A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Bourne Trilogy -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    A word about packaging, which is fast becoming a small point of irritation. I have an aversion to packaging that won't fit on a shelf with other discs, and needs to be stored elsewhere.

    I received The Bourne Trilogy at approximately the same time as The Notebook. The films have nothing whatsoever in common on almost every level. I was aware that The Notebook was a "women's" picture, a sentimental "weeper" if you will, but I needed to see it, as I'll never pass up a film that includes James Garner.

    I ended up enjoying The Notebook, with very nice performances by the two leads, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, and which on a large screen held together decently from a Blu visual perspective.

    What I truly hated was the packaging.

    Apparently, the concept was to allow one to right down those secret thoughts, and tell your own love story -- possibly to get a book or film deal -- in a notebook filled with images of the actors and the background of the story. A nice notebook with beautifully coated paper, which will probably have difficultly retaining ink.

    Let's see... "I dreamed I was at Manderley again..."

    The notebook is a nice film, it isn't a film that should retail for $40, and it may just be my personal perception, but I don't see the market being owners of blu-ray players.

    Along with the notebook, one also receives (as part of this deluxe edition -- there IS NO regular edition -- some note cards, bookmarks, and what appear to be those old style corners for mounting photographs. One can glue them on to the corners of digital picture frames for that '40s feeling.

    The Blu-ray disc, by the way, is embedded at the end the notebook, which means that this is one more Blu-ray that will not fit on one's shelf in any normal fashion.

    Warner's (New Line) may have saved this in my eyes had they included a normal blue plastic Blu-ray pack as an extra. In that way, one can save the disc in standard packaging and possibly junk the rest. My trusty assistant came to the rescue and created a normal Blu pack for me, using the artwork with a bit of photoshop on a color printer. I asked her if she wanted any of the stuff in the box. No.

    But what could this possibly have to do with The Bourne Trilogy?

    Simple.

    The packaging created by Universal for their Trilogy is the anthesis of that created for The Notebook, and in my opinion about as perfect as Blu-ray packaging can get.

    Try this.

    The Bourne Trilogy comes in a heavy box, probably made of some recycled composite material. On the cover is a cut out of Mr. Damon that holds the entire unit smartly together with a magnet. The box itself is covered in a nice protective foil, and the entire unit fits perfectly on one's Blu-ray shelf.

    Don't wish to give up the extra 1/4" necessary for the box?

    Inside, each in its own protective Blu-ray pack is each of the three films.

    Perfect. And with a far smaller carbon footprint.

    For those who want to know how the discs inside the packing look, here you go.

    The first in the series, The Bourne Identity, released theatrically in 2002, is most likely from the same master used originally for the HD disc released back in July of 2007. This isn't a easy film to bring to video, but it looks just fine. All of these films have a very specific look, with fast cutting and occasionally intentional grain, and all nicely replicated on Blu.

    The second Bourne (Supremacy), released to theaters in 2004, arrived on HD in May of 2006, also appears to be from the same master as used for the HD. Why rework something that was fine to begin with. Bourne Supremacy is a very nice looking Blu-ray.

    The latest, The Bourne Ultimatum, with its extremely fast-paced cutting, which may have set a new record for number of shots per reel, is the best looking of the three, but all are quality Blu-rays.

    Each of the films at time of release on HD had a list price of $40. The three, beautifully packaged now list at $95, with a street of $65 at Amazon.

    Universal has done a terrific job of bringing these films to Blu, and others might make note of efforts toward packaging sets of discs. Add to the equation, enough bonus material to take days to digest, and the bottom line is simple. This is a set with value.

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Mr. Harris, thanks for the Amazon price update. I have had this on order since Dec. from Amazon. The lowest price i knew Amazon had was about $76, plus or minus some change. Guess what, my order didnt reflect the lower MSRP or the lower Amazon street price. So i cancelled it, and reordered it.

    If you have a pre-order from Amazon, i would be checking the price you have versus the lowest price they have. This is the second time this month they have done this on my orders!

    Hey, 10 bucks adds up!

    Sorry for the price rant, but thanks for making me check!

    Looking forward to this release. I love all these movies!
     
  3. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

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    Dropped bonus features from the SD-DVD and Mr. Harris hardly makes a mention (it sure as Hades won't stop him from giving a bare-bones Blu-ray a Highly Recommended rating) but put Blu-rays in a gorgeous display box and he nearly has a aneurysm. You're an odd man sometimes, Mr. Harris, a very odd man indeed. [​IMG]
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm currently on travel so only had a minute to check out the packaging due to my time spent with Kong last week. So I concur with Mr. Harris that the packaging is top notch =)

    My review should hit this weekend tho!
     
  5. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    This has been a sticky point with me for years. I am not a big fan of "digi-pak," nor was I a big fan of Warner's old "snapper" cases, and don't get me started on the newer trend of "eco-friendly" packaging where someone in marketing somewhere actually thought it be a good idea to keep CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs in cardboard sleeves.

    Any disc media that enters my house that was not originally in "standardized" packaging is stacked next to my scanner, waiting for me to find some free time to create a new case insert before placing it on my shelf.
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For those that look to details, Xylon has posted frame grabs over at another site, which seem to show that the Blu-ray, with its increased data throughput, has allowed a sharper, more grain accurate image.

