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Bourne Trilogy, The (Blu-ray Review)

21 Jan, 2009 By: John Latchem

Bourne Blu-ray

Street 1/27/09
$119.98 three-disc Blu-ray set
Rated ‘PG-13’
Stars Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, David Strathairn, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, Franka Potente, Clive Owen.

There is no disputing that 2002’s The Bourne Identity, 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy and 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum were landmark films in the action genre.

The saga of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), a former CIA operative who loses his memory and sets off to discover who he was and make amends for his sins, hauled in more than $525 million combined at the domestic box office. The trilogy redefined action films in the 21st century and inspired the reinvention of the James Bond films.

All the extensive extras from the DVDs have been ported over, except for the trailers, which should be available through BD Live. The Blu-ray version of The Bourne Identity includes the three featurettes about “Bourne” author Robert Ludlum that were previously offered on a bonus disc with the DVD trilogy.

The DVD extras from the first two films are offered in standard-def. Extras from Ultimatum, being the most recent of the films, are offered in HD. Ultimatum also includes the “Be Bourne Spy Training” extra from the HD DVD, a fun game in which viewers are shown five clips and asked questions about their ability to observe minor details.

These Blu-rays also include Universal’s U-Control functions that offer access to three running extras on each film. “Bourne Dossiers” overlays certain scenes with data files on characters and locations relevant to the situation. “Bourne Orientation” cuts into the film to present a recap of key scenes from other parts of the trilogy that relate to the plot. Both are pretty cool.

There’s also the standard picture-in-picture function in which short featurettes pop up to shed light on the current scene.

In a nod to corporate sponsorship and product placement, Ultimatum also includes “Volkswagen Get More Info,” which is basically just a pop-up sales brochure for some of the cars used in the film.

BD Live extras include “My Chat”; “My Movie Commentary,” in which viewers can upload their own webcam commentary; and the “Bourne Card Strategy Challenge,” a combat game.

The films themselves look great in HD compared to DVD, but don’t pop off the screen in the same way other recent films do, such as The Dark Knight. True fans will want the exclusive HD extras, but casual collectors may decide to stick with upconverting the DVDs they already have.

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