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District 13/District 13: Ultimatum [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Bibi Naceri, Cyril Raffaelli, Philippe Torreton, David Belle, Daniel Duval
  • Directors: Pierre Morel, Patrick Alessandrin
  • Producers: Luc Besson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Oct. 2009
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KAIVU4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,833 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Double bill of futuristic French action films produced by Luc Besson. 'District 13' (2004) is set in the year 2010. The violent ghettoes of Paris have been walled off from the main city, the worst of these being District 13. When gang warfare breaks out in the district, the authorities learn of a plot by gang leader Taha (Bibi Naceri) to detonate a neutron bomb, and send undercover cop Damien (Cyril Raffaelli) into the heart of the violent ghetto in order to hunt it down and defuse it, before it's too late. In the sequel, 'District 13: Ultimatum' (2009), the death of gang overlord Taha Bemamud has left a power vacuum, and a battle for total control of the area is now raging between five rival territorial gang lords, all of whom want to step into Taha's position. David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli reprise their roles as Leito and Damien, who return to the ravaged District 13 on a mission to bring peace to the sector before the Parisian secret services take drastic measures to solve the problem.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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I am an absolute fan of French films. Well on Film 4 the other night they showed a French film, District 13, which is absolutely fantastic.

It is a blend of outstanding Parkour (free running) action, futuristic science fiction and supreme martial art action combined.

If you can appreciate:
> Magnificent Parkour physical talent
> Diversity in martial arts talent

.. then this movie will gobsmack you.

Being an amateur martial artist myself (Eskrima/mild karate mostly), I can more than appreciate how every single individual can present a very unique angle and stance of martial art.

If you are only familiar with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris then you haven't really seen what diversity in martial arts can present.

The main star of this film, Cyril Raffaelli, presented to me not only unimaginable Parkour talent but a very solid yet graceful style of martial arts, which when combined together leave your jaw a thousand miles beneath your feet.

Although I recognised a handful of his moves, for the most part his method and approach to combat was very firm, very surprising and of a very absolute deliverance. His movements were absolutely unique and fantastic entertainment to watch.

So after watching that film I was considering buying the DVD. Then, the following night I was flicking through the channels and to my delight Film 4 were showing another film starring Cyril Raffaelli - District 13: Ultimatum. This turned out to be a sequel to District 13 and yet again it was filled with yet more outstanding Parkour, martial arts and edge-of-your-seat action.

I'd say I was more into the first movie, but the sequel is still more than worth watching since it presents not just more of the same talents but in yet more different ways.
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I got these films for the parkour sequences, and they did not disappoint. David Belle is quite simply out of this world in those, and Cyril Raffaelli also does very well, especially in the fight sequences. I also very much enjoyed the laid-back laconic humour of some of the dialogue. Incidentally, I found the subtitled films far better than the dubbed versions.

The plots are distinctly on the fantastic side, but no more so than the Bond films. In both films, a thumbnail of the plot is that a nuclear warhead is loose in one of the Districts in the city (District 13, would you believe?) where law and order has broken down. I don't want to spoil the enjoyable twists in the tale, but basically, an "odd couple" pairing of a maverick cop (Captain Damian Tomaso, played by Cyril Raffaelli) and a District 13 denizen (Leito, David Belle) get together and do something about it. There is violence, but in my view it is integral to the plot, and is neither gratuitous nor nasty.

OK, no Oscars, but some of the action is absolutely superb, and I have spent evenings watching many films that I have not enjoyed nearly as much as these two.
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Exciting, exhausting and exhilarating from the word go; if you're an action fan-look no further. These films are a total adrenaline rush. I don't think I've ever seen so much incident packed into what are relatively short running times. French films always seem to be so much more stylish than Hollywood productions and these are no exception. The 2 main stars 'Leito' (David Belle) and 'Damien' (Cyril Raffaelli) interact so well and their numerous fight sequences with both villains and crooked cops will surely leave you breathless with their over-the-top audacity. To quote another film title, this really is 'As Good as it Gets'.
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If you like parqour(excuse the spelling)you will like these dvds.Very decent action
and original as well.If you like Fast and The Furious ,and movies in that genre you
will lap this up.Buy it!
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Nov. 2010
I was expecting the worst after the disappointment of the earlier Bresson-produced Yamakasi, which stalls on the action front to save on the budget, but was very pleasantly surprised with French free running action movie Banlieue 13 aka District 13. A pretty shameless ripoff of Escape From New York that improves on the original with a relentless pace and superior action scenes even if it lacks the iconic characters or Adrienne Barbeau's epic curves, there's some social criticism in there that doesn't feel grafted on, but mostly this is about the gravity-defying no-nets, no-stuntmen action scenes, and on that level it certainly delivers.

Banlieue 13: Ultimatum (or District 13: Ultimatum if you see the English-language version) takes its modern day Escape from New York with added parkour stunts and a soupcon of political commentary premise a little bit further than the original without letting it get in the way of the action. It's three years after the first film and nothing has changed - well, not for the better. The budget's noticeably bigger this time round and has been employed to create a vividly realised but under-utilised ghetto for Paris' ethnic population that's part Lebanon, part Hong Kong, part white supremacist and all powderkeg. Which is convenient for crooked developer `Harriburton' (see what they did there?) who want to flatten it to redevelop as a middle-class area and are bribing the French security chief to provoke a war that will see all the inhabitants moved out, the district destroyed (rather melodramatically by fighter bombers with the Philippe Torreton's President himself pressing the button) and lucrative vote-winning reconstruction contracts all round. "Just like in Iraq - but these guys are French!
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