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Episode 156 - xXx: Return of Xander Cage: LIVE!

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I haven't finished listening to the episode yet, but whenever someone brings up these movies, I always think of this anecdote. I apologize in advance for some of the language used.

 

About three or four years ago I went to a "gentlemen's club" with a couple friends. It was a Thursday night, so I already knew their "A-Team" wouldn't be working. So, we get there, grab a drink, and kinda chill at the bar watching the show. About 15 minutes after we get there one of the dancers comes up to us. And she was like the epitome of a washed out stripper. Dyed blonde hair that was showing her dark roots, probably in her early 40s but her face looked like she "lived a lot" when she was young (if you get my meaning), and fake boobs. She also reeked of cigarettes and had that old-lady smoker voice. The one you get for smoking like two packs a day for your entire life.

 

She introduces herself as, no joke, "Triple X." I had to hold back the biggest snicker, because this was ridiculous. One of my friends immediately peaced out of this conversation and walked around the place. That left me and my other friend with her, and we talked with her for a couple minutes, because we're polite guys. Normal stuff like our names, what we do, how often we come (almost never), etc.

 

Then, I make the joke "Oh, your name is 'Triple X'? Like the movie?" This was the worst mistake I've ever made.

 

She replies, "Yeah, but only the good one."

 

In my head I thought, "Yes, the Vin Diesel one. Not the shitty Ice Cube one." Now, I've never seen the Ice Cube one. I just remember hearing it was crap.

 

She then says "You know, the one with Ice Cube." And then there was a pause. To which she followed up with, "You know Vin Diesel's a faggot, right?"

 

I pride myself on being a clever, quick person. I usually have some sort of quip or joke to make at any occasion. I was completely stunned. I looked at my friend who was also at a loss for words.

 

I think she got pissed we didn't laugh or agree with her, because after that she just said "Ugh, whatever," and walked away from us in a huff. It was honestly one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. She also came back up to me later, when I was alone waiting for my friends who were in the "VIP Room," and completely forgot that we had spoken before.

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I didn't actually get to see this movie so purely going off of what was discussed in the podcast - was Ruby Rose barely in this movie at all??? Like the only reason I would have gone to see it is for her being a total badass (because if we're going to talk about the most attractive person on screen it's her every time). So if she's not even really in it then I declare this movie to be traaaaaash!

She's in at least half of all scenes in the movie. I too was outraged they didn't talk about her in the podcast because she featured heavily but was barely mentioned.

 

Highlights: Ruby ambushes a bad guy by entering a scene via silks.

 

Ruby looks like she's going to sniper murder a lion but it turns out she's rather sniper wounding tourist hunters, who are then eaten by said lion.

 

Ruby also provides endless witty banter to accompany the infiltration scenes and single-handedly murders an entire Russian gang, accurately using the witty nicknames that Vin Diesel had given them seconds before.

 

At one stage she asks for permission to shoot a guy in the head because he looks like a douchebag.

 

Finally, Ruby also aggressively hits on Nina Dobrev.

 

I for one remain thrilled that Ruby is allowed to speak in her own accent. She was seriously one of the best parts of the film.

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Takeaways:

 

1. This movie made $100 million in Mainland China in 6 days. Such is the power (and awesomeness) of Donnie Yen. If you're new to Donnie Yen check out his scene in Hero.

 

2. Vin Diesel is King of the Douchebags and Zuckerberg is just like all the other douchebag nerds I've met.

 

 

3. "When did this turn into beautiful world?" and all I could think of was Devo's cathartic (and strangely prescient) masterpiece:

 

4. June must have been raised Catholic because 'eating-sushi-in-a-cinema' guilt sounds like a classic example of Catholic guilt

 

5. Does anyone know the clip they played at the end? There's music throughout so I couldn't tell what was happening.

 

I prefer the Futurama version of Beautiful World:

 

https://youtu.be/-7WGSaZUQwc

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I like that when Ice Cube saves the day, he is shown on top of a steel beam already inside the factory.

 

So that means: after 11 years, he finally gets that alarm signal. He gets Vin Diesel's car, drive to the factory like a madman, then, instead of busting through like the cavalry, he parks the car way outside, picks up the grenade launcher that he must keep in the trunk, runs to the factory, sneaks inside, finds a way to climb on some random steel beam and only then, he starts saving the day.

