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Well, well. What a surprise I got here watching this 11 years old
After watching the Inception, searching about reviews on it on the net and more good Sci-Fi movies, I noticed the name of this movie.
I can tell you that I was amazingly surprised of the quality, act, story, ambiance and the final twist of this movie. Although there are not much CGI compared to these days movies, it keeps the viewer hooked to the story and characters.
For me it is in the same category as Dark City, The Matrix and now the Inception.
Very underrated. A great solid, multi layer and feel good Sci-Fi movie. One of those at the end you start looking around thinking, What If ...!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well this is not only an original thriller but a pretty good one too.
Although it sure makes a little bell ring in my head (SPOILER
AHEAD<>WARNING MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD), for the way the film goes
reminded me a lot of eXistenZ. However these two films are not the same.
Whereas the twist is saved for the ending in eXistenZ in The Thirteenth
Floor you are told in the film a long time before the film ends, plus you
can figure it out before if you really search for something and if you keep
your attention, which I didn't (END OF SPOILER<>START READING AGAIN).
Furthermore there really isn't that much to say, the effects were good as
was the acting and the plot. The only thing that I really didn't like that
much in this film was, that it sometimes was too predictable and I think
it's a pity, because it kind of made the film a bit worse than it actually
was, because it was an entertaining and exciting movie. This film was just
the way a thriller is intended and meant to be.
7 out of 10
The peculiar year of 1999 brought about three sci-fi based flicks
circling around the theme of virtual reality. The bombastic "Matrix"
attacked sensorically, whilst inspiring some covert philosophical
questions. Meanwhile David Cronenberg retreading paths already ventured
eking out a somewhat redundant, albeit intriguing take on the new
technoorganic future of mankind with "eXistenZ". With these two
powerful pieces "The Thirteenth Floor", much more coy in ambition and
restrained in goals, got somewhat overlooked, taking a historical
back-burner, nonetheless garnering some fan-base, which allowed the
picture to linger.
Hannon Fuller (Armin Mueller-Stahl), the creator of a virtual realm filled with conscious beings re-imagined in our likeness, ventures one last time into his 1930s inspired world to leave a message of warning to his associate Douglas Hall (Craig Bierko). Some grim mystery unravelled leads Fuller to desperation, but soon meets his end when murdered by an unnamed assailant. In order to uncover the cause of his mentor's death Douglas decides to enter the VR with the help of his coworker Jason Whitney (Vincent D'Onofrio). Meanwhile the heir to Fuller's company - a previously unknown daughter - Jane Fuller (Gretchen Mol) appears with claim to the fortune and to her father's discoveries...
Unmistakenly neo-noir, especially and unsurprisingly when thrown back to the razzmatazz of 1930s Los Angeles, "The Thirteenth Floor" creates a world, which feels instantaneously attractive. The concept itself of living in a programmed world may seem somewhat trivial, but the delivery is anything but. Hannon Fuller turns out to be less than perfect, as he used his newly created world to venture into sexual escapades with hotel dancers, living excessively and without remorse (unfortunately not an issue fervently explored). Similarly other people using VR tend to usurp the power given to do things they would never think of in real life, as if using the VR as a valve for releasing hidden anxieties and wants.
The problem however with "The Thirteenth Floor" comes with the final act. When the pieces start falling into place there remains no mystery and the solution becomes evident long before the puzzle has been solved. After a captivating setup the direction soon becomes all too obvious, thus the atmosphere of intrigue dissipates, leaving a rather hollow shell on which the director places a somewhat sappy love story with a twist. This part of the movie sticks out sorely and the director seems to put in all his best effort to close out and finish before everything spirals out of control. Once offering the solution to the mystery Josef Rusnak has nothing left to offer, albeit the issue of realising inner dreams in an alternative reality seems ripe for the taking (as well as the ills of playing God). Despite some overall allure a lot of the movie doesn't really work, which makes it a different take on the matter. Enjoyable but ultimately not one offering much deeper insight and with a faltering delivery (despite an astute and well bent script).
Don't be misguided by the reviews saying this movie sides with ones
like Blade Runner or Matrix. While I must admit it clearly had the
potential to do so, in the end, well, it just isn't so.
The plot of this film is very interesting. I wonder the book in which it's inspired must be very good. The characterization of the Los Angeles of 1930 is great. But the movie itself is very badly directed and most of the actors are just equally bad. Thi first half of the movie is very rushed what makes the characters seem pretty unreasonable and superficial.
So the in the end the result is just an ordinary movie. It's a little enjoyable, but far from memorable. I give it 5/10 for the studio having wasted such a good history.
