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|Index||85 reviews in total|
I really don't understand how movies like this get made. Step one, half
ass a cast together of "big names" and provide a silly premise.
Step two, give someone top billing even though their role is the lesser part of 5 minutes.
Step three, find a rapper that has no talent so that your culturally bereft urban youth have a reason to see the movie.
Step four,rely upon arty cinematography as the culturalification of the movie, legitimizing that its no better than a bottom shelf rental.
Alright, get the idea? movies these days suck, no wonder I won't pay to see one.
First of all, if you could handle Tzameti 13 you'll be sorely
disappointed in 13.
This Hollywood "rehash" resembles more closely, the Hostel series but with more jump scares, or "Saw", but with guns.
Jason Stratham, Ray Winstone, Mickey Rourke, and David Zayas are wasted and merely have what amounts to brief cameos among a cast of unknowns who do little to move the story along. Sadly, it wasn't the thriller or mind-f*&% film audiences would have hoped for. When the movie is over, it leaves you with a feeling as you just had a meal that wasn't satisfying. Some parts of the dialog were so bad that it made me wince. I had to back it up a bit to see if they actually said what I thought they said and it was even more painful to watch the second time.
I rented it from a Redbox DVD dispensing machine and I still want my dollar back.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is about an underground "game". It a game of pure random
chance. You have a 78% chance of being killed, 17% chance of surviving,
and 5% chance of walking out with a little under two million dollars.
Rich people dress up in tuxedos, act all high-class, and bet on which participant will win. The bookies offer odds. How can they offer odds on a game of pure random chance? It doesn't make sense. It's a dumb excuse for voyeuristic sadism.
Jason Stretham enters his brother into the game three times in a row, giving him a 99% chance of dying. Why would the brother do this? Why would Stretham? Why would he act all surprised when his brother dies? Okay, so the plot is particularly stupid. The characters in it are preposterous. Also the pacing is ponderous. This film has no redeeming qualities.
Georgian writer Géla Babluani found such success in his film 13 Tzameti
n 2005 that he decided to recreated the story, this time placing it in
the United States. Co-writing this version with Gregory Pruss is the
only aspect of this adaptation he shared. The story is a tough one to
watch, not unlike 'Fight Club', but with higher stakes. It share how
far gambling men will go to get their thrills, making cock fights seem
very tame. The game at hand is based on gathering quasi-desperate men
(prisoners, men deeply in debt, criminals who have little to lose,
etc), placing them in a room with tee shirts bearing numbers, giving
them guns, placing them in a circle, and on the command of the master
of ceremonies they are to fire their gun into the head of the person in
front of them. A smarmy form of Russian roulette, at first each man's
gun has one bullet in the chamber, but as the game goes on more bullets
are placed and the game continues until there is one man left alive.
The gamblers place bets on the various numbered men and the stakes are
high. This process is performed in a isolated meeting space and is
closely scrutinized by detectives who seek to uncover the scheme and
Vince (Sam M. Riley of 'Control' and 'Brighton Rock') is a young electrician whose father has been in an accident resulting in sever injuries that require multiple surgeries. Vince's family must put their house up for sale to pay the expenses unless Vince can find a quicker way to make big money to pay the hospital and surgeons. Quite by accident while doing an electrical job he over hears the house owner discuss a 'job' that promises to pay a lot of money. The man plans on doing the job, receives an envelope with instructions, but then shoots up heroin and dies of an overdose. Vince helps the police who investigate, but before leaving the house Vince takes the envelope that contains instructions and a cell phone and a piece of bark with the number 13 printed on it. Vince follows the instructions and ends up in a complex scheme - the ultimate result of which is the fact that he becomes #13 in the gambling game. Others sequestered for the killer game include Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone, and among those involved in the offensive debacle are Alexander Skarsgard, Ben Gazzara, and emcee Michael Shannon. The ending of the film is a complete surprise and revealing even part of it would ruin the impact of the film.
This is definitely not a film for the fainthearted. That such a gruesome gambling scheme could exist is terrifying. But the production and the acting and the grisly atmosphere is well worth the moviegoer's attention.
I don't know what Géla Babluani was thinking. 13 Tzameti was a cool
movie made on a shoestring budget and was ingratiating in its
presentation. This newer version is completely watered down, soft
around the edges, and bereft of all the charm of the original.
Everything from the wide angle tracking shots to the roofing opposed to
electricity (the whole in the roof was a nice device), the death in the
bath as opposed to the chair, the globe hiding spot, the little sister
of the protagonist in the original had a more authentic cuteness about
her than the WASPY mainstream girl in this one. The protagonist steals
the papers instead of finding them outside. All the minor differences
favor the original. Surprisingly, even the acting was much better in
the original, despite being paid a fraction of this all-star cast. The
main reason I wanted to see the remake was because of the cast, but it
was a total let-down.
The original was good, but it was good to the point where it was a cool idea and they were able to make it with the budget they had and it worked. It wasn't so brilliant that it deserved a big money remake which in fact hurt the credibility of the film, and in my opinion, the reputation of the director. He had his breakthrough movie, and then he could have followed up with a similarly creative idea. He may have ruined his career with this terrible remake.
