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BUT IS IT SUPPOSED to be THIS STUPID?!?!?

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Michaels View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: BUT IS IT SUPPOSED to be THIS STUPID?!?!?
    Posted: May 12 2008 at 11:21am

If you ask me, if you're going to make a full length feature of a cartoon series, just keep it animated. I mean, if the movie is mostly the actors in front of a green screen anyway, you might as well make the entire movie CGI.

Like George Lucas basing his career around Star Wars, I think the "Matrix Bros." need to do the same, and stick to leeching off the success of Matrix-related media.

"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie ... but, no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life." ("Easy A", 2010)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tomsmobr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2008 at 1:19pm

I saw it today, and thought the car race scenes were pretty cool...

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote illicits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2008 at 8:30pm
This movie could have legal action taken against it for inducing epilepsy. Way, way too much abuse of cartoonish, literal CGI!!  
i put the ill in illicit.

i'm a closeted critic.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moviewizguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2008 at 2:50pm

I watched it today on IMAX and I had a lot of fun. Review:

Hurtling down the track, careening around, over and through the competition, Speed Racer is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized-the legendary Rex Racer - whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill.

Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer, the designer of Speed's thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company's maniacal owner but uncovers a terrible secret-some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits. If Speed won't drive for Royalton, Royalton will see to it that the Mach 5 never crosses another finish line.

The only way for Speed to save his family's business and the sport he loves is to beat Royalton at his own game. With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie, Speed teams with his one-time rival-the mysterious Racer X - to win the race that had taken his brother's life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as The Crucible.

This is the first film I've ever seen in IMAX. Honestly, I was amazed. The film was truley one of the best looking films I've ever seen! Brilliant eye candy throughout the film! And for that reason alone, you should watch this movie. After the disappointing box office earnings from it's opening weekend, "Speed Racer" will most definately go down as a cult classic, unless there's a sequel.

Sure, there's "Iron Man" but you expect people would have already seen that movie, but that movie is getting better each week! Unfortunately, this film is left out to die. Yes, I'm diappointed that more people didn't see it and I don't know why but that's life.

Now, as the movie itself, it was really good. The plot, although stretching a bit with the many different plotlines, was good. I actually liked it. However, I do think the movie ran a bit too long, sometimes dragging in the middle part of the film. It could've been a fast paced 90 minute entertaining film, but it was tolerable.

The cast has a lot of fun here. Each single person in here plays the role really well, although I wasn't a fan of the original cartoon series. This is definately an ensemble film and does not only focus on Emile Hirsch himself. The visuals - what can I say more? It's all eye candy! It's all so brilliant and fresh, unlike anything you've ever seen in your life! Absolutely stunning! The Wachowskis did a really great job creating the world!

But there's a time, here and there, when the characters Chim-Chim, the monkey, and Spritle, played by Paulie Litt, get a little annoying. They are the comedic characters in here and they feel a bit unneccesary but I completely understand they were annoying, as well, in the original series.

If you want to watch this movie, it's because you want to have a lot of fun and see a lot of amazing visuals and CGI the movie has set for you. The movie could've been a bit shorter and the plot a bit cleaner but overall, it's a really fun movie for the family! I enjoyed it quite a bit!

7/10

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Post Options Post Options   Quote cvcjr13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2008 at 8:58am

And now for an alternate point of view. . .

Kids, please don't do what I did.  Understand, I'm an amateur, and I don't know what the hell I was doing. . . .

I decided that, before I went out to see Speed Racer (on a normal screen, not at the IMAX like MWG did), I needed to prepare myself.  So, I proceeded to melt each cell in my brain by watching several episodes of the Speed Racer cartoon available on MySpace.  Yes, I relived the joys of my boyhood (or, more precisely, wondered why oh why oh why) by watching The Great Plan, The Challenge of the Masked Racer, The Secret Engine, Race Against the Mammoth Car (imagine a vehicle like several semi-trailers joined end to end made out of $15 million (we're talking late 60s dollars) worth of stolen gold), The Most Dangerous Race (featuring the car acrobatic team and a weird nightmare of Trixie's), The Race for Revenge and The Car Hater.  If you are so inclined, it seems you'll find all the episodes legally available through MySpace.

I couldn't help but notice several things, first and foremost my wondering what as a boy watching all of this over and over did to my poor brain.    I forgot Pops was a wrestler, Trixie flew a helicopter and a plane, Trixie was tricky, the "G" on Speed's uniform comes from his name in the original Japanese dialog (Go Mifune), no other racer added any of the Mach 5 devices to their cars, especially the car jacks, the laws of physics do not apply to anime, and everybody was incredibly stupid much of the time.  I mean, Racer X is Rex Racer, come on.  $15 million in gold is stolen and this big honking car is entered into the race, and no one can figure out what happened to the gold?  Would any of these racers actually participate in most of these racers, considering that in a number of them just about everybody dies except Speed and Racer X?  And they never design the Mach 5's trunk latch so Spritle and Chim Chim can't hitch a ride.  And, speaking of which, why would anyone want to watch a race from the inside of a car trunk?

