Looking Back at Pitch Black
Item logged: July 26th, 2003
Sourced from "PitcherBlacker.com"
In the ever ongoing fight to bring you something interesting to read while you surf, I uncovered a great new article at a really excellent website dedicated to Pitch Black and it's sequel.
The site is called "PitcherBlacker". Up at the site is a retrospective interview with a member of the crew of the original film, discussing some of the stuff that happened during production, and offering an insight into Vin as he was way back then when the original was being filmed here in Australia.
Here's an a little bit from that interview, and if you want to read the full thing - which I highly recommend - the link to get to the article can be found below.
Here's a little bit from the interview...
"It is always a bit of fun to meet Actors and then watch their careers either die or flourish... I can tell you that Vin was either loved or hated... a personality that due to it's strength will make people react in a similar fashion... personally I liked him... I thought he was polite, interesting and had a fabulous voice! He was a little bit troubled by his special contacts, we often had to have an optometrist on set to help him put them in... some thought that was a little demanding but I think I would do the same.
He had an strong inkling of "star" about him and would occasionally not do what the production office wanted him to do but my attitude has always been that unless you are an actor it is impossible to understand how and why they get to that place on set in front of the camera. I am not surprised to see him all over the place now and hope his head does not increase in proportion to his stardom.
The word was when Vin arrived that he was under the wing of the head of Interscope Films, who also owns the record company, and that they were grooming and directing him to where he now is... you would probably know a lot more than me."
A pretty interesting snippet I thought! Here's the link! Hope you enjoy the article. You might find you'll want to explore the site itself. It's well worth it.
Here's to hoping there will be more interesting news on Vin in the coming weeks.
Birthday Greetings from the fans to Vin!
Item logged: July 20th, 2003
For those of you who visited the site on the 18th, you probably saw the huge Birthday Greetings to Vin and his twin brother Paul on the Home Page. So you know that it was Vin's 36th Birthday that day.
If you visited anywhere from the 13th of July onwards, you would have known eXtremeDiesel was offering you a chance to send in an e-mail with a Birthday Greeting to Vin to have published on the site.
Well, I received 28 e-mails, not too bad, and pretty much everyone kept those e-mails brief. Thanks to everyone who said you love the site. That means a lot.
As I promised, your Birthday Greetings are now up.
Some of you said some very beautiful things. Hopefully, one day, Vin will visit and read them.
I've created a special page for the Greetings, click below to get there.
Thanks to everyone who participated!
New Article at VinXperience and Vin's 36th Birthday!
Item logged: July 13th, 2003
Sourced in part from VinXperience
There's a new article at VinXperience courtesy of DanistaBaby.
To check out the article, go to VinXperience, you can get their via the link on the Home Page of this site.
To give you a taste, the article concerns the soon to go into production Hannibal, which as you all know is Vin's baby. His favourite pet project.
The article talks about the salary he is hoping to draw, and the cost of the film in general, and describes Vin's hopes that the movie surpass James Cameron's incredible Titanic.
The article also offers a few interesting insights into Vin as a person.
Perhaps the biggest news of the month is Vin's 36th Birthday! Our beloved man of muscle and action soon turns the big three six. For those of you who haven't visited the VIN page on the site, our boys birthday is the 18th of July. So, as of today (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Vin has five days until his big bash.
If you'd like to send a birthday greeting to Vin, then send it via e-mail to email@example.com, and we'll post it on this page on the 18th.
You never know, Vin may cruise by the site one day and check out the greetings.
Any birthday greetings that we get past the 19th will not be included. Why the 19th? Well, Australia is one day ahead of the United States, and the UK and other northern hemisphere countries. So when it's the 18th up north, it's the 19th down south.
If you want to mail Vin your own birthday wish, then do so by all means, you just need to jump to the addresses provided on the VIN page and the GUESTS/E-MAIL page.
Vin's a fan
Item logged: May 25th, 2003
Are actors fans of other actors? Of course!
Just happens that Vin is a big fan of Dame Judi Dench.