    Bravo, Universal!

    RAH
     
  7. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I don't see what is odd about it. It appears, to me, that his recommendations are primarily based on how close the studios come to recreating the filmic quality of the respective feature.

    Packaging becomes a sore point, because most collectors want standardized packaging that provides a uniform look to their collection. Non-standardized packaging is a pain because it makes shelves look messy and, in many cases, takes up too much space. In his case, I would hazard a guess and say that he places more importance on the quality of reproduction and neatness of his library than he does on quantity of extras.
     
  8. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Thanks for the review! I have my copy, freshly delivered from amazon.com, sitting right next to me, and I am looking forward to checking the films out again in HD.... when I can get around to them, lol.

    BTW, a small clerical note: the first film was released in 2002, not 2004. [​IMG]
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm still getting through the extras I intend to see, there's a lot here. I may actually publish a shortened review tonight and add to it later.

    It's not a cheap set by any means but those who were holding off on blind buys, looking for a general thumbs up can purchase with confidence that the contents are very good.

    Sam
     
  10. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

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    Obviously...thusly, I consider that weird. It's like not having a care in the world that you're flying in a plane that's missing a wing, but griping to the stewardess that the seats are too cramped.
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    "Missing wing"?? Sounds more like comparing "broken overhead light" or "missing onboard snacks" to "cramped seats" me thinks. [​IMG]

    All this stuff is a YMMV kinda thing, IMHO, and nobody's claiming that RAH is a totally objective reviewer anyway (as if such a beast actually exists [​IMG] ). [​IMG]


    BTW, thanks for another fine review, RAH. Sounds like a worthwhile release to add to my collection, especially since I never bought the DVDs.

    _Man_
     
  12. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Just pickup a bunch on blank Bluray cases from Frys, eBay, online, etc. and then for any packaging that doesn't meet with your approval, use the blank cases and a cover you print from the net. I'm anal that way as well, and it worked perfectly for my Band of Brothers set. Now they're in three double-disc official bluray cases with perfect covers.

    As for the actual Bourne trilogy being three movies listed for $94 and being a deal at "only" $65? Sorry, but to me, that price is not a deal by any means, and is relatively average at best for online bluray pricing for just three movies. I'll wait a few weeks when the price will likely be $47 or so.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm a bit puzzled, as while I don't pretend to be an expert on Bourne dvd releases and what specific extras were included with each, I do not perceive this Blu release to be anywhere "bare bones" when it comes to extras.
     
  14. Lance Rumbolt

    Lance Rumbolt Stunt Coordinator

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    That's what I thought, in no way is this set bare bones!

    Thanks for the review RAH I'm currently waiting for my copy to arrive from the states it was posted on the 16th January!

    And for those moaning about the price if I could get this set for $65 only I would snap your hand off. Some places here are selling it for £65 pounds stirling!
     
  15. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    MikeM: You got a PM.
     
  16. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

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    Indeed, you are apparently puzzled; my reference to your laissez faire attitude towards missing extras has nothing to do with the Bourne release which, as you note, is stuffed with bonus features. I mean to say that in reviews of previous Blu-ray releases that carried over few, or none, of the bonus features found on the SD-DVD (such as CARRIE), you've shrugged those omissions off as though they represent only the mildest of irritations, but when a Blu-ray is packaged in a case that doesn't match up nicely with your other titles, you write a mile long litany about it. That's what I think is weird. It's also kind of funny, now that I think about it, because whether we're talking about your minimal interest in missing extras or your dramatic interest in unorthodox packaging, neither issue pertains to the Bourne Trilogy release! [​IMG]
     
  17. sestamuch

    sestamuch Stunt Coordinator

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    My head is spinning with all this French [​IMG]

    Guys guys, this is only a circular disc with a hole in the middle inside a case that when put into a rectangular object displays shiny colors and puts you in a light trance.



     
  18. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Since we're talking about packaging, can I just curse the idiot who came up with the Bond collection packaging? I was expecting three regular BD cases in a slipcase, much like the DVDs, but no, some genius came up with the nonsense that passes for packaging. A foam 'hub' glued to cardboard to hold a disc?? What a joke. The least they could have done was glue a tray, like those in a digipak, to the cardboard, which would have been more secure.
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My concern is less with non-matching or "unorthodox" packaging, and more toward simply not fitting on a shelf. I can certainly survive, although not happily, with Warner's "book" packaging and cardboard covers for the likes of the Dirty Harry Collection, but what precisely is one to do with their notebook?

    As to extras, with time at a premium, I often don't have the chance to delve into the many documentaries, commentaries, featurettes and the like, and leave that to the HTF reviewers, who generally cover that turf quite well.

    RAH
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    [​IMG] Pardon my pedantry..."Carbon footprint" isn't the number of Carbon atoms covered by the disc on your shelf. It's a supposed tally of the carbon emissions from the manufacture and transport of the product. Throwing away a large case after purchase does not reduce the "carbon footprint". If anything it increases it by now adding trash pickup to the tally. A "far smaller carbon footprint" would mean the wasteful and unwanted box was never manufactured. [​IMG]
     

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