A 'Bourne' Classic: The Ultimate Film for the Spy Genre

At last, a trilogy that actually did not disappoint. Compared to the bombastic grandeur of summer trilogies on offer this year, the ‘Bourne Ultimatum’, the third film in the trilogy based on Robert Ludlum’s famous anti-bond character Jason Bourne, offered audiences a gust of fresh air. It presented audiences a piece of modern cinema that was rare to see this year, and what a piece it was. Crafted with pure perfect pacing and thrills, the ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ is not ‘James Bond’ with the latest Jaguar car or Ethan Hunt with his latest gadgets that makes him fly from the ‘Mission Impossible’ movies. No, ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ provides action with intense realism, much more down to Earth scenarios and characters, and that makes audience feel more involved and attached.

Heighten this realism with pin-point velocity and editing from the helm of director Paul Greengrass, the ‘Bourne’ experience lets you breathe for a moment and chokes you with excitement at just the right moments, let’s you go again for sufficient gulps of air, and chokes you again with the next action scene. This experience is consistent throughout the film from Moscow to New York, and it is wonderfully put together to form a complete action piece that is truly thrilling and stylish.

Stylish in a sense that it is not flamboyant, i.e. no casinos or fancy cars, but the camerawork crafted by Paul Greengrass made ordinary objects and common action pieces become extraordinary. Paul shot the movie scenes mostly at street level and he successfully managed to encapsulate intense suspense and sheer adrenaline in each camera frame. The realism is magnified by the use the shaky-camera effect (although nauseating at times), but that effect effectively placed audiences virtually right next to Jason Bourne, and that realism as mentioned is achieved. Stylish and realistic, the action scenes are in no doubt in my mind, pure class.

Albeit the plot is thin like an average TV episode of ‘24’, the film turned out so well and that is a testament to the skills of Paul Greengrass. Paul, also the director of the second film ‘Bourne Supremacy’, which arguably started the ‘realism’ wave in action movies (i.e. Casino Royale), truly created a film from an ordinary substance into a film of pure masterwork in editing, pacing and directing of an action movie. If this momentum of excellence continues, it wouldn’t be long before his name will be elevated alongside with master action directors such as John Woo and Michael Bay.

Although substance in plot maybe lacking, but whatever Paul Greengrass has on his plate, he makes the most of it. He churns out ordinary situations into something that is smart, demands your attention and never makes it corny. The scene to look out for is Jason Bourne’s pursuit of a contact under enemy surveillance set amid the bedlam of people at Waterloo Train Station. It starts as an ordinary pursue on foot to reach Bourne’s contact for information, but it evolves into a chase to avoid enemy capture of the said contact, and it reaches into a drawn out pursuit of thrilling mis-direction and clever evasion tactics that eventually forms an exceptionally thrilling action sequence. It must be seen to be believed, for no words can truly describe the design that Paul Greengrass had crafted with such pulsating finesse.

But to credit everything to the director would be somewhat an injustice. Fine performances from its supporting casts Joan Allen and David Strathairn that puts them both in confrontations of political power plays with each gives the film an interesting subplot, and not forgetting the lead actors Matt Damon and Julia Stiles giving performances that are solid, believable and as good as ever. In particularly sublime form is Matt Damon, having mastered the character’s low-key but ruthless approach down to a fine art.
People may say that ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ will be the last in the series, whether true or not, this third installment can confidently stand as the best and deservingly justified as a final chapter to the ‘Bourne’ legacy. In my mind it is the best and most refreshing spy/secret agent movie thus far, and will confidently re-invigorate the spy genre to new intensities yet again.

Verdict: 9 / 10

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Tell me about it!!!

Of Evilness & Greatness

Weekend of 6th & 7th October

I finally got my PS2 back. It has finally returned after many many many long months being locked up with the evil dark lord known only as the ‘The Technician’. After being cannibalized and probed with various tools of torture daily, my PS2 is finally free from the imprisonment of the evil ‘Lord Technician’ and now it sits safely in my living room once again.