While visiting London a few months ago, Vin saw Dame Judi perform in the play Breath of Life. After the show, he went backstage to see if he could see the actress in person, and tell her how much he loved the show. However, while this is sometimes possible with less A-list stars, it's not with a star of Dame Judi's stature. Vin was turned away at the door by some rather brave security guards!
Undaunted, Vin sent Dame Judi some flowers to show his respect for her work as an actress, and to basically just be a fan!
One Race Productions
Item logged: May 9th, 2003
I'm often amazed what you can find with a web search.
While answering mail from 'eXtreme Diesel' readers, and convincing yet another person that I'm not Vin Diesel, it occurred to me that running a web search on One Race Productions, Vin's production company, might turn up something that would give me an update for the site - since not a lot of news is floating about at the moment regarding Vin or his projects.
I was hoping to find an official website, but instead found something better. A website for Strays, which as any Vin fan knows, was Vin's first full length motion picture.
The site has been around since at least 2001, according to the entries in the Guestbook, and I'm a bit embarressed it's taken me this long to find it!
On the site is the report that the film will be released on DVD sometime in the near future. I'm afraid I have no idea if it has or has not to date, but I'll do some digging and see what I can come up with.
The site is simple, but very effective, with a lot of great stills and information from people who took part in the film's creation. For the fans, I highly recommend it. I have no idea if the Guestbook functions, as I made a post but couldn't find it when I went back in to see if it had worked. But even if the Guestbook doesn't work, the site is a lot of fun to explore.
I'm putting the link below, under this article, and also including it on the Homepage along with all the other links to official movie sites.
Home you enjoy having a look around strays.net.
Here's that link.
Murmerings from the Fans
Item logged: March 30th, 2003
I've come across a lot of interesting stuff since throwing myself back into updating this site on a regular basis. But even before I found the time again, I was receiving a LOT of messages and e-mails from people all asking me one big big question.
"Is Vin gay?"
Honestly, I don't know, but I doubt it.
In a recent article published in 'Details' magazine, a reporter made the insinuation, drawing on a number of stereotypes to support his question. He basically said to VIn "You have an incredible body, you're bald, you love to cut up the dance floor, and on top of all that you're a neat freak... can you blame people for wondering if you're gay?"
Vin shrugged the question off - which, by the way, is how he treats most questions regardless of their content. Apparently interviewing Vin is somewhat less painful than having your teeth extracted without pain killers.
Vin refused to comment on anything to do with his personal life - his sexuality, if he was dating, his family, even the identity of his Primary School.
Don't take that refusal to comment as confirmation! If you were famous would you want to dash the hopes of a section of the community whether they were male, female, gay or straight?
When asked if he was seeing someone, he hinted that he was, but that he would not talk about that person or reveal their identity. He also went on to say that in his position he's discovered he has to be careful. He can't just date. There's more to it [dating] since he became famous.
So, is he gay? Here's a snipit from a letter sent into me from a gay male fan.
"Is it true? I've heard Vin Diesel is gay!!! Can you confirm this for me? Have you seen anything anywhere that supports the rumour? It's just a rumour isn't it. Gay men could never be THAT lucky?"
To that one letter, and all the others, I say this: Charlie et al, I don't know. It's highly unlikely. He did date one of his FEMALE co-stars from The Fast and the Furious.
If he is, more power to him. But considering his time with Michelle, I don't think so.
But... IF our beloved Vin is gay, so what. He can still make great movies, and I'm sure he'll remain attractive eye candy for women everywhere for a few years to come.
Australian xXx Video and DVD Release
Item logged: March 25th, 2003
Australian fans need wait only a little longer.
The release date for 'xXx' on DVD and video is April 2nd!
Here's what you will get if you have a DVD player:
1. A commentary by the Director, Rob Cohen, which is pretty much a standard feature for any decently produced DVD release.
2. What every fan of a movie wants... extra footage. The film comes complete with deleted scenes that were edited out for one reason or another. Most of the time, those reasons are for one of two reasons: the picture is running over time, or the scenes effected the overall flow of the movie.
