Bones From Hell in Atlantis

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Remo D
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Bones From Hell in Atlantis

Post by Remo D » Sat Oct 27, 2001 2:24 pm

Yep--it's almighty "ketchup" time.

HEARTS IN ATLANTIS--okay, it's not horror, but it's Stephen King. If you've read the book, you'd be amazed that they pulled off a movie that doesn't mention Vietnam at all! And what would have been a more overtly supernatural story was toned down to a sort of "psychic vs. the FBI" thing in order to avoid the cross-references to King's other books and let the story stand on its own. That said, they do quite a good job, and the story itself (the first and last segments of King's book) is surprisingly faithful (though Anthony Hopkins is provided with extra dialogue to justify the otherwise-meaningless title--meaningless without the other stories, that is). It's sentimental and nostalgic, but it contains some strong scenes, nonetheless--the result is well-played and effective.

FROM HELL--the Hughes Brothers did exactly what they said they were going to do and made a film other than the kind people "expected" from them. So of course, critics still focus on the "urban/ghetto" elements of the Jack the Ripper story. I'll have to echo what just about everyone else said and acknowledge that Heather Graham is just too cosmetically attractive for a Whitechapel whore, but the cast and surroundings were otherwise perfectly evocative and worth seeing on the big screen. My only real disappointment is that this film had absolutely nothing new to say about Jack the Ripper for me--the solution provided here has already been dramatized at least twice in the past (and is accepted as real by many).

BONES: Now here's a nice surprise! After a first half filled with unsurprising horror elements and plenty of nods to 70's black-cast action films, the second half of this thing turns into a non-stop hit parade of late-70s and 80s gore films! SUSPIRIA and THE GATES OF HELL are quoted simultaneously, the "regeneration" effects are straight out of HELLRAISER (but I must admit I liked the way "Jimmy Bones" is embodied in a big black dog--the more the dog eats, the more flesh forms on the recently-excavated human skeleton), and the film features the most flat-out hilarious "talking head" scene since RE-ANIMATOR, though the gag is extended far too long in the end. One could cry "ripoff," but each tribute appears in story segments that don't mirror those of the inspiring films. In other words, the film itself isn't SUSPIRIA or HELLRAISER, take twenty-five. Of course, there's plenty of racial commentary (and the dubious flashbacks that depict Snoop Dogg's Jimmy Bones as such a nice guy at heart that he doesn't live up to his fearsome reputation at all)--but to "ghettoize" this release was the absolutely worst possible choice. I saw this one in the most remote of all the theatres I could attend--it plays one town away in a minority-populated area, while only trailers for "black" films run before it. What a waste! This should have been pitched to horror fans, not just black audiences! (For the record, mine was NOT the only white face in the theatre.) BONES eventually loses steam by opting for the apocalyptic, parallel-dimension sort of climax rather than a down, dirty and scary showdown, and there are plenty of obvious computer effects--but there's no shortage of on-camera prosthetic work, either, and there's a nostalgia rush like you won't believe waiting for you in this film. Oh, and twenty extra points for using Pam Grier and not bumping her off in the first half-hour. Are you listening, John?

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Chris Slack
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Post by Chris Slack » Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:33 pm

Thanks Remo, I wanted to hear something from somewhere other than the mainstream critics on "From Hell" and "Bones". From your description it sounds as though they deserve my theater dollars!

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Darth Tanner
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Post by Darth Tanner » Sun Oct 28, 2001 5:02 pm

I caught FROM HELL the other night and liked it enough to add it to my seemingly small list of winners for 2001. Heather Graham didn't really bother me that much, but I thought that Johnny Depp gave another wonderful performance. The story had some great suspense and atmosphere as well as some great gore effects that totally surprised me. While I liked SLEEPY HOLLOW a tad better, I still found this one very worthwhile. Indeed Chris, this one is well worth your money. Go see it!

I haven't seen BONES yet, but I hope to sometime this week. Based on the things I've been hearing, it definitely sounds like fun. I also want to check out HEARTS IN ATLANTIS too, but I might end up settling for that one on video.
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Post by Scott » Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:31 am

I found Bones to be the biggest disappointment I've seen. The movie simply drags on until the last 20 minutes or so before Mr. Bones even appears. I'm disappointed in director Ernest Dickerson. I liked Demon Knight, but this flick just doesn't cut it.

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Post by violentm » Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:07 pm

I myself thought From Hell was nothing special. The only aspect I enjoyed was the atmosphere and the throat gash scene. Other then that I didn't like it.

I felt absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I didn't care who lived or died, and the whole Johnny Depp, Heather Graham love story sub-plot was annoying.

That’s my $6.50.
[i] [color=white] I wish the dead could come back to life you bastard cause then I could kill ya again.
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