Jun 9, 2009

New Spy DVDs Out This Week: International, Smart

Today sees the release of Tom Tykwer's The International on DVD and Blu-Ray courtesy of Sony. The International is a very different sort of entry in the current neo-Eurospy wave than Taken and The Transporter. Rather than focusing on wall-to-wall action or sexy Russian party girls, it instead plays up another side of the genre: the fabulous locations. By limiting the action, Tykwer is also able to focus more on a complex plot and character. Ultimately, The International is a character piece about Clive Owen's disgraced Interpol agent Louis Salinger. That doesn't mean, however, that it is devoid of action. Far from it. There are several very exciting setpieces, all in fantastic international locations, but the highlight of the film is undoubtedly a ten-minute-long shootout in New York's Guggenheim Museum. It's an astonishingly orchestrated sequence, and one that will make action fans want to seek out this film even if it isn't a total action movie. The DVD also boasts a featurette about creating that sequence, which I can't wait to see. Read my full review of the movie here.

Also out today is Get Smart: Season 3 from HBO Home Video. If you haven't already gotten the deluxe Complete Series set (which comes loaded with bonus features you won't find on these individual season releases) and you don't care about those extras, then these seasons are an excellent bargain. (Amazon is offering Season 3 for just $15.99.) They're also decidedly more compact than the chunky box set, and will ultimately take up less space on your shelf. Finally, they're not completely devoid of extras. Previous seasons have included introductions by Barbara Feldon and select commentary. As the discs themselves appear to be identical to those in the Complete Series set, presumably this season will be the same.

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