The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 1992
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 129 minutes
Genre: Romance/Drama/Crime Thriller
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish/French Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp, Bill Cobbs, Ralph Waite
Directed by: Mick Jackson
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Written by: Lawrence Kasdan
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 27, 2012
"Never let her out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love…"
The Bodyguard stars Whitney Houston as a pop-music diva and Kevin Costner as the ultra-serious bodyguard assigned to protect her in the aftermath of several death threats. Initially repelled by each other like water and oil, a passion ignites between them as the danger increases, transforming them as everything around them explodes.
In her film debut, Whitney Houston plays Rachel Marron, a music/movie superstar at her peak. Fans want to see her. Hear her. Touch her. But one wants to kill her - and that's where security expert Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) comes in. Farmer is an ex Secret Service agent and professional who never lets his guard down. Rachel has always been in control of her glamorous life. Each expects to be in charge. What they don't expect is to fall in love.
It’s hard to believe that it has been twenty years since The Bodyguard was released. I remember when it hit theaters and the fervor that followed with the release of the soundtrack which featured Whitney Houston. The album topped the charts and became the best selling movie soundtrack album of all time. Houston’s presence along with the popularity of the soundtrack generated plenty of interest in the movie itself which became the second highest grossing film of1992. As a romance/thriller, about a pop diva that hires a bodyguard to protect her from an infatuated stalker, The Bodyguard is pretty average. Lawrence Kasdan’s script conceptually paints by the numbers and the chemistry between stars Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston is dismal. Despite that I must admit to liking The Bodyguard.
For me it’s a guilty pleasure, due in most part to Costner’s portrayal of Frank Farmer. As a fan I enjoy his movies and I like the character. There is also a nostalgic appeal related to the film’s music. Having not seen it in a long time it seems dated but essentially remains as effective as it was back in the day. Whitney Houston wasn’t much of an actress but of course that wasn’t the primary reason to see her in this film. She was an amazing talent, and now, like then, it’s nice to see her onscreen performing. Her loss still resonates and I must admit to getting a little choked up seeing her sing “I will always love you”. The Bodyguard isn’t great cinema but I find it entertaining and enjoy the opportunity it presents to see the great Whitney Houston on the big screen. May she rest in peace.
The rating is for language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Bodyguard comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.
This high definition presentation delivers fair to good overall image quality that appears faithful to the film’s original elements. Its high definition video has an appreciable level of detail during close ups and certain wide angle camera shots. The exterior shots of California are vivid with naturally rendered colors and stable resolution. The variety of period colors and earth toned hues were reproduced well. The majority of the time the visuals don’t have a high level of image penetration. Sharpness is good with some occasional softening which appears innate to the original photography. Blacks are a little washed out but when onscreen with mixed light/dark elements they appear a bit punchier. Grain is preserved naturally and is noticeable throughout. While this presentation lacks the polish of today’s newer films being released on Blu-ray I think it offers an improvement over any previous home video release.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack readily handles the elements contained in the recording. The presentation retains a front loaded perspective with well defined dialogue that has average room penetration. The soundstage isn’t especially deep but front channel separation and clarity is good. Things open up nicely during the active sequences/musical set pieces with the rear channels supplying ambient extension that enhances envelopment. Dynamics have fair solidity/impact and bass response is proportionate and adequate. Compared to today’s movie soundtracks this presentation sounds a bit dated however all things considered I was pleased with it.
- Memories of The Bodyguard – 26 minute documentary
- “I will always love you” Music Video
- Theatrical trailer
The Bodyguard is an average romantic thriller about a pop diva that hires a bodyguard to protect her from an infatuated stalker. Average or not I find it entertaining due in large part to Kevin Costner’s portrayal of ex Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer and the film’s superlative music soundtrack which features co-star and real life pop diva Whitney Houston. It makes its debut on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring satisfying and faithful high definition audio/video and the previously released bonus features found on the 2005 Special Edition DVD. The Bodyguard isn’t great cinema but for me it’s an enjoyable guilty pleasure that I am glad to now on Blu-ray.
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Ralph C. Potts
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