Review
The Bourne Ultimatum: HD DVD Review
The Bourne franchise is back -- and even better in high definition.
The Bourne Ultimatum
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December 18, 2007 by Rachel Cericola

Last week, “The Bourne Ultimatum” was released on DVD, HD DVD and Vudu’s video-on-demand service. Can’t speak for Vudu viewers, but this high-def gal can see exactly why People magazine voted Matt Damon this year’s “sexiest man alive”—the staff must have gotten an advanced HD copy of this film.

Bourne is Batman, John McClane and the Terminator wrapped up into a suspense-filled two hours. The third installment of the franchise finds our action hero still in search of his identity and—here comes a spoiler… so stop reading if you haven’t seen “The Bourne Supremacy”—now he’s got a bit of vengeance on his agenda. His love Marie is now gone and Bourne still doesn’t know what his deal is. Does anyone really care? Just give me more kung-fu fighting and incredible chase scenes, of which this film has plenty.

We also get Bourne’s real name, which doesn’t have the same oomph as when “Seinfeld” unleashed Cosmo on the world. I won’t spoil the surprise, but it’s one of many in this non-stop action ride.

Bourne’s plight in this film takes him to a slew of very cool looking locations: London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Tangier and Turin. The picture on this film is so sharp, you can feel the weather, the wind in your hair, and even the blows to the face.

Some might write off the film’s gritty, “shaky cam” style as a poor transfer, but nothing could be further from the truth. The film is encoded in VC-1, and brilliantly displayed in the widescreen 2.40:1 format, with wonderful, with deep blacks. The shaky cam can sometimes get so violent that it makes you sick, but hey – it’s all part of director Paul Greengrass’ wild ride.

The sound, from beginning to end, is to die for—or at least duck for. From sirens, trains, traffic and explosions to the film’s soundtrack; everything plays well (and loudly) into the action that’s up on the screen.

This is a combo disc, but the HD DVD side is the one with the special features to keep your inner-spy happy. Of course, there’s the usual deleted scenes and featurettes that dissect fight and chase scenes. However, the best stuff can be found under the U Control menu. A web-enabled “Be Bourne Spy Training” section tests your trilogy knowledge, allowing you to download the results. The picture-in-picture features thoughts from cast and crew, all while watching the movie. The Blackbriar Files let you flip through dossiers, spy gear goodies, and information on locations. Finally, you can check out the ad—er, info, for Volkswagon, as the disc highlights the Touareg; then if you have a hankering for more, you can download it via the web.

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.

Disc Specs and Credits

Format reviewed: HD DVD
Video: N/A
Disc Size: N/A
Aspect ratio: 1080p, 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Director: Paul Greengrass
Screenwriter: Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns & George Nolfi
Starring: Matt Damon, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Edgar Ramirez and Albert Finney
Studio: Universal
Rating: PG-13
Retail: $39.98


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