Bourne To Loose……

August 8, 2007 at 6:23 am 1 comment

Warning, this contains spoiler material about an over hyped feature film now in release.

I saw the much anticipated “Bourne Ultimatum” today, and I was somewhat less than enthralled after months of waiting. It’s actually worth the price of admission (especially if you can catch it at a matinee performance), and full of cool stuff, but it has a lot of… well for lack of a better term, unreal situations. This includes the overuse of phrases like: “People, we have a situation here”, “Surround the (fill in the blank) and lock down (fill in the blank) blocks around it”, and then dozens of CIA guys who are able to somehow show up in minutes through afternoon traffic to surround a building, just cliche after cliche. And in perhaps an attempt to honor NYPD Blue, the shakiest camera work this side of “Breaking The Waves”, they should give a packet of Dramamine along with the admission ticket.

I read an interview with the stunt controller, wherein he said that many of the shots were done by stunt performers who were not afraid to make jumps and slides holding a camera. Great story material, but I think you really need a camera operator when you’re covering principal actors in close-up, as we see in the opening scenes. Spaz cam just gives me a headache. This is only a little ahead of the leaping from city to city, continent to continent in moments, it plays a lot like a travelogue shot by Helen Keller.

Working on films, it’s really difficult for me to just watch and enjoy the story when technical issues destroy the surrender of disbelief needed to let go and be “in” the film, not in the audience watching it. I remember “The Abyss” as a great visual work, but because of the underwater ship breakup, all I could do was sit there and think “I’m really glad I didn’t have to work on this”. I hate water tank shots, especially when floods come flushing through so quickly.

Spoilers ahead, exercise caution if you haven’t seen the film.

Not exactly a spoiler, but in a close up on some paperwork we see that Bourne is Catholic. Perhaps this is to set up the next sequel, “Bourne Again, this time it’s personal”?

And then, there’s the total bullshit of the first assassin (in the film they’re called “assets”) being somehow able to get to a high and hidden vantage point, to shoot someone that is in a last minute randomly selected store in a mall. How did he know this place existed? How did he know which way the guy would come out, what with not having any advance knowledge of the place?

And how does Jason (nee David) keep pulling passports and money out of his ass without hurting himself? He’s on the run with just one overshoulder bag, barely big enough for a change of clothes.

O.K., more to follow as I continue to digest the experience (and the popcorn), you’ll see the results here, I don’t think you’ll want to see the popcorn.

Cheers!

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Come on out Karl, it’s time to see the sun shine. News update

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. btl  |  August 13, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    I liked the film, even the parts with David Strathairn acting all hammy — but that’s because I’ve worked with him. That’s another thing that happens when you work in production: once someone’s made a positive impression on you in person, it sticks. Same when they make a negative impression — which is why I don’t like to see films directed by Todd Field, ’cause no matter how good “Little Children” might have been, he’s still an ass.

    Just my 4 cents.

    Reply

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