The Bourne Identity: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
If you don’t know who Jason Bourne is frankly I feel sorry for you. He’s the super-spy from the mind of Robert Ludlum who gave us the badass spy movie. While James Bond was busy playing with toys and women, Jason Bourne was out kicking ass and taking names. Where the Bond franchise never took itself too seriously, the Bourne series is deeply rooted in the real world (as much as a spy thriller possibly can be). The Bourne films were so successful they stopped the Bond franchise in its tracks, and forced it to take a more serious turn with its characters and plot lines. Whether or not you agree with that change in the Bond series is a discussion for another time, however, no one can deny that Bourne’s impact on Hollywood has been felt and audiences dig it.
I won’t waste time by summarizing the film, just know that it is the first in an excellent series that is worth watching. Guys like it because it’s exciting, girls like it because Matt Damon looks hot. So there, it has something for everybody. The special features list contains most of the usual stuff that you find on Blu-ray/DVD these days; director commentary, music video for the song from the movie, some stuff about special effects, blah, blah, blah. However, the Bourne disk offers a few little nuggets of awesome.
A cool new feature (and probably something standard on Universal Studios’ Blu-ray) is an extra called My Scenes. The feature lets you bookmark and save your favorite scenes using a timeline that runs along the bottom of the screen while you’re watching the film. If you register with Universal, you can send the scenes to other friends (who are also registered with Universal) online. It’s neat and inventive, but not as cool as the Starship Troopers Blu-ray that actually lets you put your face in the film.
There is a three part mini-documentary on Robert Ludlum that chronicles how Ludlum got his start in the book industry (kind of interesting actually) and how he went on to become one of the most popular authors of his time. The segments consist of old interviews with Ludlum himself from the 70’s, and newer interviews from people who knew him and worked on the film. These videos are probably one of the best features on the Blu-ray. Ludlum was an interesting man, a stage actor whose failures actually brought him to writing. If you’re someone who enjoys writing and the writing process I highly recommend you watch these AND the interview with Tony Gilroy, the man who wrote the screenplays for all three Bourne films.
Beyond those videos the other special features are pretty straightforward. The other two notable mentions are the “Cloak and Dagger” feature, and “The Bourne Diagnosis.” Both are similar because, they bring in people who had nothing to do with the movie to talk about some stuff that’s pretty arbitrary. “Cloak and Dagger” has some old, retired dude from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) talking about realistic Bourne’s moves are. It’s neat, but really nothing to write home about and, I wonder how deep into the CIA you have to be if you end up actually talking about it in a Blu-ray feature. “Diagnosis” gets some psychiatrist from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to talk about what type of psychological disorder Bourne has. Do we care? No. He has amnesia, what more do you want?
In all, I would say that the Bourne Blu-ray/DVD combo is worth picking up if you’re a fan of the film. You are not likely to find the footage of Robert Ludlum anywhere else. Unfortunately, the picture quality of the special features is far worse than that of the actual movie, but that’s easy to look over given the quality of their content.
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