MonkeyBone (2001)

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Released 13-May-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Easter Egg-Torso Behind The Scenes
Audio Commentary-Henry Selick (Director)
Deleted Scenes-10, 9 +/- commentary
Alternate Ending-+/- commentary
Featurette-MonkeyBone Secrets Revealed (7, 3 +/- commentary)
Gallery-+ Behind The Scenes Featurettes
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots-3
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 88:58
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (49:30) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Henry Selick
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Brendan Fraser
Bridget Fonda
Chris Kattan
Giancarlo Esposito
Rose McGowan
Whoopi Goldberg
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Anne Dudley


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Monkeybone is a film about a promising animator who is trapped in a coma and must fight his way out to return to his true love.

    Stu Miley (Brendan Fraser) is a young comic artist who is starting a promising animation career and is just about to propose to his girlfriend (Bridget Fonda). A television series featuring his comic character Monkeybone has just been picked up by the Comedy Channel and his future seems assured. Unfortunately, a freak accident leaves Stu in a coma and he must recover before his family pulls the plug on his life support. While in his coma, Stu is trapped in Downtown, a place filled with other coma victims, where people's nightmares are the main form of entertainment. Here Stu meets up with his creation - Monkeybone - and they decide to find a way back to reality before they are sent to the land of death.

    If you missed this film at the cinemas it would not surprise me, as it received very little publicity and had a short theatrical run. While the initial idea for this film had some potential, this movie fails to engage the audience with its unsympathetic characters and comedy that misses the mark. Some of these problems with the film may be due to the numerous creative differences between director Henry Selick and producer Chris Columbus, briefly discussed in the commentary track. If you are a Brendan Fraser fan you may want to check this out but I feel many viewers will feel let down by this film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely sharp throughout with excellent levels of detail visible at all times. No low level noise was detected at any stage during this transfer. During the numerous dark scenes during Stu's coma, excellent levels of shadow detail are always visible.

    The natural colour palette is accurately reproduced by this transfer. During many of the scenes in Downtown and the Land of Death, an extremely vibrant and varied colour palette is used and this remains well-saturated with no bleeding or other problems detected.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer. Some minor aliasing artefacts may be seen during this transfer with examples visible at 16:55, 31:17, 59:46, 61:46 and 66:09. Each of these artefacts are quite minor and are only very minimally distracting to the viewer. Some very minor film artefacts were detected during this transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 2:36, 30:22 and 36:30. All of these artefacts are very minor and are not distracting.

    Eleven sets of white subtitles are included on this disc. I extensively sampled the English stream and found it to be consistently accurate.

    The layer change occurs at 49:30 part way through Chapter 9 during a static shot and is unlikely to be detected by many viewers.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Two main audio tracks are provided on this disc. The default is an English Dolby Digital 384 kbps 5.1 track. An English dts 768 kbps half bitrate track is also included. I listed to both tracks and found the dts track to be preferable with slightly improved bass and channel separation.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected during the transfer.

    The musical score by Anne Dudley suits the on-screen action but, like the movie itself, is quickly forgotten.

    The surround channels are used aggressively throughout the transfer for both the score and the effects to create an enveloping mix.

    The subwoofer channel is effectively used throughout the movie but it never draws attention to itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The animated menu is presented at either 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 depending upon your player setup.

Commentary

    During this feature-length scene-specific commentary, director Henry Selick discusses his experiences making the film and covers a range of subjects including inspirations for the movie, computer generated effects, models, crew members and the numerous deleted scenes.

Extended Scenes

    This is a collection of deleted and extended scenes from the movie. These scenes are provided at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced. They are accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 production soundtrack. Short comments by director Henry Selick are also provided for all but one outtake. The following deleted scenes are provided:

Monkeybone Secrets Revealed

    This is a collection of scenes showing how the special effects were created and the use of models, puppets and computer compositing. These scenes are provided in a mixture of aspect ratios - 1.85:1 and 1.33:1. Dolby Digital 2.0 production audio accompanies  Short comments by director Henry Selick are also provided for the first three scenes. The following segments are provided:

Monkeybone Gallery

    This is a huge collection of three hundred sketches and photographs of character designs and concept art. In addition to these images, eight different video segments are included showing the different character designs.

Theatrical Trailer (1:50)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

TV Spot - Going Places (0:32)

    This TV spot is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

TV Spot - Someone Else (0:32)

    This TV spot is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

TV Spot - Guide (0:32)

    This TV spot is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

DVD-ROM Content

    A collection of flash designed bonus materials is included on the disc. These extras include three games, three short animations and three animated messages as well as a link to the Fox international DVD web site.

Easter Egg (0:22)

    While in the language selection menu, press the right arrow to display an outline of Monkeybone and then press Enter. This will display a short clip examining the organ removal scene. This extra is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    Monkeybone is an unsuccessful comedy that I feel will be enjoyed by only a small percentage of people.

    The 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced video transfer is of excellent quality with only very minor aliasing and film artefacts visible.

    Both the Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 surround mixes for this feature are well produced and create an enveloping soundfield.

    The extensive extras will be of interest to any fans of this film.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Friday, May 10, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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