Plot: What’s it about?
It’s no secret that I’ve never been a fan of musicians "making the move" to acting; though nowadays it seems very commonplace. Sure, there are the exceptions to the rules like Kris Kristopherson, Bette Midler and Will Smith; but for the most part it just doesn’t work out. Such is the case for the "rappers" who have moved onto movies. I do like Ice Cube, as he has seemed to be in some better movies. But others just seem to capitalize on their success from one form of entertainment and try to conquer another. This leads us to Snoop (I don’t even know if he’s called Snoop Doggy Dogg anymore) who has starred in his share of clunkers and one might say that Bones fits very nicely into this category as well.
Bones is more of a mislabeled movie. One might think (including me) that it was about vampires, but it’s just anther horror movie about a haunted house (a genre of movie that there has been waaaaaay too much of lately). And the concept is very simple. The legend of Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg) has been transplanted into a house in a run down part of the city. Local kids manage to purchase the house to try and turn it into a nightclub thereby letting them party even harder than before. The trouble is, aside from the neighbor across the street who constantly yells and shoots his gun, that the house is haunted by Bones. You might figure that the kids would catch on, while hallucinating and seeing bloody claw marks everywhere, they might get the point and leave well-enough alone. Of course, they don’t. The movie flashes back to the late 70’s to show us what exactly happened to Bones (but I don’t want to give too much away), and now one of the kids who "owns" the house finds out that his father was in some way doing business with Bones. Can you say trouble? I’ll let you decide what the outcome may be, but rest assured…you won’t have to think too hard.
I’m not that keen on this movie, but I’m sure it has it’s audience somewhere. It’s just too much of another "been there, done that" movie that we see so much of. While not a very intriguing concept either, the acting (I thought) was very poor. For as much exposure as the box gives Snoop, he really isn’t in the film that much, maybe that’s a good thing. I’m sure this review won’t affect this genre of movies, they’ll keep churning them out as they always do, but unless you’re a real fan of horror movies, I’d stay away from the movie. I do have to commend the DVD though, as it looks and sounds great. More on that below (of course)…
Video: How does it look?
Like most all of New Line’s DVD’s, this is a stunning visual transfer. The 2.35:1 image is enhanced for widescreen TV’s and on the whole it looks amazing. The black levels are right on target and it’s a good thing, as this is one of the physically darkest movies that I’ve seen. Even the shots during the day are under a grey sky, which tends to mute the colors a bit. There is no edge enhancement that I noticed, but one thing that I did notice during a few scenes was a bit of digital breakup. I thought, at first, it might be the disc, so I cleaned it and watched the same scenes again. Same result. Perhaps this was an error because the disc was an early version of the film (a screener disc), so it’s possible that this error might be fixed on the final version. Aside from that minor error, the video almost makes up for how poor the film is!
Audio: How does it sound?
Again, as the video is excellent, so is the audio. New Line has been slow to embrace the DTS format, but their releases that have featured it have sounded awesome and this is certainly no exception. Available in both Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES (am I the only person who gets confused when mentioning both of these in the same sentence), you’re in for a real audio treat no matter which you choose. I give the edge, as per usual, to the DTS track as the bass is a bit more active. Even the menus are loud! The soundtrack, as one might guess, is killer and the surround effects are used almost constantly to heighten the mood. Clearly, this is one disc that sounds great, hands down.
Supplements: What are the extras?
New Line has been concentrating on their Infinifilm series as of late, but their Platinum series produced (and continues to produce) some very good discs. Bones is released as a Platinum series and you’ll get a screen-specific commentary by Director Ernest Dickerson, Snoop and Adam Simon. The track is about average, but not that talkative for three people on it. They all seem to be admiring their own work too much. Still, there are some good points in it and if you really like the movie, then you’ll love this feature. Some 14 scenes are shown in the deleted scenes section. Presented in anamorphic widescreen (always a nice feature), they can be played with the commentary on or off. While I didn’t enjoy the movie as it was, perhaps these might have made it more enjoyable? Two featurettes are also included, the first is entitled Digging Up Bones and runs about 25 minutes. Like so many other featurettes, this is more of the same. Actors are interviewed and tell of the shoot and we see some behind the scenes footage. What was so cool about DVD originally is starting to wear off. Another featurette is entitled Urban Gothic: Bones and it’s Influences. Featuring interviews with the same group of people, this is a bit more interesting as it tries to tell what influenced the film (as evidenced by the name). Running about 20 minutes, I’d recommend this one over the previous featurette. Two music videos (you knew it was coming) are also included both are Dogg Names Snoop and a live and recorded version are shown. As a nice touch, these are both presented in anamorphic widescreen. A trailer and some DVD-ROM material are also included. While the movie itself wasn’t up my alley, New Line has given us yet another technically adept disc here. Show it off for how good DVD’s can look and sound.