The Wachowski Brothers don't solve all these problems, and in fact keep the Mach 5's way too accessible trunk, preferring to use Spritle and Chim Chim in the trunk over God in the machine, I'd imagine.  But to their credit, they solve a number of problems.  First, they create a lifesaving containment device that is required on every racing car, a device that detects when a racer is about to crash, wrapping the driver in some sort of energy sphere and taking him from certain harm to a safety zone.  Because of this single development, the racetracks can now become wilder, more dangerous and more demanding.  Because the likelihood of crashes on the track increases with the course's difficulty, every racer, not just Speed, has jump jacks and knows how to jump, how to land and how to drive after they've landed.  If someone cracks up in front of you, you jump right over them and keep on going.  Another result of the lifesaving device is that racers bumping each other's cars is taken to a whole other level, where you purposefully manhandle each others' cars.  And cheating is taken to the extreme, where cars are illegally equipped with tire shredders, spearhooks that grab a car from underneath, oil slick dispensers and other secret devices.  SPOILER!  And they had Rex Racer undergo plastic surgery so no one would recognize him if he removed his mask.  END OF SPOILER.

Another problem the Wachowski's tackle is what devices should the Mach 5 actually have.  You'd be surprised to know, but over the years many people have wasted much space on message boards debating what 7 devices they would put on the Mach 5.  Most of them would keep the car jacks, for example, but one of the first ones to go are the directional and independent infrared headlights.  You can have something even better than those as part of your standard headlights anyway.  They took out the oxygen dispenser with periscope, too, so they don't have the Mach 5 doing any submarine maneuvers.  They modified the tire grips into the similar tire spikes, they added a tire replacement system and they added tire shields to protect against shredders.  They also modified the flying homing robot so it could also be a flying camera.

With those much needed and much welcomed improvements, they proceeded to do several other things correctly.  Probably the most important thing was to re-create the Mach 5 so that it looked and behaved like the Mach 5.  The Mach 5, without question, is the main attraction of the story.  It's a car to fall in love with, from the way it looks to the way it handles to its speed and to how it saves your butt time and time again.  And they couldn't have recreated Speed Racer without an actor that looked like Speed Racer, so Emile Hirsch is probably the only one who could have filled this bill up until now. 

The Wachowskis then upped the ante by attempting to recreate an anime world as a combination of live action and CGI, and in many cases, the attempt was magnificent, although, unfortunately, in other cases, the animation was poor enough to disrupt my suspension of disbelief several times.

And, believe me, after watching all those Speed Racer cartoons, my suspension of disbelief couldn't have been more dumbed down if I had guzzled a bottle of whiskey. 

But the places where the CGI was poor didn't cause the worst problems in this movie.  In fact, the movie dragged almost every time it went to the dialogue, which, in light of all these other improvements they made, was only a little less dumb than the original cartoon.  I guffawed over many of Speed and Trixie's lines, and Spritle and Chim Chim were scripted as less comic relief than they were annoying interruptions.  I want to make it clear that the actors themselves were fine; it was the lines they had to say that dragged the movie down.

If the pacing had kept up, I doubt the 2 hour plus run time would have been a problem, but with each idiotic, dragged out part, this movie felt like it ran for 4 hours. 

Add to that subverting main villains like Snake Oiler from The Most Dangerous Race and Cruncher Block from The Race Against the Mammoth Car under a new villain, E. P. Arnold Royalton, all in a storyline played out through four races (five if you want to include the one where Rex crashes Pops car).  This created an unwieldy movie.  Add to that some of the endearing but laughably impossible moments from the cartoon (for example, the Mach 5, sliding down a snowy slope jumps across the ravine to an opposing snowy slope that it proceeds to drive up), and you have a movie that can make even me shake my numb-minded noggin.

And then you have the overall plot, basically taking the original Rollerball and re-fashioning it into a Speed Racer story.  The corporations control everything, corruption is rampant and one person decides to stand up for dignity, freedom and, in Speed's case, his family.  In the bad economic times we are experiencing today, to where greed goes unabated in the forms of rising food prices, rising gas prices, rising healthcare costs and an overcrowded, overly expensive incarceration system, we could use a good story like that.

Unfortunately, Speed Racer is NOT that good story.

Four particularly bad moments:

Straight out of the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, you have a ninja dropping poison down a thread suspended over a sleeping person's mouth.  This may work if you haven't seen it before.  It doesn't work if you have.

What's with the Viking racers?  And they're bribing them with furs?  You have to be kidding!

Why is Sparky, a car mechanic, a wimp but Trixie can kick ass?

Why do they have so many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many damn flashbacks?

