Holiday 99:The Bone Collector
Hmm…Denzel's in it, it might be good.

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By Shelby J. Jones
A Film from Universal Pictures  
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Written by: Jeremy Iacone
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Produced by: Michael Bregman, Martin Bregman, Louis A. Stroller
Cast: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Ed O Neill, John Benjamin Hickey, Leland Orser, Luiz Guzman, Mike McGlure, Michael Rooker

The Bone Collector: 6:30pm Crampton Auditorium, Howard University. I was thrilled when Dr. Morris Hawkins, an HU Medical prof, informed me of the advanced screening. I thought "cool." HU babee. I was educated at the University of Maryland but in many ways HU was always a surrogate home for brothers and sisters attending Maryland, GW, Georgetown, Catholic and American. I arrived on campus at 6:00pm after work dressed in a suit and immediately realized that HU is still a beautiful educational scene. I felt old and out of place, kids looked at me like I was a professor. The experience was sobering.

The Bone Collector started and the crowd jumped into the film. As soon as Denzel appeared on screen, the undergrad girls went crazy - screaming like Denzel is still da man. The Bone Collector turned out to be an ok film but by no means is this Denzel's best work. It had some scary moments and super-intense scenes from which your emotions could not escape, but The Bone Collector missed getting an A by being a little too predictable. Nevertheless, watching it with that crowd was part of the entertainment experience and for a moment I reminisced and wondered where my dorm room was. Peace to the HU crew.


The Bone Collector, based on the best-selling novel The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver, is a solid crime story dashed with a bit of suspenseful-whoodunit-ism that is guaranteed to make a few people scream. The film lives through the life of the ultimate crime investigator, Lincoln Rhyme, played by Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington. Rhyme does nothing except play with gadgets and fantasize about his final trip from planet earth. When several bizarre murders occur - who you gonna call, Ghostbusters or Rhyme? The bureau chooses Rhyme and now the stage is set for the killer to be pursued and captured. Oh, but wait a minute, this killer deliberately leaves clues for which Rhyme and the others must decipher if they are to ever catch this brainy serial killer. You say - where's the drama? Well, Rhyme is a quadriplegic and a few people at the bureau could care less. Can he do it? Can he catch the bad guy? Two of the good things about this film is the suspense and puzzle solving that Rhyme & company experience while trying to catch the killer.


With an array of talent Denzel does an acceptable job as a super-hot crime fighter confined to bed. While sometimes it was a little silly of his character to be so thrilled about little things then later wishing himself dead. Denzel consulted with Christopher Reeve while preparing for this role and it pays dividends as Denzel's character, dispite some weaknesses, is believable. Oscar caliber? No way. Solid work for Denzel? Yes. Angelina Jolie who has Hollywood all a buzz about her probable rise to the top of the heap with respect to leading women is nice to look at and shows some backbone in this role. Playing opposite Denzel is tough but she manages to hold her own and win acceptance from the audience. The HU crew flexed at first but they later accepted her love interest in Rhyme. Queen Latifah has certainly been working hard. New talk show and more films on the slate. The Queen is soon to be the queen bee. She plays a care-taker and makes the character unassuming and calm until she must bolt into action to save Rhyme from near death seizures. The rest of the ensemble played well - Ed O Neill, John Benjamin Hickey, Leland Orser, Luiz Guzman, Mike McGlure and Michael Rooker.


I liked The Bone Collector. I see movies as a grand attempt at achieving a high level of human art through words, pictures and computers crystallizing with the manipulation of emotions. So with some cool electronic gadgets, good actors and a story that managed not to completely fall apart while keeping you a little scared, The Bone Collector comes off as a decent flick. The problem with the film is that while it aimed for suspense, fear and intellectual problem solving, it simply does not grab you like it should have. Go see it and make up your own mind. If it has legs, I would be surprised.


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