Rachel Keller (Watts) and her son, Aidan (David Dorfman) as they
relocate to Astoria, Ore., leaving behind their horrific memories in
Seattle. Those memories involve the ghost of a little girl named
Samara (Burbank's own Kelly Stables), who was thrown into a deep well
and left to die by her depressed mother, who sealed the cylindrical
well off at the top -- leaving a "ring" of light around the circular
Samara's spirit found vengeance in the form of a videotape that
would curse the viewer to death in exactly one week. As Rachel found
out, the only way to lift the curse was to make a copy and help the
What's fresh about "The Ring Two" (PG-13) is that the videotape
device, while clever, is jettisoned early in favor of Samara's spirit
possessing Aidan -- all she wants is a mother, and if she takes over
his body, Rachel will fill that void. This creates a paradox; the
only way to save her son is to kill him.
What's missing from the sequel is the believability of Rachel's
actions and audience identification with the characters. Rachel does
things that don't make sense because it's convenient for the plot. If
you don't buy what's motivating her, you don't engage as deeply, and
therefore are far less likely to be scared.
* ALLEN MACDONALD works in the television industry and resides in
'Hostage' has violence to the max
If you're a fan of Bruce Willis, you should see the new movie
"Hostage." If violence and blood make you squirm, avoid this film
First let me say that I'm a big Bruce Willis fan. Willis'
performance in "Die Hard" is one of my favorites. Even if the paper
hadn't asked me to review "Hostage," I still would have seen it.
Since I'm a pro, I'll still give you an unbiased critique.
"Hostage" stars Willis as Jeff Talley, the sheriff of a small town
in Ventura County. He's moved there to escape his old life as a
hostage negotiator in Los Angeles. As usual, trouble follows the
sheriff wherever he goes, and he finds himself once again negotiating
a hostage situation.
This time, there's a twist. The bad guys are holding his family