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Speed Racer (2008)
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Review Date: August 15, 2008
Director: The Wachowski Brothers
Writer: The Wachowski Brothers
Producers: Joel Silver, The Wachowski Brothers, Grant Hill
Actors:
Emile Hirsh as Speed Racer
Christina Ricci as Trixie
John Goodman as Pops Racer
Plot:
A boy named Speed Racer (no pressure by the parents, eh?) is placed in a position to win the World Racing League championship after his older brother dies in a car crash, leaving him to pilot his father’s slick Mach 5 automobile. A rich corporate douchebag tries everything in his power to squash the boy’s dreams, but with his loving family and the adorable Christina Ricci by his side, it certainly won’t be an easy task. Lots of Technicolor dreams ensue…
Critique:
A flashy, colorful film that packs a ton o’ fun into its fast-paced frame, but only after you fully accept the CGI background and environment that it’s drenched in. The film lasts a little longer than it should, but that said, I don’t remember ever really being too bored during its runtime, although I have to admit that by the time the final race came around, I was a little sick of watching cars going round and round, and up and down, and over and out. That might also have something to do with the fact that I’m not really a massive racing fan to begin with, so after a while, that stuff didn’t really reel me in anymore, but credit to the filmmakers for continually coming up with new and original race-tracks and automobile techniques, such that even as a non-fan of car racing, things always seemed pretty damn creative and inspired. Not to mention the awesome scene transitions, or “scenes within scenes” (you’ll see what I mean when you watch the movie – some scenes have layers on the screen). Visuals aside, what surprised me the most about this motion picture was the fact that it managed to convey legitimate messages despite its superficial-looking facade. Of course, the movie is best targeted toward boys between the ages of 5-and-15, or folks looking to “trip out”, but if you’re a parent and considering showing this to your child, I would definitely recommend it, as it does a solid job of stressing the importance of family in one’s life, the greedy nature of big business and most of all, the fact that every single person can make a difference in the world.

Even though the rest of the film’s storyline didn’t really have much depth to it, the characters interacted well with one another, and I especially liked the speech that John Goodman’s character gave to his son near the end of the movie – even though this is a “cartoon movie”, his words and sentiment really came through. Kudos! Roger Allam plays the same asshole he played in V FOR VENDETTA here, but he does it with such gusto that I couldn’t help but enjoy the man’s eeeeeevilness as well. Of course, the film is far from perfect with a smaller brother and monkey (yeah, a monkey) feeling a little too childish and out of place for my taste, some of the CGI races zipping by a little too fast and feeling like a videogame and the film ultimately running way past its bedtime (an hour and a half would have sufficed, not 2 hours+). But I can’t review the film without mentioning the directing, which was also extremely inventive and cartoonish, and always moving, moving, moving…perfect for such an adaptation! I also enjoyed the sweet eye-candy in the way of Christina Ricci and the hot Asian chick (although Susan Sarandon was kinda wasted), and who knew that Matthew Fox could actually impress me in a film (he does here!).

I’m still not exactly sure why this film tanked so badly at the box-office, but I think it had a lot more to do with how it was marketed (and to whom exactly) then its actual quality, since it does deliver plenty in terms of happy visuals, entertainment and family values, and oh yeah…action-packed sequences. And did I mention that there’s a ninja fight in the movie as well?! I’m telling you…don’t believe the hype and if you thought the trailers looked somewhat interesting, check it out and decide for yourself. Me…I’m gonna go smoke a bowl and watch this shit again. Oh yes I am…
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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1:49PM on 01/29/2010

Seriously?????

I have watched this with my children, and they love it, but once the movie was done and they went to play, i cursed and swore under my breath.

If you are a Speed Racer fan, well, wonderful, I bet you are thrilled they did a modern remake. I, however, have never been a Speed Racer fan, and probably never will be.

I do not have a problem with remakes, I begged for them a lot growing up for films that were ruined by bad acting or cheesy effects. But Speed Racer!?!?! They won't even give us a
I have watched this with my children, and they love it, but once the movie was done and they went to play, i cursed and swore under my breath.

If you are a Speed Racer fan, well, wonderful, I bet you are thrilled they did a modern remake. I, however, have never been a Speed Racer fan, and probably never will be.

