Blu-ray Review: THE BOURNE SUPREMACY

James Wallace

by: James Wallace
January 18th, 2010

Blu-ray Rating: 8/10

Exclusively from Universal, you can now enjoy some of your favorite films in both the high definition format as well as the standard definition DVD format. It all comes in the single, yet powerful package of a Flip Disc, a two-sided DVD that features both standard and Blu-ray versions of a film. And with that Blu-ray side comes some very in-depth special features on some of your favorite Universal produced films. At least that is the case with THE BOURNE series, which are the three titles that Universal has chosen to roll this new technology out with.

Like the release of BOURNE IDENTITY, SUPREMACY is jam-packed full of features that take you the viewer behind the scenes in the filmmaking process of the beloved BOURNE trilogy. The sequel, released 2 years after the first in 2004, upped the ante with action and adventure, as well as took audiences deeper into the tangled web of David Webb, aka Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). The film also saw the addition of a new director in Paul Greengrass, who brought his very loose, shoot-from-the-hip style to the film, subsequently adding to its intensity and realism.

Of the making of features, you are given a look into pretty much every major process of putting the film together, from beginning to end. Matching Identities takes a look at the film's incredible cast including Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Brian Cox, and the new edition of iconic actress Joan Allen and BOURNE foe Karl Urban (playing the cat in this cat and mouse game as Clive Owen did in the first film). Keeping It Real explores the search for the SUPREMACY director and the importance of finding someone who would keep up with the indie-sensibility of the action and drama. In steps Paul Greengrass, who possesses a unique cine verite style with a documentary cinematography that looks and feels as if it is happening as you watch it. With SUPREMACY, Greengrass took the unique stylings of IDENTITY to the next level, empowering the series with a visceral feeling of reality that most action films do not possess or even tap the surface of. He did so much so that it has gone on to be a bit of a genre changer, as many action films have emulated such style.

Other behind-the-scenes featurettes include: Blowing Things Up, showing just what went into the sequence featuring a giant gas explosion. From Berlin to Moscow to India, On the Move with Jason Bourne explores the film's many exotic locales and how the filmmakers attempted to expose areas of places that you don’t normally see. Known for its brutal, fast-paced fight scenes, Bourne to be Wild: Fight Training examines the process Damon had to go through so that he could do all his own stunts and bring an authenticity to the film's action. In IDENTITY, the pen was mightier than the sword. The feature shows us why, this time around, the magazine is Bourne's weapon of choice. Anatomy of a Scene: The Explosive Bridge Chase Scene goes even more in-depth on this topic, showing the dedication Damon has to the character. I've loved a lot of things in my life but I've never jumped from bridge onto a barge for one of them!

Another thing the BOURNE trilogy is known for is its car chases. The first one showed us Bourne's skills behind the wheel of a classic Mini as he sped through the streets, using whatever he could to escape the police...even stairs. Well, in SUPREMACY, Bourne got his Class C license for crazy as he played destruction derby with a taxi on the streets of Moscow. Crash Cam: Racing Through the Streets of Moscow shows us what went into shooting this heart-stopping and intense high speed pursuit. The Go-Mobile Revs Up the Action shows a little about the specially designed, mounted on the front of a vehicle, making it possible to get the angles that put you right in the action of a car chase like never before.

To top it all off, there is a nice little feature titled Scoring with John Powell, in which the composer attempts to make the film's score untraditional while keeping up with the musical theme’s of the first film. Film score-philes will especially love the part on thematic music cues when Bourne experiences different things.

And if you love a soothing British accent and talk of filmmaking, then I'd suggest you listen to the Feature Commentary with Paul Greengrass to hear a scene-for-scene exploration of what went into bringing BOURNE to life in the unique way it was this time around. Greengrass is one of the most prolific directors out there right now and his filmmaking process is music to the ears. Or in this case, commentary to the ears!

As a side note, if you did not get enough Ludlum with the SUPREMACY DVD, Part 2 of the retrospective on author Robert Ludlum, entitled The Bourne Mastermind and The Bourne Diagnosis, are included on this disc.

All in all, Universal's latest edition of THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, with the Flip Disc feature, does not leave you dead in the water wishing that you could forget of its existence. Instead, you are given a full dossier with everything you would want to know about the enjoyable, action-packed sequel to the spy thriller. The best part is, you can watch it any one of your DVD players now, no mater what the format. And you don't even have to hit someone in the face with a magazine repeatedly to gain such a cool feature!

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