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May 30, 2008
The Bone Collector Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
18/11/19997/5/2008Sony PicturesPhillip Noyce
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MDenzel Washington
Angelina Jolie


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Denzel as the quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme.
The Bone Collector is based upon a 1997 novel by crime writer Jeffery Deaver, which has since become the first in eight books starring Lincoln Rhyme. Released in cinemas two years later this movie captures the essence of the book, but changes some of the storyline, and removes some murders to keep length of the movie to a compact two hours or so. As a crime thriller this isn't the best movies ever released, but it's a solid effort that remains entertaining for newcomers and those on repeat viewings.

This movie focuses on a murderer who takes his victims' lives and leaves behind mysterious pieces of a bizarre puzzle. The only person who may be able to make sense of the serial killer's deranged plan is Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), a one-time top homicide investigator who has become a quadriplegic after a tragic accident changes his life forever. Rhyme can only watch as other cops bungle the case... until he teams up with a young rookie, Amelia Donaghy (played by Angelina Jolie), who bravely searches out the clues that helps them solve the case. But as the killer senses the cops closing in, Rhyme realizes that he and his partner are on the trial of a vicious, sadistic murderer who will stop at nothing on his deadly mission. And at any moment, Rhyme and Amelia could become his next targets - and their first case could become their last.

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The rookie heads into the murder scene.
The first thing that really strikes you about this movie is the superb cast. Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Ed O'Neill (Yes, Al from Married with Children!), Luis Guzmßn and Leland Orser all come together to provide a great ensemble cast. If there is one actor that did annoy me slightly it was Michael Rooker who plays the typical hard-assed suspect Captain Howard Cheney in the only way he knows how to act - abrasive. This movie really shines due to two roles though, Denzel Washington as Lincoln Rhyme and Angelina Jolie as Amelia Donaghy. The chemistry between the two is quite believable, and rather gripping as Amelia follows his directions at the crime scenes, even though Lincon is bed-ridden.

The movie is very well paced as well. From the opening scenes you'll be gripped with this movie with plenty of edge of your seat moments, a few scares and some believable, and likable, characters. Moments such as saving the woman from the steam vent, finding the two people in the water, investigating the crime scenes, and the enthralling climax to the movie are all highlights. At no time does the movie bog down into boring detail or dialogue scenes. Still, if there is one issue I do have with this movie it's the speed and ease which Lincoln solves some of the puzzles, while the dozens of other cops don't offer much input at all.

The Bone Collector is a movie which will have you guessing until the very end and indeed the box office take of over $US150 million is impressive. It certainly has a great cast and Phillip Noyce has done a great job with the direction of this movie, although few risks are taken in the storytelling.

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Yes folks that is Al Bundy - aka Ed O'Neill!

Encoded in the films original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 in 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec The Bone Collector really does look quite impressive. For the most part colours in this movie are rather muted and dull, but the Blu-Ray transfer handles these with much detail. Indeed the dull muted and often dark scenes are punctuated with the flashlights from the police, or the brilliant read and blue lights flashing on the police cars.

Close-up detail is also impressive. Denzel Washington's face is shown close up on numerous occasions throughout the movie and every hair and pore is visible. No doubt the clarity of this image is assisted by the high bitrate in this movie which constantly hovers between 25 and 30Mbps.

Sony Pictures have included a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English audio track on this disc, and while the very dialogue driven movie has few "cool" audio moments there are some worth mentioning. Compared to the DVD release ambient effects sound a lot more lively and realistic; thunder in the background, cars going past, other people in the room. It's all so much clearer and more defined then the Dolby Digital 5.1 track on the DVD release which was already quite acceptable in itself.

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Even a decade ago Angelina was hot!
Music has been composed superbly by Craig Armstrong (who, we might add, has since worked on Moulin Rouge!, Ray and World Trade Center. The music exhibits plenty of quieter, more subdued, moments but it ramps up in tempo and atmosphere when the action on-screen heats up. One disappointment with this Blu-Ray disc compared to the DVD is that we don't have an Isolated Music Score to listen to this wonderful music on its own.

If you need other languages, then Sony Pictures have you sorted there too. As well as the English Dolby TrueHD track, with German and Italian Dolby TrueHD tracks which are just as impressive as the English one. Other tracks include Czech, Polish and Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 audio at 640kbps. Subtitles are provided in numerous languages including English, English SDH, German, Italian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovene, Swedish, and Turkish.

Sony Pictures haven't really put much effort into the extras on this disc, indeed they have been recycled from the DVD release, and even then we have lost the cast and crew bios and more disappointingly the Isolated Music Score and original Theatrical trailer. Still the two main extras have been ported, but sadly in the case of the "Making of" video, now upgraded to HD for this release.

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Denzel and Angelina have great chemistry.
Audio Commentary by Director Phillip Noyce: This is actually quite an interesting audio commentary. While Phillip Noyce can come across a little dry he certainly has a lot of information to divulge about the movie, and if you're interested in the making of the movie, a little more information about the story or the production then this is worth a listen.

The Making of The Bone Collector (22:37): This is a little bit too 'self promotional' for my liking (you know, where actors praise all the other actors in the movie), but there is still a few interesting behind the scenes moments and stories. Lightweight, but worth a look at least once.

I have seen The Bone Collector many times now and it is a movie which I quite enjoy. Superb acting from the entire cast, some brilliant, tense moments, and a solid story makes this very entertaining. The improvements in the visual and audio on this Blu-Ray release over the solid DVD effort is worth investing in.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.