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The Bone Collector (DVD)
Member Name: utero
The Bone Collector (DVD)
Date: 26/10/01, updated on 26/10/01 (48 review reads)
Advantages: entertaining, R2 has isolated score, good sound
Disadvantages: R1 has DTS track but no isolated score, R2 has score track but not DTS, forgettable
If you've seen any number of serial killer/cop movies then you'll probably be able to figure out The Bone Collector without even laying eyes on a single frame of footage. Yes it's just another by the numbers thriller with no new twists. Having said that it's still not bad as a piece of entertainment.
Denzel Washington plays Lincoln Rhyme, an expert homicide detective who was victim of an accident while on the job that has left him quadriplegic and no longer active in the force. His life is pretty barren and he is considering ending it.
Meanwhile on the streets of New York a young cop Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) discovers a gruesome murder where a killer has left some clues including fragments of bone. Lincoln is brought in on the case and uses Amelia and his eyes and ears on the case as they try and track down the killer dubbed 'The Bone Collector'.
So here we have the race against time to save victims, clever puzzle solving and of course the department chief who isn't too happy that his case is being taken over by a former colleague. Add to that some dark and gloomy atmosphere and some nasty killings and you have something that played out by the numbers. The acting is good and it's competently directed but it's also easily forgettable. I also have to say that I pinpointed the killer from the moment they appeared on screen in another guise, there are other clangers that will make the identity known but more on that later.
In previous dvd opinion I've written I've more often than not sided with the Region 1 release over the Region 2 but comparing the two version of this film throw up different attributes that may sway your purchasing decision.
The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and generally the transfer is quite good but not without criticism. A lot of the scenes in this film are shot in dark places. An excellent transfer will render these scenes in pure
blacks. Unfortunately The Bone Collector doesn’t have this. Some of the scenes are a bit murky and have the smearing effect whenever a character moves through the darkness. There's also grain and soft spots in some places. However to the un-trained eye these problems won't matter a single bit.
Now to the sound and the first difference between the two releases. The Region 1 has Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS mixes on the disc. Overall both mixes are quite good but the DTS gets the advantage. The rears are used constantly and have a richer tone. But it also seems that some of the sound effects are mixed aggressively. At time I found myself straining to hear the dialogue only to be knocked out by a very loud sound effect. It's no surprise that the Region 2 doesn't have the DTS track and I would say the experience is better with it if you have the capacity to play it.
The dvd isn't a feature packed release but has some modest extras. Presentation wise the initial menu has a nice animated intro that fits into the mood of the film.
First up is an audio commentary with Director Phillip Noyce. This is a track of positives and negatives. Noyce has some interesting things to say throughout and even comments on the ending of the film. Apparently an alternative ending was scripted but never shot because of positive test screening reactions to the one in the film. It would have given more substance to the film but wouldn't have vastly improved it. On the negative side it sounds like Noyce watched the film first and actually wrote down everything he was going to say on the track as a script. Because of this it becomes very dry and somewhat staged with no excitement of interest in Noyce's voice. As a result you may become bored quickly.
Spotlight ON Location is the standard making of that come on a lot of Universal titles. Most of them are promotional fluff and this is no different. We have a small amount of behind t
he scenes footage mixed with interviews about how the film came together and how great everyone is. It's worth a look but nothing to come back to.
Rounding out the disc is some cast/crew biographies and production notes.
Of course there is also the theatrical trailer that includes some footage no in the final cut. So there are deleted sequences it would appear. This trailer also includes some sound bites from the killer in a taunting mood. These don't appear in the final cut but the voice is incredibly obvious and pretty much gives away the killer’s identity early on if you listen to the characters voices.
The region 1 also includes a few other trailers for film's such as Fear just in case you enjoyed The Bone Collector.
One thing the Region 1 doesn’t have is an isolated score track. Craig Armstrong's score is actually very good and if you're a fan of score's then the Region 2 has this track but then of course you don’t have the DTS.
So there you have it. Your purchasing decision will depend on what you look for or like in a dvd release. Either way it's not the best of films and worth a rental but no place in my dvd collection. I also don't think it helped that the killer is played by someone who's played a shifty character in a number of other mainstream films.