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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Bourne The Ultimate Collection -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Presuming there aren't more Bourne films in the pipeline, Universal has released boxed sets of the entire 5-fillm Bourne series, and the results are very pleasing.

One of the interesting things in doing an overview of a set of this type, is the ability to see and hear the changing technologies.

The general facts:

All were shot on film, in various formats, but generally 35/3. Some also had digital capture.

Let's work backwards...

Jason Bourne (2016)

This was a 4k DI, and as previously reviewed, the resultant 4k Blu-ray is gorgeous, and a real treat to view.

Although the original mix, was (among other formats) Dolby Atmos, the disc was released at DTS:X.

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

Shot S35, with some HD footage. Completed as a 2k DI.

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Shot S35, and finished as a 2k DI. Original audio was DTS.

A beautiful uprez from the 2k files to 4k, that with the addition of HDR, allows a high quality presentation, with rich deep blacks. Audio is DTS:X.

The Bourne Supremecy (2004)

Shot S35, and finished as a 2k DI. Original audio was DTS.

Another quality effort from Universal, that matches the overall look of Ultimatum.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

This is where it gets interesting, and I'll be doing a bit of guessing here, based upon the way that other projects have been handled in the past, by others.

Identity was the only film to be completed on film, meaning pre-DI. I'm presuming that the film was cut and conformed as negative.

Much TV, and various features, were not cut neg. I believe a good example was Seinfeld, which going to home video, was cut and conformed after the fact.

So a studio is putting together boxed sets (Blu-ray and 4k). They have at their disposal, the original cut camera negative, presumably a timed IP, and the original HD master used for earlier releases.

Do they go the Columbia route, and do a new 4k image harvest from the camera negative, and create new asset protection, along the way?

This would mean taking the film back into post, and re-doing the color. Not an inexpensive proposition.

Remember. This is a film that one would believe that anyone that wants it already has it, and probably on Blu-ray.

Do you go back to an IP, do a new image harvest, which would not allow full 4k resolution, and move on from there?

Or do you use the HD master, which in this case is a less than stellar, but still viable proposition, in order to fill out a five film boxed set?

I'm betting that the third possibility is what we're seeing here, as, unlike the other films, it simply isn't film-like. Grain is not evident. Resolution should be better.

It's not what it could be, but it will do for government work.

My take, is that in order to do it right for 4k, the first option is the one to take, but it's a very expensive option.

Now let's look at the numbers at street price.

The most recent release, Jason Bourne is priced at $26 for the 4k. The other three Damon titles are also $26, while the Renner is $20.

That's $124 for the set of five, purchased separately.

The Ultimate Bourne Collection on Blu-ray is $45.

The Ultimate Bourne Collection in 4k is a Best Buy exclusive, and runs $100, which brings the average cost per film, down to $20.

An incredible deal for the first release of a 4k boxed set.

At that price, should be care if the first film isn't up to 4k standards?

We should, but it's not a deal breaker.

Here's where it should be leaving potential buyers.

If you already have the first four films on Blu-ray, best to grab the latest in 4k. Your player should do a nice job of up-rezzing the image of the first four to 4k, albeit without HDR.

If you don't have any of the films, and either are not set up for height channels, but either have 4k, or are considering upgrading, it might be best to pick up the Blu-ray set and add in an extra copy of the latest at a total cost of $71. That's appreciably less expensive than the Best Buy alternative.

Here's the buyers' quandary. If you are set up for height channels, and have the earlier films, you'll be double dipping Bourne 1-4 just to get the DTS:X mix, and HDR (presuming you also have 4k that supports HDR)

On the other hand, if one either has, or will be upgrading to both 4k and height channels, Universal's boxed set is a neatly packaged affair, with another set of extras on a separate DVD. Then there's the possibility that the Best Buy exclusive will either go on sale in the near future, or will not be permanently exclusive.

Possibly too many alternatives.

