The chief differences between Tom Tykwer‘s The International (Sony/Columbia, 2.13) and Tony Gilroy‘s Duplicity (Universal, 3.20), the two early ’09 urban thrillers that star Clive Owen, seem to be (a) Gilroy’s is a bit lighter and more caper-ish, (b) Tykwer’s is a bit heavier, darker, apparently toying with a Parallax View vibe, and (c) Owen looks a tiny bit heavier in the Tykwer than in the Gilroy, in which he needed to look hot and buff for his romantic scenes with Julia Roberts.

They both look to be 70s’-styled escapist programmers, which is fine. And they both seem visually and tonally similar — i.e., the same kind of upscale urban backdrops. Okay, the Tykwer seems a bit bluer and grayer. It will also hit theatres five weeks before the Gilroy.

The International features a shoot-out scene in Manhattan’s Guggenheim museum. And of course, a guy falls from one of the upper tiers of the circular walkaround and goes splat on the stone-floor rotunda below.

It’s interesting to compare the British International trailer with the U.S. version. I was a bit more attracted to the British one, but that’s me.

The International is the out-of-competition opener for the Berlin Film Festival, which launches on 2.5.09.