The Thirteenth Floor [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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The concept of this film becomes closer to reality every day as games like The Sims let you live life for a computer character. A group of scientists have created a simulated world inside a computer. The inhabitants have a life of their own but people can plug in to take over a character and live their life. None of the characters in the world are aware it isn't real and life goes on for them even when there is no human intervention.
One of the scientists makes a shocking discovery and manages to leave a message for his colleague with a simulation character before he is murdered and the colleague becomes the prime suspect. Entering the virtual world to find clues to clear his name, our hero discovers that the message has enabled a character to discover the true nature of his world.
After various twist and turns with new characters appearing in his life and events making him doubt his own sanity he discovers the secret his mentor was killed to protect. One concept I don't remember from the original book, but crucial to the story, is that if a player is killed in the virtual world the normal mind of the character will take over his body. This brings the film to a satisfying conclusion that I don't remember in the original novel.
Some reviews have said the acting isn't very good, but I found myself so carried along by the concept and the questions it raises about reality I can't say I really noticed the acting. That's really all I ask of a film.
Firstly, that one reviewer talks about the 'time-shift' concepts shows that he never really got in to and understood the film. This is *not* a film about time travel or time 'shifting' but about reality. I can't believe that it's too complicated to give that impression so I can only assume that the reviewer wasn't giving the film their full attention - which is what the film needs.
Second, Craig Bierko is not my favourite actor (by far!). However, his very underplayed role is superb and the director uses his bewildered silences to bring across to the viewer the depth of brown stuff that the character is being pushed in to.
The dance scene between Craig Bierko and Gretchen Moll in 'real life' to 'Easy Come, Easy Go' has got to be the most sensual scene I have seen in a long time in a film. The desire comes across vividly in their looks and glances - and yet they never even so much as kiss - it's a clear case of proving that you *don't* have to show sex to make a couple appear erotic.
Vincent D'Onofrio is simply sensational. See the film for him alone. He plays Whitney, a computer geek and Ashton, a bartender - both characters are extremely different and his use of different body language (Ashton stands erect, self-confident - Whitney slumps, drags his feet) is a stunning piece of character acting.
On the whole, the film holds its secrets for about an hour of the film - and, then, five minutes before the end, you realise that what you thought was actually happening is actually not quite right (that may sound cryptic but I don't want to add spoilers here).
Yes, I'd thoroughly recommend it - but make sure you can give it your undivided attention or you'll not get in to it at all.
It is now believed that computer processing doubles every 18 months and data storage is becoming almost limitless. It is predicted that in the very near future it will be possible to create detailed simulations indistinguishable from reality.
The popularity of virtual worlds in games today shows that it will be inevitable that this possibility of individual imaginative realities will come about.
Question... If there are a million virtual worlds, all convinced theirs is the only reality, and that there is only one true reality... what are the chances that our world, here and now, is that one true reality?
One in a million.
Here is a gem of a movie about virtual realities. Strong acting from all the cast, subtle lighting and colour effects to enhance a feeling of disorientation and a simple but very unforgettable image at the end of that dusty road beyond `the end of the world'
The four lead actors... the quietly spoken and intelligent performance of Craig Bierko; the enigmatic but beautifully controlled emotion of Gretchen Mol; the powerful and totally convincing Vincent D'Onofrio and the thoughtful and tender performance of Armin Mueller-Stahl... make perfect casting.
The director and co screenwriter Josef Rusnak has created a perfect film, a virtual world about virtual worlds.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent film and soundtrack. Makes one think. Highly recommend Everyone watches this!Published 2 months ago by AmIsis
This is a review of the BluRay.
I quite liked the film when I first watched it. I found it thought provoking, with a novel story (pre-Matrix, anyway) and some nice... Read more
Relatively mild almost family viewing. I'd say one of my favorite films ever, an adaptation of the outer boundaries of science ie. pc nerds in parallel universes.Published 6 months ago by A P Page
I saw this under recommendation and I am glad I did. Very thought provoking almost on a par with The Matrix (subject wise only). Clever plot and intriguing twist. Read morePublished 9 months ago by RaVin
Nothing really to write home about. Twist in the tail or two. Not an unpleasant way to spend some time, but not a great filmPublished 11 months ago by Derek Owens