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XXX (SE)
DVD disk
May 3, 2005 By: Johnny Moreno
XXX (SE) order
Director:
Rob Cohen

Actors:
Vin Diesel
Asia Argento
Samuel L. Jackson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
X-Treme! sports dude Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) videotapes his wild and crazy stunts and sells them on the internet for loot, until the National Security Agency (Sam L. Jackson with wig) muscles him into working for the government to keep tabs on some terrorists operating in the city of Prague. Asia Argento shows up and basically owns….my pantolones.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I love watching movies like this. Let me just say that right off the bat. I’m no film elitist that would have nothing to do with a movie like xXx because I think all film should be artsy fartsy and have a conscious or “something to say.” My ass. While I do appreciate it, it’s not entirely necessary. Sometimes I want to see shit that defies the law of gravity, probability, and reality. In short, sometimes I want to see shit get “blowed up”. So I knew exactly what I was getting into when I originally sat down to watch this. That’s why I threw this flick on while I was doing some repairs in my house as some background filler. I had already watched it when it first came out on DVD but I decided to watch it again because, you know, it’s always fun to get stuff in the mail. Man, did I NOT get anything done in the house or did I NOT get anything done in the house? Maybe it was Vin Diesel and the delivery of his lines (which I’m sure were unintentionally funny) or maybe it was the constant explosions that had me rushing over to the TV. Maybe it was the throaty Euro accent courtesy of the aforementioned Asia Argento that did it (it always does) but damn, what started out to be background filler, turned out to be a good excuse to put off changing that light bulb in my bathroom and rushing to the refrigerator to grab a Gatorade and an energy bar and grabbing a spot on my couch to watch some things get blown to shit and watch Vin snowboard down a FRICKIN’ AVALANCHE! Like, whoa!

For an action flick, xXx turned out to have the right balance of not taking itself too seriously, and relying on the charismatic Vin Diesel to carry the film through some of its more slow paced moments, the little that were present. The only part that killed the movie for me was listening to director Rob Cohen (in the commentary and featurettes) basically read too much into the movie’s purpose. Not the film’s purpose, the movie’s. There’s a difference. He made me feel like I’d been missing something, some message, and that made me feel a tad bit inadequate and shit, I have enough problems feeling inadequate to begin with, so I don’t need some director of popcorn fare pontificating the purpose and meaning of the film where a dude snowboards down a FRICKIN’ AVALANCHE! Pretty good action movie though.
THE EXTRAS

The following features can be found in the first DVD release of xXx: Director’s Commentary with Rob Cohen / xXx: A Filmmaker’s Diary / Featurettes: Building Speed: The Vehicles of xXx, Designing The World of xXx, Diesel Powered, Visual Effects How-To’s (with optional Filmmaker Commentary)

Starz’ On The Set – The Making of xXx: You’ve probably seen this about a million times (or at least skipped it channel surfing) and it’s your basic Starz On the Set documentary. If you can call it that.

Sneak Peak: xXx: State Of The Union: A brief, two or three minute making of peak at the upcoming sequel (now I know why this is re-released!) that will eventually make it to Starz as their “On The Set” documentary. Bummer.

Scene from xXx: State Of The Union: This scene did absolutely nothing to entice me into wanting to see the movie. The “scene” in question is no longer than a minute and a half long and is about as poor attempt at a teaser than I’ve ever seen. Except for that stripper in Vegas, but that’s a whole other story for a whole other article for a whole other time.

The Final Chapter: The Death of Xander: A mildly interesting short that presupposes what happened to Xander beyond the end of the movie, which at the end of the day just might be a half arsed explanation of why Vin is not starring in the sequel. If Vin winds up doing a sequel to the sequel, (what the hell do they call that? xXx: III?) they can always say, “…And he wasn’t really dead after all!”

Agent Shavers’ Gadget Presentation: The scene in xXx where Vin Diesel is presented with his new toys from the NSA, well, it’s pretty much done here but with the actor/comedian (and I use that term loosely) who plays Agent Shavers, Michael Roof, doing his schtick. Unfunny, lame stuff.

The End Credit Sequence: Raw & Uncut: Not much of a difference between what I saw in the flick, aside from some heavy making out. Yawn.

Storyboard Comparisons: Avalanche Scene and Drug Farm

Music Videos: HateBreed’s “I Will Be Heard” and Gavin Rossdale’s “Adrenaline”.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Ze Clinic’s final diagnosis is calling a spade a “spade”. Most of the features on this “all new” edition are categorized as major fluff and an advertisement for the upcoming sequel, which from what JoBlo says, is an X-Treme! downer. If you’re at all a fan of the existing edition of xXx, there’s no need to rush out on your dirt bike and pick up this new director’s cut; just sit your ass down on the couch, grab a Gatorade and get all X-Treme! with your friends watching your perfectly fine existing copy of the original edition. That is, unless you used it for X-Treme! target practice.
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