The Bourne Supremacy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. While an improvement over the blah 4K for Identity, Supremacy came with some issues of its own.
For the most part, sharpness seemed satisfactory – minus the inevitable out of focus shots that came with the film’s “on the fly” style, of course. While occasional examples of slightly soft wide or interior elements materialized, most of the film felt pretty well-defined.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, but some light edge haloes cropped up through the film. Given the film’s occasionally heavy grain, I didn’t suspect overuse of noise reduction, though a few interiors did look a little smoothed out. As for print flaws, I saw a couple of small specks but nothing more.
Supremacy opted for a palette that emphasized blue-greens. This was a less than attractive choice but the 4K reproduced the hues appropriately and HDR gave good life to the sporadic examples of the more vibrant hues we found.
Blacks looked deep but could be a bit thick at times, which meant slightly reduced shadow detail. Those didn’t become a substantial problem, though, and HDR added range to whites and contrast. Overall this felt like a more than watchable reproduction of the material but probably not as good as it could look.
Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, the film’s DTS X soundtrack offered an immersive affair. With lots of action on display, all the channels received a lot of room to impress, and it took advantage of those. The front and rear speakers added a great deal of information that placed us in the settings and involved us in the story.
Audio quality satisfied. Music was bold and full, while speech sounded concise and accurate. Effects showed good range and packed a strong punch in louder moments. All of this added up to a terrific action movie soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The DTS X mix added a little more range and immersiveness to an already-strong track.
As for the visuals, the seemed better defined and more dynamic than those of the Blu-ray. While I felt the 4K could’ve been stronger, it still represented an upgrade to the BD.
On the 4K disc, we get an audio commentary from director Paul Greengrass. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, music, editing, stunts and locations, and effects.
Though Greengrass touches on the expected subjects, he does so without much substance. Instead, the director mainly narrates the movie and praises those involved. The commentary drags and doesn’t tell us a lot of good information.
Everything else appears on the included Blu-ray copy, where five Explosive Deleted Scenes run a total of 10 minutes, 46 seconds. I’m not sure why they’re called “explosive,” though, considering one of them is called “Bourne Writing in Book.”
The only one I really thought could have stayed in was “Shack.” The rest seem decent but not memorable.
Next comes the five-minute, 23-second Matching Identities: Casting. It features Greengrass, producers Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley, and actors Matt Damon, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles, Brian Cox, Gabriel Mann and Karl Urban. They cover the casting of supporting roles. The results seem fairly superficial.
A four-minute, 58-second featurette, Keeping it Real includes notes from Damon, Marshall, Greengrass. Crowley, Urban, camera operator Klemens Becker, and actor Franke Potente. Mainly the featurette highlights the selection of Paul Greengrass as a director, and the visual style he brings to the picture. Like the prior piece, this one delivers decent details but can be fluffy.
With the four-minute Blowing Things Up, we hear from Crowley, Greengrass, Damon, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Dan Bradley, and special effects foreman James Bomalick. The show mainly looks at the technical challenges of blowing up the Treadstone agent’s German house without the assistance of computer generated imagery. Despite its brevity, “Up” offers a decent examination of the subject matter.
The onslaught of featurettes continues with On the Move with Jason Bourne. This four-minute, 46-second show involves Crowley, Marshall, Greengrass, Cox, Damon, Allen, Bomalick, Stiles and Bradley.
“Move” looks at the exotic locations used in filming, from Berlin to India to Moscow, and the challenges inherent at each location. It becomes another watchable but thin piece.
Bourne to be Wild fills four minutes, 21 seconds with info from Greengrass, Marshall, Damon, and fight choreographer Jeff Imada. The clip examines the fight between Bourne and the last remaining Treadstone member. Expect a moderately informative featurette.
More facts about stunts and visuals appear in the five-minute, 58-second Crash Cam: Racing Through the Streets of Moscow. It involves Greengrass, Crowley, Marshall, Bradley, Damon, Bomalick, Urban, and picture vehicle coordinator Graham Kelly. The reel reveals a lot of the secrets to filming the climactic chase scene. Like its predecessors, it offers decent material.
Speaking of the car chase scenes, The Go Mobile Revs up the Action fills six minutes, 49 seconds with details from Marshall, Damon, Bradley, Go stunts Scott Rogers, stunt coordinator Darrin Prescott, Go-Mobile driver Kevin Scott, and Go-Mobile fabricator Rick Cresse.
We learn of the use of the “Go-Mobile” and its impact on the production. “Revs” offers one of the better featurettes.
Anatomy of a Scene: Explosive Bridge Chase Scene takes up four minutes, 41 seconds and presents details from Greengrass, Damon, Bradley and Crowley. It offers a few details about the sequence in question. It throws out a few good notes but lacks substance.
As expected, the four-minute, 46-second Scoring with John Powell focuses on the work of composer John Powell. He discusses his score for the film. Nothing great appears, but Powell delivers reasonable insight.
The next two programs continue efforts from the Bourne Identity Blu-ray. We get The Bourne Mastermind (Part 2) (4:42) and The Bourne Diagnosis (Part 2) (5:39).
In “Mastermind”, we hear from author Robert Ludlum, Ludlum Estate executor Jeffrey Weiner, book editor Richard Marek, actor/Ludlum friend James Karen, and agent Henry Morrison.
We learn a little about Ludlum’s work, but mostly the piece praises the author. It’s forgettable.
As for “Diagnosis”, it features Marshall, Greengrass, Damon, Potente, and therapist Miriam Davis. Like “Part 1”, this one looks at Bourne’s mental issues. Don’t expect more than superficial thoughts.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray, U-Control breaks into three options. “Bourne Dossier” gives us basics about locations, characters and other “Treadstone” elements, while “Bourne Orientation” offers more background for topics along the same lines. Both seem decent but not especially valuable.
Finally, “Picture-in-Picture” offers storyboards, behind the scenes footage, and interviews. We hear from Marshall, Greengrass, Damon, Davis, Potente, Allen, Crowley, Urban, Bradley, Cox, Mann, Stiles, Imada, and actor John Bedford Lloyd.
The comments relate to character/story areas, cast and performances, Greengrass’s approach to the material, sets/locations, cinematography, stunts/action, and effects. An alternate ending also appears over the end credits, but it’s the same clip already seen under “Deleted Scenes”.
On the positive side, the PiP track comes with no dead spaces. That’s unusual, as most of these programs sputter out along the way and create frustrations for the viewer. This one packs footage from beginning to end.
On the negative side, the quality of the material seems erratic. While we get a good look at technical elements, too much of the PiP does little more than reiterate character/story elements we already know. There’s still enough fresh info to make the PiP worth a look, though.
As a film, The Bourne Supremacy is a superb thriller, even if it’s a shade shy of living up to its predecessor. The film injects the espionage thriller genre with a fresh, original concept. The 4K UHD boasts very good audio as well as an informative collection of bonus materials along with generally positive but inconsistent visuals. Though the best version of the film on the market, the 4K didn’t quite live up to its potential.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of THE BOURNE SUPREMACY