Reviews for region 1 discs From Ultimate DVD #05

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On the trail of a killer using “One finger, two shoulders and a brain”

The Movie

New films concerning serial killers face an enormous hurdle: how do you follow Se7en, surely the finest entry in the genre? The Bone Collector holds its own by presenting something different: its hero, ex-homicide detective Lincoln Rhyme (Washington), is a quadriplegic, left bed-ridden after a terrible accident at a crime scene.

Rhyme’s active mind is finally challenged when a serial killer strikes in New York and leaves behind grisly clues. Drafting in rookie cop Amelia Donaghy (Jolie) to be his eyes and ears, Rhyme must decipher the clues – before the murderer strikes again.

Chalk this up as another outstanding performance by Washington, who spends the entire movie playing a character left with just “one finger, two shoulders and a brain”. The message – that Rhyme still has plenty to contribute – is uplifting, and the actor and co-star Jolie work like magic together on screen.

Those faint of heart might find some of the murder scenes a little too close to the bone, and the final twist is – it has to be said – somewhat disappointing. Nevertheless The Bone Collector has its heart in exactly the right place and remains 4 stars - Damn fine disca gripping piece of dark entertainment.

The Extras

Part of the fun of DVDs is trying to second-guess what theme the menu might follow. Unsurprisingly The Bone Collector opts for the crime scene route – lots of brief images of clues left with the killer’s victims. It’s a stylish design that matches the quality of this excellent release.

A lengthy Spotlight on Location features cast members, the director and producers recalling how one of the “hottest scripts in Hollywood” made it to the screen. Noyce claims he saw it as “a relationship film”, Jolie says the script “scared me to death”, while Washington talks with sympathy and sincerity of his research with real-life quadriplegics, including Christopher Reeves (sic). Best of all, though, is cheeky, down to earth actor Ed O’Neill, who refers to Jolie as “full of piss and vinegar”. That’s a compliment, apparently.

The 13 pages of production notes (with huge text) reveal nothing we don’t know already, while biographies are well-illustrated. Be sure to check out Noyce’s commentary, a pleasant, informative 118 minutes in which the gentle-voiced director gleefully deconstructs the entire film. He reveals that the New York locations are largely shot in Montreal with blue screen and CGI, goes on to explain that four different actors played the masked killer (one of them being one of the leads, who wanted to place a red herring) and says that the script reminded him of My Fair Lady. 4 stars - Damn fine discWhy? You’ll have to listen for yourself…

David Richardson

The Bone Collector

Cast • Denzel Washington
Angelina Jolie
Queen Latifah
Michael Rooker
Director • Phillip Noyce
Duration • 118 mins
Screen Ratio • 2.35:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS
Chapters • 20
Languages • English, French
Subtitles • English
Release Date • March 14
Distributor • Universal

In association with


Chapter 8 – To Stop a Killer
The race to save the abducted Mrs Reuban reaches a hideous end.

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