Reviewed March 24th, 2002 by Dan Jones
For whatever reason I was very intrigued in the idea of a Snoop Dogg horror movie. Granted, I did not expect cinematic genius from a movie of this sort, but I did have relatively high expectations, for I guess what seems like no real good reason. If anything, I thought it would be a fun flick with an unusual villain in Snoop, what I walked away with was a bit of a disappointment.
Bones begins with quite a simple horror movie setup. We have Jimmy Bones the pimp back in the 1970s whom is approached by a gang to sell crack in his neighborhood; of course, Jimmy Bones being the righteous human being he is, decides that he will pass in this endeavor; which of course the gang does not appreciate, so Jimmy Bones ends up dead.
As time goes by, Jimmy Bones’s “haunted” place of residence is purchased by some neighborhood kids and converted into a dance club (had to get hip-hop in there somewhere, right?). Soon thereafter Jimmy Bones is supernaturally resurrected and decides to strike back at those who murdered him and try to rid his community’s streets of people like them. Things tend to get a bit blurry here, as it seems many different ideas are attempting to be mixed into one tangled web that is Bones.
Bones is definitely a throwback to the 1970s blacksploitation films with a very uncharacteristic monster/punisher. The acting is none to stellar from the rap icon, but I assume this is to be expected as I doubt Snoop took many acting classes in his life. Thankfully, he is not the acting center of the film, so this is not too annoying, but in honesty, the rest of the acting, minus Pam Grier, is not too phenomenal in its own right.
I was definitely expecting more out of Bones; at least a straight horror film that had some laughs. The result here is a bit of a mixed bag; for those that enjoy the horror genre they should definitely check Bones out, it’s not a bad movie, it’s just nowhere near being a good movie.
Unlike the film, Newline has put out a very impressive DVD package.
Bones is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and looks just about perfect. Black level is exceptional for such a dark movie, along with great contrast and shadow detail. The print this was taken from was clearly grain and blemish free as you would be hard press to find an imperfection on this transfer. No compression artifacts or edge enhancement problems (such as halos) were noticeable throughout. Truly, another great transfer out of Newline.
Audio wise, Bones is again top notch. Newline has provided us with very aggressive Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete tracks; impressive considered the films relatively low budget. Both these tracks are top performers that are highly aggressive throughout all channels with some great low-end kick. Use of all three surround elements is very nicely done with great movement throughout. While both tracks are great, the nod goes to the DTS track as being the superior of the two for throwing a more detailed image. For those without the 5.1 ability, Newline has also provided a Dolby 2.0 track. Also included are English and Spanish subtitles and English Closed Captions.
Extras wise, Newline has given us a nice portion of supplements. First up is the audio commentary with the film’s director Ernest Dickerson, writer Adam Simon, and Snoop Dogg. Overall, this is not the greatest of commentaries. I was hoping for a bit more activity out of Snoop, just because I thought it would be amusing to get his take on the film, but for the most part, you will be hard pressed to even get the occasional sentence out of him. The commentary just seems a bit stale with no great insight into the film or the process that went into it.
The featurette Digging Up Bones is a bit of a fluffy making of, but not as bad as some of the fluffy making-of’s I have seen. This provides us with a number of interviews from the team that went into making it, including Dickerson, Snoop Dogg, Adam Simon, and Pam Grier. This is definitely worth a watch and has a run time of about 25 minutes.
The next featurette Urban Gothic: Bones And Its Influences gives us more interviews with most of the same people as the other featurette (minus Snoop). This featurette basically talks about horror movies and their place in society, but does not really delve into much depth or much meaning. Not bad though.
Next, we have 14 deleted scenes running about 25 minutes in their entirety. Nothing to stand out here, very typical of most deleted scenes. Basically the removal of these scenes cut the movie from two hours to a nice brisk 90 minutes (lets be honest, Bones does not need to be a two hour film); there inclusion would do little more to plot or story development rather then to just add filler where it wasn’t needed. Nevertheless, they are all presented very nice in 2.35 anamorphic widescreen, and come with optional commentary.
Finishing off the extras, we have two Snoop videos for “Doggs Name Snoop” (one is a live performance). We also have the films theatrical trailer and production notes.
All in all, I believe this film was anticipated to be much better then it actually is. The film tries to cross different genres with different ideas, but seems to fail by being too tangled up in its own web. I was expected the movie to be funnier due to Snoop’s character, but all in all this is not a comic gem either. It is also not the scariest of horror movies ever, that is for sure. BUT, if you enjoy horror films as I said before, you should check it out. If anything was done right with the film, it is the DVD that is presented on here with stellar audio and video transfers and a nice chunk of extras. If you liked the movie, you will love this DVD. If you are a big Snoop fan, you should pick it up. If not, perhaps give it a rental, or perhaps ask your friend to rent it and go watch it with them. Or perhaps just pass it up. The choice is yours.
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