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Tony Gilroy
Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Edward Norton , Donna Murphy, Michael Chernus, Corey Stoll
Writing Credits:
Tony Gilroy (and story), Dan Gilroy, Robert Ludlum (Bourne series / novel)

There Was Never Just One.

The Bourne Legacy takes the action-packed Bourne series to an explosive new level. On the verge of having their conspiracy exposed, members of the government's intelligence community will stop at nothing to erase all evidence of their top secret programs - even the agents involved. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) must use his genetically-engineered skills to survive the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse and finish what Jason Bourne started. Also starring Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz and Academy Award nominee Edward Norton, critics are calling this a "thrilling, edge-of-your-seat heart-pounder" (Meg Porter Berns, Fox, Miami).

Box Office:
$125 million.
Opening Weekend
$38.142 million on 3745 screens.
Domestic Gross
$113.165 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English DTS 5.1
English DTS 2.0
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English Descriptive Video Service
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 135 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 12/11/2012

• Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Tony Gilroy, Co-Writer Dan Gilroy, Editor John Gilroy, Director of Photography Robert Elswit, Second Unit Director Dan Bradley and Production Designer Kevin Thompson
• Three Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• “Re-Bourne” Featurette
• “Enter Aaron Cross” Featurette
• “Crossing Continents: Legacy on Location” Featurette
• “Man Vs. Wolf” Featurette
• “Wolf Sequence Test”
• “Moving Targets: Aaron and Marta” Featurette
• “Capturing Chaos: The Motorbike Chase” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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The Bourne Legacy [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 99, 2012)

Like another action franchise with a lead character who sports the initials “JB”, the Bourne series shows the ability to continue after the departure of an iconic lead actor. Did the absence of Matt Damon impact box office? Probably, as 2012’s The Bourne Legacy became the lowest-grossing film of the four. Still, its $113 million take meant it did well enough that I’d expect another Bourne flick before too long.

Set during the same time period as 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum, public exposure causes the powers that be to shut down various “Black Ops” programs such as Operation Treadstone. They do so in the most extreme way possible and this leads to the assassination of agents involved.

Most of them, at least, as Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) manages to escape. However, his survival may be short-lived; the program forces him to take various medications to stay in tip-top shape, so without them, he won’t be able to function well enough to remain alive. Cross seeks out Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), a scientist who works on the medical program. We follow Cross’s pursuit of Shearing and their attempts to survive in the face of various threats.

If nothing else, I applaud Legacy for its ability to let me see a Bourne movie on the big screen. While Doug Liman directed the first flick, Paul Greengrass handled 2004’s Bourne Supremacy and 2007’s Ultimatum. Greengrass favors a heavily handheld style that creates internal havoc for those of us who suffer from motion sickness; I barely endured a theatrical screening of Supremacy and avoided Ultimatum because I knew I’d go all queasy if I tried. Gilroy generally uses a more traditional style, so I made it through a big screen viewing of Legacy unscathed.

I also hoped that Gilroy would reinvigorate a franchise that I thought sagged after the first movie. I liked Legacy quite a lot but was much less pleased the two Greengrass flicks – and not just because of the off-putting camera work. Supremacy and Ultimatum felt to me like they tried very hard to entertain with action and theatrics but they became buried beneath muddled plots and jerky visuals.

As I mentioned, Gilroy largely remedies the last concern, but he still gives us a movie with an excessively convoluted plot. At times it feels like Legacy needs footnotes; it involves so many different schemes and plots that it threatens to become bogged down in the minutiae. Even those familiar with the prior three movies may get confused about who did what to who where and why.

So it’s probably best to essentially ignore all those complications and watch Legacy as a basic chase movie – and it’s also likely fruitful to forget its connection to the Bourne series, as it often plays like a remake to Identity. Both display rather similar storylines, though matters fared better in Identity, as it was fresher and more creative.

Legacy seems to exist for a couple of reasons. Universal might view it as a bridge to Damon’s hoped-for return to the series and see Legacy as a way to keep the franchise in the public eye until/if that happens. They also might use Legacy as the first part in a new, Damon-free batch of flicks if Matt doesn’t want to come back at some point.

Legacy feels like the kind of movie you’d get if the second scenario is true. It comes across like a “table-setting film”, one that almost seems to be a prologue. Legacy doesn’t have a particularly involving plot of its own, so I take it as something intended to simply get the characters off the ground so they can go on to further adventures.

If this is true, I hope the ensuing Bourne movies prove to be more compelling. While I can’t call Legacy a bad flick, it does seem to lack much purpose, and it’s only sporadically entertaining. The story starts in a dense, convoluted manner and makes us wait about half an hour before any real action occurs. That’d be okay if the set-up offered more of interest, but it’s so slow that it threatens to lose us before anything really happens.

Once the action launches, we get a fair amount of material, but even those moments don’t become particularly dynamic. Gilroy has spent much of his career as a screenwriter, but he did well with his directorial debut, 2007’s 2007’s Michael Clayton. He shows a less strong hand here, as he appears unsure how to deal with all the movie’s action scenes.

This means they feel fairly generic. We get some of the expected handheld shakycam – though not up to Greengrass levels – without much clarity or thrust to make the set pieces involving. They demonstrated sporadic feelings of excitement without consistency, and it doesn’t help that they sometimes feel like they’ve been “borrowed” from other films; there’s a clear “been there, done that” aura on display here.

