Here’s a HD disc you’ve got to buy – "The Bourne Supremacy" (audio: ****, video: ****, extras: ****). The global adventure – the second of the Robert Ludlum novel series – features the first parallel video commentary. A pop-up window in the lower right corner comes up while you watch the movie – taking you behind the scenes with the cast, director Paul Greengrass and producer Frank Marshall ("Raiders of the Lost Ark" & "Back to the Future") who calls the instant access, "a new dimension to your movie watching experience."
The folks at Universal Studios edited the interviews and on-location footage to match scene-for-scene with the action on the screen, making it the best bonus feature ever. Matt Damon (Jason Bourne) gives insights about his role as the CIA operative – who's slowly piecing his life together but still haunted by his violent past. And Franka Potente gives a play-by-play of her role and Joan Allen does the same as the CIA team leader. Don't worry, there's plenty of footage and storyboards breaking down the fabulous chase sequences.
You can remove the pop-up and just listen to the commentary or just watch the movie in all of its HD GLORY! (HD wide-screen, 2004, rated PG-13 for violence, intense action and some language)
Russell said he needed "a champion", someone who could change people's minds and make them see that his music was not awful. In essence, he needed a guerrilla publicist - a plumber, of sorts, plugging up leaks in media goodwill, pressing his music into the ears of journalists whose opinions were hamstrung by prejudice. The rest of the world, then, would follow. He wondered if I could be such a champion.
I observed the inner clockworks of Russell Crowe's world. We were rarely perfectly alone, doors opening and closing as a legion of minions beavered in the service of tasks unseen. On one occasion, Russell asked a young man to bring us some cheese and crackers, which the young man did. Moments later, scarcely breaking conversation, Russell picked up a telephone an arm's length away and declared that the crackers were slightly stale (I hadn't, myself, noticed). In a twinkling, a replacement arrived from the kitchen, ferried to the table by a new man entirely. I don't think I ever saw this Executive Cracker Roadie again.
And it was during these times that I saw evidence of something that made me wince - Crowe's bizarre propensity for nickel-and-dime media manipulation. It seemed Russell was running his own parallel, one-man PR fix-it campaign. It was much the same as my own, but he was pitching himself to journalists while I was handling his CD. He'd go through the daily papers and call journalists in person, chastising them for perceived inexactitudes. There was nothing morally corrupt about this, but I found it a silly pastime for a man of his stature. Sometimes it did him no service at all.
He once bragged to me about how he had called a prominent Sydney gossip columnist who had been dumping on him, promising her that should she publish a positive word or two, he would grant her an exclusive interview. Like magic, a nice mention appeared in her column the following week, and the exclusive interview followed. It was doubtful, I thought, this transaction hadn't been noted by the columnist's peers, who'd consider her weak and Russell quite the meddler. If he needed an answer for why so many journalists disliked him, I thought, he need look no further.
While working on the story one evening I sent Russell a few questions by email. His response, in an email headed "Fucking homework...why am I doing your job too?", carried an undeniably aggressive tone. The answer to one request for a list of his own perceived faults being: "Oh fuck off...that's definitely your job."
Perhaps he was right - I may have a book to write after all. A little fable that tells how these people are fakers, their pretence on film just the tip of the iceberg. How publicity is a lifestyle to he who seeks it, his lies indiscernible from our daily prayers, his conscience forgiven by his movie star dreams. How success can make a good man swollen with lust for praise, needlessly bluffing his way into good books and buying his way out of bad. About how this egotist's plaything called Motion Pictures is out of control, the characters jumping from the screens and swinging their dicks in ordinary lives. All the world's a stage, it seems, and an elite few are aware of the plot. We clueless extras are there to be deceived, abused and bullied into playing our parts, for the show that celebrates the stars must go on.