Speed Racer

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Sat May 24, 2008 7:06 pm

Saw it a second time with Amy. Still very good. The opening and ending sequences still give me the chills and gets me teary-eyed, and it still makes me sad that the film was received as poorly (financially and critically) as it was. Looking forward to owning this on DVD (as I'm sure Amy will be watching it at least 20 more times at home). Hopefully, it finds a second life there.

The Wachowski Brothers should feel proud of this film. After being sorely disappointed in their work on the Matrix Revolutions (man, is it hard to rewatch that one, even though it has mechs in it!), I found it difficult to get excited about anything else they were working on. But with this film and V For Vendetta (script), they've proven again that they're the real deal - filmmakers with a very good understanding of story (which seems like a rare commodity these days). Hopefully, they go back to making smaller-scale films so that the return on investment expectations aren't interfering with their desire to take more risks.
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Post by dik pose » Sat May 24, 2008 9:04 pm

I might have to try to watch this on DVD... my only review of this film is on the first seven minutes which was shown on yahoo...

...and I couldn't sit through it, I was bored within the first two minutes, and the style made my eyes burn. I had to fast forward to see if it got any better, so I watched the kid on the track... it was disgusting, I want real car action, not mario kart action. I think ultimately, the style is what I wont be able to handle.

When it comes out on dvd, I will try to watch the whole thing.

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Post by Ganter » Sat May 24, 2008 9:31 pm

dikpose- Yeah, the look of it isn't for everyone. The movie looks terrible on youtube video. I just blogged about the movie and it was so hard to find good clips of the film that embodied the spirit of it. It really is a hard sell, but the movie in its entirety is what makes it good. Kean had the same comment about the racing, but the way I see it... these aren't really cars. They're like mini rocket ships with "extras". :P

Saw it a second time, preparing to watch it again with Reagan and Annie. I can't wait to be back in that world! it is a happy place. :P

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Post by neil » Sat May 24, 2008 9:57 pm

I was riding the BART train through a tunnel in San Francisco when I saw the coolest ad for this movie: It was a series of lighted stills, perfectly timed to the movement of the train, that turned my window into a zoetrope playing a scene from the movie. It would have been clever enough for any other product, but it was just especially cool since you can't perceive it without speed. Anyway, that's the first convincing ad I've seen, ever. I want to see the movie now! (Your positive reactions help too.)

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Post by dik pose » Sat May 24, 2008 10:16 pm

Neil, my animation studio, Titmouse, did the same thing with a Nestle quick ad.. plays in subways in NY and stuff.. sooooo.. go buy some milk chocolate buddy! :)

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Post by Joey » Sun May 25, 2008 5:04 pm

neil wrote:I was riding the BART train through a tunnel in San Francisco when I saw the coolest ad for this movie: It was a series of lighted stills, perfectly timed to the movement of the train, that turned my window into a zoetrope playing a scene from the movie. It would have been clever enough for any other product, but it was just especially cool since you can't perceive it without speed. Anyway, that's the first convincing ad I've seen, ever. I want to see the movie now! (Your positive reactions help too.)
There's actually a part of the final track in the film that has black and white frames of Zebras running that animate in the same fashion as the drivers go past them at super-sonic speed. It's amazing.

Regarding the DVD finding a second life, Heidi McDonald made an interesting comparison between Speed Racer and the old live-action Popeye movie in her review.
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Post by mr cow » Tue May 27, 2008 8:24 am

you guys totally convinced me to see this one despite my hesitation about it. scratch that, not hesitation- i thought it downright looked awful. but after reading your thoughts (and playing mario kart for seven hours straight the day before) i'm so glad i listened to you and saw this on the big screen.

i absolutely loved this movie. i thought it was amazing, fun and something i haven't seen before. all of which helps make a great motion picture in my opinion.

i wrote more of my thoughts, as well as a comparison to another summer movie, right HERE. hopefully, with enough word of mouth, people won't dismiss speed racer as casually-and unfortunately- as i did.
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Post by Joey » Fri May 30, 2008 6:21 am

Here's a little round-up of cool folks who liked the film, and their reviews:

Kazu Kibuishi

Amy Kim Ganter

Heidi McDonald

Bryan Lee O'Malley

Mike Maihack

Brandon Kraemer

For the record, I have now seen it twice, and seen Iron Man as well. Iron Man was good, no doubt. But Speed Racer is my favorite summer movie so far...and I think it's going to stay on top! Nothing else manages to grab me so hard and get a positive visceral reaction the way Speed has.
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Post by Joey » Fri May 30, 2008 8:13 am

P.S. Totally off-topic, but it's cool to hear that you've been enjoying One Piece, Kazu. That is my favorite contemporary shounen manga.
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Post by dik pose » Fri May 30, 2008 10:42 am

Joey, can you please have even handed coverage of the movie and post links to cool people who did not like the film... thanks :) haha.

