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The Thirteenth Floor

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Thirteenth Floor

Starring: Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol
Director: Josef Rusnak
Rated: R
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: May 1999
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller

*Also starring: Vincent D'Onofrio, Dennis Haysbert, Steve Schub

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---
4.  Greg King read the review movie reviewmovie review
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Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Since movies, on the average, take a year - from the beginning of filming to theatrical debut - it's interesting that three similar glitzy, high-tech, virtual reality thrillers - "The Matrix," "eXistenZ" and this - overlapped. Loosely based on Daniel Galouye's '60s sci-fi novel "Simulacron 3," the idea revolves around a computer that enables its user to time-travel. Only a story never develops from the original concept of juxtaposing sepia-toned Los Angeles in 1937 with the full-color reality of the present time. Blame it on director Josef Rusnak's and Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez' underwritten screenplay, riddled with wooden dialogue. Computer visionary Armin Mueller-Stahl is the first to download time-travel but he runs into foul play, which brings his over-wrought assistant, Craig Bierko, to the rescue. Then, when more trouble ensues, technie Vincent D'Onofrio goes back in time too. All three encounter lovely femme fatale Gretchen Mol, who is trying to pass herself off as Mueller-Stahl's daughter. Or is she a check-out girl at a local grocery store? That's a question bothering Dennis Haysbert, a detective. The visually stylish, art deco atmosphere in the somber, cavernous simulated world is appealing but it's not enough to sustain interest as the plot evaporates. Craig Bierko seems like a poor man's Alex Baldwin, complete with a two-day beard growth, while Gretchen Mol works hard at evoking Marilyn Monroe but she's weak. Neither displays an ounce of screen charisma in this ultimate bad trip. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Thirteenth Floor" is a self-destructing 3. Cyberspace confusion 3D Existential poppycock.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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