Bone Collector
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The Bone Collector

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Perhaps one of the most difficult film genres to produce is the mystery/thriller. The cast, director and writer must maintain a quick pace, hold your interest and bring everything together at the end to satisfy the audience. In my opinion, the Bone Collector did this. I greatly enjoyed the film. First, it had an interesting and rather novel twist. A quadriplegic forensic detective must work through a young female street cop to gather the clues needed to stop a serial killer. Simple story line but the undertones here make the film. The quadriplegic cop (Denzel Washington) is at the verge of ‘self termination’. He is so afraid that a seizure would leave him a vegetable that he wants to end his life on his own terms. He has lost focus in life and is just feed up with being a quad. Then there is the female rookie cop (Angelina Jolie). Living under the specter of her cop father committing suicide she is trying to get out of street patrol to work in youth services. The two start out together at ends. She does not want the job but soon she is drawn not only to the new job but to the intelligence of Washington. Some of the best moments in the film are little glances or movements that convey more than a half-hour of dialogue.

What can be said about the cast but perfect. Washington is one of the few actors that can rise so well to the challenge of acting under the restriction of being able to move only his head, shoulders and one finger. His face tells the tale better than most could have. He commands the screen in every scene. Jolie is one of the brightest stars just coming into her own. The daughter of Oscar winner Jon Voight, it is obvious that acting is in her genes. Perhaps her first roles were due to her beauty, Jolie is incredible looking. but there is no doubt that her extraordinary talent will drive her career to even more stellar heights. Unable to play very physically against her costar, she takes the subtle approach and reacts in as underplayed yet powerful way as Washington. Add to this mix a great set of character actors and you have some cast. Among those other actors are Ed O’Neil (Married with Children) as the detective in charge and Queen Latifah as the home nurse assisting Washington. Latifah is one of the growing numbers of rap singers entering into movies. Unlike many others in this group she has genuine talent as a character actress. Her portrayal of Thelma, the nurse, is human, concerned. In this role her glances work as an underline to emphasize what is going on.

The director in this film is a veteran of the genre, Phillip Noyce. He directed the last two Tom Clancy novels made into film (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) as well as cult classics Dead Clam and Blind Fury. He knows how to work a story for the audience. The use of lighting, shadow, scene composition and transition between scenes demonstrates a command of his craft. I never have any hesitation in buying any film done by this director.

Now for the disc itself, WOW!! It is the new reference quality disc for your collection. Slap this DVD in your player when friends come over to check out your system. The soundtrack is part of the vanguard of what seems to be a coming, and very welcomed, trend, DTS and Dolby 5.1 on one disc. No more having to buy a separate disc to get DTS, its one there. As great as the DD 5.1 soundtrack is the DTS is better. It is more of a true surround feeling, having a more fluid transition between all 5 main speakers. The subwoofer is active during most of the film, always present, and often just below perception. The anamorphic video transfer is flawless. This is something considering much of the film is set in very dark locations. The commentary track by the director adds to your understanding and enjoyment of the film. Get it and enjoy it.

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