XXX is commonly used to designate a pornographic movie. The Motion Picture Association of America, which administers movie ratings (G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17), doesn't have an XXX rating. They recently changed the X rating to the tamer NC-17. Furthermore, I believe that the MPAA has a trademark on the movie ratings, and would likely sue the studio into submission if they used an X-Rating without going through the expensive process of earning an X. So, instead, the studio slaps three X's in the name of the movie, and everybody can pretty much figure out that its not gonna be a Disney flick.

XXX is also seen in cartoony depictions of alcoholic beverages -- especially on the moonshiner's clay jug. Each X refers to each time the alcohol is run through the still. If you run it through three times, your alcohol usually ends up in the 150proof (75% ethyl alcohol) area (depending on the source, of course). XXX and XXXX moonshine will likely kill you. Not only does the alcohol dehydrate any cell it comes into contact with, but a true moonshine still was probably cobbled together from short pieces of copper tubing that were soldered together with lead. Three or four passes of high-grade alcohol will leach quite a bit of lead out.

This could be the source of the moonshiner stereotype. The old man sitting on his front porch, sipping from a little brown jug of hooch, shooting at the neighbors was probably drunk, dehydrated, and also dain bramaged.

Thanks to Robert Warren's page on alcohol stills. His still makes alcohol for fuel, where you NEED XXX or above. He wouldn't think of drinking it, even after mixing it 50/50 with fruit juice. http://journey_to_forever.tripod.com/CD/ethanol_robert4.html

xref = X = xyzzy

XXX /X-X-X/ n.

A marker that attention is needed. Commonly used in program comments to indicate areas that are kluged up or need to be. Some hackers liken `XXX' to the notional heavy-porn movie rating. Compare FIXME.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

xXx

XXX is a film directed by Robert Cohen (the director of The Fast and the Furious, The Skulls, Dragonheart, and many others) and released in 2002. It is a spy thriller that plays with past films of the genre, and updates it to the Playstation playing, Mountain Dew drinking, extreme sports fan teenagers of today. Sounds like a recipe for a really horrible movie to you?

Surprisingly, the movie works. It's consistent with itself, and the stunts are great. The movie focuses on Xander Cage, alias Triple X, an underground activist who makes videos of himself sticking it to the man and doing extreme stunts at the same time, finally being "recruited" into the NSA as a new undercover agent. The stunts are to keep the kiddies watching his propaganda machine, presumably. This character is played by the truly charismatic Vin Diesel, who has a lot of fun with the role. His presence dominates this film, which is good. He elevates the movie above the mediocrity it would otherwise have been, with an average at best script, and paint by numbers storyline.

Some credit is due to the team who assembled this film, as some of the stunts are very impressive. None of them felt "CG", although many of them were clearly out of the realm of physical possibility. As Triple X goes on a typical James Bond adventure, he finds ways to work all manner of "extreme sports" into his escapades. It sounds ridiculous, but it feels very consistent with the character, and is really done in an enjoyable manner, with a good sense of humor. At one point in the film, Xavier gets asked where he learned to handle a gun. His response, (paraphrased, I don't remember the sentence exactly), was "I used to play a lot of first person shooters."

The movie is not without its flaws. The chase scenes seem slowly paced compared to the rest of the movie, which is surprising considering this is done by the director of The Fast and the Furious. Also, the sheer over the top nature of so much of the action can be a little distracting, but you came to see this movie for that, didn't you?

Aside from Vin, there are great supporting performances, such as XXX's replacement for James Bond's M, Agent Gibbons, played by the ever-cool Samuel Jackson. The love interest of this movie is played by stunningly beautiful Asia Argento, in what is I believe her first performance in a film produced in the USA. I expect we'll be seeing more of her.

Overall, I think I saw this movie summarized best elsewhere. "You get what you take into it." If you're ready for an unapologetically over the top action film, or you really enjoy Vin Diesel, this will be a very fun popcorn movie. Those seeking cerebral stimulation would best search elsewhere. The movie is as filled with cliches as this review. You have been warned!

