RINGS [PG-13] D
I remember catching the press screening of Gore Verbinski’s “The Ring” back in 2002, mainly because I was fascinated with, and maybe even a bit haunted by, the jump-cut images that were part of that videotape that killed viewers, seven days after watching it. Taken together, they had the ability to get under the skin, digging into the psyche, and I suppose I figured there might be some hope that F. Javier Gutiérrez (“Before the Fall”) would be able to integrate them into the streaming age and retain some degree of that original shock value. Instead, “Rings” is little more than another horror franchise reboot with blankly brooding faces straight from soapy television, aiming to reach a millennial generation that just missed out on the trend.
THE SPACE BETWEEN US [PG-13] C+
Sometimes you need extra time to process all of the impressions movies can trigger in you. Walking out of the advance screening of Peter Chelsom’s “The Space Between Us,” I found myself caught up in the humanistic sci-fi elements – the idea of a child born during an exploratory mission and the impact, not only on the mission, but also on the child. The narrative recalls fragile innocence of “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” in the best ways possible, but a few days later, I was struck by the rampant misogyny on display. From heaping blame on astronaut Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery), the mother of Mars-born Gardner (Asa Butterfield) to the shaming of his surrogate mother Kendra Wyndham (Carla Gugino), I couldn’t help wondering if the male-dominated team behind the story (Stewart Schill, Richard Barton Lewis, and Allan Loeb) were intent on widening the Mars-Venus gulf between the sexes once again.