Tag: Vin Diesel

Cronkite, the action hero + more

As at least a large chunk of America mourns the passing of Ted Kennedy, today is a day when we honor William Faulkner’s phrase: “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.”

* Did you know that the late Walter Cronkite stumbled into a den of Colombian narco-terrorists? The result was that a few years later the most trusted man in America gave testimony before a Florida jury. No surprise, a major conviction resulted. Now, as Michael Fleming tells it, international thrillmeister Luc Besson wants to turn Uncle Walter into a movie action hero, or something close. Interesting.

* Great news for those of us who are involved with cinema’s past here in Southern California. The endangered film program of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been given a $150,000 reprieve.

* Something tells me that maybe Vin Diesel is taking that Faulkner quote a bit too seriously. Does anyone want XXX III?

* Martin Anderson of Den of Geek wonders about the future of Blu-Ray in general and a newer superduper 3-D compatible version being tied to “Avatar.”  He’s right about the still-problematic nature of at least some of the glasses and the fact that we quickly forget we’re even watching 3-D after the first few minutes, so there’s a point of diminishing returns for the viewer which might prevent folks from making the large initial investment in the technology. For me, I love 3-D as a novelty for certain kinds of movies, but I really don’t think we need it to become standard. Having 3-D available to me at home would almost defeat the purpose and ruin the fun.

* More deaths: Writer turned film producer turned diarist Dominick Dunne (h/t David Hudson) and widescreen/large format pioneer, Panavision cofounder, cinematographer, and director Richard Moore.

Producers of “Fast and Furious” do open audition for models. This should be interesting.

From the Careful What You Wish For Department, the producers of “Fast and Furious” are launching a modeling contest. Send them your sexiest photo, and the winner will receive their choice of a professional modeling session or $5,000. Sounds awesome, right? A bunch of hardbodies will surely put their talents on display in the hopes of getting their big break, right?

Well, yes, but remember the age in which we live; the one where everyone thinks they’re entitled to be famous, and no one has friends who love them enough to stop them from doing something potentially humiliating that will live on the Internet forever and ever. We browsed through a gaggle of the contestants in the “Fast and Furious” contest, and sure enough, there are both smoking hot candidates and girls who have a wildly exaggerated sense of self. This does not mean that we’re saying the women in this latter category are ugly. (Well, some of them are.) In fact, most of the girls who have submitted photos are very attractive, but that alone does not make them model material. Odds are, the woman who wins this contest is already a professional model. That’s how competitive this business is.

Still interested in submitting a picture? Excellent, but before you do, you would be wise to learn from the examples of the other women who have already entered, and will certainly lose. In an attempt at performing some kind of public service, we would like to offer a few tips to consider before shooting the picture that will change your life.*

– Wearing less isn’t necessarily sexier than wearing more. It’s all in how you frame the package.
– Pulling down your bikini top and covering your nipples with masking tape isn’t sexy. It’s creepy.
– Cover up the tattoos, or risk alienating three out of every four people on the planet.
– Choose your background and pose carefully. Megan Fox may have looked hot bent over the car engine in “Transformers,” but she’s Megan Fox, and you’re not.
– You can have the hottest body in the world, but it won’t matter if you aren’t pretty.
– Being hot is not the same as being pretty.
– If we can’t see your face, we’re going to assume you’re hiding something.
– Don’t pose on a stripper pole, or in a position that suggests Ron Jeremy is about to enter the room from stage left. This is a modeling contest, not a porno audition.
– Fishnets are for catching fish.
– Animal prints look better on animals.
– Don’t even think about chains.
– Hats? Really? Look at that girl up there. She is smoking hot. But what part of the picture are your eyes drawn to? Yep, the hat.
– Take off the sunglasses. If your eyes are red from being hung over or stoned, today is not the day to take the picture.
– No one likes stringy hair.
– For God’s sake, smile.

Still think you’ve got what it takes? Then go here and show off your stuff. Good luck, and may you post a picture that will make your children proud. Because they’ll see it one day, you know that, right?

*- It probably won’t change your life. At least not in a good way.

Babylon A.D

Vin Diesel is one of those guys that wants to be a more prestigious actor than he has the ability to be, but while an Oscar will probably forever remain out his grasp, he’s still one helluva action star, and it’s in fare like “Babylon A.D.” where he shines the brightest. Taking place in a not-too-distant future, the film stars Diesel as Toorop, a mercenary who accepts a job escorting a young woman (a less-than-impressive Melanie Thierry) from Russia to America with the promise of his freedom in exchange. What Toorop doesn’t realize is that the girl in question is a little special, and in order to protect her from those looking to exploit her abilities, he must safely transport the girl to New York City before anyone gets in the way.

Babylon A.D.

For all of the noise surrounding the release of “Babylon A.D.” – which was fueled by director Matheiu Kassovitz’s public disownment of the film after 20th Century Fox went all Harvey Scissorhands on it – it’s really not as terrible as you’d expect. Still, nearly 50 minutes of footage was excised from Kassovitz’s cut, and from the looks of things, a lot of it came from the final act. The ending is one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time, and apart from the fact that it doesn’t really make any sense, it feels incredibly rushed, as if the cast and crew had more important places to be. There’s really no telling how much better the film might have been had the studio let the director make the film he wanted to make, but it couldn’t have been any worse. As it stands, “Babylon A.D.” is still a mediocre sci-fi actioneer with similarities to recent entries in the genre like “Children of Men” and “Serenity.” Unfortunately, you’d be better off just watching those instead.

Click to buy “Babylon A.D.”

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