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Highlights: Ruby ambushes a bad guy by entering a scene via silks.

The beginning of that scene is her setting up the silks as a sniper's nest. It's fucking wonderful, and her in that scene is by far my favorite part of the movie. I haven't finished listening to the episode, but I can't believe they didn't mention her once, because she is fucking phenomenal (and, from what I hear, used MUCH better than she is in John Wick: Chapter 2).

 

Also, all this love for Nina Dobrev. I thought her character was boring and trying too hard to be the comic relief. That scene they played with her was soooo cringey and was the moment I got up to go get another beer from the concession stand.

 

I will say that I TOTALLY agree with their assessment of Toni Collette, though. I absolutely love her in everything she's in, and she really seemed to embrace the cheesiness of the movie, and her performance was all the better for it.

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I love that the ultimate proof that the CIA-NSA guy is the traitor is that he's not surprised enough. That's it. That guy has probably served his country for decades, but that one time, he did not look surprised. Traitor.

 

Also, terrorists attack a secret meeting and kill everyone but Toni Collette and that guy. The directors of the entire security community of the country are dead but two people, and the day after, no one cares where one of those is. Not being debriefed, not in protective custody, he's in a abandoned building in Detroit by himself and that's all right with everyone.

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The beginning of that scene is her setting up the silks as a sniper's nest. It's fucking wonderful, and her in that scene is by far my favorite part of the movie. I haven't finished listening to the episode, but I can't believe they didn't mention her once, because she is fucking phenomenal (and, from what I hear, used MUCH better than she is in John Wick: Chapter 2).

I might even have to see the new RE for her. I just love her so muh-huh-huch.

 

rjprmtjpg.gif

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"When did this turn into 'Beautiful World'?"

 

That is the sickest game I have ever heard, holy shit

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So, another podcast I really enjoy covered Saving Private Ryan this week. And they had a good conversation about Vin Diesel (for those who, like me, hadn't seen it in years, he's one of the company that goes to save Ryan). So, Diesel was cast as the role in Reindeer Games that eventually went to Donal Logue. Allegedly, he butted heads with John Frankenheimer about his character, which led to him being fired.

 

There are two versions of the story. In one, Frankenheimer asked Diesel to take his shirt off, and in another, he asked Diesel to wear just a muscle shirt. Depending on which story you believe, Diesel either said, "I only take my shirt off..." or "I only show my guns in a Vin Diesel film."

 

That story is most likely apocryphal, but I really, really, really want it to be true.

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Maybe all the HDTGM fans can pitch in and we'll get one of these for Jason for his birthday.

 

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Adam and Jason weren't wrong in assuming Vin picked out the wardrobe in this movie... This article/ interview with one of the stunt doubles, Cody Townsend, said when asked about how many sleeveless tees Vin has on set:

 

I’m guessing there isn’t a single shirt with a sleeve on set. Supposedly he chose the entire wardrobe for the movie, so we did our scene in white capri pants and a silver muscle tank…

 

http://www.tetongrav...ls-stunt-double

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First time, long time here. So since Zouks mentions that this takes place in our universe (a la the Coachella reference, and multiple references on the podcast to a Triple X and Fast and Furious crossover) here are my thoughts on XXX 3: Fast, Extreme and Furious(?)

 

XXX and Dominic Toretto have to team up to recruit Vin Diesel to help find the new XXX who is Eric Bana.

 

Or;

 

XXX and Toretto have to team up to rescue and recruit Vin Diesel because a new villain thinks that the actor Vin Diesel is the actual XXX and is constanly sending bad guys to kill him, but because he acted in the XXX movies he knowingly has the skills to defend himself so he's still alive when he meets the other two.

 

Or;

 

The whole thing is a Jacobs Ladder scenario where in the first XXX when he jumps the bike over that building that explodes, the rest of the movie and all the sequels after are his "dream" right before he dies from the explosion.

Still fleshing out why the second movie wouldn't be about him but I'm just spitballin' here.

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Just on a physics thing, even on the zero gravity planes NASA uses to train, you only get about 30 seconds of zero g's per dip. This film has them being weightless for about 10 minutes also any sort of fighting in zero g's is super ineffectual because you don't have any force behind you.

