Bourne Ultimatum, The

Featured In Issue 128, February 2008

WSR Score4.5
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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For violence and intense sequences of action
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Dual Side/Dual Layer (HD DVD30/DVD9)
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Paul Greengrass
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital+ 5.1
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All he wanted was to disappear. Instead, Jason Bourne (Damon) is hunted by the people who made him what he is, a highly trained assassin. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, Bourne must now go back to the beginning and find out who he was. Jason travels the globe as he continues his quest to uncover the truth behind his mysterious past. Will the CIA, with its new generation of relentless assassins, find Bourne before he finds them and gives the CIA operatives an Ultimatum? Based on the novel by Robert Ludlum. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include up-front previews, commentary from Director Paul Greengrass, 12 minutes of deleted scenes, a five-part making-of documentary: Man On The Move: Jason Bourne (24 minutes), and the following featurettes: New York Chase (11 minutes), Planning The Punches (five minutes), Rooftop Pursuit (six minutes), and Driving School, (three minutes). There is also a spy-in-training aptitude test Be Bourne Spy Training, Web-enabled downloads, and the U Control picture-in-picture option.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.38:1 DVD shows good resolution, with fine details in the picture delivered well. Details in the shadows are also readily apparent, but black levels are not as deep as in the best releases. The picture has a similarly gritty and harsh appearance as the previous Bourne releases. The color palette generally is lacking of bright, vibrant colors, but they are generally well balanced and nicely saturated. Contrast is generally nicely rendered. While edge enhancement is minor, it can be recognized in the highest contrast transitions, and shimmering and pixel breakup can be recognized on occasion. The VC-1-encoded HD DVD shows excellent detail and solid black levels, although there are still scenes that can look a bit murky. The image still has a harsh, gritty look, and colors are decently delivered, even though they are still undersaturated and somewhat bland. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is an all-out barrage from start to finish, with each of the channels incorporated into the soundscape constantly. Deep bass, dropping below 30 Hz, is delivered through each of the full-range channels when used, and the LFE channel is incorporated well. Bass is deep and tight, and really infuses the room with low-end energy. Phantom imaging is employed quite frequently, creating a lively experience. Dialogue intelligibility is generally good, but fidelity can be somewhat lacking at times with relatively poor integration. Still, this is a standout release that is immensely enjoyable. The HD DVD's Dolby TrueHD encoding is superb, with incredibly fidelity and dynamic range, making it very demo-worthy. The disc also includes a Dolby Digital Plus encoding, which sounds almost identical to the DVD. (Danny Richelieu)