Car Review: 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium

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As the world at Cadillac continues to evolve, the expectations from buyers will also come to expect dynamic new products, which have to be the goal for any luxury car nameplate. The all-new Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium was delivered to us at Bullz-Eye for a week of testing and admiration for what should be the new direction of Caddy and a shot across the bow at her competitors. Developed on an all-new, lightweight rear-drive architecture, the ATS reflects a new expression of Cadillac’s Art & Science execution philosophy, centered on a foundation of driving dynamics and mass efficiency. Germany ’s famed Nürburgring served as one of the key testing grounds, along with additional roads, race tracks and laboratories around the globe, where ATS engineers balanced performance with Cadillac’s trademark refinement.

EXTERIOR

The 2013 Cadillac ATS interprets Cadillac’s Art & Science design language in a new proportion, tailoring the signature styling and refinement cues for the most compact Cadillac while upholding and advancing the exemplary attention to detail and technological elements for which the brand is known. Although the 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium skin doesn’t stand out all that much from the CTS, it’s clear that this new Cadillac was designed for performance over everything else. A long, 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase and wide front/rear tracks are the cornerstones of the ATS’ firmly planted stance, which is enhanced by short overhangs and taut sheet metal that appears to wrap tightly around the tires. 17-inch wheels are standard and 18-inch wheels are available.

Bold, vertical lighting elements, including new LED front signature lighting detail and illuminating door handles and active grille shutters, lend technologically advanced style and function to the ATS. The luxury feel of the exterior is clearly enhanced with the lighting from all angles of the ATS, including the sleek door handles. The grille shutters close at certain highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance fuel economy. High-intensity discharge headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting made our driving experience that much better. Exterior colors include: Radiant Silver Metallic, Black Raven, Black Diamond Tricoat, Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Thunder Gray ChromaFlair, Opulent Blue Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic, Silver Coast Metallic and Summer Gold Metallic. Our test model looked incredible in Black Diamond Tricoat that somehow looked as clean after a week as it did on day one.

INTERIOR

After taking in the striking good looks of the 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium’s body, Cadillac really needed a top-notch cabin to keep the first impression strong, and they delivered with a morello red combined with a jet black hand-crafted cut and sewn interior seating that was off-the-charts good. A driver focused interior with integrated technology and crafted materials complements the exterior elements and supports the ATS’ driving experience. Everything from the placement of the pedals to the position of the shifter is designed for effortless and intuitive performance driving. Available performance seats have power-adjustable bolsters to optimize lateral support during high-load cornering. Contributing to the interior’s intuitive feel is an instrument panel that wraps into the doors and a center stack in the mid-instrument panel that flows into the center console.

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How to Get Your Pad to Seduce the Ladies for You

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Well, you’ve done it. You’ve gotten Rebecca, the cute girl from accounts payable, on a date. Things are going great. So great, in fact, that you two are on your way back to your place. Your roommate is out of town and you’re work phone is off. Now there’s nothing to interrupt your alone time. Just as you get open the door, you remember—even though you’ve been out of college for a few years, your apartment has hardly changed. Right when you walk in, the feeling of embarrassment rushes over you. There’s a dirty sock on the TV (how did that get there?), a few empty beer bottles on the coffee table, and…oh no, you still have that Halo poster above your bed? And her face says it all—yep, she hasn’t seen a man live like this since her high school boyfriend.

Suffice to say, she’s not staying long.

IF you have ever experienced this, or fear that this could be you, it’s time to grow up and create an environment that will reflect your cool, refined personality. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way.

Ditch the Posters

Farwell to the videogame and beer posters stuck to the wall with thumbtacks and tape. There is nothing wrong with liking beer or video games, in fact, playing Grand Theft Auto while guzzling down a Bud kicks ass. But just as the Dos Equis Guy doesn’t always drink beer, you don’t always play video games on the couch in sweat pants. Don’t make it seem that way.

Check out some cheap framed prints here. They have everything from sports, cityscapes, and yes…beer and videogames.

Keep it clean and organized

Since you have a closet and a dresser, you probably think you’re organized. But when your socks overflow out of drawers and somehow the dirty clothes are getting mixed in with the clean, it’s time for a change. Instead of waiting until you’re all out of clean clothes, do laundry in manageable amounts. While you’re at it, invest in a clothing rack (click here) and organizers so you don’t have to revert to grouping items into “clean” and “not-so-clean” piles. This will cut down on the amount of clutter (not to mention smell).

If you have the disposable income and can’t seem to get yourself disciplined, there’s never any shame in hiring a cleaning lady.

Get rid of the spotlight

You ever notice how most restaurants that brand themselves as ‘intimate’ or ‘romantic’ don’t have the same lighting as Waffle House? There’s a reason for that. Using varied lighting sources will give your space a more diverse, intimate feel. Multiple sources and dimmers are perfect. Remember, the key is not to make her feel like she’s escaping Alcatraz and has a spotlight on her, but it shouldn’t be so dark that she feels like she’s in solitary confinement.

Keep a full bar and your fridge stocked

While ‘come up for a cup of coffee’ hardly ever means drinking coffee, sometimes it actually does. But what if it’s too late for coffee? Your best bet is to have a variety of beverages stocked at all times. I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you think about it logically, it makes sense. The first thing you normally do when a guest arrives is ask them if they would like something to drink—we do this because we would like them to comfortable. And what do you know, thirst is at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (along with sex and basic human needs).
Make sure to keep a variety of choices—juice for the healthy type, tea for the earthy chick, hard liquors for getting a little loose, and bottled water for those that think they’re too good for tap water.

