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
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
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
Andrew L. Urban