3. Something extra special. A Filmmaker's Diary which includes behind the scenes information in a special documentary.
4. A series of behind the scenes featurettes, including "Building Speed: The Vehicles of xXx" and "Diesel Powered".
5. A special look at some of the visual effects of the movie through the deconstruction of two effects sequences.
6. Finally, the Gavin Rossdale "adrenaline" music video.
Definately sounds like one for the collection. Who am I kidding? If you're here, you're a Diesel fan... so whether the movie sucked or not, it's gonna become part of your collection!
Only eight days to go, Australia!
I think that time can be spent with a Diesel marathon at home. You know, just to warm up to the 'take Diesel home' event of the year.
May I suggest: 'Fast and the Furious', 'Pitch Black', 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Boiler Room' and maybe 'The Iron Giant'. That takes up five of the nights!
xXx on Video and DVD
Item logged: December 25th, 2002
It's finally here in six days! Well, if you're in America at least!
On December 31st at the crest of the old year a brand new secret agent launches into our homes via way of DVD and video.
A few days ago I received an e-mail from a lady called Amy at Sony Pictures that said three magical words... "xXx is here."
And in DVD form it's going to be one to look out for.
Yes, Virginia, the DVD will have bonus footage! And it might even have deleted scenes!
Makes a fan's heart beat a little faster, don't it?
A Man Apart
Item logged: December 25th, 2002
Guess what! It's taken it's time but we finally have a website for the new Vin Diesel movie A Man Apart. You can get to the site either from the home page, where the links are at, or just click here! http://www.amanapartmovie.com/site.html.
Geeking and Knocking Around
Item logged: November 27th, 2002
By Jarryd - Original Source: CHUD and GEEK.COM
Is it true?
Geek.com (www.geek.com) reports that Vin Diesel is preparing to launch his own gaming company!
Any one who is a fan of the six foot plus Greek God has a good idea that deep down beneath that rough and muscled exterior lies a sensitive heart with a streak of geek. That's why we all love him, men and women alike - he's a bit more real than your average star, and a lot more like us - sans muscles perhaps!
Vin's new company will be called Tigon Games. The report from Geek.com states that Tigon will develop games that touch on all genres, and are more cinematic in scope. The games will also work for all top gaming platforms!
Vin has received some flack for this, and I spent some time reading the posts at Geek.com about VIn's new enterprise - they were interesting to say the least.
But, you know how it is, they'll either love you or shoot you down.
All the best Vin!
Now, about Knockaround Guys. I came across an interview with the writers and directors of the movie on a site I love to visit. CHUD (Cinematic Happenings Under Development - www.chud.com).
The interview was very compelling, and has me rethinking my stance on Knockaround Guys. If it comes to the Australian cinema I'll definately be seeing it now.
There are a few quotes about Vin from the site which I'll share below:
While talking about the actors they cast for the roles on screen, chat turned to Vin...
David Levien (writer/director): "...Vin was pretty easy in certain ways because his persona was perfect for the role."
Nick Nunziate (interviewer): "It's great for you guys because he probably won't be seen in a role like this again now that he's a leading man. This is a gritty supporting part and it's great to see this after stuff like xXx."
Brian Koppelman (writer/director): "He really does a great performance in the film. He's like the emotional center in a way. His character, you see the sadness in his eyes, this pain with the things he does."
David: "You don't see that often. He's not asked to do that in the big action movies. They want him to be larger than life, here he plays a real guy."
Item logged: November 22, 2002
By Jarryd - Original Source: VinXperience
Vin Diesel is MIA, and so is his most recent box office hopeful.
Knockaround Guys has wound up it's outting in the United States, and only just managed to cover it's production costs - for those of you unfamiliar with how the entertainment business works... that is not good news. If a film manages to cover it's costs, people aren't too pissed, but they're not usually terribly pleased either. Profit is of course the name of the game.
It's uncertain whether or not this will have an impact on Vin himself as an actor, and as someone who has the power to greenlight projects just by his reputation and box office drawing power.
If we break things down to their bare, basic facts, Vin does not have the drawing power of most A list stars, despite his somewhat excessive salery for xXx.
