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Official HTF HD Review: The Bone Collector

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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted September 10 2006 - 04:33 PM

The Bone Collector

HD DVD Title: The Bone Collector
Rated: R
Screen format: 1080P 2.35:1
Studio: Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures
First theatrical release: November 5, 1999
Previously released on DVD/BluRay: Anamorphic Widescreen DVD August 28, 2001
Director: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Michael Hooker, Mike McGlone, Luiz Guzman, Leland Orser and Ed O’Neill
Sound Formats: English, French Dolby Digital P{lus 5.1. English DTS 5.1
Length: 1 Hour, 58 Minutes
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

Plot: 3.5/5
In The Bone Collector, Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie star as Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic detective, and Amelia Donaghy, the beat cop who discovers a grisly murder scene and is recruited by Rhyme to be his eyes and ears to catch the killer. TBC is a bit derivative, with elements that can be picked out from films such as Se7en, Rear Window, and Silence of the Lambs. Despite the rehashed story line, the acting is terrific, with the interaction between Washington and Jolie being quite memorable.

In a nutshell, Rhyme and Donaghy discover that a serial killer is terrorizing NYC and is taunting them with clues indicating both that more victims are coming and that by their failures to stop them, the police share in the blame. Rhyme is facing the end of his line due to increasingly damaging attacks as his body shuts down and Donaghy is battling her own set of personal demons, despite having shown great promise as a detective early in her career. As they begin to work together they grow to trust each other more and become more than they could on their own.

Sound Quality: 3.5/5

While not the highlight of this film, the sound quality of The Bone Collector is adequate and features a subdued but classy soundtrack, nice separation of sounds coming from all five speakers, and very limited action from the subwoofer. While you won’t be using this as demo material for your system, the sound is perfectly suited to the style and action.

Visual Quality: 3/5
It pains me to write this, but The Bone Collector is a fantastic transfer of a badly scratched and scarred print. The pops, noise and other easily cleaned up elements on this transfer are simply unacceptable. For a dramatic example of what I mean, take a look at this shot, from my cell phone of a paused still frame:


As part of the HTF studio tour in Hollywood we went to places like Deluxe that specialize in this kind of cleanup, and I can’t imagine this getting through QC. This is an absolute shame, since the film looks FANTASTIC otherwise. It simply is one of the sharpest looking movies with deep beautiful blacks and grim and grimy NYC scenery, but the pops are literally jarring every 15 seconds which pulled me right out of enjoying this time and time again. Other than that, the grain is exactly how I imagine the actual print looks, there was never any notable edge enhancement, and for the most part, this would have been my ‘go to’ choice for HD demo material. To me, it is simply shocking that it wasn’t care for better. Perhaps others are not as critical of these flaws as I am, but when you are labelling your discs as the look and sound of PERFECT, I expect dirt to be minimal.

Extra Features: 1.5
A feature length directors commentary (I did not listen in); a 20 minute, made for cable Spotlight featurette with cast and crew; and the theatrical trailer are all one can find for extras on this disk. All are taken directly from the previous DVD version. Bottom line is that we see the shovel effect here again, which is disappointing, but not surprising given the lame treatment the transfer got.

Overall: 3.5(not an average)
Bone Collector is an enjoyable little thriller that overcomes its derivative story line through layering slick acting along with sharp visuals and a haunting score. While this isn’t the type of film one would expect immaculate reconstruction needing, the fact that it was simply slapped onto HD DVD without needed cleanup is bizarre. I wish I had a copy of the DVD transfer to compare it with, but I had actually seen this movie in the theaters, and tho I enjoyed it didn’t really see the need to own a copy. Perhaps another reader can note whether the scratches and pops are as bad on that version as well.

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#2 of 3 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 11 2006 - 12:43 AM

The frame that you replicate appears to contain a processing flaw.

How many did you count in a continuous two minute period?


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence

#3 of 3 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

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Posted September 12 2006 - 07:28 AM

It was pretty consistant throughout the whole movie, 1-3 sparklies every 15 seconds. They are pure white spots that show up like a laser beam in the dark scenes. Perhaps the effect is magnified because I'm using a front projector? I am not normally critically aware of these, but both Spy Game and Bone Collector are absolutely riddled with them for me, which is curious since they were released at the same time...

I'm not sure how it could be other than on the disk tho, I cant see it being some defect with my player.

If you want to pull it up, it is right when Rhyme says something to the effect of 'I want you to saw her hands off at the wrist'. I can get the actual time stamp if you like.


I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt