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  Film Reviews: Martini? Forget It, Red Bull, PS2 and Snowboarding: XXX  

Sunday, August 18
Martini? Forget It, Red Bull, PS2 and Snowboarding: XXX
I called this movie months ago. I saw some early ads on and knew that this would be the Craptastic SBB. See the Craptastic film is a film so devoid of cinematic greatness that it slips out of the bad category and into the “so bad you love this movie” category. There are few films that fit this category as well as XXX. Imagine James Bond with attitude, tattoos and his own underground Internet Show. Then speed it up with a loud soundtrack, women with equal attitude and a few explosions. You’re getting close to XXX.

Vin Diesel (perhaps the best fake moniker since Wolf Blitzer) plays Xander Cage, star of his own underground Internet show. From what we can tell, he does these stunts with an undercurrent of political motivation. Basically, he’s an extreme lawbreaker with a conscious. I’m not clear on the whole set-up, but this underground Internet stunt-show business must pay pretty well. First, there’s the incredible amount of tattooage that Xander sports – that doesn’t come cheap. Then there’s the fantastic loft that he lives in – SoCal doesn’t exactly give those warehouse lofts away for $800 bucks a month. Then there are the fantastic leather pants – not plain pants, but the kind that Michael Jackson passed on as being too outrageous. Oh, did I mention the legion of friends available to throw a surprise party minutes after his latest stunt. Parties that have hot gaming designers trying to talk Xander into an exclusive gaming rights deal.

Sound too good to be true? Well, of course it is – you know that if you’re an extreme sports athlete with a desire to break the law that it’s only a matter of time before the NSA recruits you against your will to save the entire world on behalf of your country. It’s an old, old story. So old, that the 20th installment will be out later this year – it’s called the James Bond franchise. From the fantastic opening sequence to the hot women, to the egotistical villain that insists on telling the whole plot, to the Q-type and M-type characters, to the exotic local at the end – it’s all in XXX. What we do get with XXX is the James Bond without the refinement and breeding – we get a bad-ass with a real attitude.

Vin Diesel has only been in a small number of films throughout his career. Best known for a small film called “The Fast and the Furious,” he established himself as an anti-hero in times where the lines between good and bad blur every day. There are those that have panned Vin and XXX, but to them I say “you don’t get it.” There are those films that you just sit back, say “take me along for the ride” and enjoy. These are not films that try too hard – after all, our villain in XXX simply wants to destroy the world because he hates all forms of government (nevermind that he’s a bit dictatorial in his own little overthrow-the-world-club). XXX simply wants to keep out of jail, but he needs to be cool at the same time. This means big stunts and a lot of shirtless action. How could this formula not win?

Expect this to become a franchise, and get used to the unrefined super-agent.

The Usual:

What It’s Worth: If you don’t understand “Craptastic,” go for the dollar theather, otherwise, enjoy a matinee.

Annoying Theater Goer: The family behind us. All I know is that “like” can be said no less than 436 times in 22 seconds when describing anything. It is also necessary when you’re 11 to say “like” 81 times when you need to announce that you’re going to the bathroom.

Main Reason To See This Film: Vin Diesel in tighty-whities. Oh, I guess I should mention the GTO for those that don’t subscribe to the tighty-whities appreciation club.

Main Reason Not To See This Film: It was obvious that the demographic for this film is YOUNG – 15 and under. Have these children already gone deaf? Seriously, I went to a metal concert the other week that was more quiet.

MPAA Rating: PG-13.

Nudity: No, but enough underwear-clad women to get you through the PG-13 jungle.

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