Tag Archive: international

Originally Published: December 11, 2010, on Youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Battlefield: Bad Company for the Xbox 360 from EA.

Originally Published: November 2, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed FIFA 11 for the Xbox 360, featuring the “We are 11” system.

Originally Published: November 2, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed FIFA 11 for the Nintendo Wii due to the massive differences between the Wii and Xbox 360/PS3 versions.

Collecting Interest

Originally Published: February 12, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

After days of images of Green Lantern Rings, Batarangs, and Webshooters dancing through my head, I’ve finally been able to remotely connect back to reality, dragging myself out of my NY ComicCon overload and managing to write something. The amazing events leading up to and during NY ComicCon included more previews for big movies and video games than I could count and I got exclusive interviews and demos on some of the hottest games and movies coming out in the next couple of months, and enough to keep me writing for a good long time.

My articles dealing with NY ComicCon will span the next few weeks and probably go in order of what is coming out first so there is less time for you to anticipate the gems galore I was able to get sneak peeks at. Keeping that in mind, my first article deals with a movie that is coming out on Friday, February 13th. No, it isn’t the new Friday the 13th movie, although the horror genre does appeal to a special group of the geek community. No, I’m talking about my advanced screening of The International, the new action-thriller starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts.

The basic premise is simple. Everyone uses banks to keep their cash safe and to basically earn free money by collecting interest as the money sits in the bank. Of course, the banks are government funded organizations and what most people forget is that the money is allowed to be used by the government to do whatever they deem is necessary for the good of their representatives. So what happens when that money starts being used by the bankers themselves for some very underhanded dealings? Not the Bush Administration, but close!

Clive Owen is an Interpol agent charged with tracking a bank in Luxemburg that allegedly is using investors’ money to illegally buy and sell weapons. He teams up with Naomi Watts who works out of the New York City District Attorney’s Office and has also been tracking this case since the New York branch is one of the top fronts for this bank. Action and drama ensue as the two seem to be the only ones who believe what the clues are telling them as they try to take down one of the most powerful banks in the world.

To be honest, I went into this not expecting much and walked away rather pleased. Not the smartest conspiracy action-thriller to ever come out, it did at least hold your attention for most of the movie and kept the twists and turns fresh and fun from the get-go. Naomi Watts’ performance left something to be desired, but Clive Owen was solid as the Interpol agent whose career has revolved around this one case and would go through any means necessary to see justice delivered.

The ensemble cast around the two stars of the movie was great as well, from the assassin the bank hires, to the men at the top of the bank itself. They all seemed to fit in the movie perfectly, much like the clues Clive Owen finds as he tries to crack this career-long puzzle.

Aside from Ms. Watts’ lackluster performance, the only other negative aspect of this movie was that it seemed like everything came across as too simple, that everything fit too neatly and still not enough people in the movie supported Owen and Watts.

Positives, aside from the cast excluding Ms. Watts, include the overall flow of the movie. The pace was enough to keep you interested to the point that when it ends, you don’t realize that 1 hour 58 minutes has passed. The plot does move at a very traditional pace though with everything slowly building to a climatic shootout followed by a neat winding down of the plot to its conclusion in the final 20 minutes.

With all the God-awful romantic detritus that is out there right now from Confessions of a Shopaholic to He’s Just Not That in to You, it’s nice to see someone come up with a semi-original plot with decent writing and action that holds your attention. If you’re looking for a break from the Hollywood crap factory, for something a little bit smarter, then take a look at The International and you probably won’t be disappointed.

The International gets 3.5 out of 5.

-Ray Carsillo