His only real hits can be considered The Fast and the Furious, which was only a hit because it was a surprise sleeper of a movie that defied the odds, and the recent xXx. Two films with good takings does not an A list actor make.
I doubt that the failure of Knockaround Guys will effect Vin's salery, especially when you consider the Pitch Black and xXx sequels, but it may effect his ability to get a favoured project off the ground. It's unlikely this will effect Hannibal though, if Ron Howard is indeed interested in directing the more than likely epic film. Ron Howard is on the A list, as a director, and his films are usually extraordinary in quality and execution. If Vin can guarantee Ron, then he can guarantee his fans Hannibal.
We'll just have to wait and see.
Item logged November 13th, 2002
By Jarryd - original source IMDB
I was running an eye over the site and realised I hadn't done a news hunt in a while, so I went for a trip to the entertainment news sites to see if anything had popped up about everyone's favourite intelligent and sensitive superguy trapped in a Greek God's body.
Surprise! There was. Then I read the article.
The article was fine, IMDB were just printing the facts... it was what was in the article that kinda got me clenching my fists in anger.
The article, which I shall reword, was focusing on two unnamed Hollow-wood executives who were having a go at Vin and his aspirations to be a serious actor, and to branch into Shakespeare.
A few weeks ago I logged a post at Vin Diesel Central on a forum topic that was focused on the types of movies we'd like to see Vin in. In that post I mentioned that I'd love to see Vin do Othello, because I think he'd be awesome as the title character. Whether they did it classically, or a'la Baz Luhrmann's brilliant modernised Romea and Juliet with Leonardo and Claire, I didn't care. A number of people agreed, and all of his fans who posted were keen to see Vin branch out from action movies into romantic comedy, drama, and anything else the talented actor felt like flexing those muscles at.
I guess the comments from the brainless suits running Hollow-wood, which you will read below, just go to show how imaginative (drips sarcasm) studio execs really are in that bastardised rat hole.
But enough of my acidic indignation. Here's the article, changed slightly to correct the odd typo and give it a flavour better suited to this site.
Vin Diesel is tired of making action movies, and the most important reason for this is that he would like to be taken seriously as an actor.
The star of a recent action blockbuster is concerned that Hollywood may have pigeon-holed him in the action genre. Vin would like to branch out into different films, including adaptations of the Bard, William Shakespeare.
One movie executive is quoted as saying: "He wants to be the next Tom Hanks." Another apparently added: "Maybe he can just go do Shakespeare in one movie and get it out of his system, like Keanu."
The news report went on to suggest that Vin would have to put those particular dreams on hold for a while, because he has a number of action flicks in the pipeline - including the sequels to Pitch Black and xXx.
The article also mentioned Vin's meeting with Nicole Kidman to work on a remake of the classic Guys and Dolls.
Personally, from this website designers opinion, Vin has plenty of time to make a few extra movies in between xXx2 and the next installment of The Chronicles of Riddick. It takes a lot of time to make a film, anywhere from three months to three years (if you're making Star Wars), but an actor isn't needed for that entire period.
Go Vin. Ignore the morons and show them just how talented you actually are. Isn't it funny how Hollywood has forgotten that Vin wrote, directed, acted in, and produced two films of his own - neither an action flick, and also performed on the stage prior to his break in Saving Private Ryan - which they also seem to have forgotten. Yeah, it was an action flick, but one with heart and excellent performances.
Breaking out of the action genre isn't going to be a problem for Vin, let's hope that eating their own words isn't too much of a problem for two Hollywood producers.
State of Flux
Item logged November 6th, 2002
Those of you who have been following Vin's career have heard of a project he filmed a little while ago called, initially, El Diablo. El Diablo of course went on to become This Man's Dominion. Well, the name changing didn't stop there.
This Man's Dominion has a new title, and we are told it will be it's last, and it has a release date!
A Man Apart will open in the United States on April 4th, 2003.
The film centers around the character of Sean Vetter, played by Vin. Sean's wife has been murdered, and he is doing everything he can to track down a notorious criminal nick named 'El Diablo' who may be responsible.
Vin also acts as an executive producer on the film.