 

I was under the impression that they "explained" this through the plane being in a constant nose dive and that they were shooting guns, pushing off the wall, and that fire extinguisher trick is how they moved around. Granted I'm not a physics expert.

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I worked on this film (music department) - this podcast was awesome! It's really fun to hear how people reacted to scenes & sequences, and what they do and don't remember about the movie and what they took away from it.

 

It's also funny as hell listening to them try and come up with reasonable explanations to things in the film that were intentionally over-the-top and ridiculous and never had any reasoning behind them.

 

And thanks to the guy a few posts back who correct the audience member about the Neymar clip. That was my only gripe with the whole podcast was how wrong that audience guy was about which game the clip was from.

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And thanks to the guy a few posts back who correct the audience member about the Neymar clip. That was my only gripe with the whole podcast was how wrong that audience guy was about which game the clip was from.

giphy.gif

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Ok so, I have a bit of a running gag with my freind that Vin Deisel is possibly the most closeted gay man in history and is just trying to compensate by being the worlds biggest bad-ass, but his dress sense keeps betraying him.

 

We sat watching the first 20 minutes of the new XXX and Xander comes on screen and my freind says "Holy shit he's in a Right Said Fred costume!"

 

So I typed in Right Said Fred to google and absolutely no shit whatsoever, the bottom image is the first image that came up...

 

2lw0s9h.jpg

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Love this ep and can't wait for the obligatory Fate of the Furious episode later this year...

 

Also the guys were 100% correct when they said that Vin Diesel was on the editing room for xXx: Return of Xander Cage... This 2 videos are proof of that

 

i didn't get to see this one but Denzel saw some of it and i think he liked it:

 

 

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"I did not realize he was an extreme sport..."

 

Oh, June. You are perfect in every way.

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So first when Vin Diesel confronts Toni Collette's character about taking the device she says she wants to use it to have 24/7 surveillance of all the countries in the world. The device has been set up to have no function but to hijack and immediately cause the satellites to crash. If the device is capable of accessing all the satellites to spy on everyone in the world why isn't the NSA guy using it for that purpose in the first place. I get that it wouldn't be as exciting or ridiculous but wouldn't a plot of a guy exposing political secrets every day be kind of timely.

 

Second a big plot line in the movie was wether to sell/give away the device or to destroy it but they spend no time explaining who created the device and wether or not it could be replicated immediately after it was destroyed. Why when the NSA has there meeting are they holding onto it to show it off, shouldn't they have it down in a lap with a bunch of IT guys figuring out how the fuck it worked?

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So first when Vin Diesel confronts Toni Collette's character about taking the device she says she wants to use it to have 24/7 surveillance of all the countries in the world.

 

What scene are you talking about? Toni Collette never says that, but wondering what scene you think it was in? Are you talking about after they arrest Donnie Yen's character?

 

Also that's not an NSA meeting where Toni holds up the device. And Nina Drobev's character (the IT support) does later disassemble it which is how she learns that it's a prototype.

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With all the talk of everyone's extremely limited skills, I thought of the xXx team as being similar to the GI Joe toys. After the first couple years, each character became increasingly specific with their abilities and how that translated to the battlefield. There was even a figure named Dee Jay who was a literal DJ.

deejay2.jpg

 

I know Hollywood can be incredibly ageist and sexist when it comes to casting actresses who are over 25, but the age gaps for Vin Diesels love interests in this movie are beyond insane.

 

The age differences

 

Nina Dobrev - 21 years

Deepika Padukone - 19 years

Hermione Corfield (British Chick)- 25 years

Ariana Arevalo (village girl from the beginning)- 25 years

 

Just throwing it out there that Deepika Padukone is 31 not 19. Vin is 49. So, a huge age difference but it seems practically acceptable considering the next oldest woman was 25.

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Just throwing it out there that Deepika Padukone is 31 not 19. Vin is 49. So, a huge age difference but it seems practically acceptable considering the next oldest woman was 25.

 

I listed the age differences, not the actresses ages Deepika is 31 ( sorry I originally googled her age as 30) Vin is 49 hence 18 years. The youngest two of the women who for some reason want to fuck Vin are actually 23.

 

It is also a pretty big difference when you consider that at least in the F&F the age gaps are a little better, 11 years with Michelle Rodriguez and 9 years with Elsa Patakay.

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