The Bone Collector Blu-ray Review

by Chris McEneany
Movies & TV Review

The Bone Collector Blu-ray Review
SRP: £17.99

Picture

This 1080p transfer has moments when the 2.40:1 image really shines. For one thing, detail and black levels have received quite a boost from the high definition process. Lincoln Rhyme's face, which is shown in intense close-up an awful lot throughout the film, is always very revealing. Here, should you want to scrutinise, is extremely crisp evidence of every line, wrinkle, hair, eye-lash, dot of stubble and pore on Washington's face. Jolie, too, although there are a lot less blemishes to catch your attention. Eyes have that sparkle and hair is pretty well delineated, too. There are sharp reflections on glass, monitors and spectacles and the vast array of computer readouts, photographs, prints and shreds of textured evidence - paper, bolts, footprints etc - all appear much better realised than they did on my earlier R2 SD copy. Detail found in the likes of dust, rubble and the pages of a book has been suitably enhanced, too.

Colours are terrific, as well, with the reds and blues really shining out. Check out the numerous flashing lights of police cars, the neon of the city, the bright scarlet traffic cones, the orange of the flames and the red of the blood. Glistening white bone shards stand out pretty well, too. Clothing is decently rendered and there are some cool midnight blues during the night-times. But, as far as I'm concerned, the skin tones are some way off. There are plenty of bright fuzzy oranges and pinks here that don't look at all natural. There is also a scene set in the early evening, when dwindling light seems to precipitate a plethora of pale blues and greys that didn't look particularly nice splashed across a 52 inch screen. Checking against the SD disc revealed the same sort of anaemic, washed-out look, but somehow it looked a little worse on the BD check disc.

Black levels are very, very good, though. So much of the film takes place down in dark underground shadow-conventions that it would have been criminal to have messed this vital element up. But, thankfully, The Bone Collector, maintains deep blacks, with no fade-outs and a noticeable level of detail within. Contrast is also good enough to cope with many shots that combine intense shadow and faces well-lit by torches, and transitions from these dark shots back to Rhyme in his cosy, illuminated room are equally well maintained.

Further downsides, however, exist with some edge enhancement and evidence of noise against some lighter portions of the picture. Detail further back can soften and lose distinction and this appears to be quite random - stores and people on the city streets can be clear, whilst the books at the back of Rhyme's apartment can become mushy. But, detail is definitely kept tip-top where it really counts. The Bone Collector definitely represents a clear upgrade over the SD version when it all comes to it. I can't comment on the HD edition that came out a while ago, though ... but I'm presuming that this is probably the same transfer. Nothing compared to recent movies on the format, but still a polished enough image for fans of the movie.


The Bone Collector

Sound

Like the video transfer, The Bone Collector's new Dolby TrueHD audio offers a considerable upgrade over the earlier DD 5.1 mix that I heard on the R2 release. There is much more atmosphere brought into play with a wider and more dynamic soundfield. The range and depth have been appreciably extended, bringing the seedy underbelly of New York to more vibrant life and allowing the plentiful sound effects more room to breathe.

One thing that you now more aware of is the quite prevalent thunder that rolls across the roof of the film during a surprising number of scenes. This now sounds far more realistic and has a deeper and more resonant presence from the sub and more enveloping directionality. The gunshots have plenty of booming bass and a nice metallic crunch, too. The scene of the man-hole covers being blown from the city streets offers a great, though brief, clang of blasted steel and a fair degree of subterranean oomph behind them. Impacts - some violent tussling, car doors slamming, a trussed-up body hitting the deck etc - carry a bit more emphasis, though nothing too spectacular, and dialogue, if anything seemed to me, on this check disc, to have been moved further back into the mix. Now this, folks, is nothing too detrimental as speech remains clear and discernable throuhgout, but I did feel that the dialogue was dialled down slightly this time out. Although the sound of a muffled voice from behind a wall is still fairly clear, which is a tad ironic.

The score from Craig Armstrong is well presented, sweeping around the front of the soundstage with warmth and energy, despite being of the decidedly dark and ominous variety. The squeaking and scuttling of rats is clear and the sound of high-pressure steam roaring through pipes is well done, too. Helicopters prowling around the docks have that urgent chop-chop rotor action and this is well steered across the set-up and there is some movement of cars from speaker to speaker too.