I do not have a problem with remakes, I begged for them a lot growing up for films that were ruined by bad acting or cheesy effects. But Speed Racer!?!?! They won't even give us a animated Thundercats movie, let alone a Live Action one, but they can invest millions into making this piece of garbage????.....there goes that cursing under my breath again...
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1:30AM on 01/26/2010
I liked the FAIR (for a change) review U gave this very colorful and unique big budget film.($120 Mil)yikes...I loved it-saw it on a super huge Drive-In theater screen too-was awesome. I actually remember watching this series after school as a kid in the late 60's (1967 in particular that was the same year I saw my first Professional Wrestling event that came to the local High School-WOW! the days of Bruno Sammartino and Tony Moreno aka The Battman! and yes spelled then with 2 t's to keep from
I liked the FAIR (for a change) review U gave this very colorful and unique big budget film.($120 Mil)yikes...I loved it-saw it on a super huge Drive-In theater screen too-was awesome. I actually remember watching this series after school as a kid in the late 60's (1967 in particular that was the same year I saw my first Professional Wrestling event that came to the local High School-WOW! the days of Bruno Sammartino and Tony Moreno aka The Battman! and yes spelled then with 2 t's to keep from a lawsuit with D.C. Comics? also my main man Professor Tanaka! was a cool night)-I had a memorable crush on Trixie from the Speed Racer cartoon series too lol! yea a cartoon turned me on as a youngster ...somehow?
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11:20PM on 09/18/2008
I wish they had it in IMAX. That would have been beautiful. I don't own any blu-rays yet, since I don't have a TV worthy of HD, but as soon as I do. Speed Racer on Blu-ray will be my first.
I wish they had it in IMAX. That would have been beautiful. I don't own any blu-rays yet, since I don't have a TV worthy of HD, but as soon as I do. Speed Racer on Blu-ray will be my first.
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11:45AM on 08/16/2008
Definately agree, even the monkey and the kid had their moments...
Definately agree, even the monkey and the kid had their moments...
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3:23PM on 08/15/2008

Way Underrated

I was disapointed when I saw reviews for this film but when I actually saw it I was blown away by amazing visuals and a surprisingly engaging story. Matthew Fox stood out to me the most as Racer X. I can understand the bad reviews because not everybody is going to understand this kind of movie and its artistic style. Seeing it at the IMAX was an extraordinary experience considering the style of the movie. This one is definitely in my top 5 of 2008 so far.
I was disapointed when I saw reviews for this film but when I actually saw it I was blown away by amazing visuals and a surprisingly engaging story. Matthew Fox stood out to me the most as Racer X. I can understand the bad reviews because not everybody is going to understand this kind of movie and its artistic style. Seeing it at the IMAX was an extraordinary experience considering the style of the movie. This one is definitely in my top 5 of 2008 so far.
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10:02AM on 08/15/2008

Fuckin' A!

I also enjoyed this movie. It was visually amazing. And though the cheesiness factor was a bit high, I feel that the Wachowskis took SFX took a new level.
Definitely worth checking out.
I also enjoyed this movie. It was visually amazing. And though the cheesiness factor was a bit high, I feel that the Wachowskis took SFX took a new level.
Definitely worth checking out.
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3:14AM on 08/15/2008
I must agree I don't understand exactly why this film did so bad. You have to tell yourself that its a fun "anime made live action" film and not take it seriously. If you do that then everything becomes a whole lot more fun. Even the kid and the monkey become slightly bearable...though I may be pushing my luck there.
I must agree I don't understand exactly why this film did so bad. You have to tell yourself that its a fun "anime made live action" film and not take it seriously. If you do that then everything becomes a whole lot more fun. Even the kid and the monkey become slightly bearable...though I may be pushing my luck there.
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1:19AM on 08/15/2008
This is up there as one of the most fun experiences I have ever had in a movie theater. What I loved was how 4 of the people I went with were angry I was making them see it, but after it was over, we were all gushing to each other about how amazing it was.

But dang, yo. This was the first midnight screening I went to that wasn't full. It wasn't even 1/4 full.
This is up there as one of the most fun experiences I have ever had in a movie theater. What I loved was how 4 of the people I went with were angry I was making them see it, but after it was over, we were all gushing to each other about how amazing it was.

But dang, yo. This was the first midnight screening I went to that wasn't full. It wasn't even 1/4 full.
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1:00AM on 08/15/2008
One of the best films I've seen this year. Seriously.
One of the best films I've seen this year. Seriously.
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