Film Year: 2004
Film Length: 1 hour 49 mins
Genre: Thriller/Action/Spy Drama
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
BD Resolution: 1080p
BD Video Codec: VC-1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Film Rating: PG-13 (Violence, Language)
Release Date: January 19, 2010
Starring: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Karl Urban, Gabriel Mann and Joan Allen
Screenplay by: Tony Gilroy
Based on the Novel by: Robert Ludlum
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Film Rating: 3.5/5
As with my review of The Bourne Identity, I’m going to start this review right off by saying that this Blu-ray is a double-sided release, with the Blu-ray content on one side, and a standard DVD version on the flip side. I have tested both sides in my PS3, and I have been given feedback about the playback for both sides in multiple Blu-ray and standard DVD players. I have had no problems whatsoever, and I haven’t been told of any.
The Bourne Supremacy is a movie that is a definite step above the first movie in the trilogy, although the constant use of “shaky cam” handheld camera work can drive a viewer to distraction at times. The story itself is more solid than the first film, with Jason Bourne once again finding himself in the crosshairs, but with the stakes now being higher for both Bourne and the people chasing him. The movie is not afraid to take chances in terms of what characters will live or die, and the final conclusions (there are several) are surprisingly moving. Along the way, we are treated to another ammunition band of action sequences (all shot with the shaking camera) and another series of travelogues in India, Europe and Russia. And once again, the supporting performances carry the day, particularly Brian Cox and Joan Allen. This time around, Matt Damon’s performance is markedly deeper – with a couple of later scenes in the film really connecting well.
ONE BIG WARNING TO NEW VIEWERS: If you have never seen these films before, I strongly recommend you watch The Bourne Identity first. If you try to start the journey here, you may wind up wondering what the heck is going on for a lot of the time. This is a movie series that really does require you to have seen the prior chapters to have the best time of it.
The Bourne Supremacy has been released on DVD and HD-DVD, as well as in a triple-pack on Blu-ray. This release is the first time the film has been made available on its own as a Blu-ray release. As I noted with The Bourne Identity, this is a double-sided release, with Blu-ray content on one side and SD content on the other. The Blu-ray content is identical to that of the earlier triple pack release, down to the bitrates. The SD content appears to me to be identical to the last DVD release – that being for the Bourne Files pack released in summer 2007. With Sam Posten’s gracious permission, I’m going to quote his review of the Blu-ray triple pack from a year ago, as the content is the same.
VIDEO QUALITY 4 ½/5
Sam Posten’s trilogy review gave The Bourne Supremacy a ½ point higher rating for its video quality than he had given The Bourne Identity.
AUDIO QUALITY 4 ½/5
Sam’s review gave The Bourne Supremacy the same excellent rating he had given the first film.
SPECIAL FEATURES 5/5
Sam’s review gave The Bourne Supremacy the same 5+ he had given the first film, as the Blu-ray is simply loaded with materials, from the U-Control features and BD-Live functionality (including a Bourne Card Strategy Challenge) to a raft of featurettes, deleted scenes and a scene-specific commentary by director Paul Greengrass.
As for the DVD side of the equation, we get an SD transfer of the film with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in English, Spanish and French. The extra features on the SD side do not include the BD-Live and U-Control functionality or a pair of brief featurettes (“The Bourne Mastermind” and “The Bourne Diagnosis”), but everything else is present. To be honest, after watching the film and the special features on the Blu-ray side, I didn’t feel an urge to watch the movie or the featurettes on the SD side. But it all works fine if you wish to make use of it.
IN THE END...
The Bourne Supremacy is the second chapter of what ultimately became a successful trilogy of action spy thrillers (which may be expanding with further chapters in the next few years), and it is nice to see it available available for individual purchase. I prefer it to the first film, but I recognize that it would be impossible to follow without first watching the first one. I definitely recommend this as a rental if you’re interested in the series and especially if you’re a fan of Ludlum, Matt Damon or anyone else in the cast.
January 17, 2009.