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Post by Joey » Fri May 30, 2008 12:39 pm

Sorry Dik! Can't seem to find any! :P

Uhh...no, well, lets see. From the comments in Amy's LJ it sounds like Scott McCloud wasn't so happy with it...but what does he know!? :wink:

If you want to read about people who don't like it, just go to Rotten Tomatoes :evil:

(yes, I get paid per emoticon)
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Post by Kazu » Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:49 am

We're about to watch Speed Racer on IMAX tomorrow. It'll be my fourth time seeing it and Amy's fifth. As a film geek, I'm so enthralled to be experiencing this moment in cinema's history, since I do feel this is a seminal work (like a comet, these things don't come around often!). The intense reactions to the film (positive and negative) are a testament to its emotional power. My friend David described the film well when he told me that it brings out honesty in the viewer, and that can be a scary or wonderful thing. This helps me understand the reviews a lot better.

For those with a love of film, or if you just want to have a great time at the theater, I recommend catching this film before it gets squeezed out of the multiplex. I know us fans are starting to sound a little crazy here, but I seriously believe this is one of the greatest films ever made. Looking forward to being a kid again and crying tears of joy when I enter that theater tomorrow. Can't wait!
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Post by Kazu » Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:53 am

Joey wrote:P.S. Totally off-topic, but it's cool to hear that you've been enjoying One Piece, Kazu. That is my favorite contemporary shounen manga.
One Piece rocks. :D
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Post by jdalton » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:10 pm

Just saw the movie today. It's awesome. And to think, I used to not even like the Wachowski Bros. Perhaps I have misjudged them?
Jonathon Dalton
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Post by Ganter » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:52 pm

jdalton - so glad you liked it! Isn't it amazing how everything ties together in the end? UGH! Even after five times, I cried like a baby.

Not to beat a dead horse, but here are some of my favorite reviews of this film. I like these reviews because they express very clearly and what it is that makes this film so special.

A long, but well-written review that included an analysis of a handful of negative reviews:
http://sergioleoneifr.blogspot.com/2008 ... racer.html
What’s amusing is, if [the Wachowskis] had gone the way of simply recreating the show, or camping up the proceedings with a wink and a nudge to the “low-brow, retro–nostalgic crowd” who know how stupid it all is, the Wachowskis would probably be getting even worse reviews than they are right now for creating this technically radical, emotionally direct, giddy, dizzying and heartfelt movie that eschews easy irony and uses all the high-tech paints and brushes at their disposal to create something unlike any other movie I’ve ever seen.
A review that reflects the enthusiasm a lot of people who've seen the film have after viewing it (including my brother Tim who called me at 1am to tell me how much he loved it):
http://www.moviezeal.com/2008/05/10/speed-racer/
I left the theater with a shockingly goofy grin plastered all over my face, fully believing that nothing was impossible and that no one—no one!—could tell me what I could or couldn’t do. That is the raw power of this film: to transport you to a place where the world is an epic adventure waiting to be seized, where dreams and possibilities are as big as you can imagine them, and where the crushing mundanity of adulthood is left eating the dust of the sleek, physics-defying Mach 5 driven by a boy named Speed. This is the stuff little boys’ dreams are made of, and heaven help me, I loved every thrilling second of it.
And then there's one of Kazu's favorite reviews from a father:
http://lifeofjason.com/2008/05/23/go-speed-racer-go
Then there was a moment in the movie where Speed is leaving his house…or you think he is leaving in the same manner his brother left years prior to that moment. As Speed’s walking out the door, his dad asks to talk to him and tells him that it’s OK for Speed to come home any time that he wants to come home. (Earlier in the film, the father had told Speed’s brother never to come home if he had left.)

Dale turns to me and with a serious look says “Daddy, if I ever run away would you let me come home again?” It was all I could do not to cry. I said “Yes, Dale. You can always come home to Daddy no matter where you go or what you do. You can always come home to Daddy.” He smiled and said “that’s good” and hugged my arm.

It doesn’t get much better than that.
I'm so glad to be able to experience a movie like this. Thank you, Wachowskis for taking the risk to make this film!

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