Review: “Bones”

What is it with music star vanity projects all of a sudden. As if Mariah Carey’s “Glitter”, a woman who when she hits the high notes produces the same effect as 200dB feedback, wasn’t bad enough we’ve had N’Sync-er Lance Bass doing “On The Line”, Mandy Moore in “A Walk to Remember”, Britney Spears in the Thelma & Louise-lite “Crossroads”, and Eminem in the upcoming street gang drama “8-Mile”. Sure some have been able to crossover like J-Lo, Mark Wahlberg, etc. but for the most part attempts by singers usually crash and burn – anyone remember the Vanilla Ice movie? (just be glad Rick Astley didn’t do romantic comedy).

Indeed, none of the new batch have been impressive at all – Bass, Moore & Spears are smart people (in interviews Bass is easily the most interesting of the five guys) but nevertheless both have chosen dud projects, “Glitter” was just a mess and the less said about the likes of “How High” the better. They didn’t work because not only were they uninteresting concepts, they didn’t play to the singer’s strengths. Sure Madonna isn’t that great an actress, but at least with “Desperately Seeking Susan” she debutted with a role well suited for her – which is why Eminem at least has a chance because “8 Mile” seems to be doing that too.

Of late, its only really been Vitamin C with a small supporting role in “Dracula 2000” that stands out – sure it was a dud film but she was fresh and full of energy which allowed her to steal it. Now comes “Bones” from rapper Snoop Dogg (formerly Snoop Doggy Dog till legal problems forced the name change…sigh, at least it aint P.Diddy or whatever he’s called now). “Bones” at lest feels like an attempt at a horror project which hired a rap star rather than a cheap movie constructed around a musician’s ego. Still the tagline “Unleash the Dogg” is pretty much what the filmmakers have done here with this effort.

Aside from some great cinematography, clever imagery, and urban legend back history there’s not much here – but still its enough to pull off a horror film with more creativeness than most efforts of the genre of late. In many ways it reminded me the most of an effort a few years back called “Candyman” in its style, even though that movie was much scarier, better written and featured some great performances from Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd.

Performances here though aren’t much with Grier over the top as usual, Dogg’s acting is exactly as you’d expect, but its Bianca Lawson as the daughter character who proves the most likable of the lot. The brownstone house setting is a great idea and there’s some cleverly creepy or gross images such as a maggot spewing dog, a billiard table that bleeds (albeit the fakest looking blood I’ve seen in a movie), and a wall of oozing black bodies. One effect I also quite liked was the rose tinted POV of Bones himself in several scenes. Still, someone needs to put this Dogg down and out of its misery as I think its got rabies (albeit a mild case).