Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Two Ring Circus

Nanako Matsushima finds out that movies are still your best
entertainment. Ringu (Toho Co. Ltd & Kadokawa Shoten 1998)

                                                      Two Ring Circus


                                                                    Jay Agan

     So, what is it with "Hollywood"? (I'm referring to the mentality. I know a lot of films are not "made" there.) Just what is it that makes these folks take a property & mess with it? We've all seen it before: A best selling book. A great foriegn film/classic film. Something that was wonderful, inspirational, or just dang kool. They take it & make/remake it into a piece of on-screen garbage. Look at what they did to Lord of the Rings, Godzilla, or any original & see the mess they made of it. Krap! Whole & total.

     I can only imagine how these "products" came to be. The book, concept, script, original work goes in one end of the "mill" & out the other. Passed from one to the other, everyone along the line has to put his mark, his stamp on it in order to make it "his". Each one wants to take his/her respective "significant other", point to the screen at a certain part & say, "see baby? This is why this film is 'mine'." It may be his/theirs but it's not one I'd want.

     What are they thinking when they "communicate" with one another? What goes on in these meetings of theirs? What kind of sick demons are rattling inside their skulls as they sodomize a property beyond the point of undeath?

     "Hey! Let's take out/add/change characters!"

     "Let's change the setting & plot!"

     "Why don't we jazz up the concept? See how much of an event we can make of this!"

     "Moderize it! More action & zip!"

     "Y'know? A nude scene or two definitely wouldn't hurt. Yeah! Let's go with that!"

     "We can get (Insert name of latest actor/whore du jour.) for the part. I know he/she's not right for it but audiences love him/her!"

     "Let's ....."

     "Let's appeal to the lowest common denominator!"

     If they were at all honest with themselves, their meetings would start off with:

     "How do we (With a capital F.) this?"

     Take Ringu for instance. I picked it up as a three buck special at Big Lots. I had seen The Ring a few years before & did not like it. Thanks to this Japanese original I like it even less.

     Ringu is a nice little "subdued" supernatural thriller about an urban legend where viewers of an off beat short film are killed off by a curse within a week unless they "pass" the tape on. The U.S. ("Hollywood"!) remake covers the same ground though execrably so.

     Ringu has only about two "vague" death scenes (I guess the babe coming out of the TV induces heart attacks or something.) Most of the film is devoted to tracking down & stopping the curse.

     The Ring? Well ..... The only thing I can write in its favor is they didn't add or take away much in the way of plot but what they did was more than enough to ruin it.

     I can see it now: "Hey guys! I gotta great idea! Let's add a some more deaths & kill a horse!"

     The extra deaths did nothing at all for the story & "broke up" the investigations' progression. As for the horse ..... that was just mean.

     If they wanted to "improve" on RIngu all they had to do IMHO was release it here with an English voice track. As it is, Ringu is the superior film even if I have to "struggle" with subtitles.

     "Hollywood" .....

     By the way ..... If you re-view the tape on the sixth day, do you get a seven day extension?

                                            Article copyright © 2-1-2011 Jay Agan

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