What's sad about this movie is that all the ingredients were there.  All the right actors, many good decisions and improvements, a character many people are familiar with, a wild and incredible new look, a whole new view of racing. . . . it just needed more work before production so the whole was pared down to a tight story and the comic relief was, in fact, comic. 

I can only imagine what my reaction to this movie would have been had I not relived my boyhood TV watching beforehand.

It should be noted that the American Humane Animal Society gave Speed Racer an unacceptable rating because of an incident where a trainer struck a chimpanzee in the presence of an AHA representative.  However, no chimpanzee is reported to have struck either of the Wachowskis for, despite all their good efforts, screwing up in the end lap of what could have been an excellent finish.

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Michaels View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2008 at 1:34pm
If you ask me, if a movie is based on a cartoon series, and has THIS MUCH CGI in it, you might as well just make the whole thing animated. That's how the "Transformers" movie should have been. Oh, and it would have also helped if Michael Bay hadn't directed it!
"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie ... but, no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life." ("Easy A", 2010)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SchumacherH8ter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2008 at 6:51am
I just got back from a mark-down theater showing this. Your opinion of this will depend on if you were a fan of the show. If you're a fan, there's a good chance of having damn good time. If not, then there's a good chance of your having a bad time. Me, I'm a big "Speed Racer" fan, and I was entertained.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moviewizguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2008 at 1:00pm
Not really because I never watched the tv show and I liked it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SchumacherH8ter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2008 at 3:22am
My dad wasn't a fan of the show, but he thought it was OK.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote movieman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2008 at 12:32pm
Don't judge me on this, I tried to finish this one, and I did not succeed.
My reveries were interrupted by the discomfort of my conscious mind,
which despised this movie. While I enjoyed the bright energetic visuals,
I'm sorry to report that there is nothing behind the glossy feel to this
movie. Nada. The story and dialogue were so devoid of originality and
creativity that they might as well have made this a strait to DVD cartoon.
All the characters are so monotonous due to the poor writing and
direction, that not even a pro like Susan Sarandon can make lines as
hokey as, "I watch you race to make art", work.

I am told that I have to be a fan of the show to enjoy the movie; I have a
question for those people: Did the TV show have a sophomoric storyline
and bland dialogue coming from one-dimensional caricatures? If so, then
the movie captured that perfectly.

I understand many people were disappointed with the Wachowski
brothers' Matrix sequels, but believe me, once they see Speed
Racer
they will be looking back on them quite fondly.

Worst Picture, Worst Director(s), Worst Actor, 2 for Worst Supporting
Actress Susan Sarandon and Christina Ricci, 3 for Worst Supporting Actor
John Goodman, Scott Porter (also for Prom NIght) and whoever plays
his little brother. This was way worse than What Happens In
Vegas
!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moviewizguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2008 at 9:51am
....you will not show up for work for a week.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2008 at 12:52pm

Because he said the "Speed Racer" movie was bad??? 

Originally posted by moviewizguy

....you will not show up for work for a week.

"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie ... but, no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life." ("Easy A", 2010)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moviewizguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2008 at 1:00pm
Originally posted by Michaels

Because he said the "Speed Racer" movie was bad??? 

Originally posted by moviewizguy

....you will not show up for work for a week.

Duh. lol, but it was a joke...or is it?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2008 at 4:08pm
Originally posted by moviewizguy

Originally posted by Michaels

Because he said the "Speed Racer" movie was bad??? 

Originally posted by moviewizguy

....you will not show up for work for a week.

Duh. lol, but it was a joke...or is it?

Ah, gee ... was it?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote MiguelAntilsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2008 at 6:55pm

ENOUGH!!!

This protesting seems almost meaningless.  Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Postal, Meet Dave, The Love Guru, and Witless Protection (among others) have put this film far behind in just about every category.  In addition, Movieman, Illicits, and Cvcjr have proven themselves corrupt because Movieman's review would leave most of the RT users pissed off (like me), Illicits' review is fictitious and he is overreacting, and Cvcjr didn't recover all of the memory in his system. 

This film may not be Oscar-worthy, but it's not Razzie-worthy either... 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2008 at 1:58am

Why is it that if critics' opinions of a movie are negative, you say they are "corrupt"? If they were "corrupt," wouldn't that mean someone was PAYING them to give negative reviews -- which makles no sense!   

Originally posted by MiguelAntilsu

ENOUGH!!!

This protesting seems almost meaningless.  Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Postal, Meet Dave, The Love Guru, and Witless Protection among others have put this film far behind in just about every category.  In addition, Movieman, Illicits, and Cvcjr have proven themselves corrupt because Movieman's review would leave most of the RT users pissed off (like me), Illicits' review is fictitious and he is overreacting, and Cvcjr didn't recover all of the memory in his system.  This film may not be Oscar-worthy, but it's not Razzie-worthy either.

"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie ... but, no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life." ("Easy A", 2010)
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