Thirteenth Floor" on DVD
Virtual Virtual Reality
Here's a stylish "techno-thriller"
in the film noir tradition that offers an intelligent plot, a wonderful
look and feel, and characters about whom you can really care.
Starring Craig Bierko,
Vincent D'Onofrio and Gretchen Mol, the story involves a high tech company
that has created an amazingly real virtual world one can actually visit
and live in by downloading yourself into a cyber-character in that digital
Then the creator of
the project is killed under unusual circumstances, and the evidence points
to his number two man (Bierko) - who has to enter the virtual world to
find evidence that can help clear up the mystery.
The mystery gets cleared
up, of course, but not in the way you imagine when you first slide the
disc into the player.
Based on Daniel Galouye's
novel "Simulacron 3," 'The Thirteenth Floor is a beautifully-realized
movie and the virtual world (set in 1930's Los Angeles) is amazingly well
represented through gorgeous and totally convincing matte effects. In
fact, this is a dandy flick all around, in some ways reminding us of "Dark
City," though with a far more accessible storyline.
It's also a good DVD,
offering both widescreen and pan/scan versions on opposite sides. Audio/video
quality are superb, and there are plenty of extras to keep you occupied.
There's a gallery of "Before and After" special effects shots
that show how they achieved the film's terrific view of the 1930's. There's
also an audio commentary by director Josef Rusnak and production Designer
Kirk M. Petruccelli, decent liner notes, chapter stops, production/cast
notes, a gallery of conceptual art, trailers, and a "Cardigans"
In all, it's a pretty
complete package for a pretty good movie that deserves to be seen as a
story first, and as a visual treat second.
The Thirteenth Floor,
from Columbia Tristar Home Video
100 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1)/Pan and Scan, Dolby Digital
Starring Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dennis Haysbert
and Armin Mueller-Stahl
Produced by Roland Emmerich, Ute Emmerich, Marco Weber, Screenplay by
Josef Rusnak & Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez
Directed by Josef Rusnak
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