Studio: Fox Searchlight
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Film Length: 99 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 & Full Screen 1.33:1
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitled in English and Spanish
-Full length audio commentary by Director/Co-Writer Catherine Hardwicke, Co-Writer/Actor Nikki Reed, Actors Evan Rachel Wood and Brady Corbet
-Deleted scenes with optional commentary
-“Making of” featurette
Release Date: January 27th, 2004
Thirteen is a very bold and power independent film. It won “Best Dramatic Directing” at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s a raw, and in your face film that doesn’t pull many punches. At times, even I was uncomfortable with the subject matter when watching the movie. As a father, it’s weird to see kids so young, portrayed as having sex, and doing drugs. It’s a hard subject to swallow, and to watch, but it may be good for some people. I think this movie may wake up a few parents as to what some of their kids are possibly doing out there. They may think their kids are too young to get involved with drugs and to have sex, however, this film may have them thinking twice.
Although this film isn’t based on a true story, it could easily be the story of thousands of kids, or households throughout America. I thought “Thirteen” was a great independent film, and it was nice watching talented actors such as Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood, really bring the movie to a higher level. This movie should almost be a prerequisite for parents that have kids entering their teen years, as to what might happen if you don’t stay on top of them, and stay involved in their lives. The part I liked most about the movie, is that it doesn’t really glamorize teen sex and drugs and crime, it shows the down and out, rock bottom side of what this girl goes through.
Here is the synopsis from the back cover:
“Brace yourself” (ROLLING STONE) for a raw, revealing insight into urban adolescence that’s so intense and realistic, “it’s impossible to turn away (INTERVIEW MAGAZINE)”. Anxiously trying to fit into the peer-pressure cooker environment of junior high, thirteen-year-old Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) goes to shocking lengths in order to befriend Evie (co-writer Nikki Reed), the most popular girl in school. Now, the two are inseparable – an incorrigible – leaving Tracy’s desperate mom (Holly Hunter) powerless to rescue her from a whirlwind of drugs, sex and crime.
Picture quality for this DVD was on the average side, for an independent film. This film was full of very heavy grain. So much so at times, that I think that may have been the desired effect. I think that the raw-ness, and the desperate nature of the film comes across better this way. The films color palette seems to have an over coolness to it. The colors are mostly drab and washed out. Again, I think it was purposeful, or it may be due to the grain. There is also most definitely edge enhancement throughout the film.
SEE FOR YOURSELF!: (click on the picture for a bigger version of the screen-shot)
More screen shots here
Picture Quality Rating:
Picture: 2 / 5
The DVD is mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1. Sound was good for an independent film!
The dialog for the most part was clear and bold, and fee of hiss and crackle. Almost the entire movie comes through the center speaker. The left and rights to get used occasionally, but mostly on the music. The music did come through nice and bold and clear. You really take notice to some of the soundtrack because the movie is relatively centered and quiet, and then the music kicks in on a scene transition and you think, “Oh yeah… I forgot I have other speakers!”.
LFE only kicks in a tad on some of the more hip hop styled soundtrack.
Sound Quality Rating:
Sound: 3 / 5
This DVD has a few good extras! [/b]
Widescreen Side Extras:
I like commentaries that feature the main actors and the Director. You almost can never go wrong with a commentary when you have those key people doing it. This time is no exception. You get to hear the three main kid characters (Co-Writer/Actor Nikki Reed, Actors Evan Rachel Wood and Brady Corbet) and the Director/Co-Writer, Catherine Hardwicke. This particular commentary is chock full of tidbits and character assessment. Things you find out in the commentary are that the Director Catherine Hardwicke has known Nikki since she was 5 years old, and is a friend of the family. Most of the film is written from Nikki’s personal experiences. They felt that the real things that teen were dealing with was better than anything they could make up.
Apparently, Fox Searchlight didn’t pick up the film until they were already done with it, and Catherine was commenting that they could have used more money, (hinting that she wished they would have picked it up sooner) If you are a fan of “Thirteen”, the commentary is something you are definitely going to want to check out.
“Homework for Tracy”
Total Running Time: 00:36
Total Running Time: 00:42
“Gifts from Dad”
Total Running Time: 01:29
Total Running Time: 01:00
“Out with the Old”
Total Running Time: 01:21
Total Running Time: 00:44
Total Running Time: 00:47
Total Running Time: 01:41
“Get the Camera”
Total Running Time: 00:00
“Hugs for Tracy”
Total Running Time: 01:28
Full Screen Side Extras:
Making of “Thirteen”
We hear from the cast, and the director is this short “Making of”. We get a little insight on some of the characters in the film and how the actors were trying to portray them. Mostly you hear praise about the two best actors in the film, Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood
Total Running Time: 06:05 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Theatrical Trailer for “Thirteen”
Total Running Time: 02:26 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Extras / Bonus Features Rating:
Extras: 3 / 5
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"Thirteen" is a very raw and well acted film. It’s a shocking film that makes one think about their priorities in life. I don’t feel that you even have to be into independent style films to enjoy this movie. I would recommend that you give this movie a spin around the block.
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