I talk like as though the PS2 was stolen from me by the ‘He-Is-Only-Known-As-The-Technician’ but in fact I am the one that sent it to him for repairs (it broke as posted in my earlier blog. Yes, it has been that long). I got it back on Friday, and to bail it out from the clutches of ‘The Technician’ it cost me RM250. F**k. I got to pay him for his “service and maintenance” expertise, and to replace a few faulty parts, which I doubt it is even faulty in the first place. The evil ‘Lord Technician’ strikes once again. And, I am helpless to stop him. Curses to him and he be damned. Reluctantly, I give him the bail out money and safely I deposited my PS2 back.

Yes, reluctantly because am I was wondering why I am paying money for an old game console as I can save that money and buy a brand spanking new PS3? To be honest I have no idea haha. But on another hand I guess the temptation to play my PS2 once again is too intense so what the heck. All I can say is, Carlo Tevez is back is roam the digital football fields once again (I scored 9 goals in a World Cup Tournament in ‘Top Player’ difficulty mode controlling that guy, so yes, I freakin’ adore him. Heck no, I LOVE him). Here’s a taste of the real man himself:

Yes, he is on the verge of greatness. One day. But not now...

Anyway, so I called up a friend on Friday night to test out the console, played from 10pm to 2am and it worked perfectly. Hallelujah, and there goes my social life out the window.


Didn’t go out much as I was grappling with my PS2 for much of the day. Didn’t turn up for work either haha, but it a Saturday and it’s not compulsory to work so what the heck, f**k work and I’ll deal with it on Monday.

Saturday night attended a dinner to celebrate a close aunty of mine’s birthday at Equatorial Hotel, KL. Nice place, nice looking restaurant but bad food. As usual with these hotel restaurants. Oh well. Here’s some pictures:

The food is so good, they offer you 2 pairs of chopsticks. Go on, try it!!!

Good evening sir, smoking or non-smoking?

I'll take 2 bottles of that Chteau La Mondotte Saint-Emilion, please. What? RM 2,000 per bottle??? Ok, let's go to 'Old Town Kopitiam' instead...


Woke up way early ‘cause have to meet up with a bunch of friends that worked/still working at my current company. Have to drive all the way to Kajang, as the place to meet up was at Kajang Metropoint. Don’t be fooled by the name as this new shopping complex is quite up-class with stuff and restaurants that you can get in any Mid Valley or 1 U. We had lunch in 'Shokudo' (bad food) and later for coffee at 'Old Town Kopitiam' (better than that rip-off 'Starbucks' anyday). Chitchatted and took some pictures. But somebody promised me to upload the pictures in my Friendster account. But yet, no sign of pictures from this somebody. Where is it Mr/Ms. somebody? Hhhmmmm….?

Later have to rush from Kajang to KLCC for a movie with SL. Yup, from Subang to Kajang and then to KL, and later go back to Subang. Total distance that day: 116 km. It’s half way back to Ipoh already. PK from petrol cost man. But anyway, we watched this great movie called ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ and it was a kick-ass piece of movie-making masterwork. I’ll post what I thought about it later, but the bottom-line is, it is the best Borne movie ever and is the most excellent movie I have seen this year. Truly an intense, breath-taking and most realistic action movie ever made and it beats any secret agent movies by a wide margin. 'Casino Royale' did not even come close to this great film of fine movie-making craftsmanship. Paul Greengrass the director, I adore you.

After almost 2 hours of electric action in the cinema seat, we wanted to clam our nerves so we ingested some hot green tea and sashimi at 'Nippon Tei'. Chitchatted for more than 2 hours and headed back to Subang.

Halfway driving, I received a call from a friend that it was Liverpool playing with Spurs. Crap, it should be a great game I thought. Hence, agreed with the caller for a drink at a mamak stall, later joined by more friends, watched Liverpool snatch a draw with Spurs right at the death of the match and watch Martin Jol, the manager of Spurs, suffer even more agony with another draw and that result sealed them at the bottom of the league table for many more weeks to come. I pity Paul Robinson.

From the Corner - A Musical Companion

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