Like the prior Bourne movies, Legacy boasts a good cast, and if the series proceeds, Renner should be a solid New Bourne. Weisz is fine in her underwritten role, though she can’t pull off a convincing American accent to save her life; this isn’t the first time I’ve been distracted by her broad attempt at the dialect.

Overall, I couldn’t call The Bourne Legacy a bad movie, as it has just enough action and intrigue to sustain our attention across its 135 minutes. If I’d liked the last two Bourne flicks more, I’d probably view it as a disappointment, but instead, I just see it as more of the same. This is watchable popcorn material without much more to make it stick in our minds.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

The Bourne Legacy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Expect an attractive presentation.

Sharpness looked great. Even the widest shows boasted fine clarity, as the image always remained well-defined and distinctive. I noticed no issues with jaggies or moiré effects, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also were absent, as the movie looked clean and fresh.

In terms of palette, the film usually opted for a chilly blue tint; some warmer tones occasionally appeared – mostly during interiors – but desaturation ruled the day. This restricted overall broadness of the colors, but they looked fine within the limited range of hues. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows looked clear and full. This was a consistently terrific transfer.

I also thought the DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio of Legacy worked well. Some of the audio concentrated on music and general atmosphere. The score and songs displayed nice stereo presence, and the film conveyed a solid sense of place.

The flick often came to life for its action scenes. We got a lot of these, and when they occurred, they offered immersive material. Elements moved around the room well and meshed together to offer a solid punch.

No issues with audio quality emerged. Speech remained crisp and concise, and music showed good range; the score and songs appeared full and vibrant. Effects worked well; those elements seemed lively and robust, with nice low-end response to add depth. This was an active piece that earned an “A-”.

We get a good mix of extras here, and these open with an audio commentary from director/co-writer Tony Gilroy, co-writer Dan Gilroy, editor John Gilroy, director of photography Robert Elswit, second unit director Dan Bradley and production designer Kevin Thompson. They all sit together to discuss story/character issues and the movie’s place in the Bourne universe, cast and performances, sets and locations, action and stunts, various effects, music and audio, camerawork, editing and production design, and some other topics.

One would expect the director to dominate the commentary, and that proves to be the case here, as Tony Gilroy does most of the heavy lifting. That said, all of the participants add to the proceedings, as they mesh well and give us a lot of good info. While they indulge in more happy talk than I’d like, they compensate with plenty of useful material and keep things moving at a good pace.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 48 seconds. We find “Pennsylvania Highway” (3:13), “NRAG Research Room” (0:57) and “Washington DC” (2:23). “Highway” shows a tense traffic stop, and “Room” gives us additional background about the operatives in Aaron’s program. Finally, “DC” allows the Hirsch character more screentime. Of the three, “Highway” fares the best; it’s cliché but delivers a bit of tension. “DC” also shows events that we only hear about in the final film. I would’ve liked to see “Highway” in the finished product, and “DC” would’ve been interesting as well; “Room” is more superfluous.

We can view these with or without commentary from Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, John Gilroy and Robert Elswit. They tell us a bit about the scenes and let us know why the sequences didn’t make the end release. Their notes add to the experience.

Six featurettes follow. We see “Re-Bourne” (6:11), “Enter Aaron Cross” (7:11), “Crossing Continents: Legacy on Location” (8:22), “Man vs. Wolf” (4:36), “Moving Targets: Aaron and Marta” (6:11), and “Capturing Chaos: The Motorbike Chase” (7:49). Across these, we hear from Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, Bradley, Thompson, producers Frank Marshall, Ben Smith, Jeffrey M. Weiner and Patrick Crowley, fight coordinator Jonathan Eusebio, Philippines line producer Lope V. Juban, Jr., stunt coordinator Chris O’Hara, animal trainer Mike Alexander, wolf animatronic supervisor Alan Scott, stunt double Jean-Pierre Goy, special effects supervisor Garry Elmendorf, and actors Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rachel Weisz, Shane Jacobson, Oscar Isaac, and Louis Ozawa Changchien. The shows look at story/character areas, the film’s tone and Tony Gilroy’s effect on the production, cast and performances, stunts and action, sets and locations, and a few technical topics.

While the featurettes cover a good array of subjects, they don’t do so with much depth. These tend toward the fluffy promotional side of the street and lack a certain meatiness. That makes them decent but average.

Finally, we get a one-minute, 39-second Wolf Sequence Test. This shows what the title describes: preliminary video footage that demonstrates how scene with a fake wolf can be shot. We see a little of this in the “Man vs. Wolf” featurette, so it’s nice to get a longer clip here.

The disc opens with ads for Death Race 3, Ted, the Universal Studios Transformers ride, Grimm, Dead in Tombstone and End of Watch. No trailer for Legacy pops up here.

A second disc offers a DVD Copy of Legacy. This offers a standard retail version of the film, so it comes with the commentary and a few other elements.

As a movie, The Bourne Legacy seems to exist as a placeholder, an entry created to keep a franchise alive rather than to tell a new story. While it offers a competent action film, it never threatens to become anything more dynamic; it’s watchable but forgettable. The Blu-ray provides excellent picture and audio as well as a decent collection of bonus materials. Perhaps future Bourne films will create excitement, but Legacy is too generic to boast much zing.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.054 Stars Number of Votes: 37
3 3:
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