Bourne Identity, The

Featured In Issue 139, March/April 2009

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Violence and some language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Doug Liman
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1, DTS 5.1
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The 2002 version of The Bourne Identity stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man with no past. After being rescued at sea by the crew of an Italian fishing boat, Jason wakes to find that has no memory of his past life. With no clues to his identity but the number of a Swiss bank account embedded in his hip, he discovers that he has a natural talent for survival that suggests something of a sinister life. After making his way to Zurich, Jason finds himself on the run from others who want to destroy him. Wondering what or who he was before his accident, Jason becomes determined to find out his true identity, even though he's convinced he's not going to like what he discovers. Based on the novel by Robert Ludlum. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include audio commentary with Director Doug Liman; an alternate opening and ending with an introduction by Producer Frank Marshall, Screenwriter Tony Gilroy, and Actor Brian Cox; four deleted scenes (SD 06:58); the extended Farmhouse scene (SD 0:58); eight featurettes: The Ludlum Identity—a portrait of the best-selling author (SD 12:49), The Ludlum Supremacy—a revealing look at how Bourne was born (SD 12:41), The Ludlum Ultimatum—an examination of the Bourne character (SD 23:57), The Birth Of The Bourne Identity (SD 14:32), The Bourne Mastermind: Robert Ludlum—a look at the author of 25 novels who created the Bourne trilogy (SD 05:44), From Identity To Supremacy: Jason & Marie—exclusive interviews with Matt Damon and Franka Potente (SD 03:37), The Bourne Diagnosis—insights into the causes and effects of Jason Bourne's struggle with amnesia (SD 03:26), and Cloak And Dagger—CIA liaison officer Chase Brandon delivers a detailed, real-world analysis of the making of a super-spy (SD 05:31); Access Granted—an interview with Co-Writer Tony Gilroy (SD 04:03); Inside A Fight Sequence (SD 04:43); and Moby's "Extreme Ways" music video (SD 03:39). Plus Universal's exclusive U-Control picture-in-picture reminders, the Bourne card battle strategy game, Treadstone files, and BD-Live interactivity.

As with the previously reviewed anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD, the 2.35:1 1080p VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc™ exhibits a picture that is quite dim and should be viewed in a completely blackened room. Images are sharp and nicely detailed throughout. Colors have a subdued and warm characteristic, but that said, are nicely balanced with deep blacks. Contrast and shadow delineation seem to be a bit wanting in definition but are suitable to the stylization of this dimly lit picture. The foggy gray exteriors of the sea-bound scenes at the beginning of the movie and the snowy Swiss locations are wonderful visually and do not exhibit the annoying edge enhancement noticed throughout in the DVD. Fleshtones are naturally rendered, though, slightly tending toward a warm orange hue at times in interior scenes. Overall, this is a wonderfully stylized, naturally warm picture that is sure to please. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is wonderfully executed, with excellent sonic quality and a convincing, palpable sense of spatial immersion throughout. A particularly delightful attribute of this audio presentation is the prominent presence of a sweeping, three-dimensional soundstage presence, often with acutely directional pans, and of course, aggressive surround activity that also is directionalized. Ambient effects rendering is very impressive at times, seamlessly engulfing the listener. The fidelity is outstanding, with voices sounding convincingly natural, though, spatial integration is often wanting. The music is also a very good recording, with a spatial presence that is substantial in nature, yet seems to be effective in the presentation of a holosonic® listening space. The opening scene features a formidable exhibition of deep bass, with powerful low frequencies extending to below 25 Hz, and of course, with aggressive LFE channel content. The low end also can serve effectively as the low-frequency foundation to certain visceral-centric effects and the music. This is a wonderful soundtrack production, for which the creative use of space and atmosphere figures both prominently and effectively throughout the movie. (Perry Sun/Gary Reber)