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13 (BLU RAY)
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Gela Babluani

Starring:
Sam Riley
Jason Statham
Mickey Rourke
50 Cent
Ray Winstone


Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A naive young man assumes a dead man's identity and finds himself embroiled in an underground world of power, violence, and chance where men gamble behind closed doors on the lives of other men.
Is it good movie?
Note: Due to years of working at a video store, I have been left unable to properly pronounce (or type) Jason Statham's name (besides right now). This is because NO customers could do it- they just butchered it, and I will do the same thing to show how annoying it is.

Yes, I know that old Jason Strayhorn is on the cover of the film, but this film really belongs to Sam Riley, our main man Vince. The poor guy has to pay for his father's operations and winds up in a terrifying Russian Roulette tournament where gamblers bring in their own contestants to play until the winner takes all (minor complaint here- the rules of this game are never really defined, which can be somewhat confusing). The man is really effective in his role and plays up the desperation of the situation very effectively. Strathum is good as the mean, slick gambler but doesn't stretch himself by any means.

Sam is stuck with 13 men, some who are there because they feel like it (Ray Winstone as Jason Stratham's mentally ill brother, yeah!), and others aren't so lucky (the poor and downtrodden Mickey Rourke..as a Mexican?). Strohan himself is the slick gangster who helps run the show. Shockingly enough, this isn't simply a big, dumb loud action movie.

Instead, the film plays it straight (though stylish) and this makes it more effective. There's a lot of sweating going on here, a lot of hard and desperate men taking the ultimate risk- this doesn't need to be played up to a ridiculous degree. It's a brutal film based on a brutal idea, but it won't disgust you with gore effects. Intelligently, the film leaves a lot to the imagination with sound and quick cutting which actually adds to the tension by wondering who may have gotten the bullet during larger group scenes.

Believe it or not, I'd have a hard time classifying this as an action film as it is, I'd call it more of a thriller than anything else. There aren't a lot of huge action set pieces or explosions to be found here, and the whole thing feels like a psychological mindf*ck, for the lack of a better word. I won't reveal the ending, but it's heavy to say the least.

Now all is not perfect- I mean, I know things require a suspension of disbelief, but I just have a hard time with the whole "loved one is sick and now I'm in WAY over my head but hanging with the worst of them" angle. Also, there's not a lot of character development here and there's a lot of black and white in terms of good guys and bad guys. Performances are quite good for the most part, but 50 Cent has a bit part in here and the guy's just awful. I wish he'd stick to what he's "good" at.

If the idea of a regular dude being forced to stare down the barrel of a gun sounds tense to you, it is. I recommend it!
Video / Audio
The video here is not overly impressive, despite being presented in 2.39:1 1080p widescreen. At some points the picture is muddy and ugly looking, while some close ups are gorgeous. Very uneven.

Audio comes in TrueHD 5.1 and sounds pretty good, quite impressive really. Good surround work, although this isn't a super loud film.
The Extras
Absolutely nothing- very disappointing.
Last Call
This was a case of not judging a book by its (poorly photoshopped) cover. This one didn't end up being what I thought it would be and I appreciated it. It was both tense and believable (to an extent) and featured a game cast. It'll make for a perfectly acceptable second rental on a rainy Sunday.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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