The Bourne Trilogy

After being pulled from the sea with two bullets in his back, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) awakens on a fishing boat with no memory of his involvement in a top-secret, black-ops arm of the CIA called Treadstone. The only clue to his identity is the number of a Swiss safe-deposit box in which he discovers an array of passports, weapons, and cash. As he struggles to unlock the secret of his own identity, Bourne has to deal with his past in order to ensure his own future.

Based on the popular book by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity launched a highly successful film franchise that spawned two sequels, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. All three movies offer non-stop action, extraordinary chase sequences, and a myriad of questions that beg to be answered. Who is Jason Bourne? What is Treadstone? Why has Bourne been targeted for termination?

Each film has a gritty look with a heavy layer of grain—just how I remember them in the theater. The image looks a bit harsh and less realistic because of the intentionally heightened contrast, which also skews the color palette. Black levels vary between the films—the first is not as inky as the last—but the detail in all three is excellent, and there's nothing much to complain about overall.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks all impress, but the third installment is the best of the three in this regard, with an extremely impressive soundstage and a plethora of discrete effects. Dialog intelligibility is excellent, even in the most silent passages, and the engaging soundtrack draws you into the picture. The robust LFE channel allows you to feel the impact of every punch, kick, and gunshot. Soundtracks like this make watching an action film all the more enjoyable.

Each BD50 disc boasts an impressive array of supplements with behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, director commentaries, and PIP enhancements. In addition, all feature BD-Live functionality with scene sharing and a strategy game, although I couldn't test either of these since the website isn't available until street date. For previous owners of the HD DVDs, all the extras found on those discs are included in this Blu-ray release.

Universal has a number of trilogies waiting to be released on Blu-ray, including Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. Hopefully, those discs will live up to standards set by The Bourne Trilogy, which is fantastic. Highly recommended.

Release Date: January 27, 2009

The Bourne Identity
Movie: 8/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

The Bourne Supremacy
Movie: 7/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

The Bourne Ultimatum
Movie: 10/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 10/10

Review System

Panasonic DMP-BD55

JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner

M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics