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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Pan&Scan
  Languages
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer - Ring (Eng), Ring (Jap), Ring 2 (Eng), Ring 2 (Jap), Ring 0 (Jap), Kandahar, Cowboy Bebop, The Cat's Meow, Boogiepop Phantom, Pi
  • Featurette - Sadako's Video
  • Animated menus

Ring 2

Madman Entertainment/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 95 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

My Dad once said to me, “If someone told you there was a man-eating tiger outside, you’d go outside to see for yourself.” I don’t remember why he told me that, I’d probably done something stupid yet again. I do remember that one time he didn’t say anything and instead threw a dinner plate full of food at me. Fear not, concerned reader, for the plate missed and smashed against a door behind me. In hindsight the event was quite funny, because this just got him even madder, so then he yelled at me to clean up the mess he’d just made. Maybe he shouldn’t have thrown the plate at me in the first place? Anyway, I did a lot of stupid things when I was young. I made my Pop very mad, very often. But my dad’s a good man and I treasure every plate-smashing memory to this day. One day I must tell you about the time he smashed my crutches, that was even funnier.

Anyway, I am leading up to something with this. Something about going outside to see a man-eating tiger and how it relates to the story on this DVD, Ring 2, which is obviously the sequel to Operation Dumbo Drop. Just kidding. Operation Dumbo Drop clearly isn’t a Japanese horror film - it’s an American horror film.

So, the point my Dad was making and that I’m slowly trying to get across here is this: If someone gives you a video and tells you that if you watch it you’ll be dead in a week, you shouldn’t watch the video. Good point, right? You can thank my Dad for this wisdom.

Unfortunately, the characters in Ring and Ring 2 never met my Dad. Otherwise, they’d all be alive today, and the scariest thing they’d be watching on television would be Bert Newton.

In Ring, a spooky weird video was responsible for a few deaths and a disappearance. In Ring 2, people are investigating what happened to the people in Ring, and what the mystery behind the video is. Herein lies the problem. The first film was scary because it was able to spook you with the effects of the video curse on people, and the video itself was bizarre and unexplained. You basically got to discover the spookiness for the first time. The follow up explains away most of the mystery as being this, that and the other, and relies on shock tactics and eerie music to try to recapture the same sense of doom.

Sometimes it works, other times not. Sometimes a lesser man might pee himself, sometimes he would remain in full control of his bladder. I’m not a lesser man. But then again, I didn’t have anything to drink before watching this DVD.

I’m sure my Dad would be proud of me after reading that last paragraph. He’d probably have something wise to say about that as well, like: “Never tell people you pissed yourself watching Ring 2 if you’re wearing their pants.”

  Video
Contract

The look and quality is very similar to the DVD of Ring. There’s some NTSC like judder to the picture visible in some pans and during character movement. It’s not always noticeable or distracting, but once you latch onto it, it can annoy a bit. The picture, 16:9 enhanced with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, is suitably muted and dark, with very little detail in the darker recesses, a soft focussed look to the clarity and an inkling that compression is too tight here and there. Trying to be optimistic, I guess this suits the style of the film, and without having seen the original theatrical release I can only guess that the look of the transfer is reasonably faithful. On a final down note, as with the Ring DVD, this release also has the English subtitles burnt in to the print. Unfortunately they are white, which at times can make the reading very difficult when they sit over white or bright backgrounds.

  Audio
Contract

A spooky pic has to have spooky sound, and so Ring 2 fulfils this requirement with an atmospheric mix full of nasty little eerie sounds to punctuate the scary or macabre moments. The 5.1 audio has effective use of the discrete channels, with often less than subtle roping in of the surrounds. Dialogue wise, the single audio track is in Japanese, and there isn’t an English audio option, so you’re left to read the subtitles. You’d think reading and horror films don’t usually go hand in hand, but here it works fine, aside from the clarity issue I pointed out. On the other hand, if you can understand what they’re saying, then rest assured it sounds clear enough.

  Extras
Contract

There’s a small collection of extras on this disc, but nothing which fleshes out the film.
Sadako’s Video
This is the full spooky video as show in the film. As I recommended last time, try copying this on to a video tape, then mail it to a friend with a note which says they will die in one week if they watch it.

The Ring Cycle Trailers
The English trailers for Ring 1 & 2, and Japanese trailers for Ring 1, 2 & 0.

Madman Propaganda
A further five trailers for Kandahar, Cowboy Bebop, The Cat’s Meow, Boogiepop Phantom and Pi.

  Overall  
Contract

Comparatively, I found Ring 2 a notch or two down from Ring in the spookstakes, as it takes too much out of the realms of the unknown and makes it too “scientific”, for lack of a better word. As this is the second in the Ring cycle, the law of sequels demands that the third will be even less effective. However, don’t get me wrong, I still liked this one enough. It has some great chill moments, and looked at on its own gives good reason to never use a Polaroid camera again.

Oh, and by the way Dad, if you happen to be reading this, yes it was me who set fire to the trailer 17 years ago. Sorry about that. Television made me do it.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1755
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      And I quote...
    "Unfortunately the characters in Ring and Ring 2 never met my Dad. Otherwise, they’d all be alive today, and the scariest thing they’d be watching on television would be Bert Newton..."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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