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October 29, 2001 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-29

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8A - The Michigan Daily -- Monday, October 29, 2001

ARTS

0

Stylin' Snoop cannot save
sub-par horror film 'Bones'

By Lyle Henretty
Daily Arts Editor
As the titular villain, Snoop Dogg
radiates pure menace in the final
minutes of "Bones" while still man-
aging to make his stylish-pimp

Bones
Grade: C+
At Showcase
and Quality 16

threads seem
oddly appropri-
ate. His triangu-
lar face works
even better in
f I a s h b a c k
sequences,
where director
Ernest Dicker-
son ("Juice,"
though best
known as Spike
Lee's ciner
matographer)
spares no
expense to

With kids skipping rope on sun-
drenched orange sidewalks, the new
Robin Hoods, the pimps and drug
dealers, held court on the street.
Dickerson's 1979 both pays homage
and winks at a world that ceased to
exist when Isaac Hayes finally put
his shirt back on.
Despite finding the near-perfect
pitch between horror and camp
(something horror films of late
couldn't find with a pair of binocu-
lars), "Bones" marginally fails
because it forces icon Snoop into the
background and attempts to tell the
story through a group o f "nice kids."
The four (inter-racial brothers-sis-
ter act Khalil Kain. Merwin Monde-
sir and Katherine Isabelle and friend
Sean Amsing) slip away from their
suburban utopia in order to open a
nightclub on the wrong side of town.
Circumstance and an obvious script
land them at the long-abandoned

showcase the colorful '70s ghetto.

home of Jimmy Bones (Dogg), a
infamous runner of numbers from
the '70s who truly cared about "his
people" and may or may not be
inhabiting the body of a demonic
dog (get it?) adopted by Isabelle's
character.
Turns out Bones was done in by a
competitor (Ricky Harris) and a cor-
rupt white cop (Michael T. Weiss,
"The Pretender") because he refused
to allow crack to be distributed in
"his neighborhood." With forced
help from Bones bodyguard and lov-
ing girlfriend (Pam Grier, complete
with Foxy Brown's afro for the flash-
back scenes), Bone's is buried in his
own basement before the whole
world ma'gically morphs into the
ghetto from "Boyz in the Hood."
Dickerson hits every horror flick
from the '70s and '80s as Bones
begins to rejuvenate, "Hellraiser"
style as he absorbs the blood of his
(the dog's) victims. Faces popping
out of shadows were borrowed from
"Halloween." Bones himself (back
from the dead, anyway) is Freddy
Kruger's urban Godson, a shape-
shifting, snarling monster who is still
dapper and humorous enough to
work as a perverse anti-hero.
The blood runs so red that it's
nearly "Dawn of the Dead" orange,
even when it bursts forth from a
sliced pool-table. Two severed heads
begin to crack wise, and the zombies
from "An American Werewolf in
London" spring to mind. Whether it's
homage or rip-off is not entirely
clear.
The youths are passable, but their
time onscreen drags when nothing
gory happens. Grier is an even big-
ger icon than Dogg, and her silly
afro and even sillier modern-day
dred-locks work because of who she
is. She still overacts, but her pres-
ence adds authenticity to the flash-
back scenes.
Weiss is best know for playing a
television good-guy, enjoys hamming
it up as the paradigm crooked white
cop. The actor spends a great deal of
time in a fat suit, looking uncannily
like character actor John Capodice.
Harris plays a dirty pimp straight out
of "Shaft," and he looks appropriate-
ly decadent as he climbs off of his
white "barbie doll" wearing her
stockings and heels.
While there is a fair amount of
gore in the film, it seems nearly sub-
dued next to last week's "From Hell."
Of note, though, is Dickerson's
vision of Hell, a wicked combination
of James Joyce and Tim Burton, with
faces and arms reaching out to pull
characters named "Jay-Bird" and
"Shotgun" into the dirty, cramped
eternity.
Snoop out Super-flys Ron O'Neil,
and while the film starts and stops,
the rapper solidifies his icon status.
The silly film is not particularly
scary, but it is more than just a vessel
to sell a (pretty good) soundtrack.

