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BONE COLLECTOR, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Leading forensics expert and New York City detective, Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), is bed bound after a backbone crushing accident, able to talk and move one finger, with which he controls his technological world, from the computers to the angle of recline of his bed. But his carer, Thelma (Queen Latifah), does the real work. Rhyme, subject to fits, any one of which could leave him a vegetable, is ready to 'make the transition' with the help of the doctor on his case, Dr Barry Lehman (John Benjamin Hickey). A brilliant, published forensics expert, Rhyme's eternal exit is interrupted by a request he can't refuse, to help a singular new case. This follows the discovery of a savage slaying, and young female policewoman Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) impresses Rhyme with her sharp instincts and procedures at the crime scene. She reluctantly becomes Rhyme's body in the search for a vicious serial killer whose murders continue and whose clues taunt and frustrate the team.

The story: Leading forensics expert and New York City detective, Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), is bed bound after a backbone crushing accident in the line of duty, able to talk and move one finger, with which he controls his technological world, from the computers to the angle of recline of his bed. Young policewoman Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) impresses Rhyme with her sharp instincts and reluctantly becomes Rhyme's body in the search for a vicious serial killer whose murders continue and whose clues taunt and frustrate the team.

From the first really intelligently designed menu I've seen on a DVD to Phil Noyce's exceptional commentary, this DVD clearly earns the Collector's Edition tag which adorns so many DVDs. After seeing the film - superbly transferred in widescreen - go straight to the Director's Commentary version; here is Noyce's rich, personal and illuminating discussion about aspects of the film, his influences, his techniques and his rationale for everything he does in the film. The details are revealed in such clear terms that it is easy to assimilate.

He also takes a swipe at the tv industry for using pan and scan versions, implying that tv execs believe the audience to be too stupid to understand widescreen presentation with its black top and bottom framing. "So you only see half the picture…"

Then there is a moment when he questions himself over aspects of screen violence, adding some illuminating remarks about the debate on violence in films triggering violence in the community. He is highly critical of the easy accessibility of guns.

With his comprehensive coverage of each aspect of making The Bone Collector, from casting, storyboarding to music, he is also the first director I've heard explain the importance and relevance of 'firsts' - the First Assistant Director who make all the difference on the set. He revels in the exposition of his filmmaking style and what films have taught him. His sincerity and calm passion are quite moving.

The DVD also offers an isolated soundtrack, talent profiles, trailers - and a Behind the Scenes feature, with cast and crew interviews (very well edited, by the way) where the producer and director - separately - make the same point about the script's appeal: they were both most interested in the unique relationship between Lincoln Rhymer and Amelia Donaghy.

Noyce, typically, goes into details about his cast, and mentions Ed O'Neill's 10 year dramatic theatre experience, prior to his Married With Children tv days; Noyce regards him as a specially gifted actor. And Angelina Jolie reveals that working with Denzel Washington gave her the best on-set relationship with an actor.

The depth and sincerity of the participants, the quality of the elements and the passion with which it is all presented on this DVD match the film's superb performances, its subtleties and bring credit to the entire team. It is a genuine classic, a great achievement.
Andrew L. Urban

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PHIL NOYCE

See our interview with author JEFFREY DEAVER

See the original TRAILER (56 k)

BONE COLLECTOR, THE (M) - COLLECTOR'S EDITION (M15+)
(US)

CAST: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie

DIRECTOR: Phillip Noyce

RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

RRP: $ 39.95

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

DVD RELEASE: July 11, 2000

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We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.

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