The International, Blu-ray (2009)
Starring: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Brian F. O’Byrne
Directed by: Tom Tykwer
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2 discs incl. digital copy)
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD
Audio: English and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1; Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Special Features: Director and writer audio commentary; “Making The International” featurette; “Shooting at the Guggenheim” featurette; “The Architecture of the International” featurette; “The Autostadt” featurette; extended scene; cinechat; The International Experience: picture-in-picture; 12 preview trailers; BD-Live; digital copy
Length: 118 minutes
Movie Rating: **** Video Rating: **** Audio Rating: ****
When a colleague is murdered in the line of duty, Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) becomes even more determined to expose an arms-dealing ring responsible for terrorism acts around the world. Salinger’s investigation appears to indicate a link between the International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC) and organized crime. Along with his partner, New York Assistant D.A. Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), Salinger embarks on a whirlwind odyssey that takes him to Italy, New York, Germany, and Turkey in the pursuit of evidence. As Salinger and Whitman delve deeper into the case, they find ever-more disturbing information about IBBC’s motives and practices, which include money-laundering and murder-for-hire. Concrete evidence proves difficult to assemble though as anyone who is willing to discuss the IBBC’s corrupt practices soon disappears or winds up deceased.
The International is an intellectual thriller wherein there is a great deal more intricate dialogue and plot development present than explosive action sequences. The film requires that one pay close attention to fully understand the connection among the characters in the story. The movie, however, is briskly paced and doesn’t drag despite its limited action sequences. While its replay value may be limited, I can easily recommend The International as a film that’s definitely worth a look.
The overall high definition video quality of this Blu-ray DVD is excellent. Images are crisp with razor sharp detail. Black levels are consistently dark throughout the movie. Colors are accurate (if at times a bit muted) with well-saturated hues. Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or compression artifacts. The overall audio quality is also excellent with the Dolby lossless 5.1 track. The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix. Dialogue is natural sounding, always intelligible, and properly positioned in the center channel. The surround channels are moderately utilized for the sound effects and music score, plus include multiple split rear effects. The low frequency effects channel is tight and punchy when utilized.
“The International” is compatible with the “D-BOX” Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the necessary D-BOX equipment, your movie viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both Motion and Vibration to your chosen seating. With the exception of the shoot-out at the Guggenheim, there is very limited D-BOX Motion and Vibration that takes place during this movie. The Guggenheim scene, though, includes some well-timed D-BOX moments where impacts are felt from the numerous gunshots, plus the up-and-down and side-to-side D-BOX Motion generated nicely simulates Salinger’s effort to escape down the circular staircase. “The International” is not a reference quality D-BOX title, but the addition of Motion and Vibration into this film certainly made it more enjoyable to experience. Overall, I would rate the D-BOX Motion/Vibration quality for “The International” as average.
— Calvin Harding, Jr.