HTF HD DVD Review: The Bourne Ultimatum (Combo)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Sam Posten, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Nice review, Sam. And I totally agree as far as extra features go -- all the online and "U-Control" stuff is cute, but for the love of Pete please include that material on the menu so I can just watch it!
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    It's not that much to ask is it? =)
     
  4. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    This was one of the best spy thrillers I have ever seen, IMO (and miles above post-Connery Bond). I have one question that is driving me nuts, however. Supremacy ends with Bourne telling Pam "to get some rest", then walking away in what I assume is Langly during the day. Then Ultimatum begins in Moscow, with Bourne injured and jumping from a train, at night. Fair enough, I guess some things had transpired between the two films we are not aware of. But in the supplimental stuff, Greengrass says that Ultimatum begins about 10 minutes after the end of Supremacy. What am I missing? I mean, even if Bourne was still in Moscow at the end of Supremacy (and not Langly; he was not watching Pam through a scope, so he may have just wanted to freak her out), it was still daylight. So to say that there was only a seperation of 10 minutes implies a pretty fast sunset. And then, how did he end up on the train with an injured leg being chased by the Russian police?
     
  5. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I just watched the Supremecy HD-DVD prior to viewing the Ultimatum HD-DVD, and it ends with Bourne in New York, from how I interprete it, not Langley.

    Bourne injured his leg when he jumped from the bridge down onto a boat while evading the police in Germany.

    As for how the film ends and then Ultimatum picks up 10 minutes later, not having seen what Greengrass said, I would have to say that he was speaking figuratively. Meaning Ultimatum picks up very soon after Supremacy. I'll pay attention when I see Ulitmatum this weekend, I forgot since I saw this in the summer why he's in Russia injured. I guess it picks up after he disposses of the Karl Urban character and before he sees the girl to apologizes for killing her parents.

    I also seem to recall that Pam gives a different birth date to him in the call in this film verses the second one.
     
  6. Jrf2

    Jrf2 Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll be picking this up soon, but after two viewings it is my least favorite of the three, still a damn fine actioneer, though. Supremacy stands as my favorite.
     
  7. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    That is correct. The date she gives him in Supremacy is consistent with his file, and the date of 4/15/71 is code for the training center where it all started...
     
  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I had a glitch with this disc last night. It stopped playing at the point near the end when Bourne goes back to the facility in New York, the chapter is titled: Where it all Began. At first it said Error Code408bc504.

    So I finally did the firmware update to v 1.3. It successfully updated this morning and then I retried the disc. It now says: "Failed to verify the content" at the same point it gave the error above.

    I am guessing this is a disc problem and not a player problem. It's the first disc I encountered a problem with. What do others think? Thanks!

    Nelson
     
  9. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Screenwriter

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    It is a disc problem. I had the same problem with mine and exchanged it with another copy from Best Buy. The new copy is working fine for me.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thank you Wayne for the confirmation that it's a disc problem!
     
  11. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Nelson, that sounds like Combo disc gremlins.

    Derek, I think you might be approaching the timeline of that opening sequence too literally. My understanding--based in part on Greengrass' comments--is that the opening of the picture with Jason (should we call him David now?) injured in Moscow and being pursued and confronted by the police is not taking place after Supremacy. It is an audience friendly quick recap, mainly there so that people who didn't see Supremacy can better understand why Jason is doing what he's doing. After he says "My argument is not with you" to the cop he could have shot but didn't, he then proceeds with making his second apology for his past (by going to Paris to tell Marie's brother that she is dead and he is responsible).

    Pushed for time (and for another reason I'll get into in a bit), I did the commentary at the same time as U-Control and therefore missed the parts of the commentary that were contemporaneous with PIP content. So I may have missed it, but I don't recall Greengrass referring to "10 minutes." If he did, I think what he might have meant/been referring to is not the opening sequence per se, but rather the first things we see that weren't in Supremacy (namely, Simon Ross meeting Neil Daniels in Turin).

    FWIW, after experiencing some glitches with Identity's U-Control, I was really hoping for a major leap forward in the caliber of U-Control experience on Ultimatum. But, having the latest firmware (2.7) on what many regard as the best HD DVD player made to date (the XA2), I still found U-Control a little sluggish in responding to my pressing the "OK" button when the icons popped up to indicate either "Blackbriar Files" or PIP content. Sometimes it was completely unresponsive.