THE AGING SORTA SKATER ACTION MOVIE GEEK REVIEW

Sure, the trailers make it look like yet another pathetic James Bond remix, but one thing pulled me off the couch and down to the mall to watch this movie - Vin Diesel. As I've said before, Vin is the new Arnie, and for those of us who miss stupid action movies with hulking musclemen tossing badguys off bridges with corny taglines, Vin Diesel is The Man. Who else do we have? Ever since T2, the Terminator himself has turned out nothing but clunkers. Stallone seems to think that he's qualified to make serious movies. And James Bond is still James Bond, but Bond movies only come out once every four years. We need Diesel. We need guys who don't mind kicking ass in utterly stupid movies every year or so, as long as they can do it with style. And Vinnie's got style. He's got all kinds of style.

"xXx" is, as predicted, a stupid movie. I knew that all along. What I was hoping for was something stupidly cool, and not just stupid. This was. "xXx" is a great Arnie movie. Is it the new James Bond, as it sort of wants to be? Dude, you gotta take it easy with that crack. There will never be a new James Bond. James Bond is forever. As long as they can maintain a ratio of two out of every three Bond movies being cool, Bond has nothing to worry about. But anyway, "xXx" was pretty cool.

But it could have been cooler. It was good, but it sort of lacked that special something - you know, that great "third nipple" effect. The bad guys were bad enough, the stunts were hyper cool, the photography was mostly beautiful, the sets would not have seemed out of place in a 007 flick, and in a welcome change from the almost endless stream of hyperkinetic Matrix wannabes, even the editing was nice and smooth. Some of the shots actually lasted more than two seconds. Yes, this is important, especially in a movie that wants to imitate 007, the king of action movie style. Nobody - not Arnie, not Jet Li, not BRUCE Lee Himself - looks cool with that hyper editing. Dude, did Bruce speed up the film and then do some fucking time-lapse shit so his kicks would be faster? No, man, he S L O W E D it down. So you could see the kicks.

So anyway, yes, it was all pretty good. But it could have been better.

Xander Cage (Diesel) is some sort of superanarchist and extreme sports god. When we first meet him, he is stealing some right-wing Senator's sportscar, so he can drive it off an extremely tall bridge, jumping out halfway down and parachuting down after it. The exploit, along with an extended introduction to the Senator's career in censorship, is then Webcast from Xander's lady friend's underground site. Then X has a huge party for all his fans. Basically, this is a guy who hates rules. My kinda guy.

So why does he turn around so quickly when Samuel Jackson, here representing the ultimate "Do it for your country" Tom Clancy spy, asks him to become a secret agent? I mean, sure, they argue a little. And later on, Vinnie has this one line, "Griffin, if you're going to send somebody to save the world, make sure they like it the way it is." But that's it. Right after that little outburst, he goes back to being Secret Agent Man again. WTF, man? There could have been a great conflict going on between these guys. At the very least, Vinnie could have somehow cleverly subverted part of Sammie's plans towards the end - maybe smuggled the girl into the US or exposed some black ops or something. What happened to anarchy? Oh, yeah, that's right. Hollywood isn't allowed to show true anarchists as heroes. For a minute there, I thought this movie had integrity.

But never mind. I know you guys don't give a shit about my political views. You want to hear about the stunts, right? Well, yeah, it's true. The stunts totally kick ass. We've got some gunfights, some weird chases including several with bikes, the obligatory Matrix bullet-dodging scene with a missile instead of a bullet, and three or four totally fucking over the top drop-dead fucking beautiful 007-style set pieces. A couple of the bike stunts are physically impossible and only a stoned monkey would call them convincingly done, but most of the others more than make up for it. Especially the set pieces. In one of these, you've got xXx on a snowboard, outrunning an avalanche. That's right. I can't tell you how hard this rocks.

