H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The International [Blu-ray]

 

(Tom Tykwer, 2008)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Sony

Video: Sony Pictures

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:58:02.075

Disc Size: 46,938,260,373 bytes

Feature Size: 33,877,192,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.92 Mbps

Average Total Bitrate: 38.27 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 9th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1412 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1412 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
DUBs: Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1406 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1406 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by director Tom Tykwer and writer Eric Singer

The Making of The International (30:07)

• Extended Scene in HD (11:24)

• Shooting at the Guggenheim (6:32)

• Architecture of the International (6:13)

• The Autostadt (5:04)

Previews

Picture-in-picture exclusive to Blu-ray

• BD-LIVE

Digital Copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: 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 Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), deeper into the secret world of greed, corruption and murder, they become targets of a deadly conspiracy so vast, they soon find the only people left to trust?are each other. This pulse-pounding thriller plays a high-stakes game of suspense, intrigue and explosive action.

 

 

The Film:

I enjoyed "The International." Clive Owen makes a semi-believable hero, not performing too many feats that are physically unlikely. He's handsome and has the obligatory macho stubble, but he has a quality that makes you worry a little about him. I like heroes who could get killed. As the plucky DA, Naomi Watts wisely plays up her character's legal smarts and plays down the inevitable possibility that the two of them will fall in love.

The director is Tom Tykwer ("Run, Lola, Run"). Here he's concerned not merely with thriller action but with an actual subject: the dangers of a banking system that operates offshore no matter where your shoreline is. We're gradually getting it into our heads that in the long run, your nuclear capability may not be as important as your bank balance. Banks are not lending much money these days, but if you want to buy some warheads, they might take a meeting.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun Times located HERE

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

The International looks magnificent on Blu-ray.  The image quality is extremely strong. All important visual facets are at the high end - detail, contrast, colors look true - including fleshtones. There is a shade of grain visible. This is dual-layered with the contents of the hi-def disc almost being completely filled at 47 Gig. This Blu-ray looks as good as any live-action film I can recall seeing. It has no heavy or minor flaws that I can discern - and hopefully the full resolution screen captures will support this.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The film is heavily dialogue-driven and the TrueHD won't give your system a strong workout. There is one heavy gunplay scene that brings some life to the track but mostly I didn't find the audio an intense part of the presentation. It is responsive enough and probably represents the film fairly accurately - I don't have a lot more to add to that. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu identifies this as being Region FREE!

 

 

 

Extras :

Supplements are stacked starting with a solid commentary by director Tom Tykwer and writer Eric Singer - both giving quality input on the production and evolution of the story. The Making of The International runs 1/2 hour and has the standard input. There is an extended scene in HD, pieces on Shooting at the Guggenheim (6:32), Architecture of the International (6:13) and The Autostadt (5:04) plus some previews. Exclusive to this Blu-ray are the picture-in-picture ability, accessibility to send text messages assuming your player is connected to the Internet, BD-LIVE and a second disc Digital Copy.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I wasn't totally sold on the film and possibly need to see it yet again in a few months. I enjoyed the performances but it kind of lost tension about 2/3's in. The Blu-ray, in my opinion, is stupendous for image transfer and it can offer a viable distraction for a night in the home theater - as long as your expectations as a thriller remain somewhat muted.  

Gary Tooze

June 3rd, 2009

 

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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