When a radical college professor (Johnny Galecki, “The Big Bang Theory”) finds the mysterious video rumored to kill viewers seven days after watching, he enlists his students in a dangerous experiment to uncover the secrets behind the Samara legend. When the deadly video goes viral, they must figure out a way to break the curse and defeat Samara before her evil is unleashed upon the world. But, how do you stop her when she’s everywhere? RINGS also stars Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz (Summertime), Alex Roe (The 5th Wave), Aimee Teegarden (“Friday Night Lights”) and Vincent D’Onofrio (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”).
When the American remake of The Ring first came out, I didn’t have very strong feelings about it in either direction. Japanese ghost movies have never held my interest, and certainly not the American imitation. I realize that it was kind of a big deal, The Ring, and I did see it when it was first released, but I always found that other horror fans held it in higher regard than I. My wife is a fan, so every time a similar movie is released, I’ll sit down and watch it with her, but if you asked me which of them I’ve seen, I couldn’t tell you. Compared to this new Ring-related film, I realize now how well made the first American remake was. I still don’t like it, but as far as production value goes, it’s there. Rings however, doesn’t quite compare in that regard. I had to double-check after I started the film that Paramount released this thing to theaters, and was surprised to learn that they did. I guess if you’re a big fan of this franchise, there’s probably something for you to enjoy, but if your first thought when questioned about that type of thing is “meh” there’s probably nothing in Rings to swing your opinion.
The previous movies both had relatively interesting plots, with characters you can actually feel one way or another about, and make serviceable attempts at explaining any holes or gaps in logic. This new film doesn’t have much of any of that, nor do you get any sort of development of these characters. The acting isn’t terrible, but it definitely doesn’t feel like a theatrically released feature. The most recognizable faces are Johnny Galecki and Vincent D’Onofrio. No disrespect to David and Vinnie D, both of which are effective actors on their own right, but they weren’t given much to work with here. D’Onofrio, if left unattended, has a tendency to ham it up unless the material is solid, which is basically what he does here. Galecki just feels out of place, but mostly its his motivations that are never fully developed, nor any kind of sense of his character. The two “main characters” of the story, I found it hard to care either way about. I recognize that for what this is, it could have been way worse, but it’s not that good, either. Imagine The Grudge 3, shot with current tech, and you’ll have a good idea what to expect.
Paramount’s Blu-ray release of the film is as it should be. It’s your standard new-release-film. The video is an AVC-encoded 1080p transfer averaging 30 Mbps bitrate with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The picture is crisp and clean, and very “blue” as these films are known to be. There are several audio tracks in different languages, which you can find below in the specs, but the English audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, and it does its job well. I can’t say that much attention went into the sound design, but what is present on the track is presented in pristine condition. As far as extras go, there’s a little more than a dozen deleted scenes including an alternate ending, and a couple short behind-the-scenes featurettes. Also included in the package is a DVD copy of the film, and Digital HD/Ultraviolet codes granting you access to not only this film, but the first two as well. Overall not bad for a big studio release. Rings is available now from Paramount on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
RINGS Blu-ray Combo Pack
The RINGS Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:
- Feature film in high definition
- Bonus Content:
- Terror Comes Full Circle
- Resurrecting the Dead: Bringing Samara Back
- Scary Scenes
- Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes
- Feature film in standard definition
RINGS Single-Disc DVD
The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The disc includes the film in standard definition.
Street Date: April 21, 2017 (Digital HD)
May 2, 2017 (Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand)
U.S. Rating: PG-13 for violence/terror, thematic elements, some sexuality and brief drug material
Canadian Rating: 14A for violence, frightening scenes