While some factors in the art of seduction may be out of reach, bettering your homestead should not be one of them. If you have a face for radio, engineering a comfortable and inviting environment can be a tremendous advantage the next time you’re having people over. Who knows, maybe you can entice Rebecca over for a steak dinner and let her see how you’ve changed. If the damage has already been done, you’ll at least be ready for the next time the opportunity presents itself.

  

Miley Cyrus channels Jim Carrey

Miley Cyrus served up one of the lamest performances in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards, with many on the web suggesting that her look was inspired by this classic Jim Carrey skit. Check out more Miley jokes here.

  

Blu Tuesday: The Great Gatsby, Pain & Gain and More

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on Facebook and Twitter with your friends.

“The Great Gatsby”

WHAT: Bond salesman Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) gets pulled into the extravagant world of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) when he rents a small house on Long Island next to the reclusive millionaire’s lavish mansion. But Gatsby has ulterior motives for befriending Nick – he’s in love with his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), who’s currently trapped in a loveless marriage with wealthy socialite Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).

WHY: If you ever wondered what a bad movie starring good actors looks like, then you’ll want to check out this disastrous adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Though Warner Bros. tried to put a positive spin on the film’s delay, it’s pretty clear why they decided not to release it during awards season like originally planned: it’s a boring mess. The only thing worse than a dull movie is one that tries to disguise it with razzle-dazzle, and director Baz Luhrman’s kitschy vision of the Roaring 20s is so oversaturated in style and off-the-wall choices (like the use of a contemporary, mostly hip-hop soundtrack) that he completely ignores the many nuances of Fitzgerald’s novel. The whole thing is executed so poorly that I came up with a drinking game just to keep myself entertained. Take a sip every time DiCaprio says “old sport,” and take a shot every time someone slicks back their hair. You’ll be plastered within the hour, but at least the film will be a lot easier to watch.

EXTRAS: Sadly, there’s no audio commentary by director Baz Luhrmann, but there are a number of featurettes on things like pre-production, costume design and the soundtrack, as well as on-set video diaries by Tobey Maguire, an in-depth look at five sequences and some deleted scenes.

FINAL VERDICT: SKIP

“Pain & Gain”

WHAT: Based on an unbelievably true story, physical trainer Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and recently paroled born-again Christian Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) to kidnap a Miami businessman (Tony Shaloub) and force him to sign over all his assets.

WHY: After three “Transformers” films, it’s nice to see Michael Bay challenging himself with something on a much smaller scale – one that doesn’t involve blowing shit up every 10 minutes – although it may not necessarily look like it due to the director’s trademark ramped-up style. Bay’s movies can be pretty grueling to watch at times between the relentless high energy intensity and overlong runtimes, and “Pain & Gain” is no exception. But whereas a film like “Bad Boys II” had the added annoyance level of Martin Lawrence (to the point that it gave me a headache), this movie actually benefits from its cast. Wahlberg, Johnson and Mackie all deliver enjoyable performances as the amateur criminals, and though no amount charm makes them come across any less idiotic, that’s part of the fun. “Pain & Gain” is a lot like “Raising Arizona” in many respects – if that film was shot up with a potent cocktail of steroids and speed – and though it’s fairly entertaining at times, it eventually becomes too crazy for its own good.

EXTRAS: Surprisingly, there’s no bonus material available. Nothing, nada, zilch.

FINAL VERDICT: RENT

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Game Review: “Madden NFL 25″

Available for
Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Publisher
Electronic Arts

Even the most adamant of “Madden” fans don’t expect each new installment to be mind-blowingly original or reinvent the game of virtual football each time out, but with the series celebrating a landmark quarter century anniversary, you’d be forgiven if just this once you let those expectations be lifted in the hopes that “Madden 25” presents that significant leap forward that has eluded the franchise like cover boy Barry Sanders used to elude defenders.

If you are one of those that hoped the series would present an installment worthy of its biggest anniversary yet, then I’m sorry to tell you the short answer is, it doesn’t.

“Madden 25” continues where “Madden 13” left off, in that its main aim is to make the on-the-field part of the game more dynamic. Whereas “Madden 13” did that with a new physics engine, “Madden 25” adds precision modifiers, which allow you to pull off some enhanced moves in the run/after the catch play. Accomplished by using the left trigger or shoulder button at the optimal time, it’s a system that actually does benefit the running game tremendously and, for those willing to explore it, can create some pretty incredible highlight reel maneuvers, such as the ability to juke right after a spin and blow past multiple defenders. It’s reminiscent of the incredible “charge” ability in “NFL 2K5,” but with a flair all its own.

Off the field, the biggest addition (though it’s somewhat of a returning feature) is the Owner mode, which sees you take the role of owner and manage everything from soda costs to staff decisions. Like the precision modifiers, it’s a feature that benefits from some commitment and yields most of its entertainment from playing like a maniacal control freak a la Al Davis, making dangerously bold media comments that throw your staff under the bus or just saying screw it and moving the team to Portland, Oregon (FYI, my Oregon Hipsters are 2013 NFC champions). Considering you can still play your season in between the shenanigans, it’s actually my preferred franchise mode for the added options.

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