The Bone Collector now has a more open feel to its range, the city sounding bigger and the space in Rhyme's often crowded apartment fuller and more diverse. The echoes and clangs of movement down in the drains, abattoirs and disused railways sound clearer and more realistic than before. All in all, this represents a decent audio upgrade over the previous SD version I had.


The Bone Collector

Extras

Director Phillip Noyce supplies an amicable enough commentary track. He does a fine job of covering all bases of the film's production, with particular emphasis on the casting of Washington and Jolie and how important it was to get the role of a quadriplegic just right and not be either patronising or alienating. The shoot, itself, is keenly remembered and Noyce, who is not above dropping in self-referential praise for certain stylistic touches that he likes to incorporate into his movies, provides a very informative and anecdote-filled chat track that he clearly relished to the opportunity to provide.

The “making of” documentary lasts for 22 minutes and, despite hailing from the EPK “Spolight On” stable and was produced at the same time as the movie, actually tell you lots of worth. Again, much of the same ground is covered in the commentary, but here we have the benefit of meeting the cast and crew members as we hear about they each brought to the film. Producer Martin Bregman has a lot of input, revealing the amount the clout that he had behind the scenes and Noyce gets some time to show us how exhaustively he works and how dedicated he is. But the real meat of the matter comes from the participation of the two leads. Washington is on fine and detailed promotional form, delving deeply into the research that he did for the part of the disabled Lincoln Rhyme and discussing the many real-life quadriplegics that he met and the sheer level of hard work that it took to convince in the role. His straight-ahead and serious manner can't help but bring weight and gravitas to the proceedings. Jolie, on the other hand, is wide-eyed and agog that she even got such a top-line gig in the first place, but still manages to get to the root of what the issues were in the screenplay that got her fired up. Even trusty old Ed O'Neill gets to air his views on the differences between acting on stage and then shooting a large-scale movie. Thus, all things considered, this is one of the better examples of the fluff-pastry making ofs that litter disc releases.

Both of these things appeared on the original SD versions of the film, so nothing new here - although the filmographies, trailers and isolated score have not made the transition to Blu-ray.


The Bone Collector
As a retake of Hitchcock's patented psychological dilemmas, crossbred with more modern serial-killer explorations, The Bone Collector actually works quite well. I enjoyed the film when it first came out and I still enjoy it now. Sometimes, a film clicks even though its themes are immediately transparent and you can see what's coming from a mile away. Denzel Washington provides a fine anchor for Noyce's post-Dead Calm voyage and Jolie's early role is equally buoyant. At times too derivative for its own good - its inversion of the Silence Of The Lambs relationship between Rhyme and Donaghy is quite obvious, although Washington and Jolie invest an awful of integrity to their roles and, thus, their onscreen chemistry is one of the film's greatest strengths - but, on the whole, this is a fairly successful entry in the killer-thriller genre and one that definitely cranks up the tension and creates a real sense of raw foreboding.

Sony's UK disc is a solid one, too. At times the image is amazing, although several things can't help but let the transfer down. The TrueHD track also has moments of sparkling brilliance and real atmospheric immersion though, once again, perhaps not as consistently as you may have liked. But, whilst The Bone Collector may not have received anything new in the way of extras, it remains a very definite, and worthwhile, upgrade from its now vintage SD edition. Well recommended for fans of the genre and completists for Washington or Jolie.

Scores

Movie

.
.
.
7

Picture Quality

.
.
.
7

Sound Quality

.
.
.
7

Extras

.
.
.
.
.
.
4

Overall

.
.
.
7
7
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

Related Content

Titans Season 1 Blu-ray Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines Blu-ray Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published
American Woman Blu-ray Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published
Stephen King's The Stand Blu-ray Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published
Arrow's Oldboy Limited Edition Blu-ray Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published

Latest Headlines

Netflix reveals how viewing metrics determines a show's success
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Discovery launches dplay AVOD service in UK and Ireland
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Use of EU satellite decoders to become an offence after Brexit
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
New Nvidia Shield devices 25 percent faster and add Dolby Vision
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Netflix gets subscriber boost ahead of rival's challenge
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom