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Speed Racer 2008

A young driver, Speed Racer, aspires to be champion of the racing world with the help of his family and his high-tech Mach 5 automobile...

Release Date:
May 9, 2008
135 min
Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Jana Pallaske, Melvil Poupaud, Art LaFleur, ...
Action, Family, Sport ...
USA, Australia, Germany

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 7.7


Imdb rating: 6.1

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Just fantastic. I remember when I was a kid I used to love this cartoon. Mach 5 Nostalgia!. Very colorful and psychedelic. LOL!
Who needs an LSD trip when you have only to watch Speed Racer?
This one never fails to get the heart pumping, no matter how colorful and wildly, insanely impossible the driving action is.

4 Thumbs Up for Chim Chim's noogie cookies! LOL!
9/25 - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007, Rental): 9

9/27 - Kabluey (Scott Prendergast, 2008, Download): 7.5

9/27 - Speed Racer (Andy & Larry Wachowski, 2008, Rental): 7.5

9/29 - Signs (M. Night Shyamalan, 2002, Owned): 9

10/1 - Run Fatboy Run (David Schwimmer, 2008, Rental): 8
This film is going to kick-ass! From what I see in the trailer, the special effects for the race scenes looks spectacular! Definitely one of the much anticipated films to watch out for in 2008
I love movies. Love them! And so the recent state of cinema is somewhat akin to having my stomache pumped by a overzealous EMT-in-training. The last couple years have been absolutely painful with few shining moments making it worth fighting crowds and shelling out ten plus bucks at the box office. There have been films (Eastern Promises and Juno to name just two) that have taken my breath away but plenty of others have left me cold and almost angry (the ten minutes of 10,000 B.C. I endured still hurts).

And so, it is with a wondrous cry I proclaim the return of Hollywood in all its breathtaking glory. Speed Racer is why we go to the theatres.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a press screening and let me tell you, what a gift it turned out to be. From the moment the film starts, fans and those not so familiar with the 60s T.V. show are taken back forty years and, at the same time, are catapulted to an impossibly future. It's not really clear when the film takes place and this will only server to keep the film fresh in the years to come. The eye-popping color, the incredible Michael Giacchino score, and the sometimes euphoric (but never nauseating) vertigo-inducing effects work together to create a wondrous experience I have honestly never beheld. You'll have to forgive the hyperbole but Speed Racer leaves its audience exhilarated but never truly overwhelmed.

The acting was spot on. It was at turns campy and intense. The Wachowskis (they of Matrix Trilogy fame) keep a firm grip on the reins throughout their odyssey and make fantastic use of John Goodman ("Pops Racer") and Susan Sarandon ("Mom Racer") and Christina Ricci, Speed's own guardian angel and possible love interest, "Trixie." The titular role is played by Emile Hirsch who, largely unfamiliar to me before watching the film, will have quite a few new fans once May 9 rolls around.

I have no interest in providing a synopsis of the film here. If that's what you're looking for, I suggest picking up the original show on DVD. However, the best thing about this film is that there is absolutely no need to have seen the original Japanese anime first. If you are among those who remember the show, you'll be impressed by how truly respectful the Wachowski Brothers have treated their source material (there is a very excellent nod to the show's original Japanese version during the end credits that really helped pull everything together for me).

Speed Racer is not the kind of film you want to miss. This summer promises to be quite a rollercoaster of delights but it's going to be awfully hard to surprise me after having seen Speed race like a demon on wheels toward that checkered flag. I don't know that a certain iron gentleman or a familiar whip-wiedling, fedora wearing adventurer can win this race.

I'm still trying to catch my breath.
On Friday May 9th, I went with a few friends to see the movie speed racer. At that point I was nervous that it wouldn't be good, as is everyone when they see a new movie. But I was especially nervous because critics have said that the movie isn't good, and yes I do listen to critics, not intently though. I listen to them because they are right about films half the time. This film is not part of that half.

Speed Racer is the first film to be written, produced, and directed by the Wachowski Brothers since the end of the legendary Matrix trilogy, and they have once again redefined the media. I am 65% sure that the film the critics saw is not the same as the film i saw, because 65% of the critics didn't like it. This film has a little bit of everything in it. It has heart, emotion, action, and most of all heart.
So I realize now, with Iron Man's Tomatometer holding steady at a shockingly good 95 percent (with 130 reviews in, unlikely to fall far), that as many critics may not enjoy next week's Speed Racer quite as much as I did. Heck, I thought Iron Man would at least fall into the 70s - but then that would reflect how good a movie it is, not how many people recommend it. So it seems 95 percent of critics so far are at least ok with it. So was I.

Now, I saw Speed Racer two days after enjoying myself at Iron Man; that movie had me going, "It's good, but not great," and dwelling over a handful of flaws -- flaws of consequence -- that occur in the third act.

