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What Make The Critics Of XIII, NBC’s BOURNE-y Stephen Dorff-Val Kilmer Miniseries??

I am – Hercules!!
An English-language Canadian-French co-production based on a 1984 Belgian funnybook, “XIII” is about an amnesic superagent trying to figure out his own identity following a presidential assassination. Directed by Duane Clark (“Crusoe”), it stars Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer. Once again, NBC is apparently sending screeners only to select outlets, none of which seem impressed: USA Today give it one star (out of four) and says:
… dreadful, derivative, cynically silly …
Entertainment Weekly gives it an “C-plus” and says:
… Intrigued by The Bourne Identity, but turned off by the cogent plotlines and pesky nuances? Rejoice, then, in XIII …
The New York Times says:
… What is obvious to viewers after only a few minutes is not obvious to the supposedly crack investigators dispatched to untangle the conspiracy, whose Ludlumesque layers they fail to see. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… I imagine that there is some sort of mathematical correctness to the plot, but as a viewing experience it is vague, confusing and preposterous to the point that by the time all was revealed -- or nearly all, since the film ends on an unresolved note -- I had long ceased to care. …
The Boston Globe says:
… as uncompelling as its leading man. … a hollow piece of work, with only a tad more character and spirit than a video game. … It's the kind of story that asks you to either take off your thinking cap or be bored and indifferent. …
9 p.m. Sunday. NBC.

The Better Reviewed Videogame!!

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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 8, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Wasn't this a videogame too?

    by palimpsest

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 1:19 a.m. CST

    It was a videogame

    by Lord Luthias

    Not a bad FPS, I want to say it came out in 2002 or 2003. Cell shaded, very stylistic. Too bad it's being panned, it's a cool story.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 1:20 a.m. CST

    No shit it was a game...

    by Divine_Shadow

    Do people take the fucking time to SCROLL DOWN anymore? It plain print, "THE BETTER REVIEWED GAME."

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 1:22 a.m. CST

    I thought this was about the movie "Thirteen".

    by Boomers_Lips

    in that movie Holly Hunter shows her hairy bush.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Divine Shadow - cool your boots

    by palimpsest

    That info's in one of Herc's interminable adverts (which I tend to ignore), not in the copy he's posted. Nothing to get tetchy about.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 2:52 a.m. CST

    Dumbed down for American audiences?

    by V'Shael

    I don't remember the comic series being plodding and obvious, like say the Da Vinci code. <p> Do any reviews actually compare it to the source material?

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 3:15 a.m. CST


    by ls420

    its been online for awhile, worth a download at best

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 3:44 a.m. CST

    This was a comic book?

    by Oomlot

    Seriously, I played the game, never knew it was based on anything before it. I've only seen part one so far, it's not too shabby, as video game films go, or even the average comic movie.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Not so bad.....Dont snub it...

    by lostbat

    If u see the comments on the various download sites its clear that most of the people enjoyed it. A Bourne ripp off? yes! But still better as 80% whats on the tube nowadays.I enjoyed it and give it a B-. Not everything in TV has to be a master piece. I am sorry to say that the critics and sadly also Hercules seem to snub TV programs which are enjoyed by millions of people...And they are partly to blame that some of those series get axed.Mad Men is great television is clear but who tunes in? BSG is for me simply the best! But its not for everybody.So hail to those who understand what the audience wants.. I watch my CSI's, not because its good, but because its entertaining...... And don't snub it: Everybody here is at least watching 1 hour a week!! Television couldn't be financed without them. We won't see EVER a talkback here.. Ah and my favorite new series this season: LEVERAGE. Not because its good but its simply good fun!! And its got a second season.....Now give us the 3rd season Chuck....... That's entertainment!!

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 7:26 a.m. CST

    My Own Worst Enemy, Now This???

    by Media Messiah

    What is with NBC's obsession with ripping-off the Bourne Indentity franchise???