When I know more, it'll be logged here in the News section.
Knockaround Guys Opens in the US...
Item logged October 16th, 2002
Vin's new movie, Knockaround Guys, opened in the US on the 11th of October.
Currently, according to internet reports from the various movie sites about, the film is anticipated to gross a little over $5,000,000 US in it's opening week.
It currently rests at number 9 in the lists of movies currently on show.
At the moment, I have no idea when Knockaround Guys comes to Australia, but as soon as I find out, it will be logged here on the News Page.
The film stars, apart from the obvious...
Seth Green - Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Oz, and Austin Powers' Scott
and Dennis Hopper!
The movie, as briefly as possible, is about the four sons of four major Brooklyn mobsters who attempt to retrieve a bag of money in Montana.
I'll watch it, because Vin is in it, and I really like Seth Green... but I'm thinking I might wait for it to come out on video or DVD... it's not really my cup of tea!
Sounds a little on the not too watchable side after being spoiled with some of Vin's past films - like Boiler Room and The Fast and the Furious. But, who knows, Vin might be able to save what sounds like a pretty dull premise.
xXx Opens Australia Wide...
Item logged: September 13th, 2002
Vin Diesel has returned to Australian Cinema Screens with his new film, xXx, which opened Thursday, September 12 nationwide to a great deal of expectation and hype.
It lived up to the hype, and I don't think anyone's expectations were disappointed.
Staggering out of the film with three friends, I turned to them and said "What did you think?" They know I'm a bit of a Vin Diesel fan!
Each of them began to effervese. A huge relief! I had been getting the feeling they'd come along just to humour me! I think Vin won three more fans after that film.
One of my friends said: "I saw the previews and wondered how they could fit that many explosions into one film... I can't believe it, but they fitted in MORE!"
That pretty much sums up xXx. One incredible, adrenalin packed scene after the other - and to my pleasant surprise there were fine acting performances, and an actual story!
Some of the stunts required total suspension of disbelief, but that just made it all the more of a ride!
Being a dirt bike rider and motocross enthusiast, watching Vin handle a dirt bike was fun. He said in an interview that he spent some time training up his motorbike riding skills to manage those stunts, which he himself wanted to perform the bulk of... well... it shows! A lot of the stunts on the bike are fantastic, and some are literally unbelievable! If you like any kind of extreme sport, like motocross, snowboarding, or parasailing, you won't be disappointed... the character of Xander Cage goes all out on all three.
Other high points...
The stunts are incredible, and very well executed
The music is fantastic, appropriately heavy and wild
The directing is very nicely done
The script was good but some of the dialogue didn't work as well as it could have - I'm sorry, Vin, but you don't carry off words like 'dude' terribly convincingly...
The editing was excellent
Asia Argento... SHE is incredible, I can't believe this is her first trip into blockbuster territory. It's obvious that the US Casting Directors need a good and savage kick to the head.
Not only is the woman beautiful, she can act, and she adds real dimension to a character which could have so easily become little more than window dressing.
Though it's not particularly newsie, I can't finish this item without giving praise to the man himself. Xander Cage is not just another secret agent, and he's more than a boarderline criminal one step ahead of the law. Vin layered him beautifully, and acted him brilliantly. There are scenes throughout the movie where you see that Vin holds this character up to three dimensional scrutiny. He layers him with emotional resonnance, and a spirited soul. If this film is meant to be a rebirth for secret agent movies, then bring it on. Cage has heart where Bond only really has... wisecracks.
Go see xXx, you won't regret it, and make sure you stay for the first half of the end title sequence... it's a visual treat!
Not just an act...
Item logged: September 13th, 2002
Sourced from: IMDB
Vin Diesel has been hailed a real-life hero by a lucky dad after the xXx star stopped to save a family from a car inferno. Vin pulled his motorcycle to the side of Hollywood's 101 freeway after a vehicle in front of him toppled over and burst into flames. Quick-thinking Diesel yanked the kids out of the backseat and then urged their dad to crawl out of the passenger door, while trying to keep the panicking driver calm. The whole family managed to escape the flaming vehicle before it was engulfed.