xXx: State of the Union (2005) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Action
Sony || PG13 - 101 minutes - $28.95 || August 12, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-08-12


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Lee Tamahori
Writer(s): Rich Wilkes (characters); Simon Kinberg (written by)
Cast: Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Peter Strauss, Xzibit


Theatrical Release Date: April 29, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director & Writer Commentary
  • Visual Effects Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bullet Train Breakdown
  • From Convict to Hero: The Making of xXx: State of the Union
  • Top Secret Military Warehouse
  • xXx: Ice Cube
  • BD-Live


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

Things I would rather do then watch xXx: State of the Union ever again: Watch Hannah Montana 3D... in 3D. Sit through a marathon session of "Nilbog! It's goblin spelled backwards!" Troll 2. Listen to a Lindsay Lohan album... backwards. Yes, the film is that bad.

Ice Cube stars as Darius Stone - the new xXx after Xander Cage dies in the first film. In the sequel to the box office smash, Darius helps prevent the assassination of the President from the evil General George Deckert (Willem Dafoe). To be honest with you, I was so bored by this film (bad acting and storyline) I couldn't even muster enough strength to care what was going on. I'm not alone on this either - it has a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Where to start... Let's go with the acting. Ice Cube is an absolute joke and this film only goes to prove that I do not like him at all. Is he supposed to be some sort of bad ass because to me, he appears to whine in almost every scene he is in. The dialog is so cheesy I felt like I watching some Sci-Fi channel original movie….and that's not a good thing. He is here to collect a paycheck – nothing more, nothing less and same goes for Samuel L. Jackson (Jumper, Snakes on a Plane) who is even worse than Ice Cube! What's going on here? Did the American public actually want to see this? Thankfully the answer is no. It barley topped $25 million. Phew

I've had to endure my fair share of bad movies, but xXx: State of the Union just plain sucks. After the crapfest that was the first xXx was there really a need for a sequel? How about a sequel that does not include the big reason the first one was a *shudder* success? Well, State of the Union throws away most of what made the first xXx a mediocre film and gives us a poor storyline with Ice Cube, another rapper turned actor.

What boggles my mind is was it really necessary for Sony to release this on Blu-ray when there are many other films deserving High-Def treatment? When this film and several others (Half Past Dead, Maximum Risk) were announced for Blu-ray many people groaned and wondered if these were destined for the Wal-Mart Blu-ray dump bin in the near future.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in SD.

Commentary with Director Lee Tamahori and Writer Simon Kinberg – Watching the movie once was bad enough but another two times? First up is a very dry commentary that I was instantly bored with - much like the film.

Commentary (Visual Effects) – A much more expansive commentary details many of the special effects used in the film and is actually a pretty great listen. Better than the movie? Yes!

BD-Live – At the time of reviewing the service is not yet up. I can only assume it will be like every other BD-Live disc which lets users with Profile 2.0 players the ability to download trailers for upcoming Blu-ray and Theatrical releases.

Deleted Scenes – A collection of deleted scenes that were cut for time.

Bullet Train Breakdown - A glimpse at how the final scene was created via computers.

From Convict to Hero: Making of xXx: State of the Union - An extremely long look at nearly every aspect of the film. If I enjoyed the movie it would probably be great...

Top Secret Military Warehouse – A look at the production of building some of the elaborate sets used in the film.

xXx: Ice Cube – Straight from the bad actors mouth is why he chose to be in this film. Easy: $.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

xXx: State of the Union is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB disc. For such a crappy movie the picture quality is quite good. Considering the film is only a few years old it’s not that surprising, but still. Colors are vibrant and while some the CGI effects look a bit too fake now in HD, it’s not that bad.

Sony has crafted a decent English (and French) Dolby 5.1 TrueHD track that really makes this crappy movie seem just a little bit better. Explosions sound great and the numerous action sequences are sure to keep you entertained.



.::OVERALL::.

One of the worst movies of 2005 comes to Blu-ray and unless you are a huge xXx fan I couldn't recommend this film. While it may have impressive picture and audio quality - it’s simply littered with poor acting and a stupid storyline that makes this dud a skipper.