Courtesy 0f ioucnsjone
Gawd, isn't this a face only a mother could love. I mean, sure it needs a little work, but look at it ... just look at it.
Painfully unfunny, inept
'HghHeels and Lo WLies'
spins tied gal-pal adventure

By Andy Taylor-Fabe
Daily Film Writer
When the most common way that a film is described
is by comparing it to another successful film, you know

you're in trouble.
High
Heels and
Low Lifes
Grade: D
At Showcase
and Quality 16
, }
:)

Phrases like "this is the new 'Thelma
and Louise"' should set off a loud
alarm that tells you that a "by the
numbers" movie is at hand. Mel
Smith's= "High Heels and Low
Lifes" tries to mix comedy and
action with more than a hint of
"you go girl" attitude (Somebody
actually yelled that at one point, I
swear), and the result is a tired,
recycled film that doesn't offer
anything new.
Set in London, the film follows
the adventures of Shannon (Minnie
Driver, "Grosse Pointe Blank"), a
nurse who spends too much time
working and who has a boyfriend
who doesn't appreciate her. After
he'ditches her on her birthday, she
finds solace with her friend Frances

Driver is one of the only points of light ii the film,
for her delivery and her timing are well-honed, but her
chemistry with McCormack is severely lacking, and the
villains are caricatures of real bad guys and not menac-
ing in the least. Sometimes this silliness is deliberate,
such as when Mason (Kevin McNally), one of the
thieves, is sitting in his garden, shooting at a bunny
with an automatic weapon (at least, I hope that was
supposed to be funny ...).
This painfully unfunny stock comedy doesn't break
any new ground or yield any mindless entertainment.
Every element of the plot and every piece of dialogue
is straight from the book, and even the parts that have
potential to be interesting (who doesn't like a good
bank robbery) have been done better. The safe deposit
robbery in "Sexy Beast" was far superior to this one.
The blackmailing in "Zero Effect" was much more sus-
penseful and unpredictable than the one in "High
Heels." The relationship between Thelma and Louise
was ... no, wait, that movie sucked too. But you get the
idea.

Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Bow wow wow, yippy yo, yippy yea, whose film is crappy in the house.

"E~n""l

iii

The MSW at Loyola:
" Nationally known
" Accredited since 1914
e Clinical specializations: adults, children,
couples, elderly, families, health, and school
social work
" Four dual degree programs: MSW and Child
Development (MS); law (JD); Divinity
(MDiv); or Child and Family Law (MJ)
Also available at Loyola: BSW and PhD
degree programs

(Mary McCormack, "K-PAX"), a loud and assertive
American who is also an unsuccessful actress. They go
out clubbing to drown their sorrows, but later, at Shan-
non's, while messing around with Shannon's
boyfriend's digital sampling material (don't ask), they
overhear a conversation about a bank heist in progress
in their neighborhood.
When their attempts to contact the police are unsuc-
cessful, they decide that the next best thing is to black-
mail the bank robbers. Little do they know that the
people involved in the heist are much more dangerous
and determiieRthan a fewThugs. As they are drawn
..deeper into a dangerous situation, they try to return to
their normal lives but realize that they must see their
job through to the end.
The movie is supposed to be a pretty equal mix of
comedy and action sequences, which would be fine if
either one of those was a successful effort. Director
Mel Smith (best known as the albino in "The Princess
Bride") cannot bear all the responsibility for bringing
us once again to the "pitssss of despaaair," for it was
written by Kim Fuller, who wrote and produced "Spice
World."

Chicago's Jesuit University

LOYOLA
UNIVERSITY
R CHICAGO
o Graduate School
of Social Work

M.S.W. Admissions:
Jude Gonzales
at 312.915.7289
E-mail:
jgonza@luc.edu

Courtesy of Touchstone
Would you like to touch my Teddy-bear, honey-bunch.

Loyola University Chicago is an equal opportunity educator and employer. @2001 Loyola University of Chicago.

i

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