Customer Reviews: 13 [Blu-ray]
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A few years ago, I came across an odd little foreign film that I absolutely fell in love with named "13 Tzameti." At the time, I had no clue what the movie was about and, without preconceived notions, I was fascinated by the dark and twisted tale that unraveled. As a young man is drawn into a complicated and deadly underground battle for survival, the movie is rather stunning in its simplicity. As a very low budget endeavor, it used its sparseness to great advantage. Claustrophobic, tense, and unrelenting, the camera pushes up close and personal as the tension escalates throughout and it is truly a riveting and, at times, unsettling experience. Its writer/director Gela Babluani has been given the opportunity to adapt his thrilling and award winning sensation (Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Best Director at Venice Film Festival) into an English language version with a pretty impressive cast. The resultant "13" lacks a bit of the intensity of its predecessor, and opening up the story doesn't necessarily serve the material well. Also, its intriguing premise is a little harder to buy in an American Midwest setting, but the movie still has a visceral punch that a certain audience might enjoy.

The movie stars Sam Riley (so great in Control) as an electrician whose family is in dire financial straits. At a work site, he hears talk of a clandestine "job" that has the potential to pay huge. When the person planning on attending the job dies of an overdose, Riley nabs the instructions and heads off to take his place. He has no idea what is in store for him! What he finds is a chilling sports contest in which people bet on life and death itself in increasingly challenging rounds. He can't back out and there can be only one winner, and Riley has no choice but to try to make it to the end. The testosterone fueled plot is headlined by some talented individuals--Mickey Rourke and Ray Winstone are fellow contestants, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Alexander Skarsgard are two of the contestant minders, Ben Gazzara and Jason Statham are financially invested, and Michael Shannon is the evening's intense emcee. While it is a fantastic cast, though, no one (aside from Riley and maybe Statham) really has a lot to do.

Herein lies the problem, Babluani tries to adapt his screenplay to accommodate this roster of actors. So we get flashbacks and character development for peripheral and non-important characters. Yes, now we get more of Mickey Rourke and 50 Cent, but this actually detracts from the central contest. And that is the movie! The contest is inescapable and the original movie put viewers on the front lines until the very end. It was exquisitely uncomfortable in confining us in the small and deadly space. But while I wasn't necessarily blown away by "13," I still appreciated its unsavory premise. The cast is quite good, even if underutilized, and it's not a movie you feel like you've seen a hundred times before. Those expecting big action may have to look elsewhere, this plays more as a psychological thriller. I suspect this movie might be a bit divisive--you could think it is outlandish and hate it or you could like it for its uniqueness. I liked, but didn't love, "13." But I do recommend it and, if you ever get the chance, check out the original as well for something a bit more harrowing. About 3 1/2 stars. KGHarris, 10/11.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Even a great premise and a strong supporting cast can't save a poorly made movie. "13" sat on the shelf for over a year (it was produced for release in 2010) for very good reason--it's not very good. In "13" Vince (Sam Riley who played Ian Curtis so well in "Control") who needs money for his father's operation takes on the identity of a dead drug addict unaware that he's stepping into a high stakes illegal contest where he competes against others (Ray Winstone, Mickey Rourke)playing Russian Roulette. The chance to make millions and save his father keeps Vince from trying to escape.

Co-writer Greg Pruss and director Géla Babluani take a fascinating premise that has great potential and wastes it in a film that generates no suspense and, essentially, goes no where. It's tragic because the film has a strong cast (including Jason Statham, Ben Gazzara and Alexander Skarsgård) given very little to do but look moody and trade threatening glances. This is evidently a remake of a foreign film which I haven't seen so I don't know how it compares to that original film.

For those who care the image quality is quite good as is the 5.1 audio mix. The only extra is a featurette on the making of the film.

"13" wastes a strong cast, a great premise with the result a disappointing genre film that fails to deliver on all fronts.

Unless your idea of fun is watching men scream at each other, shoot each other in the head in tension and action free sequences, you should avoid "13".
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VINE VOICEon November 22, 2011
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's hard to imagine a movie with an interesting cast, photography that evokes a neo-noir mood and very good acting to be such a dud. The film centers around a group of high stake (but jaded) gamblers and a group of miserable losers who enter a game of Russian roulette for the possibility of ending debt, paying the freight for an operation to save a loved one or some other (unspecified) reasons. Each of those who play the game, enter a circle and point a revolver to the man's head in front of them. The players all have a number, and the film's title is based on the number of the film's hero, such as he is--number 13.

The film drags the viewer through a series of "games" managed by what amounts to a game show host as the paying customers place their bets on who will survive and stand way too close to the circle of men who point and shoot at the person in front of them. Anyway, if you're interested in good actors doing nothing quite well, and the paint has dried so that you cannot watch it, this film will still bore you to sleep--only to be awaken by the occasional pop of a gun into the back of the head of an unlucky player. After viewing this film, you may wish you were one of the players who got shot.
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on December 4, 2011
The story I feelt would have been great, but the development was below B-budget. I've also always felt that a soundtrack truly either makes the movie or destroys it, and this one definitely destroyed it! I would have given 3 stars but the music was unbelievably out of place. Okay to watch but definitely wouldnt buy.
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on January 22, 2016
One of the best movies I have seen since Blu-ray came out; not many people have seen this movie yet it has a full on cast such as Mickey Rourke, Curtis Jackson (aka 50 cent), Jason Statham, and many more you will recognize.... I tell everyone about this movie and they always come back to me and say wow what a movie- always get a high five for that 1
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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 stop it.

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. Grady Harp, November 11
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on February 28, 2014
Saw a trailer on this one and had to get it. So different for Jason Statham. Haven't seen this story line since 'The Deer Hunter.' It's pretty brutal, but I kept watching til the end cause I had to know the outcome. Love the surprise ending too.
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on February 26, 2016
if you like bloody movies, with stories you might wish you had not seen, this is the movie for you. You can't help but wonder what other madness goes on in the mind of the writer of this movie script. It ends pretty much like you might think it will, and you need to have a strong stomach to watch the whole thing.
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on May 25, 2014
The ratings were so-so for this video. However, I like Sam Riley and watch most of his movies. It was suspenseful from start to finish. I won't divulge the ending, but it was sad. Give it a watch and see for yourself.
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on September 21, 2013
Interesting plot. High stakes gambling by affluent people who bet on a system in which something like Russian Roulette is played. Only the people who play the game of life or death are eliminated as they play the game. Mickey Rourke plays an interesting character and I always wish he had more scenes. He always does the best he can with the material he is given. Very brutal film but if you are looking for something really different and don't mind the brutality, you might enjoy this one. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is squeamish. But I found this film to be interesting and worth watching. I can thank for finding this film. I always find what I am looking for on their site. Easy ordering and fast delivery. They never have disappointed me. If you have any questions about their ordering process or my review. Feel free to let me know.
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