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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Bourne Trilogy - Update

February 12th, 2010

The Bourne Trilogy - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Discs - Buy from Amazon: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum

Not too long ago I reviewed The Bourne Trilogy's Blu-ray / DVD Flipper Disc releases. At least I reviewed the first two films in the trilogy. The screener for the final film, The Bourne Ultimatum, arrived late, but finally I can update the original review.

The Bourne Ultimatum - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Disc - Buy from Amazon
Following the events of the second film, Jason Bourne learns an investigative journalist named Sam Ross might have stumbled onto Treadstone and therefore could help him learn about his past. This makes Bourne very interested in tracking him down; however, the C.I.A. is even more interested in finding him, and his source. With Bourne sniffing around, they jump to the wrong conclusion and the hunt is on. Additionally, within the C.I.A. there are two sides looking for Bourne, Pam Landy who dealt with Bourne in the previous film and wants to bring him in peacefully. Meanwhile, the new direct head of the search is Noah Vosen who is in a little deeper than he lets on and simply wants Bourne dead to tie up loose ends.

While the first two movies were really good, this movie is simply awesome. Everything about this movie works, from the story, to the action, to the acting. Everything. I especially like the more prominent roles given to Julia Stiles and Joan Allen, while the story wraps up nicely in the end. Thankfully the franchise has a conclusion that is satisfying, otherwise it would retroactively hurt the first two movies.

Okay, almost everything works. That "shakycam" gets tiresome quickly. It does make the action more frenetic, but it also makes it harder to follow at times.

Extras on the Blu-ray / DVD flipper disc are extensive, starting with an audio commentary track with the director. Next up are 12 minutes of deleted scenes that, unfortunately, you can only watch in one big block. Be Bourne Spy Training is a game in which you watch a clip and answer a question about a very minor detail. The first time through I went five for five and was hired as a clerk for $30,000 a year. The second time I purposely got two wrong and was given a job as a target analyst with a salary of $45,000. Strange. Man on the Move is a 24-minute behind-the-scenes look at the various location shoots for the film. There is a six-minute featurette on the chase scene in Tangiers called Rooftop Pursuit. Planning the Punches looks at the Bourne vs. Desh fight. Driving School and New York Chase are both about the car chase in New York City, first from a training point of view and then from a planning perspective. Combined, the last two are about 15 minutes in length, while overall there's more than an hour here.

The DVD side has most of that. In fact, the only extra missing is the interactive feature, which is to be expected, as the DVD format does not do interactivity very easily.

Moving onto the technical presentation, I thought the transfers for the first two movies were great, within the limitations of the semi-documentary style, while the audio was slightly better. While the audio remains slightly better than the video, both are improvements over the first two films and worth using to show off your home theater system. Maybe that's because The Bourne Ultimatum was the first movie of the franchise made after the introduction of High Definition on the home market.

The Verdict

Like I said before, The Bourne Trilogy deserves to be in your collection. If you have it on DVD but didn't upgrade to High Definition yet, do it. The price of these three, combo discs makes them absolutely worth picking up. On the other hand, if you have the Blu-ray Box Set already, there's no point in upgrading.

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Filed under: Video Review, The Bourne Ultimatum