13th Warrior

13th Warrior

4.6 23
Director: John McTiernan

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhoi

     
 

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The 13th Warrior, a rousing adventure tale that uses the "stranger in a strange land" theme by placing a Moor courtesan amongst a pack of Viking raiders in the European Dark Ages, looks and sounds great on DVD, with a widescreen presentation and 5.1 Surround Sound that replicates the big-screen experience. It is disappointing, however, that the DVD contains fewSee more details below

Overview

The 13th Warrior, a rousing adventure tale that uses the "stranger in a strange land" theme by placing a Moor courtesan amongst a pack of Viking raiders in the European Dark Ages, looks and sounds great on DVD, with a widescreen presentation and 5.1 Surround Sound that replicates the big-screen experience. It is disappointing, however, that the DVD contains few extras, just the standard trailer and language subtitles. An epic like this begs for some deleted scenes and production notes, while a commentary by director John McTiernan on a reportedly rocky production that took years to finish would have been a welcome addition. A sleeper, The 13th Warrior provides lots of swashbuckling adventure that is scarce in today's action genre.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A red-blooded adventure film enhanced by supernatural elements, The 13th Warrior is packed with ultra-heroic exploits and bone-crunching action. Based on Michael Crichton's 1974 novel Eaters of the Dead, it stars Antonio Banderas as Ahmed Ibn Fahdalan, an Arab poet traveling with a small band of Vikings during the 10th century. Ridiculed at first by the lusty Norsemen, Ahmed ends up becoming a trusted comrade and participates in their bloody battles against a tribe of flesh-eating savages who supposedly possess the spirits of bears. Director John McTiernan (The Thomas Crown Affair) doesn't spend a lot of time on character development, but what the film lacks in that area, it makes up for in the richness of its atmospherics and the explosive energy of its battle scenes. McTiernan brings expertly to life the dark and menacing world of the Vikings, while Banderas conveys the dread of a sensitive man surrounded by unrelenting gloom. The film really springs to life once the carnage commences: Action lovers will find it an uncompromisingly graphic but ultimately exhilarating experience.
All Movie Guide
With the director of Die Hard and a star of Antonio Banderas' drawing power, it's hard to understand why The 13th Warrior never found an audience, other than being overlooked by critics. Maybe it should have kept the cooler original title Eaters of the Dead, the name of Michael Crichton's novel-as-historical-document about an Arab courtier (Banderas) who joins the 10th century Vikings in fighting an army of cannibalistic mist creatures. While not as exciting as Braveheart (1995), and without the thematic import of The Seven Samurai (1954), The 13th Warrior earns favorable comparisons to both films. It's a subtle historical epic -- if there is such a thing -- though its first half-hour belongs solely to Banderas adjusting to the gruff Vikings. Yet the passages are riveting, and the film earns kudos for a variety of smart details that set the scene, notably how it deals with communication difficulties. First up is Omar Sharif as Banderas' translator, who has a Viking translator of his own; events are related in duplicate or triplicate, as would have really happened. The film gets everyone speaking the same language in a captivating montage in which English words steadily blend with Norse, as Banderas absorbs their fireside bragging over weeks of travel. Among its other attributes are the most darkly lit and confusing battle scenes caught on film -- beautiful shots of the Viking vessel at sea, Banderas humorously displaying his increased battle finesse once given an appropriate-sized weapon, and a dozen Vikings painted with vivid individuality, even though their names are unknown. Don't let this overlooked gem slip through the cracks.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/18/2000
UPC:
0717951004659
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
1,950

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; French-language track; 5.1 Surround; Widescreen (2.35:1), enhanced for 16x9 televisions

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Antonio Banderas Ibn Fadlan
Diane Venora Queen Weilew
Dennis Storhoi Herger the Joyous
Vladimir Kulich Buliwyf
Omar Sharif Melchisidek
Anders T. Andersen Wigliff, King Hrothgar's son
Richard Bremmer Skeld The Superstitious
Tony Curran Weath the Musician
Mischa Hausserman Rethel The Archer
Neil Maffin Roneth The Horseman
Asbjorn Riis Halga the Wise
Clive Russell Helfdane The Large
Daniel Southern Edgtho the Silent
Oliver Sveinall Haltaf the Boy
Sven Wollter King Hrothgar
Albie Woodington Hyglak The Quarrelsome
Sven Ole Thorsen Would-be King

Technical Credits
John McTiernan Director,Producer
Lou Arkoff Co-producer
Christopher Boyes Sound/Sound Designer
John Clothier Cinematographer
Annmarie Corbett Set Decoration/Design
Michael Crichton Producer
Ned Dowd Producer
Ethan Dubrow Executive Producer
Robert Eber Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas Fisher Special Effects
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Casey Grant Associate Producer
David Gribble Cinematographer
Kate Harrington Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard St. John Harrison Art Director
Willie Heslup Art Director
Helen Veronica Jarvis Art Director
John Wright Editor
Wolf Kroeger Production Designer
Warren Lewis Screenwriter
Pat McCorkle Casting
Rose Marie McSherry Set Decoration/Design
Peter Menzies Cinematographer
Bruce G. Moriarty Asst. Director
Alan Robert Murray Sound Editor
Andrew G. Vajna Executive Producer
William Wisher Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits/Things Were Not Always Thus [:11]
2. A Messenger From the North [3:44]
3. Traveling With the 12 [3:44]
4. In Hrothgar's Realm [3:37]
5. Carnage at the Farmhouse [:14]
6. Council in the Great Hall [5:44]
7. Wendol Attack [:07]
8. Building Defenses [5:32]
9. Olga's Warning [4:04]
10. Setting an Example [2:12]
11. The Fireworm Is Roused [3:00]
12. The Wisdom of an Old Crone [3:55]
13. In Search of the Wendol [:21]
14. In the Bowels of the Earth [4:25]
15. Buliwyf's Fate Is Sealed [1:12]
16. The Wendol Return for Vengeance [3:35]
17. End Credits [:14]

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