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Bourne Identity, The - Explosive Extended Edition  (2002)


Starring: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper

Director: Doug Liman

Rating: PG-13

Distributor: Universal Studios Home Video

Release Date: July 13, 2004
Review posted: July 27, 2004

Spoilers: None


Reviewed by Dennis Landmann




A man washes ashore, bullet-riddled and without memory, then races to elude assassins and recover from amnesia. Courtesy of IMDb.




Universal presents The Bourne Identity in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a pretty clean and smooth presentation. In fact, colors are crisp and very well saturated, though some colors may look a bit muted. Softness isn't a big issue here. I didn't notice any compression artifacts or dirt, but very tiny edge enhancement appears in only a few scenes. There's little to no grain spotted, and black levels and dark tones have great depth. Detail reaches far into the picture, and sharpness looks just fine.




Universal presents The Bourne Identity in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround. Sadly, the 5.1 DTS track from the original DVD is omitted here to make room for the additional extras. The Dolby track is quite aggressive, however, so that's cool. Dialogue and sound effects are clear and easy to understand. The surrounds are very active, bass sounds loud enough, and dynamic range is evident. No complaints, really.




This Explosive Extended Edition DVD is good and bad. The bad; it omits the very good commentary by Doug Liman, the DTS track, an extended sequence, and the theatrical trailer. The good; it includes a free movie ticket to see The Bourne Supremacy in theatres and features more than a handful of brand-new featurettes. Those who own the first release don't need to buy this new DVD, maybe rent it to see the new stuff.


The major ruse for this DVD is the all-new beginning and ending, though you may be surprised to find they're only included in the special features section and not cut back into the film. Calling it "explosive extended edition" is therefore completely misleading from my point of view. At any rate, the never-before-seen opening lasts only two minutes and makes the entire film a flashback. The alternate ending runs five minutes, and features a dialogue scene with Brian Cox and then the reunion of Jason and Marie (though in this version they don't say anything to each other). The introduction to these alternate sequences reveals they were shot after September 11. Both the opening and ending are neither interesting nor "explosive."


The rest of the extras are several new featurettes. The Bourne Mastermind: Robert Ludlum is a 6-minute discussion on the author, Access Granted: An Interview with Screenwriter Tony Gilroy speaks for itself, From Identity to Supremacy features interviews with Matt Damon and Franka Potente who talk about the story and their characters, the 3-minute The Bourne Diagnosis probes the causes and effects of Bourne's amnesia, the 6-minute Cloak and Dagger: Covert Ops briefly looks at the CIA and the main character, The Speed of Sound spends four minutes discussing sound design (an interactive sound demonstration follows), Declassified Information is seven minutes worth of deleted scenes (you've seen all four on the first DVD), and Inside a Fight Sequence is a 5-minute look at the director filming a fight scene (interviews and on-set clips included).


Rounding out the extras from the previous release is Moby's "Extreme Ways" music video, a few DVD-ROM features, and the usual cast & crew/production notes text screens. New are previews for Dawn of the Dead, Ned Kelly, and the season 1 DVD release of Magnum PI.




The Bourne Identity is a cool and solid action thriller with brains and intense action scenes. Matt Damon gives a strong performance, and Franka Potente's Marie is equally strong support. Doug Liman's direction is really good, and overall the production looks cool, such as the staging of the fights and chases, as the use of locations and sets. The Explosive Extended Edition DVD is not really worth buying as the new featurettes aren't all that interesting. However, if you really like the film, I'd say rent it.




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