So, Iron Man is well-liked by many. Speed Racer will be LOVED by many - but perhaps hated by a few (I'm looking at you, Todd McCarthy). We'll see how things pan out next week, once reviews start trickling in...Iron Man's set a high bar for the rest of the summer season, but with Speed Racer and Indy 4 on the horizon, this just might be the rare summer of quality blockbusters.
After a five-year hiatus, Andy and Larry Wachowski Brother (V for Vendetta, The Matrix trilogy, Bound) are back behind the camera with Speed Racer, the kid-focused, live-action adaptation of the 1960s Japanese animation series released in Japan as Mach GoGoGo. Their hiatus (they adapted and produced V for Vendetta from Alan Moore and David Lloyd's graphic novel, but didn't direct) hasn't lessened the Wachowski Brothers' desire to create new worlds that exist only as ones and zeroes inside a server somewhere. Unfortunately, someone forgot to remind the Wachowski Brothers that absent a compelling storyline or relatable characters, moviegoers over the age of six will struggle to keep their attention from wandering during Speed Racer's two hour plus running time.

Young, impetuous, stubborn, and obsessed with racing cars, the aptly named Speed (Emile Hirsch) Racer can't wait to follow in the footsteps of his late brother, Rex (Scott Porter), and become a racing car driver. Like Speed, Rex couldn't get enough of racing cars, sadly losing his life in a mysterious car wreck years earlier that still haunts Speed. Despite his brother's death, Speed can't wait to race his new car, the Mach 5, built by his father, Pops (John Goodman), in a local competition. With a super-supportive girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci) and Mom (Susan Sarandon), plus a pesky younger brother, Spritle (Paulie Litt) Spritle's pet chimp, Chim-Chim, Speed has more than enough to keep him occupied as he begins his racing career.

E.B. Royalton (Roger Allam), the chairman and CEO of the Royalton Corporation shows up at the Racer family's door (literally, he drops out of the sky in a Harrier-style jet) and makes Speed an offer he can't refuse: join Royalton's racing team as one of his top drivers in exchange for truckloads of money and fame. Speed refuses, preferring to stay with the family team. Royalton doesn't take kindly to Speed's refusal and directs his drivers to derail Speed from an upcoming World Racing League race by any and all means. With Speed outnumbered by Royalton's henchmen, a strangely familiar former rival, Racer X (Matthew Fox), steps in and asks Speed for help in exposing Royalton's race fixing as part of a team that includes Speed, Racer X, and Taejo Togokhan (Rain), a driver "owned" by one of Royalton's associates, Cruncher Block (John Benfield).

Filmed using high-definition cameras and greenscreens, Speed Racer is wall-to-wall, psychedelic eye candy, pure cartoon-inspired spectacle bound to suck small children and effects geeks in. With its burn-out-your-eyeballs bright, pulsating, neon color scheme, gravity- and reality-defying cars and gladiatorial-style car races that's been dubbed "car-fu" (seriously), side-scrolling transitions, and deep-focus cinematography, Speed Racer is the closest any film studio has come (or is likely come) to transferring an anime/videogame aesthetic into a live-action setting without losing much in the translation between mediums. That, of course, will make anyone's inner six year old in an ecstatic state, but what about your inner eight or ten year old? He (or she) won't be nearly as thrilled with Speed Racer.

Why the Wachowski Brothers didn't go with CG actors instead of human actors pasted into computer-animated backgrounds is hard to understand. The Wachowski Brothers have shown less and less interest in telling stories involving recognizable human beings and more and more interest in exploiting computer technology (just call it the Lucas effect). While the performances in Speed Racer are obviously better than the painfully stilted performances found in Lucas' Star Wars-prequel trilogy, the Wachowski Brothers didn't ask their actors to do much except look off camera every other shot, grimace or smile, sweat, throw off a banal line (or two or three) and pretend they're driving one of Speed Racer's computer-animated cars through a seemingly endless series of Hot Wheels-inspired racing environments.

The Wachowski Brothers also saw fit to inject a deeply cynical, anti-corporate message into Speed Racer. The Royalton Corporation stand against everything Speed and his tightly knit family stand for: family-owned business, people before profits, compassion instead of ruthlessness, and family first, fun second. Of course, Royalton Corporation isn't necessarily evil, but its cartoonish chairman and CEO, E.B. Royalton, certainly is. Regardless of their intentions, Warner Brothers and their parent company, Time-Warner, a mega-corporation in its own right, are going to merchandise, license, and otherwise exploit every financial advantage possible associated with Speed Racer. But hey, it might make a few, liberal-minded audience members smile while CGI cars battle, if not to the death (Speed Racer is a PG film after all), then to the defeat of all but one (no guesses on which car and character wins the climactic race).
It's actually really good. I enjoyed it as an art piece. It is really different from anything else I've seen. I love the way it is edited... the characters and props swiping the screen. It's really unique. You'll need to put on your fantasy cap. Isn't that what we want though? To be a part of a fantasy on the screen? I watched it and enjoyed it as I would a piece of art on exhibit.
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