Image -

The Bourne Identity - 3
The Bourne Legacy - 4.25
The Bourne Ultimatum - 4.25
The Bourne Supremacy - 4.25
Jason Bourne - 5

Audio - 5 (DTS:X)

Worth the double-dip - 3

Pass / Fail - Pass

Recommended

RAH








 
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Robert Crawford

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I bought all five of them separately as Amazon had them on sale over the last two weeks or so.
 

Malcolm R

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I've seen them all individually at Costco. I think they were $23-25 each.
 

Vincent_P

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I'm going to go WAY out on a limb and say that I suspect Universal Pictures could have afforded to do a new 4K scan/color timing etc. of the original negative of THE BOURNE IDENTITY. Now I know I'm just spitballing here, but in a world where a movie like PIECES gets remastered in 4K from a small indie company, there is simply no excuse for Universal to be uprezzing an old HD telecine of the first film of one of their most successful franchises and passing it off as "UDH".

Vincent
 

Josh Steinberg

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I'm going to go WAY out on a limb and say that I suspect Universal Pictures could have afforded to do a new 4K scan/color timing etc. of the original negative of THE BOURNE IDENTITY. Now I know I'm just spitballing here, but in a world where a movie like PIECES gets remastered in 4K from a small indie company, there is simply no excuse for Universal to be uprezzing an old HD telecine of the first film of one of their most successful franchises and passing it off as "UDH".

Vincent

There seems to be no compelling reason, at least that I can understand, to purchase a UHD of an HD-upscale, when that HD master is already available on disc and can be upscaled on your own player.

It's one thing for titles that were finished as 2K DIs - there's no way anyone's ever going back to redo the vast majority of those, and who even knows exactly how many of the original film elements were even preserved, and in what condition. But for titles that had finished negatives that could be rescanned at a higher resolution than the existing HD masters, I don't understand why that wouldn't be the choice. OK, I get that rescanning it and retiming it will take time and cost money - but don't they get that they're asking us to pay more money too?
 

Robert Crawford

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I was messing around with my Roku Ultra and setting it up to stream UHD titles to my LG OLED65E6P and was taken aback to how "The Bourne Identity" looked on my panel. IMO, it look very good! I didn't expect that after reading RAH's earlier comments in this thread. Without question I don't have RAH's expertise and my eyes are far less critical than RAH's, but from the 40 minutes I've viewed of this UHD stream, I was very happy with that video presentation. Now, sometime over the next 2-3 days, I'm going to pull out the 4K/UHD disc and watch that in its entirety and then do some comparison scenes with the latest BD.
 

DavidJ

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I bought the 4-disc Blu-ray set recently when it was on sale. I had the first three movies on HD-DVD, but didn't want to deal with the hassle. I will pick up Jason Bourne on UHD and stick with HD for the others. In the future, when I upgrade my receiver and sound, I may revisit the idea of picking up the others on UHD.
 

moovtune

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I bought Bourne Identity as a test of the UHD quality, comparing it to my Blu-ray up-rezzed. I couldn't see any difference to speak of so decided to pass on the rest of the titles in UHD and stick to my blu-rays. Also, I consider the DTS-X option as a "fake" immersion format in this case, and Atmos mixes as well, when they come from older titles. I seriously doubt they are using anything other than the original 5.1 stems to create these new supposed immersive mixes.
 

Robert Crawford

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I bought Bourne Identity as a test of the UHD quality, comparing it to my Blu-ray up-rezzed. I couldn't see any difference to speak of so decided to pass on the rest of the titles in UHD and stick to my blu-rays. Also, I consider the DTS-X option as a "fake" immersion format in this case, and Atmos mixes as well, when they come from older titles. I seriously doubt they are using anything other than the original 5.1 stems to create these new supposed immersive mixes.
Let's just say I can see a difference between the two discs, especially the night and snowing scenes. Also, what panel/projector are you viewing this on and is it calibrated? I'm viewing my discs on an LG OLED65E6P that has been calibrated.
 
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