All in all this movie just seemed incredibly lazy and it didn't seem like anyone working on the movie cared about the final product. Rourke is entertaining as always, but you can tell it's just another shtick role for him, nobody was making much of an effort here. As a viewer I felt like I was investing more energy into watching it than anybody put into making it, so i started to doze about halfway through.
Skip this movie, it's just not worth your time. Life is too short. If you haven't seen this, then watch the original. But if you have seen this, I think the original is spoilt for you.
The plot: Bewildered young man stumbles into a tense game of chance
when he impetuously steals a dead man's invitation.
I really liked the original French movie, though I found it to be a little pretentious. The American remake excises all of the art house elements in favor of big name actors, a curiously extended back story for Mickey Rourke's character, and some really bizarre (but awesome) acting from Michael Shannon. The original French version was also a bit more bleak and nihilist, which I think was watered down for American version. Despite this, I've seen several people complain that this movie was too bleak and nihilist! Wow. I guess some people were expecting a traditional, by-the-numbers thriller with car chases and shoot-outs rather than a pensive, darker drama. Unfortunately, a lot of the tension was also streamlined out this version, though I might be misjudging because I already knew the plot. Still, the brutality and nihilism of the original, made all the starker by the black and white stock, really stuck with me, and I didn't feel as though I had quite the same experience when watching the remake.
I'm not one of those snobs who thinks that the original movie is always better than the remake, but, in this case, I think it's true. If I hadn't seen the original and liked it so much, I'd probably rate this a bit higher. Judged on its own merits, I think this is an enjoyable movie, but it doesn't live up to the original. For a movie billed as a thriller, it's lacking the tension that audiences expect, and, as a Jason Statham movie, it's lacking in Jason Statham scenes, which audiences will also expect. Despite my criticism and lukewarm rating, I still liked 13, and I'd probably recommend it to people who haven't seen the original. However, I'd highly recommend you see the original, instead. It's a better movie.
"All players, eyes on the bulb, when it lights up you shoot." After a
impulse decision to steal a man's identity, Vince (Riley) becomes a
contestant in a game of Russian roulette. The winner gets a little more
then a million, the loser...dies. Never having seen the original I
wasn't sure what to expect, and honestly I watched this because of
Statham. The beginning was a little slow, but when the game started it
really picked up and was interesting and very disturbing at the same
time. Comparing this to "Death Race" I think is acceptable as it
involves people doing their best to survive in a grotesque game. While
"Death Race" was about cars and you had more of a separation from the
killing, this one is in your face. Spin the chamber, cock the hammer,
point at someone's head, while someone does the same to you, then
shoot. Either you live for next round or you don't. This is a pretty
good movie with a good cast (not counting 50 Cent) and is a neat idea.
I just think it was missing something. I think it was making you feel
for the characters. You just don't seem to care who lives or dies, and
that hurts the movie. Overall, an entertaining movie that is worth
watching, if for no other reason then morbid curiosity. I give it a B-.
Would I watch again? - I don't think so.
*Also try - Death Race 1 & 2
13 is the story of a naive young man assumes a dead man's identity and
finds himself trapped in a underground world driven by greedy for power
and violence. There, gangsters betting on other people's lives.
It is the American version of the French film "13 Tzameti" that I liked it very much but this rather gave me some smiles along. Beginning of the film where Vince is an electrician is too fast, we see him in glimpses when he connects two wires to a switch, Emmanuelle Chriqui appears for a few seconds but the good part is that True Blood fans have the chance to see Eric in another role than the vampire.
Sequences follow each other too smoothly and leaves the viewer thinking about the scenes and have to put them together to understand what is happening. Another remake which I think is pointless.
This film had so much potential, how did the director mess this up so
You have a decent number of very good, famous actors and a starting point of an amazing story of underground gambling and the chance to make something artistic and maybe even original, but no, you go ahead and produce this film.
Hardly any character or proper story development, some bad acting and awful camera direction with weird and unnecessary camera angles. There was no proper feeling to this film and it seemed quite rushed. I was somewhat bored throughout the film. The actual gun scenes were decent, but with a little effort, they could have been amazing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well done, for what it is? Yes. Question is whether what it is is what
you're looking for, and I don't see how it could be.
Sure, competition Russian Roulette is engaging: who lives and who dies will grab your attention (or drive it away). That those playing (so to speak) or betting include an all-action- star cast will grab your attention even more. That they implement those roles with all the tension they're famous for makes it all even more engaging. The high financial stakes and dramatic conspiratorial setting nudges that even higher.
But what's so engaging? what's it about? The taglines say it all: spin, aim, |maybe| survive ... who will be the last man standing? It's just mass Russian Roulette. That's really not interesting, not compelling, doesn't take the viewer to a higher or more interesting place. It doesn't even take the viewer so much to a lower place. The big action stars don't do anything they're famous for. Even the happy ending gets completely deflated, positive but as little so as possible. It's just perfunctory tragedy.
I don't think I've ever actually thrown out a movie before. This is something I want other people to _not_ see, so out it went and up goes this review.
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