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The Bodyguard - Special Edition
Warner Bros./Warner Home Video .
R4 . COLOR . 124 mins .
M . PAL
From the heady days of 1992 spewed forth The Bodyguard. I can remember vividly being dragged along kicking & screaming to this film on a date; a fact I'm sure that many men can attest to of the time. I mean who could blame us really? The film's soundtrack was selling a million copies a week around the world and radio stations were pumping the theme song “I Will Always Love You” by Ms Whitney Houston 24/7!!!!!! The film went on to gross more than $410,000,000 Worldwide.
Not one word about the hair or I'll shoot!
Back then, it was pretty hard to not see it or hear about The Bodyguard. It was enough to drive any sane man crazy, or make them a life long Whitney fan, however I digress this review isn't meant to be my therapy session. Was it all that bad? No. I actually surprised myself at the end of it by coming out of the theatre thinking the film quite decent; and whether I should get my hair cut like Kevin's? anyway...
The film, for a long time, was a Vanity Project for Costner after coming across a script that literally had his name all over it as the lead role of Frank Farmer, The Bodyguard. It was only until Big Kev had enough clout that the film would finally get off the ground. Costner's character Farmer is an ex secret service agent still fighting the demons within from the attempted Reagan assassination; it was his day off! Farmer now works in the private sector, never sticking with one client for too long for fear of getting too attached to them. Girly man gonna cry.
Not now Bobby!
His latest client is Diva Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) and his job is to protect her from a fan/psycho-stalker. Marron is an all singing, all acting temperamental pain in the ass; not a huge stretch for Whitney by any means. Initially the two of them don't get along very well with Farmer trying to reign in Marron and change the way she does things by making her less of an easy target. It doesn't help either that there is unhealthy amount of sexual tension between the two, but that's what the crowd has came to see.
The film spends a good portion of it’s running time setting up this romance, giving the viewer plenty of time to get attached to the characters. A nice touch rather than breezing over it the way so many formulaic films do. It's not all bad news though fellas, there are some action scenes albeit brief that are handled well and Kev finally gets the chance to show off and be the badass he purports to be throughout half of the film.
The video has been cleaned up and most of the anomalies inherent in the previous release have been fixed up, save for few instances of dirt on the print used for the transfer and two brief occurrences of telecine chucking a wobbly. The main problem with the initial release in region 4 way back in 1999 was the fact that the film was relegated to a single layer disc, and a film running at two hours with a 5.1 Audio track is going to cause some problems with that bit budget. The transfer for this re-release has now been smeared across two layers and features a healthy bit rate that makes the film look excellent for it's age. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 16:9 enhanced, The Bodyguard has never looked better.
In the year 1992, Whitney Houston will Kill Kevin!
The image is very sharp and colour definition is very good with no obvious bleeding. Blacks were well done, although not as deep as some transfers but this was in tune with the colour palette of the film.
The audio like the previous release has been remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 from its original Dolby Stereo as presented theatrically. This mix is very front heavy with the surrounds only coming to life during the musical numbers and the action scenes. The subwoofer was in snooze mode for most of the feature only coming to life when Whitney starts belting out the hits. Dialogue was clear and free from distortion at all times. The soundtrack does the job perfectly for the film without drawing too much attention to itself.
Unfortunately, the extras are very slim for this Special Edition, and what's on offer will hardly blow a breeze up any skirt! The only real extra is the documentary Memories of The Bodyguard (26:43) which features interviews with Kevin and the crew 12 years on, most notably absent is Whitney. Her interviews consist of on-set footage from 1992. In general a lot of ego stroking to be found here with no reference to Whitney’s fall from grace in recent times. Next up is the Music Video (4:36) for THAT song and the requisite Theatrical Trailer (1:56). A commentary from the Director or Costner would have been nice, as you get the feeling that Big Kev has a lot to say about The Bodyguard from the interview segments.
Hello Mr Tongue!
The perennial date flick from 1992 has been unleashed again for a whole new generation to endure, err I mean enjoy. The Bodyguard is definitely a winner as far as spending a quiet night on the couch with the better half or even as a Mother's Day gift that will surely please mum (Ed: and annoy dad). However you may want keep the tissues handy and a steady flow of chocolate on standby. The transfer is a much needed improvement over the original release from a time when DVD's came in cardboard cases, eeek! However the extras are a disappointment for a so-called Special Edition.