Friday, December 12, 2008

The Bourne Trilogy

Roger Young, Paul Greengrass, 2002-07 (9.0*)
This is a nearly perfect series of spy films, with just the right mix of action and deeply complex plot development. Matt Damon has finally found his mark with these films, who knew he would be a perfect Bondish spy with deadly skills and a boyish American charm that you could trust?

The series begins with Bourne Identity, when he awakens in the Mediterranean with amnesia, and we slowly learn the facts of his existence along with Bourne; this dvd has alternate endings. Co-stars Franke Potente (Run Lola Run) as his friend. The second film, Bourne Supremacy, adds the terrific actress Joan Allen as a CIA specialist assigned to bring him in. The third film, Bourne Ultimatum, finds him again battling the agency for truth and identity and freedom. This series is actually more rewarding than the 007 films, which are usually too flippant and self-absorbed to be taken seriously (see my two exceptions reviewed here), yet Bourne also has more action than the realistic John le Carre novels (Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Smiley's People). These three must be seen in sequence, they are all a connected story.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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