I rate "xXx" like this:

  • STUNTS, GENERAL - 9 out of 10 on the Arnie Scale.
  • STUNTS, MOTORCYCLE - 1 out of 5 on the Mad Max Scale.
  • STUNTS, GUNFIGHT - 8/10 on the Recalibrated Die Hard Scale.
  • STUNTS, BLATANT JAMES BOND SET PIECE RIPOFFS - 10. Has two of the all-time best.
  • PYROTECHNICS - ISO 9047-Alpha Compliant.
  • WARDROBE - 9 out of 10 on the Matrix Scale.
  • BABES - Hell yes - even one hooker who has nothing to do with any other element of the story. When was the last time Hollywood gave us gratuitous hookers?
  • SAMUEL JACKSON FACTOR - 7. Better than Shaft, but not even close to Pulp Fiction.
  • VIN FACTOR - 8. Strangely restrained, probably because of capitalist sellout Hollywood directors who wouldn't know an anarchist from a dadaist fucking clown. Um, yeah. Anyway, he's still Vinnie.


THE REVIEW FOR SERIOUS FILM LOVERS

Comparing "Vanilla Sky" to "Abre los Ojos" is almost like comparing - no, wait, we're doing that one tomorrow. Or not at all. Fuck off, serious film lovers. The rest of you, go check out Vinnie in his latest. The tattoos are killer, and for a change, the music is almost seriously hard. Dude, the opening song is Rammstein's "Feuer Frei". What more do you want?


AHEM. I can't believe I have to point this out, but the above review was written "in character", as a writing experiment. Notice where it says "The Aging Sorta Skater Action Movie Geek Review"? That's the character. I had the idea of writing a whole series of film reviews in different voices. I was actually going to do "Abre los Ojos", which is one of the better movies I've seen in the last few years, as one of the other reviews. Unfortunately, I never got around to continuing the series, and "xXx" is the only one I did. Little did I realise that a few years down the road, my review would be taken at face value, and the line "fuck off, serious film lovers" would be quoted in a writeup about seriously stupid movie reviews. Mea culpa, guys. This wasn't meant seriously. "xXx" really is a fair good brainless action movie, but please don't go thinking that the Aging Sorta Skater Action Movie Geek is me. He is the Dark Side of Internet movie reviews, the Amazon.com Top 100 reviewer who knows nothing at all about film. I would hate to think that was anything like me. That is all.

Also the written representation of Metafemale Syndrome, where an extra X chromosome is inherited from one of the parents. XXXX is also a possiblility, and is called poly-x. In both cases the woman is almost completely phenotypically normal, but is disposed to be taller and slimmer than average. Comparable to the effects of XYY syndrome in men. Only one X is active for each cell (though which may vary in different body parts), the other one, two, or three are inactive and are refered to as barr bodies.

XXX

In the U.K. at least, XXX is traditionally written at the end of a letter to a close friend or to loved ones to represent kisses. It would be quite rude to send a Birthday or Christmas card that was devoid of the obligatory XXX, and most people have an XXX addition to their signature for such occasions.

It is common for family tiffs to begin a spate of kiss ranking, where less than the statutory three X's can be seen as a slight. By the opposite reasoning a single solitary X is sometimes used between lovers to express a singular well considered and intended kiss, rather than the implied production line of air kisses.

A variation on the xxx symbol from Canada includes the addition of O's to apparently represent hugs like so: XOXOX. Whether the X symbol marks the spot on the paper where the kiss was planted, or it is a vague attempt at expressing the sound of a peck on the cheek, is unclear. personally the three little Xs bring boyhood memories of the over enthusiastically puckered lips of aged aunties to mind. The tradition of XXX persists in email and text messages, even though the inclusion can cause over zealous spam filters to ensure that the message is never received. I have heard unconfirmed rumour that certain primitive spell checkers had a nasty tendency to convert the string 'xxx' into 'expect sex' with disastrous consequences if the letter to granny got sent without the change being noticed.

Tifrap XXX

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