The Thirteenth Floor was Columbia Pictures answer to the Matrix and is based on the award winning 1964 Sci-Fi novel, Simulacron 3 by Daniel Galouye. I have known about this movie for a long time, but was always hesitant to see it, because when something like this appears in theaters 6 months after a groundbreaking film like the Matrix, you fully expect it to be a complete rip off. I was sitting at home flipping through the channels and saw the Matrix on, but I didn't wanna see it for the millionth time and decided to see if the Thirteenth Floor was streaming and sure it enough it was, and what a terrific story it turned out to be! In the year 2000, scientists have found a way to transfer a persons consciousness into a fully interactive computer program which has the potential to replace video games. The creator however has discovered a major problem with the system and is found dead. The second in charge of the project soon learns the answer to this brutal murder appears in the simulator, which is a replica of 1937. The story is absolutely ingenious and I loved how the film jumps between present day and the 1930s, it was like watching two stories at once that you knew would eventually come together. Craig Bierko stars in what turns out to be one of his few leading roles and he's just terrific. I remember him as the bad guy in the Long Kiss Goodnight and I thought he was great then, and he's great now. To make the cast even stronger, they take the intense Bierko and pair him with Law & Order's Vincent D'Onofrio, who is quite possibly the most intense actor in Hollywood. To top the whole thing off, this movie has a huge twist in the end, a twist that will make a lot of people wonder about the true nature of their own reality. The Thirteenth Floor is a fresh story with an amazing cast that will make you think, movies like this don't come along as often as they should!
This is a great Sci-Fi movie made with just $16,000,000. It's filmed in
L.A., and, if you know something about filming costs, you know that
$16,000,000 is a ridiculous budget AND that L.A. is one of the more
expensive places to film in.
But this movie has something many other ones don't: a good plot!
The 13th Floor changed my way to think a movie by showing me a great film that has almost no special effects. The story doesn't need them, they'd have probably degraded the movie, contaminating its plain noir atmosphere. This is even more relevant if you think that it's a Sci-Fi movie, so a genre that usually (together with action movies) exceeds in special effects and stunning scenes.
I've been so lucky to watch it years before the "other so-called similar" movie (that actually isn't similar at all) which partially overshadowed this masterwork, so I appreciated The 13th Floor much more (and never really appreciated too much the other one, that would have been nothing without special effects).
I suggest everyone who likes good stories (not only Sci-Fi) to watch this great movie, I ensure no one will regret.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most movies are at least superficially about real people. `Matrix' (`Truman' and many others) put real people in artificial worlds. `Bladerunner' (and lessor films like `AI') put artificial people in the real world. Now finally we have artificial people in artificial worlds, unknowingly as in `Bladerunner.' A clever beginning, but not enough.
The production values are not the problem, nor is the level of acting -- so many successful scifi picts have uninspired acting that it is nearly a prerequisite. The problem is that the film is too safe. It decides to impress on an intellectual level, which is noble but dangerous.
Safety: everything is understandable, even predictable. The ending is safe: there IS a reality and creators after all folks. The mechanics are safe: controllable (at least in this story) computers.
The notion could have really done a fine number by using a more sophisticated notion of computers (the story seems set in the 60s so far as technology) and by tying the notion of virtual reality for entertainment to film and then the very film WE are watching. Like `My Dinner With Andre.' Like `Draughtsman's Contract.' Even `Sweet and Lowdown' which also had Gretchen.
Other reviewers will explain this movie, but i just wanted to say that
it was a pleasant surprise to watch, it was a book that referenced this
film that brought me here, otherwise i perhaps would of passed it by
because i never heard of it, its a shame that it is so Underrated but
it really is a great film. The acting was quite good as well and it was
interesting to note Vincent D'Onofrios performance as another pleasant
surprise, this is the actor that played private pile in Full Metal
Jacket, i had never seen him in another role after that movie and so it
was good to see him and his fine acting again. Not forgetting Craig
Bierko the lead actor was also very good.
Do watch this, you will be happy with the result.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I vaguely remember watching this movie when it first came out. I thought it was lame, and it seemed a bit phony. Now here I am 12 years later, and I just watched it again. I really liked it a lot. Who could truly understand this movie in 1999? These days I spend my time playing GTA4 and JustCause2 for many more hours than I like to admit. I wonder what games will be like 12 years from now? When my real life gets boring, it's easy to relate it too a big video game, that has grown tiring. It all just feels a bit fake or surreal. This movie does a great job of making a person question their own reality. Maybe we are all just pre programmed. Could we all just be some experiment, monitored by those of higher enlightenment outside our understanding? Maybe when you die, you just wake up to into a much grander design!
Although this film wasn't a big hit, nor did it have any top actors or
actresses. It still was interesting and entertaining from beginning to
end with it's well developed plot. There is some philosophical aspects
to the film as well if you pay attention, which I thought went well
with the whole scenario. The film isn't very complex nor does it try to
be, but it still gets the job done and although the twist and turns are
simple, it's still not that predictable. It's thought provoking and
works sort of like a detective movie, where the protagonist and even
the audience is trying to find out what it going on and has enough
substance to go with it. The protagonist is basically trying to solve a
murder while he is the number one suspect. There was also plenty of
ways to lengthen this movie while being fast paced with more character
development and more philosophical with some detail of some of the
aspects of the stuff that goes on, which I wouldn't have mind, cause I
wanted to see more after the credit started rolling. A lot of films in
the future is going to be influenced by this film like "The Matrix"
has. Good movie about virtual reality and it's layers.
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