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 8:03 a.m. CST

    There are worse things to rip off than Bourne, but

    by CreasyBear

    for every fun exercise like Taken, we'll have to dodge bullshit like XIII, My Own Worst Enemy, and all the others. Besides, when's the last time a TV action show was any fun at all? I honestly have to go back to A-team, which was fun b/c I was a fourth grader. Action TV shows just don't work.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    What the fuck happened to NBC????

    by Turd Furgeson

    Seriously, that network is laughably bad at this point.. We need to get LIFE moved over to a different network. That is the only watchable show NBC makes. Remember when NBC was king and everything they touched was gold? Frasier, Friends, Seinfeld, ER, Law and Order, Will and Grace, I could go on and on. What a disaster they are. Only in Hollywood can you fuck up this bad and keep your job.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    by SID 8.0

    Watch "Felon" instead a much better job from Dorf amd Kilmer.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    NBC has some stinkers

    by mistergreen

    Anybody saw the DiVinci Code rip off a few weeks ago? Thursday night comedy is the only thing I watch on NBC. Oh, and Heroes.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Good TV Action-Series?

    by ev1ldead

    Ever heard of a little show called 24 which defined the visual style of this centurys action cinema more than any big budget movie?

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Game was mediocre. Who thought this wouldn't be?

    by memento108

    Video games are getting reviewed better than NBC's dramatic lineup these days anyway, why would they even think this could go to series?

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Throw in KITT and maybe there's a chance

    by aboriginal

    Ha, no. Just kidding.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Remember back when the Big 3 Networks....

    by Arcangel2020

    I may be showing my age by posting this comment.... But anyone here old enough to remember back in the 70-ies and 80-ies (which was when I was a kid) how back then the Big 3 Networks (I remember when there no alternative networks! No A&E, Bravo, History, Discovery, TLC, FX, Fox, WB, Mychannel etc, etc...) would blatently rip-off the biggest Movie concepts of the time or make Movies into really bad TV shows...when Tron was a hit? ABC came out with Automan; When (the remake) Island of Dr Moreau came out? NBC came out with Mannimal; When Logans Run came out? CBS made the awful Logan's Run tv show etc, etc... Sounds like NBC is back to the old Hollywood playbook or making a cheesy tv show out of a pretty cool movie franchise like the Bourne series Meh, may be worth a look...not to excited Just my 75 cents worth

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Fuck the Boston Globe

    by Dreamseller

    "a hollow piece of work, with only a tad more character and spirit than a video game." What the fuck is that supposed to mean? A Videogame cant have good characters and story? Fuck you!!

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Kilmer needs to quit doing this crap

    by Charlie_Allnut

    The guy has talent but he's kinda crazy. Gov of NM??? seriously dude? He needs to get back together w/ David Mamet...maybe a sequel to Spartan.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    XIII The Game/JB

    by nemesisdarkside

    I find it kinda funny that the US pack actually spells it out as "thirteen" while the UK pack doesn't.<P>Someone mentioned the Holly Hunter/Evan Rachel Wood "Thirteen". Imagine a Showtime show about jailbait...

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Won't big fat Val be waddling and huffing and puffing?

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Has he gotten massive lipo recently because he was a fat bastard in the last pics I saw.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Who the hell thought that the key to a hit show...

    by pollaxt

    was to put Stephen Dorff as the lead. I literally laughed out loud when I saw the preview.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    David Duchovney did the voice in the game

    by skimn

    ..between bouts of internet porn...

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    What, a bad Stephen Dorff movie?

    by TinkerTIW

    Get outta here!

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    If Dorff is in it, it must suck.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    That guy is such a prick...which he used to good effect in the first BLADE, but otherwise he really is the kiss of death in any project.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    I killed pounds of sunflower seeds playing the game

    by YackBacker

    It was a fun game, good repeat playability. But this sounds pretty horrible. Too bad, it had potential.

  • What about Wall Street?

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Eric Roberts...

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    How did he not get the lead in this? They pretty much put a picture of him on the cover.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST


    by Get_Me_An_18-Man_Fire_Team_In_12_Hours

    Nailed it.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST


    by alice 13

    or does he just always act like that now.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 8:56 p.m. CST


    by alice 13

    richard grieco wuznt available.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Why does everyone suck Jason Bourne's cock?

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ALL THREE movies were highly overrated, and ended up RUINING action movies with their "trendy" Michael J. Fox-cam action sequences. Bleah.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    NBC has become an entertainment wasteland.

    by Orbots Commander

    Except for the Office and Sunday night football, there's no reason to watch that network. Part of NBC's problem was the decline of the sitcom's and reality show's popularity. They were very sitcom and reality show heavy, and once viewers started warming up to hour long dramas like 24 and Lost, NBC flailed about and still can't get it together.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 10:05 p.m. CST

    I tried watching it. I really, truly tried...

    by namasteandgoodluck

    ...but it was so fucking droll, so incredibly bad i went to sleep not once but twice. I found it in it's entirety on the torrents and it made it's way to my recycle bin quickly.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Is this coming out now?

    by punto

    everywhere I look I find something called "XIII miniseries (2008)". is this what we're talking about? it looks like it's been out on DVD since, well, 2008. Or maybe it's one of those things that's been out in eurpe for years but Herc only realises it exists when it appears on US tv?

