The Bourne Ultimatum
By : Chris Tribbey | Posted: 29 Jan 2010
Reaction to Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s new Blu-ray Disc and DVD “flipper” discs has been mostly positive.
The studio premiered the technology with the Jan. 19 releases of The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, giving consumers a Blu-ray version on one side and DVD on the other.
DVDTalk’s review of The Bourne Identity rated it “Highly Recommended.” DVDTown.com gave it high marks. DVDFile.com praised the results, writing, “There was a feeling of trepidation with these ‘flipper’ discs as to their ease of use, but we found no difficulty playing all three films with lovely, intended Blu-ray clarity.”
Adam Gregorich, administrator for the Home Theater Forum, tested the discs on 18 different players, including slot-loading players, and said both sides of the discs worked fine on every one.
“I’m glad to see another studio give consumers more value for their money,” Gregorich said. “Flipper discs, combo packages, however it’s delivered, it’s good to give consumers both the Blu-ray and DVD.”
Bill Hunt, editor of TheDigitalBits.com, said he heard of isolated problems with returns to some retailers, but hasn’t had readers complain to him. “That bodes very well, because I’m usually the first guy everyone with such problems e-mails,” Hunt said.
Universal hasn’t announced plans for more such releases using the technology, though the studio is enjoying the positive press.
“With any new product such as the dual-format ‘Bourne’ flipper discs, consumers naturally want to know that they are getting the utmost value for their purchase,” said Lea Porteneuve, SVP of communications and publicity for Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “Since the discs’ introduction, we’ve seen confidence in the market steadily build as consumers discover that the discs clearly deliver on the promise of unmatched quality, flexibility and convenience, all in one package.”
Not everyone has warmed up to the flipper discs.
“The Disney model of Blu-ray plus a separate DVD and digital copy is a much better solution,” said Tyler Pruitt, editor of FormatWarCentral.com. “Who wants their kids ruining their Blu-ray/DVD flipper discs in the car?”
The IGN.com review of The Bourne Supremacy poked fun at the concept: “Universal is apparently the only outfit that still thinks the flipper is a good idea — what is this, 1997? Can we only purchase these at a Media Play?”
Some Home Theater Forum members worried over the price (SRP for the discs is $29.98), the lack of written data and artwork on the discs (information is printed on the inside ring of the disc) and that the discs would be easily scuffed and scratched.
“We have some members who just hate the concept, and I don’t think anything will change their minds,” Gregorich said.