

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman, Lucas Black

 

Plot: This movie is about Jackie Robinson and his journey to becoming a Brooklyn Dodger and his life during that time.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Sports Biopic

 

Story: 42 starts with the history of baseball and how after World War II there was 400 players in the MLB and they were all white, the black players had their own league until 1947 when the number dropped to 399. Branch Rickey (Ford) wants to bring the first black man to the major leagues for the Brooklyn Dodgers against everything the world at the time suggests, that player is Jackie Robinson (Boseman).

Jackie must start in a feeder team and must put aside the segregation issues that is still going through America, Jackie and his wife Rachel (Beharie) must show they have the thick skin to deal with the abuse from the crowd, other players attitude and prejudices going through America to become a trailblazer for the African American Baseball players.

 

Thoughts on 42

 

Characters – Looking at the characters we are looking at real people this time and one Jackie Robinson who would stand up for what he believed in while making his name on the baseball field, he becomes the trailblazer given the chance to become the first black major league baseball player defining all the segregation problems going through America. Branch Rickey was a bible loving owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who wants to make a difference in the game giving Jackie a chance to change the game so he could be owning a victorious team. Rachel is Jackie’s wife that stands by him through the discrimination he experiences.

PerformanceChadwick Boseman is fantastic in this role showing that he was going to be a huge name in the future. Harrison Ford gives us one of his best performances of his elder career that is outside his known franchises, with Nicole Beharie doing well with the character she has to work with.

StoryThe story of Jackie Robinson is the stuff of legends on America, the trailblazer for African America baseball players fight on and off the field against the discrimination he faces to become the star of the season. We get to see how the country of America was so far behind the times with their equality that is still happening without being as serious as it once was. This is an important history lesson if you are a fan of baseball, sport and history in general.

Biography/SportsJackie Robinson is an icon of the sport of baseball, this shows how he fought off everything to become that icon.

SettingsEach setting shows us the different worlds that Jackie must walk into with different opinions on the difference in race.

Scene of the Movie – The team standing up for Robinson against ben Chapman.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I don’t understand baseball.

Final ThoughtsWhen you look at sports biopics you will always see an icon born and this shows just how Jackie Robinson became the legend the game knows and is a must watch.

 

Overall: Must watch for sports fans.

Rating

 

 

Jurassic Games (2018)

Director: Ryan Bellgardt

Writer: Ryan Bellgardt (Screenplay) Galen Christy (Story)

Starring: Perrey Reeves, Ryan Merriman, Katie Burgess, Erika Daly, Adam Hampton, Cate Jones, Rett Terrell

 

Plot: In the near future, 10 death row convicts are forced to compete in a virtual reality game that pits them against dinosaurs and each other.


Tagline – Win the games. Win your freedom.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Running Man with Dinosaurs

 

Story: The Jurassic Games starts in a world where entertainment has mixed with capital punishment, as death-row inmates get a chance of freedom by entering a virtual reality game against dinosaurs with the winner getting their freedom, but if you die in the game you will receive their lethal injection.

The show hosted by the charismatic Host (Merriman) is keeping the audience entertained, while Savannah (Reeves) is running the behind the show, getting the best shots for the audience. Anthony Tucker (Hampton) is one contestants and one who has been wrongful convicted of the murder, this is his last chance to make it back to his children, but the other 9 contestants are also eyeing their freedom.

 

Thoughts on The Jurassic Games

 

Characters – The Host is the man keeping the audience in the palm of his hands, his smile keeps everyone informed that we are watching murderers and that anything that happens to them is deserved for the crimes they have committed. Savannah is the director of the show, she picks the shots to make the audience happy, arranges the locations of the dinosaurs to make for the best television for the audience. Anthony Tucker is one of the contestants, he is wrongfully convicted of killing his wife and this is his chance of freedom. He isn’t like the rest of game, he does try to keep his humanity through the game. Joy is one of the deadliest contestants, she is one of the youngest people put on death row and kills for pure enjoyment.

PerformancesRyan Merriman has the charisma for this role, giving us a performance similar to what Richard Dawson gave us in The Running Man. Perrey Reeves is great as the director making sure the show is staying on next year, she shows the power she has in the scenes required as well as the calmness while dealing with the press. Adam Hampton is good in his role as the reluctant player never looking like a killer like the killers do. Katie Burgess makes for a good loose cannon with a black heart willing to kill for fun.

StoryThe story here follows the likes of The Condemned, Gamer, Death Race and The Running Man by having convicted criminals given a chance of freedom by being placed into a life or death game for entertainment value. We get the idea that each character in the game has a different reason to be the psychotic figure along with the one who is innocent but being forced into the game. The political messages are here too as we always need to have a campaign about the moral side of the idea, this works too. The story seems to check every box for pure entertainment purposes.

Sci-FiThe film does play with the idea of virtual reality worlds and is set in the future where this is possible, this helps the film stay in a position of believability during the film.

SettingsThe settings are generic for the most part, but they do also fit the idea of a gameshow, the woods, the maze, the desert and the hosts chambers, everything we have come to expect.

Special EffectsThe effects are noticeable, we know it is all CGI, but because this is a virtual reality world we can accept them not looking perfect because the world isn’t strictly real that we are going into.


Scene of the Movie –
The Desert round.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Tucker’s kids watching isn’t convincing at all.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hugely entertaining movie, it plays into a well loved sci-fi idea and ups the levels by doing the only thing left, add dinosaurs.

 

Overall: Sci-Fi surprise package, go and watch.

Rating