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The Bourne Identity: Collector's Edition

A mysterious man (Matt Damon) is fished out of the sea, full of bullet holes but lacking a memory. He also has a capsule embedded in his skin, which contains a Swiss bank account number. So he hops a train to Switzerland, finds the bank, and then leaves with an enormous amount of money and a red satchel full of spy goodies — mainly a whole lot of money and several passports, including one in the name of Jason Bourne. Bad guys immediately start trying to kill the man, who still doesn't know who he is, so he pays a young woman named Marie (Franka Potente) $10,000 to drive him to Paris. Meanwhile, CIA bosses back in the U.S. wonder what to do about the stranger, who is an errant spy they thought was dead and needs killing all over again. The Bourne Identity (2002) is the very best kind of dumb action movie. It's a dumb action movie that isn't too dumb — just watch it, eat a snack, and enjoy the gorgeous European scenery, along with the running and chasing and shooting and kicking and driving. It seems very snappy and clever while you're watching it, which is what really counts. Later you may forget everything that happened in the film and shake your head that you bought, even for a moment, that Matt Damon was a CIA assassin — but it's a fun ride nonetheless. Universal's DVD release of The Bourne Identity is offered in either anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) or full-screen, pan-and-scan editions. The widescreen disc has a great transfer, if a tad dark at times. It's not a sharp picture, but much of that seems to have been a deliberate directorial choice. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is superb. Extras include an informative commentary track by director Doug Liman; four deleted scenes that aren't especially interesting; an alternate ending; a slightly longer scene at the dinner table in the farmhouse; a 15-minute "making-of" featurette; a Moby video; DVD-ROM content; cast-and-crew and production notes; and the theatrical trailer.
—Dawn Taylor

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