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Thirteen Days [DVD] [2000]

Release Date:07/10/2001
An exemplary achievement as a film, and an equally exemplary achievement as a DVD. Ostensibly New Line's first Infinifilm disc (Little Nicky was, in fact, the first, with an Infinifilm version hidden as an easter egg), the DVD contains a selection of fairly normal features plus new features that utilize branching technology. The transfer is excellent. The film has been mastered anamorphically at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Colors are strong and accurate throughout (and the disc includes color bars to assist with setup) with deep blacks and good shadow detail. Fleshtones are accurate throughout. The image is sharp and clear, with no artifacts or softness. The Dolby 5.1 audio track has an excellent mix, with subtle use of atmospheric and ambient surround. The bass, when called up, is tight and clear and does not thump or rattle. Straightforward directional effects are few and far between in the mix, simply because they're not often called for. The ambient effects, however, more than make up for this, with each set given its own atmosphere. The Infinifilm feature places a broad semi-transparent blue bar at the bottom of the screen from time to time. Each time it appears, it offers one or more choices; by making a selection, the viewer is sent along a branching path to a snippet of information: filmographies, background information, clips from one of the two documentaries, and so forth. This certainly functions to broaden the experience of watching a film such as Thirteen Days, though not every movie would seem to call for this approach. Not content with offering this aspect, New Line has provided both a filmmaker's commentary track (executed as a roundtable with Kevin Costner, Roger Donaldson, David Self, and others), a historical figures commentary track compiled from a variety of recordings, a historical background commentary presented in subtitles, historical figure biographies, and cast and crew biographies. Additionally, there are two documentaries, "The Roots of the Cuban Missile Crisis" and "Bringing History to the Silver Screen," along with a brief visual effects piece, a number of deleted scenes with director commentary, and the theatrical trailer. This is certainly a DVD worth owning, considering the wealth of material included; the extra materials are fascinating, and will take time to digest.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (15 out of 15)

    Special Features

    • Interactive menus
    • Historical figures commentary: featuring archival audio of John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Kenneth P. O'Donnell, and newly created interviews of Pierre Salinger, Sergei Khrushchev, and many others
    • Documentary "Roots of the Cuban Missle Crisis"
    • Historical figures biographical gallery
    • Historical information track
    • Filmmaker commentary featuring director Roger Donaldson, Kevin Costner, and others
    • Deleted scenes with director commentary
    • Documentary: "Bringing History to the Silver Screen"
    • Visual effects scene deconstructions; multi-angle feature
    • Cast and crew filmographies
    • Script-to-screen access to the film
    • Link to original website
    • Exclusive access to on-line Infinifilm features


    Thirteen Days
    Director Roger Donaldson teams up with star Kevin Costner for another political thriller (after their 1987 pairing, No Way Out), only this time with a film based on the actual events surrounding the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, taking place during the titular thirteen days wherein the U.S. and the Soviet Union nearly engaged in full-scale nuclear war. After President John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) is shown photographs from a spy plane detailing the presence of missiles in Cuba capable of obliterating massive areas of the U.S., he must immediately decide the most effective course of action for the country. With the aid of best friend and special assistant Kenny O'Donnell (Kevin Costner) and brother Robert (Steven Culp), the President must avoid a dire chain of events that could be dictated by General Curtis LeMay (Kevin Conway), who would rather take immediate action and invade Cuba. After initial reticence about leaking the information to the nation, President Kennedy eventually tells of the conflict, leading to widespread panic and a blockade of Cuba. With the aid of Robert McNamara (Dylan Baker) and Adlai Stevenson (Michael Fairman), the leaders must find a way to alleviate the tension of the situation. Thirteen Days also features Walter Adrian as Lyndon Johnson. ~ Jason Clark, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Kevin Costner
      Kevin Costner - Kenneth P. O'Donnell
    • Bruce Greenwood
      Bruce Greenwood - John F. Kennedy
    • Steven Culp
      Steven Culp - Robert F. Kennedy
    • Dylan Baker
      Dylan Baker - Robert McNamara
    • Michael Fairman
      Michael Fairman - Adlai Stevenson

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.