Friday, May 09, 2008

Speed Bomb

You know, from the moment I saw the trailer, I thought the Speed Racer movie was in trouble. Much too high-concept, too Joel Shumachery. Would have benefited from simple, straightforward storytelling.

Anyway, the collective verdict is out for Speed Racer, with a bunch of negative key reviews and a 36% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

My favorite review is from Roger Ebert, who concludes:

"Speed Racer" is a manufactured widget, a packaged commodity that capitalizes on an anthropomorphized cartoon of Capitalist Evil in order to sell itself and its ancillary products."

I myself will sadly have to wait until the movie comes out on DVD. Any movie that a reviewer warns "I'm being serious when I caution epileptics to avoid this film" is one that I will probably not see in the movie theater. You know, because of the migraines and vomiting (which brings me back to Batman Forever and Joel Schumacher...)

But hey, maybe the kiddies will like it?


  1. I'm going to see it tonight with a bunch of friends with work. I have a water bottle full of gin lemonade and no expectations beyond it really big and dumb. Bring on the stupid.

  2. I think they missed a HUGE opportunity to cash in on America's obsession with NASCAR by having Speed take on Talladega or the Brickyard or the other tracks we have here in the U.S.

    Nothing happens to the car in this film. It's like playing a video game where if you slam into the wall, nothing happens to the car itself.

    Meh. It's for kids. I guess I should just let them have their fun.

  3. I saw it last night on the IMAX.

    I had fun. I don't know what people are expecting out of this.

    The Wachowskis made a two hour live-action Saturday morning anime.

    If that doesn't excite you, then don't bother seeing it, then like you were disappointed by what you got.

    There is some incredibly creative visuals in it, that can disorient people, but its part of the whole package.

    Also, everyone does a great job in it (especially John Goodman - and Matthew Fox is surprisingly awesome as Racer X).

    Also also, this is a kids movie. but its full of kid gags that are not annoying. The Spritle Chim-Chim duo is entertaining, and never obnoxious.
    People complain when a kids movie is subversive, and full of gags for adults (ie Cat in the Hat). they don't make a movie that is purely for kids.
    Then a movie like this comes along, which seeks to entertain and captivate someone with the energy and attention span of a 10 year old and then all the adults go "it doesn't make any sense."
    Some of the film critics are acting like it was a betrayal of the source material or something.

    I'm not expecting to change anyone's mind on this; if after the first commercial you were excited - you will get exactly what you wanted. If you thought it looked dumb, then you'll never change your mind.

    BUT I WILL SAY THIS: either see it on the big screen or don't even bother with it. This is amovie theater "experience" through and through. Condensing it to your TV will just make it look like more of the mess you already decided it was.

    Sign ON San Diego said it best: "If, that is, you still have an inner 8-year-old. If you're totally grown up, you'll find “Speed” a long, dreary, migraine-inducing slog."

    Frankly, if you think it goes too fast - you're too old.

  4. i cant wait, im totally a big kid and i have actually read quite a few GOOD reviews.

    i still loves me some saturday morning cartoons and nearly wet myself over the new x-men cartoon.

    im seeing it tomorrow away from the crowds, but i am excited!!

  5. The review you credited to Ebert was written by his web editor, Jim Emerson. Ebert's review slate has been down lately while he's been in recovery from several surgeries (he actually can't speak at the moment).

  6. That review is from, but it's not from Roger Ebert. It's from editor Jim Emerson.

  7. I never liked the cartoon, and I doubt I'll like the movie. The only reason I put up with it was 'cause of the car. I'm a sucker for an awesome car.

    General Lee.
    Mach 5.

    I'll watch it on cable, but probably about as long as I did Catwoman (as in: not very).

  8. nevermind the haters. i had to cover my mouth to keep from yelling GO SPEED GO!

  9. The wife and I saw it tonight. We loved it.

    The wierd thing is I thought she was going to hate me for dragging her to go see it, but she ended up liking it even more than me. I caught her a number of times chewing her nails through some of the races she got so into it.

    She declared it the best movie of the summer, yes even better than Iron Man, and even went so far to say it was one of her top five favorite films of all time. She then promptly announced she wanted a divorce so she could marry Racer X.

    It's basically a giant, candy colored, feature length Saturday morning cartoon. The visual style is fantastic, the racing action was great, and the story was pretty decent considering the source.

    I'd give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

  10. Having now sort of come down from the experience, I have to say I adored every second, from the cheesy dialogue the incredible visuals and the inspired scene transitions. There were so many things that had me pointing at the screen with my mouth hanging open again. I have to see it again. Have. to. It's just pure joy from the word go.

  11. Was something wrong with the comment I left? I was just surprised that it wasn't posted. I said that Jim Emerson wrote the Speed Racer review. I really enjoy your site and read it almost every day.