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 11:43 p.m. CST


    by Oomlot

    Totally agree with that. Especially the 3rd movie, it was unwatchable, purely because you couldn't see anything through all the shaking. I assumed it was filmed entirely during earthquakes.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 12:18 a.m. CST

    RE: Punto

    by Incomplete Gamer

    Seeing as this is the coaxial portion of the site, it makes sense for Herc to only mention it now ... the day it premiered on American TV channels. Maybe he could have talked about it months ago when it came out in other regions, but seeing how it's not very good and didn't pique Herc's interest, I don't see the harm in waiting until a more relevant time.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 1:46 a.m. CST

    For a split second...

    by keter

    I thought this was based on Golgo 13.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Fuck the xbox

    by Out of your element

    Get the pc version if you have a brain.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Val Kilmer to run for Governor of New Mexico in 2010.

    by Leafar the Lost

    It's no joke. He said that if he runs he will win, because he is paid to "listen to people". Listen to me, Val, stop eating so many Twinkies. You are starting to look more like Marlon Brando everyday. There was one scene in "13" where I thought you were going to pass out. It would have been unwatchable if I were not so drunk. I just had to see how fat Val was. He looked chubby, and he as wearing a lot of big, black clothes to hide his fat rolls. Jesus Christ (yes) what the fuck happened, Val? You once played Batman, and you even took off your shirt. What the fuck happened?

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Best thing on "Big 3" US nets in last 20 years.

    by kabong

    Intrigue, action. Cold hard killing. <P> No single mother, no lttle kids, no dogs.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Gotta admit, I like Dorff's series of golf videos.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    I learned a lot.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST

    RE: Out of your element

    by Incomplete Gamer

    I played both, and outside of the difference in control they are virtually identical. So, it really comes down to how you like to play games. I prefer sitting on my comfy couch with a nice control, but that's just preference. Obviously that's different for everybody, which is why it's nice when games are released on multiple platforms. I consider myself to have brains, but I prefer my consoles.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    After watching the 1st part...

    by lfhlaw

    It did plod along much so and there wasn't much to care about....I think Fox's 24 has done this much better. NBC is probably the worst network out the 5 (include Fox and CW). NBC is lacking identity. And they are looking for instant ratings bonanza for *EVERY* Show which is a rarity. If it doesn't hit, it sinks rapidly. There is no way for a tv show to build an audience after 5-6 episodes.....

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST

    RE: Ifhlaw

    by Incomplete Gamer

    No love for My Network TV? It's getting better ratings than the CW. :)

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 8:17 p.m. CST

    This show is designed for people with ADD

    by jim

    He looks at a picture and we get a flashback to him finding the same picture in Val Kilmer's car. The same picture he found in his old apartment with the writing on it. The same picture that he had taken to the photo shop girl to get the address of the person whose photo it is where he then went and saw that photo in his apartment. The same photo that he is now looking at again with the same photo shop girl who he met only because he had gone to her to find out who the client was who had gotten the photo printed. The entire plotline surrounding the photo shop girl comes from the photo he found in Kilmer's car. Why, oh why, do we need a flashback to remind us where the photo came from? Are people really that stupid?<p>Then he meets the CIA lady and we get a flashback to him seeing her in the building before he jumped out the window - the only time in the movie the two have crossed paths. Two seconds later he says something about meeting her in the building. Yes, we know, we just saw it, again, you don't have to say it too. Or, if you really need to say it, there's no need to show it, again.<p>But, that all being said, I did find the last 5 or 10 minutes to be interesting enough I'll watch the second part. I may regret it but there it is.

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST

    dorf on spy,,suck suck suck

    by MacFaux

    oh good I feared, anything with dorfs that does not include Tim Conway so completely sucks a giant bowl of Andy's it is...<br><br> just so ridiculous..Steve Dorff as an operator..oh my sweet Newsweak readin script writer<br><br>Gods Val Kilmer must need some cash to pay some property taxes in is as if I just watched Harry chug a big bowl of Andy's..I am traumatized.<br><br> Oh my sweet lord..can I get that 84 minutes back..please.<br><br> Nevala jhagara Naga.<br><br>

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Val Kilmer to roll for Governor of New Mexico in 2010

    by alice 13