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Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 566 Mins.
  • Discs: 3 (3 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 9, 2012
  • List Price: $69.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

Seven seasons in, this Fox network crime drama starring Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and David Boreanaz as Special Agent Seeley Booth is seeming to get just a bit repetitive. The show’s writers have done well over the years to mix things up a bit to keep it fresh by doing things like bringing in a revolving cast of quirky interns to work under Dr. Brennan and add a new fascinating villain every season that the team must hunt down. Still, this formula can only be stretched so far. In the end, Bones is still a crime procedural that pretty much relies on a bit of gory shock value each week and a team of lab geeks backing up one studly FBI agent and his braniac love interest to solve the murder.

With that being the case, Season 7 of the series seemed doomed from the start. Star Deschanel’s real-life pregnancy offered the writers a chance to put Booth and Bones together for real once and for all and write her pregnancy right into the show – good for her, but good for the series? Television is littered with series that have gone down the drain as soon as the “Baby on Board” sign went up. It usually smacks of desperation, a plea to shake things up. Fortunately enough for Bones, this isn’t really the case. While the usual issues of domestic squabbling creep into the series, a challenge given Brennan’s hard analytical character, which is chalked up to her “hormonal changes,” the series does save itself in this season by adding in a new supervillain that hardly anyone could have seen coming in Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds). A brilliant hacker introduced in the episode “The Crack in the Code” in which the team investigates a murder at a national monument where the only clue is human blood that contains a deftly hidden encrypted code, setting off a hunt that leads to a showdown with Pelant. By season’s end, Pelant has the entire team in jeopardy, his technological wizardry profound as it is, has them all legally on the ropes, about to lose their jobs, and, most importantly, has Bones looking guilty of murder.

The season doesn’t lose any of its usual lighthearted handling of gruesome situations either, there are the numerous cases that the “squints” are called in on and the banter between Sweets (John Francis Daley), Brennan, and Booth that keeps things interesting. Still, after seven seasons of this, and the series now in its eighth, it just may be nearing time for Bones to put the skeleton back in the closet, so to speak.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

From season 5 on, Bones switched from being a 35mm film production to being a native high definition production done on Sony CineAlta F35 cameras with Zeiss Ultra Prime, Angenieux Optimo and Fujinon lenses. This continues on season 7, which comes to Blu-ray with a strong AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of its HD source. I see no evidence of digital anomalies like aliasing or posterization in the source and the image has a rather natural appearance, where the slight layer of noise tends more toward an organic, grain-like appearance. Darks are deep and shadows are nuanced while the midtones are richly saturated. Cooler tones pop nicely and overall contrast is quite strong. The transfer is top-notch besting broadcasts easily.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Bones has never been one of the more aggressively mixed shows on television, but its lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is well done nonetheless. It places you quite subtly in the midst of the action with a strong dose of atmospherics and the occasional hit of discrete effects that might hit from right behind you or off to the side.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

There isn’t really much on offer here apart from a couple of throwaway deleted scenes a single commentary, a faux red carpet event and single episode making-of alongside the obligatory gag reel. Take them or leave them, since nothing is very compelling or informational.

The supplements:

  • Deleted Scene from The Memories in the Shallow Grave (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:00)
  • Deleted Scene from The Past in the Present (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:12)
  • Commentary on The Past in the Present with Hart Hanson and Ian Toynton
  • Creating The Suit on the Set (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:59) – A look at the episode in which a Hollywood film is created about Dr. Brennan
  • Bone of Contention: On the Red Carpet (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:18) – A faux red carpet premiere for “Bone of Contention”
  • Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:01)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A good, but not wholly unexpected season for Bones places this seventh season somewhere in the lower echelons of the series on the whole. The eight season has just gotten underway and can perhaps recover some its luster, but I doubt how much a series that has been around for so long can shake things up.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Bones: The Complete Seventh Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Bones, Season 7 - Bones

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Purchase Bones: The Complete Seventh Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Bones, Season 7 - Bones

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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