    I was also surprised to find that they have removed the volume selection setting that appeared in the Identity menu that allowed you to change the level of either the PIP volume or the movie volume during PIP (I forget which it was). I may have overlooked it, but I don't think so. In what I consider to be a signifcant glitch on U's highest profile disc of its highest grosser of the year, I found it difficult to hear the PIP audio because the movie's volume did not dip sufficiently during PIP segments. As a workaround, I switched to the commentary track (since it's lower in volume) but every time a PIP segment would conclude, the main picture audio would default back to Dolby TrueHD, meaning I had to switch back to the commentary track to better hear the PIP aud the next time one was available.

    Although they added a tag to the menu informing you that you may not be able to do PIP and Blackbriar at the same time, I think they need to revisit that. Either make it possible to experience both at the same time (for instance, re-format select text screens around the PIP window), or don't author the disc with overlapping content. But I suppose that might create another issue of text screens not appearing simultaneously with the onscreen appearance of the character to whom they refer.



    Aaron, if it's any consolation (I doubt it), Ultimatum's scene selection menus have icons showing which chapters have PIP and Blackbriar files so you can skip directly to them. Identity didn't have this.

    Ironic that the final image of the PIP stream is of the "The Bourne Files" SD DVD box set . . . that U canceled. Oops!
     
  12. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Oh and one other thing that's vexing is the repetition of content between the standalone featurettes and the PIP content. If you do the PIP and then watch the featurettes, you're going to be looking at signifcant chunks of material that you've already seen. I don't know what the resolution is to this "problem," since the PIP content is being culled from the same interview segments as the featurettes are produced from.

    It does arguably point to a very non-MySpace generation lingering critcism I have of the way we're seeing some "next gen" supps implemeted, especially PIP: when I wanna watch supps, I wanna watch supps; when I wanna watch the movie, I wanna watch the movie.
     
  13. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Paul. That makes perfect sense! [​IMG]
     
  14. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    No prob, Derek--think of it as a serial-friendly "Last week, on The Adventures of Jason Bourne. . ." segment. [​IMG]

    Anyone here have an HDMI receiver? I'm wondering if the audio level issues I discuss above are a function of my using the 5.1 analog outs, and if the problem would be mitigated if not eliminated using HDMI audio.
     
  15. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I havent watched mine yet.

    Ill have to check it out when I go home and see if I get any errors.
     
  16. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    A little, I guess. [​IMG]
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yeah but when every chapter has BB and PIP it makes the menu selection pretty useless.
     
  18. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    I'd grant the point if that were the case, but it's not: there were chapters with just Blackbriar, chapters with just PIP, chapters with both and chapters with neither. Indeed, as opposed to 'direct access' of the supps, I think the point behind that menu addition is as much if not more to inform you which chapters have which kind of supp content, rather than to inform you of which have any of whatever flavor versus none at all.

    More importantly, personally I wouldn't want less "in band" supp content: one of my chief complaints about the IME on Batman Begins is that there's too much dead time.

    Per my earlier comments, if you want to experience the featurette content "out of band," at least on this disc--for better and for worse--it's there on an a la carte basis for "direct access" via the menus thanks to so much of the PIP content being sourced from those same stand alone interviews.

    That of course arguably begs the question of why do the PIP at all. Of course there's some Ian Malcolm/'they're doing it because they can not because they should' going on here with some of this "next gen" supp "functionality." But I don't think it's entirely bad and I know we disagree in this regard. Seeing Greengrass, actors and crew shooting the second team's arrival at Sewell & Marbury in PIP simultaneous with that finished footage in the film was very cool.

    Although there is some gimmickry here, as long as 1) AQ and PQ is not being compromised; and 2) the supps are available on an "out of band" basis, I don't see this as a Huge Problem.

    To quote Kevin Collins in a summer 2007 HME moment that was as apropros as it was hilarious, "You don't have to hit the "A" button."
     
  19. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    I watched the Greengrass commentary and he states that the film's timeline is between the time Bourne leaves the girl's apartment in Moscow till the time he arrives in New York and calls Landy.
     
  20. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    My wife watched the second film the night before we sat down to watch the third together and I caught the last 20 mins with her. I'd last watched Supremacy a year and a half ago and when I saw Ultimatum in the cinema last summer, I didn't recall the exact ending. But after watching the end of the second film just one night earlier and catching the exchange between Bourne and Landy in the third film, it all "clicked"--in fact, it changed the movie for me (in a good way). A nice touch, really.
     

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