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Firstly, The 13th Floor really isn't an 8, it is more like a 6.5. The
13th Floor does deal with some concepts that were pretty far ahead
thinking for when the movie was made, so I will give The 13th Floor an
8. The 13th Floor is a movie about virtual reality and like the movie
the Matrix The 13th Floor has an interesting spin on "what is real." I
also liked the way the movie depicted how users who enter realistic
virtual 3D worlds where they can do anything they want often become
warped by those worlds. I think with emergent 3D worlds like Second
Life the affects of what people do in the virtual and how that both
reflects and affects the actual will become big issues in our near
future. The 13th Floor was ahead of its time by dealing with that
issue, which impressed me.
You see a few big name actors in this film before they were famous and a few actors that you wonder why didn't their careers didn't go further.
The ending for me was a little disappointing and I thought a weak spot in the script writing. If the ending would have been different and maybe if The 13th Floor has slightly better visual effects the movie could have been a solid 9. The visual effects guys did do a great job by 1999 standards of creating what Los Angeles probably looked like in the 30ies. Also the custom and set designers did a fantastic job for the 30ies sets as well.
So, I would recommend it because it gets you thinking a bit. Is it a keeper for the DVD collection? I would say borderline.
I consider this film great as a concept film because its metaphor of
living in a provisional reality--one that has only relative substance
can be awakened from or "died to" at any point. And then the new reality
only provisional too!
What is the "real" world we live in? We live on a plane of relative existence but meditate or eventually die to wake into another dimension of existence. Most people doubt this to be true, and imagine this material world is all there is. But films like eXistenZ, The Thirteenth Floor, The Truman Show, Matrix, and several others are trying to wake humanity up to the illusory state of things.
And incidentally The Thirteenth Floor did this job extremely well by using the metaphor of the dialed in computer model of the virtual.
Pros: Special effects, script.
Cons: Gets a bit too unbelievable, last 20 minutes ruins it.
The Thirteenth Floor was critically panned but it really isn't that bad. Craig Bierko is an inventor of a virtual reality game in which all the characters are real enough to, as Dennis Haysberth puts it, "f**k". His mentor, played by Armin Mueller Stahl frequents this land and comes upon a secret. He gives a note to a bartender (played by Vincent D'nofrio) to give to Bierko. The bartender instead reads it and discovers the secret. Armin Mueller dies and Bierko must go into this land to find out who killed him. The plot twists are many and startling as you begin to watch the movie. Similar to the matrix and Dark City because the charactes are in a prison and they are unaware to it. I call the Matrix, Dark city, and the Thirteenth floor the Perception Vs Reality series. The Matrix takes the philosophical side, Dark city the humanistic side, but Thirteenth Floor explores the technological side of the argument of what makes us human. Ultimately inferior to the prior films, it is still one of the best sci-fi films of the 90's.
Premise: Bierko must find out who killed Stahl.
The thirteenth floor was nominated for best science fiction film at the Saturn Award.
Grade: 8.2/10 (Good Film)
I thought that Matrix might be a copy of this movie. However, to my
surprise, both movies were made in 1999. Those two movies have similar
An audience has to be actively thinking in order to understand the logic and intelligence of this movie. The writer and screenwriter must have spent some time to make up a story that flows so smoothly. Of course, there is one obvious mistake. In order to make computers that are so sophisticated, I do not think that there could be only two workers working in the lab.
It does not have all those high tech movement as in the Matrix, however, it is absolutely a smart movie. The common audience might not even understand.
I am glad that I have seen this movie. I have never heard about this movie until I accidently found it at a local library. Too bad, it did not make a big hit in the main stream. Otherwise, we can expect a sequel II.
It is definitely a must see!
This movie has it all. Riveting plot, sharp editing, fantastic soundtrack, good acting, and special effects that are so good that you don't realize that they are special effects (the recreation of 1937 Los Angeles). There have been comparisons to The Matrix...The Matrix was all special effects and little else. This movie grabs your heart and soul and takes it for a very thought-provoking ride. It is NOT a rip-off of the Matrix, since it is based on a novel written many years ago, and was in production long before the Matrix was released. Absolutely one of my all time favorites.
This is a great movie. It has vitual action, like the Matrix, great acting and f/x, and makes you think at the end, like Contact. It is kind of like the Matrix, but not a ripoff. While it has similar elements, it's not about action or a quest like Neo's; it's mostly story-focussed, which is less common in movies these days. It also had exciting parts, but not just mindless action. If you like movies with interesting stories and twists plus action and suspense, rent this movie, but make sure the ending isn't given away.
On the whole a very good movie. The mechanical part...the photography, both in the "real world" and in the synthetic world are done in graphic splendor. I especially loved the 30s scenescape. The actors were well cast. The story itself, especially the idea of a synthetic world, is good. The only drawback to the whole movie was that like a whodunnit that wasn't scripted perfectly, I pretty much knew what was gonna happen at the end long before we got there. Still was fun watching them get to that point. I sincerely recommend this movie to all. Won't compete to the new Star Wars release...but on it's own will do well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first thing you're stuck by while watching this movie is how
stylish is it, both in terms of look and movement. A very odd concept:
a murder mystery set in 1930s Los Angeles by way of virtual reality.
Indeed, it's like the technology (very '90s) hopped in the sack with
the design elements of "Gattaca" and nine months later, "The Thirteenth
Floor" was born.
Solid performances from the cast, notably Craig Bierko's accused man, straining to get his questions answered before the cops get him (which includes the likable-but-still menacing Dennis Haysbert). And before I forget, the quite fetching Gretchen Mol. Not really much in the way of character development, but it helps that the focus here is on the central mystery plot.
But it's a story that keeps the viewer thinking from the very beginning, and one that leads to a nice surprise of an ending (not a shocker). And overall terrific production design that plunges you right into Los Angeles, 1937.
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).
This was one of those sci-fi thrillers that I never heard about until
it was on cable. When this film started I had no idea where it was
going. There were no cartoon heroes or car chases but a cleverly
plotted narrative that keeps your mind and imagination at work.
Some film fall apart when a romantic coupling doesn't work. Craig Bierko and Grethen Mol had the justifiable chemistry needed to move the story. It gets tiring to see the same actors in romantic parts. I didn't feel the story pushing me to believe anything in this film because the plot itself worked.
All the actors in this film were first-rate. The set decorations were stunning and the special effects didn't detract from the plot. If you see this film listed in your area's media I highly recommend it.
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