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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Thriller > The Bourne Identity (HD-DVD)

The Bourne Identity (Universal HD-DVD)


Picture: B†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: C+



NOTE:This version has been discontinued, but reissued on Blu-ray, which you can read more about at this link:






As scheduling would have it, The Bourne Supremacy was issued on HD-DVD before its predecessor, Doug Limanís The Bourne Identity.That left me discussing both films in the HD-DVD review for the second picture, which you will find at this link:





Needless to say, I was more of a fan of the second film than the first, and that has nothing necessarily to do with Limanís directing talents.It is simply that too much of the book of Identity was thrown out and it felt choppier than its editing.Looking at it again, it looks like a rough draft for the second film and though it has some good moments, it has not aged well.The story involves a young man (Matt Damon) who wakes up and does not know who he is, then is suddenly a murder target.


He happens to have the skills to fight back, but does not know why.He spends this film putting the pieces together as we and he learn his origins as much as possible in between fight scenes.Bond and action fans will be amused by the somewhat forgotten appearance of Clive Owen, while other will enjoy Chris Cooper, Brian Cox and female lead Franke Potente.Unfortunately, the narrative just does not have the smoothness or panache of better films in the genre and after the Daniel Craig Casino Royale, that is even more obvious.However, this is not a bad performer in HD-DVD and is not unlike the HD-DVD for the sequel.


The 1080p VC-1 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is also a nice surprise, with very good color and definition throughout despite the slightly darker nature of the cinematography rendered (like the sequel) by Director of Photography Oliver Wood.I still like the sequelís look and editing better, but there is little room for improvement on this transfer in detail, depth and the color they keep.The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix is also better than the standard Dolby 5.1 from the regular DVD version, though I wish this still had a DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option sadly missing from the sequel as well.John Powell scored this first film too and though the sound mix is good, we wonder if the limits of Plus have lost some fine detail.


Extras repeat the standard DVDís treasure trove of seven featurettes, deleted/extended scenes, Liman commentary, alternate opening, alternate ending and the like, but adds a new interactive option regular DVD could never deliver allowing for a more interactive way to access the behind the scenes aspects of the production.


Now we wait for The Bourne Ultimatum, which was expected to be the conclusion of a trilogy, but a fourth film is under way since the third made the most money yet.Weíll see how that turns out.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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