At the edge of adolescence, Tracy is a smart straight-A student--if not a little naive (it seems...she smokes and she cuts to alleviate the emotional pain she suffers from having a broken home and hating her mom's boyfriend, Brady.) When she befriends Evie, the most popular and beautiful girl in school, Evie leads Tracy down a path of sex, drugs and petty crime (like stealing money from purses and from stores). As Tracy transforms herself and her identity, her world becomes a boiling, emotional cauldron fueled by new tensions between her and her mother--as well as, teachers and old friends.Written by
1. It leaves you wondering ALL DAY as to what the hell you're supposed to think of it. Walking out of it, I said, "I didn't like it, and it really wasn't that good of a movie." When I woke up in the morning, I said "It was a good movie, but I didn't like it." Later, I said, "It was okay, and I thought it was alright." And now, I'm thinking, "Man, that movie SUCKED." It's 2/4, 2/5, and a C on the grading scale. Weird, how it all works, especially with the given meanings of all those ratings. I guess it averages out to be an "Okay minus."
2. THE OPENING SCENE is one of THE WORST opening scenes I have seen in my entire life. This movie was far from one of the worst I've ever seen, but the opening was definitely just bad. There's some wanna-be heavy rock music which gets more and more annoying as it plays and plays, and we have a still head shot of our protagonist (not really), Tracy, staring at the camera, smiling (and its the most annoying smile ever), looking to be enjoying herself in the most disturbing way possible, and I don't mean sexually, I mean something BEYOND sexual, I'm talking to the inner dimensions of... a word that is too disturbing to be professed in the English language. Yes, that's how disturbing the look on her face is. Anyway, this shot continues for thirty seconds until she finally puts her hand on her face, with that disturbing smile just chugging along. It all seems to be in slow motion. That's all I'll say about that.
3. The SUPERB acting is WAY TOO GOOD for a movie that's not that great. And this is something that truly annoys me, seeing beautiful acting in a movie that I don't really recommend one seeing. Holly Hunter, who I consider the REAL protagonist, plays the "protagonist's" mother, and when the movie definitely shouldn't be effective, she pulls through and makes it that way. If it wasn't for her, my rating for this movie (which, as I said, is okay-minus), would drop down to a down right bad. And Nikki Reed and Evan Rachel Wood, the real ANTAGONISTS, who play the two evil teenage girls, are great actors for two young people their age, those ages being younger than mine. I've never been quite so aware of my acting skills, but I'm sure these girls would kick my a*se anytime. One character, who plays the mom's boyfriend, is the most indefinitely likable- I loved the character from beginning to end. While our "protagonist" (or, once more, lack there of) hates him, the film, and his acting, just totally drives us to like him, and he did an excellent job.
4. The CHARACTERS are WAY TOO INTERESTING for a movie that's not all too great. Evan Rachel Wood, as Tracy, has an excellent amount of depth that allows us to understand her persona. While I don't really understand Evie, her best friend, by Nikki Reed, I don't really know if we're supposed, and nonetheless, she's probably the best stereotype of a bad teenage girl I've ever seen. The mother has a history of alcoholism and a tough family life, and its beautiful to watch her triumph in the tougher areas of her life, and not take out her tough childhood on her kids. And of course, there's that boyfriend guy, again, and he just rocks.
5. The DIALOGUE is WAY TOO REALISTIC for a movie that's not... that good. One thing I love to do when I watch a film is listen to the dialogue and figure if its something someone in that situation would really say. This movie, with the exception of one scene, hits it right on the spot for the entire film. When characters say certain things, we really believe they would really say that, and the movie does a good job of not stretching into the ridiculous with its words, with the exception of that one scene. Its amazing that a thirteen-year old could participate in writing something this well.
6. Many of the SCENES are WAY TOO EFFECTIVELY DISTURBING for a movie, that when you sum it all up, isn't really all that good. We have to watch girls, in a strange high, beat the crap out of each other AND ENJOY IT. We have to contemplate the fact that a thirteen-year old is giving head to a guy to impress her friends, then convinces herself into thinking she had a good time, when we're all pretty damn sure she didn't. We have to watch young kids try to do seduce a guy six years older than them. We have to watch a young girl cut herself, and we have to see this slice by slice, and watch the blood ooze out of her arm, and then bleed through her shirt when she puts it on. Yes, many of the scenes are done so effectively that we want to turn our heads and puke. But sadly, the film doesn't add up to much.
