"The Ring" opens with a scene straight out of a teen horror movie: A high school girl is trying to scare a friend with the supposedly true story of a haunted videotape -- if you watch it, you die in seven days.
The other girl turns white as a sheet, not because the story scares her, but because she's actually seen the tape -- seven days before.
What follows is an chilling five minutes of eerie goings-on in which director Gore Verbinski ("The Mexican") skillfully winds the audience up like a jack-in-the-box, then sets us jumping at his pleasure with the simplest scare-movie tricks. A TV turns on to static, by itself, immediately after being turned off -- and unplugged. The phone rings menacingly. One girl searches for the other, sees water leaking out from under the bathroom door and s-l-o-w-l-y reaches for the knob.
Continue reading: The Ring Review
The terrorists in "Collateral Damage" must have coordinated with the movie's screenwriters when they were planning their big bombing for the finale. Their getaway vehicle for the scene is a motorcycle, which, of course, seats two. But there are three people who'd have to get away, according to their plan. How did they know in advance that one of them would be left behind? How did they know they'd only need a motorbike?
That's one of the more abstract plot holes in this Arnold Schwarzenegger action dud about an average (6'2", 250 lbs., heavy Austrian accent) American firefighter out to avenge his wife and son after they're killed in a terrorist bombing. But don't worry, there are plenty more common-sense gaffes that are far more obvious, especially the plethora of laughable security breach blunders that betray the movie's pre-Sept. 11 origins.
Quickly realizing those self-serving wonks at the CIA, FBI and State Department aren't going to get the bomber -- a cocaine-running Colombian rebel called "The Wolf" -- Arnie engineers his own one-man mission to Central America to smoke the guy out and kill him. He hikes, rides beaten-up busses and bribes poor boat fishermen to get him into rebel territory. There he poses as a mechanic to infiltrate a bad-guy stronghold, "MacGuyvers" himself a couple do-it-yourself bombs and starts blowing stuff up.
Continue reading: Collateral Damage Review