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The International [Blu-ray]
The International
Actors: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen, Brian F. O'Byrne
Director: Tom Tykwer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
R     2009     1hr 58min

Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) is determined to expose an arms dealing ring responsible for facilitating acts of terrorism around the globe. But as his investigation leads Salinger and his partner, Manhattan As...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen, Brian F. O'Byrne
Director: Tom Tykwer
Creator: Eric Singer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/09/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 58min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

An outstanding Blu
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 06/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Reviews have been quite mixed on the content and quality of this film, but without a doubt this Blu is an excellent piece for the those seeking competent clarity, BD production and special features. The film offers a mixed bag and is understandably panned for the later acts "bogging down" or a confusion as to what kind of film it is trying to be, but in the end - I was impressed by a thoughtful and well preserved product.

The picture is reference quality throughout. The landscapes, architecture, streets, wide overhead pans, rooftop panoramas, and nighttime depth all shined in clarity, aspect and colors. Customers were very impressed with certain scenes that captured the international buildings.

The sound is 5.1 TrueHD, which gets used extensively on the score and singular long shooting sequence, but little else to speak of there (I am a big DTS fan).

The special features are what make this package a five star, even if you rate this film as low as a three.

- An extended scene between our two leads; an eleven minute sequence that orginally ran much less (just prior to the scene where he dunks his head in the ice water).

- A thirty minute making-of that thoroughly covered all aspects of filming. Interestingly, it covered the production in sequence with how the film was released (beginning to end). The next two features should have been included but were separated into:

** a six minute architecture documentary about the locations, and a seven minute addendum about shooting at the Guggenheim (pun intended) that was better covered in the main documentary; it almost felt like a snippet that played on a network or ad plug.

- A five minute insight about filming being allowed for the first time at the Autostadt factory for VW. An impressive place.

- The picture in picture looks pristine but for the amount of dialogue it works better on the second go around. Once again, you have to have your player dialed perfectly for it to work completely. Same with having everything up to date for the Cinechat feature.

As far as the rest of the package goes, the commentary is very similar to what we see in the documentaries, and can be subtitled in Spanish and Portugese. The menu navigates well and contains my favorite of the chapter selection designs. That being where the entire time line is shown on one page complete with pics and time graph.

A worthwhile owner for fans of the film, and an adequate rental for those that are interested in the background and filming locales."
Stunning Blu-Ray Transfer
Craig Connell | Lockport, NY USA | 06/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is, indeed, one of the best Blu-Ray transfers you'll see at this point-and-time. I can't imagine it getting any sharper. Scene after scene left me amazed at the clarity of the picture. It makes this film fun to watch because the story is so-so, decent but nothing spectacular.

What is spectacular is the scenery, some excellent close-ups and overhead shots, and one action scene in particular: a shootout at the Guggenheim Art Museum in New York City that will get your attention! It reminded me of the dramatic shootout scene in the streets of Los Angeles in the 1995 movie "Heat." This scene was just as intense. The sound of all the bullets - and there are hundreds in this scene - going from speaker-to-speaker was very cool, too.

The acting here was good. No complaints there, except Naomi Watts looked out of place in this story. It's a man's story and would have a been more credible with her role being filled by another tough guy like the Clive Owen played here. (Hey, some movies are man's movies and some are women's flicks.)

Whatever, if you want to see just how good a Blu-Ray transfer can look, check out this disc."
Mark Turner | 06/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hundreds of movies are billed as taken straight from today's headlines. Most are several months behind rather than current. THE INTERNATIONAL lives up to that idea and seems to have come along right as things are heating up.

Clive Owen stars as Louis Salinger, an Interpol agent whose partner is meeting a high level operative within the International Bank of Business & Credit (IBBC). The man has just informed them of the bank's intention to purchase nuclear missiles to sell to the Chinese. As he leaves the meet, Salinger's partner grasps his arm and apparently has a heart attack.

All, as they say, is not as it seems though. It turns out he was poisoned inconspicuously by an assassin working for IBBC in an attempt to stop this investigation. Instead it spurs Salinger on to dig deeper and go further. With the help of a New York assistant DA named Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), the investigation moves forward as they attempt to follow up with this information. The players are identified and now, with the original whistle blower murdered as well, they just need someone on the inside to confirm their suspicions.

As Salinger finds discrepancies in the testimony of the banks head concerning the death of the mole, he follows up the lead only to discover that the police report taken has been changed. It seems that the bank is all powerful and can even purchase the police for the right price.

After Salinger meets with his boss and alerts him to their homes being bugged, they decide to discuss a new line of attack with Whitman. She contacts the widow of the mole who leads them to another man, Calvini. Calvini is a politician and businessman who informs them IBBC was trying to purchase a guidance system from him for their missiles being sold to the Chinese. Without the system, the missiles cannot reach their intended targets and are worthless. Moments after speaking with them, Calvini is assassinated himself.

The clues point to a cover up again as the trajectory of the bullets that hit a column near Calvini came from two different angles. At that spot, they find an unusual footprint, one made by a false foot. Although the detective aiding Salinger and Whitman wants the truth, his superior pulls them off the case and orders them to leave. At the airport Whitman notices the security cameras and realizes they might be able to find the assassin, watching for a man with a false leg going through security.

Using this information and noting the specially made shoe used by the assassin, they track him down to New York. After witnessing him meet his contact from IBBC, Salinger approaches him with the aid of 2 local NYPD detectives. A gun battle in the Guggenheim Museum ensues leaving the assassin mortally wounded and Salinger attempting to escape.

Before the killer dies, he passes along a small piece of information that helps Salinger. That, along with a bit of illegal questioning Salinger uses on the man who met the killer, leads him to one conclusion. The only way to bring down IBBC and their illegal activities is if he goes off radar and does things in as illegal a mode as they do.

Trust me when I say that this film is much deeper than what I have been able to describe here in a few words. The level of conspiracy used in this film is so deep it's as if the threads weave in and out of one another with ease leaving a pretty picture while at the same time a distorted view of the world. Banks have become conglomerates just as portrayed here, but to what extent they will go and who they will do business with is anyone's guess.

Many believe that the Federal Reserve works much like this, attempting to make policy or change the world order, inserting rulers in countries in an attempt at control. Others believe it goes much deeper. While these are little more than theories, they do make one question what is going on in the world and films like this will no doubt fuel that fire.

Owen shows once more that he is becoming an action star worth watching. His tired looks throughout the film show the world weary man who wants justice but finds little. And while his character is not supposed to handle a gun (Interpol is supposed to be an information gathering organization only), he certainly finds the time to use one when needed. Watts does a commendable job as well though her top billing seems odd for such a small part. While essential to the story, the role is short on screen time. She does hold up well though.

If you're a conspiracy buff, if you think that there are more people in control of the world than politicians and rulers, then you'll like this film. Stick with it though and don't break away too often. Its story is as complicated as you might expect. And it offers an ending that may take you by surprise.