7. NIKKI REED IS A FOX. I can say this, of course, because I'm 16, and she's 15- the first time I saw a picture of this girl, I was blown away, and she does a great job of convincing us she's one of the world's finest in the movie. Why is this a bad thing? Because her attractiveness distracts you from the movie... if you're my age, that is.
8. The SITUATIONS are FAR FROM REALISTIC. Despite the fact that the dialogue works in the bizarre things that happen in this movie, the fact that those bizarre things happen just take away from it all when we realize them. Tracy is far less rational then we believe a girl of her persona would be- because ONE girl comments on her socks (which looked fine), she throws away all of her clothes and just all of a sudden decides to be a bad girl. Now, if there were scenes displaying that she had a history of wanting to be like this, then fine, I might settle, but with what we have, it just doesn't work. And then, even if that had happened, and it was realistic, the things that happen afterwards, such as the character not stopping ONE TIME and saying, "Hm, maybe I SHOULDN'T be doing this," just... doesn't work. At all. Its as if all of her morals were just zapped out of her like a fart in the wind. Its offensive to me that the filmmakers think we're supposed to believe this (apparently Nikki Reed does, which really worries me about the L.A. area where this take place in.)
9. Because ADULTS THAT I KNOW, after seeing this movie, THINK EVERY DAMN KID IS GOING TO HELL, if they get enough people to see this movie, there could be an all-out assault on my generation. No, I don't mean war with guns and grenades and old people driving fast for once, I mean constant unreasonable criticism and worry about kids my age, when most of us really are good people with good intentions. This movie presents it as otherwise- true, many teenagers smoke, smoke pot, drink, and have all the sex they want, but that's not most of them (though most have done one of the above once), and I don't know a single teenager as cruel and ill-willed as those displayed in this film. In this movie, they make it seem like common sense to be this way, for a teenager.
10. THE DIRECTION HANDS-DOWN SUCKS. Maybe those scenes are disturbing, but they could have been so much better, and all scenes outside of those scenes just aren't directed in any particular... fashion. Its like there's no art to them than just to be boring. Thirteen is a movie that should have been messed up in a way like we've never seen before, combining techniques from Fight Club and Requiem for a Dream to deliver its message (which I suppose is that thirteen-year olds go under an amazing amount of peer pressure, which may be true in the area of the world this movie takes place in), but instead, the movie seems to carry more of an Office Space technique, just showing the lives of its characters as they are, and not putting a spin on them. Thirteen should have had that spin. It should have had that special twist that made you remember it forever and forever. But no, this was not done, and thus, I left the movie feeling as if it really could have been so much more.
11. YOU HAVE TO SEE HOLLY HUNTER NUDE. She's a pretty lady, I suppose, but she's 50, or something, and while I do suppose nudity was needed in this movie (not with the teenagers, I just mean while watching the movie, I really felt as if it needed nudity, not for interest or anything, but it was just necessary), Holly Hunter... nude? I wanted to close my eyes.
12. THE TRAILERS are more INTERESTING than THE MOVIE. This movie, only 95 minutes long, takes a freaking eternity, and so much of one that I was really starting to get bored by it at the end. Somehow, the trailers manage to be much more interesting than this film. The Eye, a Japanese film being released in America quite soon, looks absolutely terrifying, and one guy said it was one of the best movies he's ever seen. I hadn't yet seen a trailer for Lost in Translation, and seeing as I was already very interested in seeing it, now I know that I MUST see this movie, or... my film life might just be without a point. And then we have the trailer for ELEPHANT, which looks the most interesting out of the films to me, a very effective display, and a much more realistic one, of high school life today. This movie looks absolutely beautiful.
13. THE ENDING, while somewhat senseful, for a few seconds, makes you say HUH? I guess, while some people might tend to interpret it differently, most people can get an agreeable idea of what the final scene means for our friends. Either way, there were a few times today where I just thought back to it and wasn't really quite sure what to think of it. While I was suppose one could say it was appropriate, I would have been more content with a more cliché'd, more definite ending.
So there you have it. Thirteen reasons not to see Thirteen. But you probably won't listen to me.
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