Rings (2005)
(DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005)

Not a bad little short!Not a bad little short!Not a bad little short!1/2

For what it is, it's pretty damned Good!

J.C. Mašek III... 

Rings Around the Critics!
J.C. Mašek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

It's become standard practice to re-release a DVD edition of your favorite films just about the time their sequels or remakes sloth their way onto the big-ass silver screen. If you're lucky, they'll throw in a butt-load of DVD Extras to help you forget that you already bought the damned thing when it was released in an "Extra Lacking" "Full Screen" edition to no Kudos at all. Folks, "Interactive Menus" do not an extra make! That's what DVDs do. You might as well bill a Cable News Channel as going "Beyond the Headlines"! The phrase "Well Duh!" comes to mind!

But, I digress. In this case, we're talking about The Ring Two, a sequel to the remake of Ringu... but not a remake of Ringu 2! With all the shocked surprise of "The Butler Did It", The Ring has been re-released, to cash in on The Ring Two's impending (March 18, 2005) release. It's still the same old version of The Ring that your sister bought you for Arbor Day, but this time, it's got a paper band around it with an extra Dreamworks SKG DVD filled (well, half-filled) with Extras!

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watch out for that Static Cling!

Sure, all of these could have fit on the original The Ring, and probably should have, but it's the included "Short Film" of Rings that excites and stimulates like a shot of Caffeine-Laced NyQuil.

In Rings, the legacy that Rachel has wrought has become the "Drug" of choice for Teenage Thrill Seekers. Because she and Aidan managed to figure out the Key to the tape (make a copy and have someone else watch it... the "Virus" is transferred to the new viewer), our Jackass-weaned Generation Z-ers are playing with the Legend. They watch the tape, spend the next several days taping themselves and any psychic phenomenon Samara brings with her, and when they can't take it anymore, they show it to an unwitting newbie who starts the whole thing over again. Each viewer gets a little closer to the seventh day.

That is until Ryan Merriman's Jake is "Recruited". As we follow him through the entire week, Jake goes from awe to "Awesome!" to scared out of his wits. He discovers that his "Ring" of the daring isn't the only one, but one of a huge Ring Community of Rings who trade their videos on a FearDotCom-style website (so we're ripping off the rip-offs now?).

Aye, but here's the Rub: What if one of our Ring-addicted Ring can't find another patsy to watch their tape by the last day?

In Rings' mere sixteen minutes (less time than it takes you to read this, I bet), the filmmakers (Ehren Kruger and Jonathan Liebesman) manage to craft a creepy companion piece to The Ring Two, which still has the feel of The Ring, and the Tape that haunted it. While Daveigh Chase is missed as Samara, it's hard to find fault with the creepy portrayal by Kelly Stables (after all, she was Chase's stunt double in The Ring, and played Samara again outright in The Ring Two).

Still, this is just a short, and there is no character development, no explicit mythology and nothing truly ground-breaking. Because of the need for prerequisites and the abrupt ending, this doesn't even really work as a Twilight Zone version of Ringu. This is for Fans only, and it's nothing if not a Teaser to get you to go see The Ring Two on opening weekend (Rings-stars Emily VanCamp and Ryan Merriman reprise their roles in the new movie).

But this was never meant to stand alone, and it is, after all, a DVD Extra... but a good one! Three and One Half Stars out of five for Rings, the little movie that whets the old appetite for the big one yet to come! It's definitely worth your time to watch, and belies its running-time brevity, but what do you want for sixteen minutes!? Buy it if you want it... but if you bought The Ring before, just go to Ebay, and see what you can find! Okay, I have to go... my phone is ringing. See you in the next Ring... Um... next reel! Reel!

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Rings (The 2005 SHORT FILM) reviewed by J.C. Mašek III who is responsible for his own opinions and love for Donnie Darko's little Sister!
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