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    Speed Racer

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    Bretteo
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    Speed Racer

    Post by Bretteo on Mon May 12, 2008 11:22 pm

    For better or worse, the Wachowski brothers changed the face of modern cinema - perhaps even more than they realised - when they unleashed The Matrix on unsuspecting cinema-goers back in 1998.

    Philosophical undertones, wire-work-heavy martial arts and the liberal plundering of ideas, conventions and clichs from comic books and anime were all introduced by their seminal sci-fi, and are now common place in modern day mainstream blockbusters.

    While movie studios copied their ideas, the brothers themselves followed up the first Matrix with two disappointing and frankly self-indulgent sequels and a writing assignment on V for Vendetta. Three years later and the geek-culture obsessed duo are now back with this similarly ambitious - but tonally vastly different - effort.



    Based on Tatsuo Yoshida's classic manga, Speed Racer revolves around the titular monikered race driver (Emile Hirsch) and his big-hearted family, who run their own independent race team. Speed is, um, driven to push himself to the limits on the track by the memory of his brother Rex, who was killed while racing back when he was a kid.

    Speed's prowess behind the wheel soon draws the attentions of Royalton motors a vast corporate conglomerate that offers him a mega-bucks deal to race for their team. When the driver refuses, the maniacal Royalton vows to ruin the Racer family and ensure Speed "never finishes another race". The plucky petrol head is forced to drive dirty and play Royalton at his own game to ensure his family remain in business and he stays alive.

    The decision to adapt this title is a surprising one from the Wachowski's, considering their previous dedication to dark, violent, R-rated post-modern neo-noir such as Bound, V for Vendetta and the Matrix trilogy.

    Speed Racer coudln't be more different. This is a brightly coloured, irony-free, straight-forward fairy tale about a plucky underdog fighting against a faceless corporation and is a film made for the whole family. It's a huge change in direction for the brothers, with the film's perky, child-friendly tone sure to prove disconcerting for their traditional anime- and comic-savvy fan base.



    In fact, compared to the movie's competition this summer with the existentially challenged likes of The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man all battling their own demons as well as their enemies the character of Speed Racer is like a throwback to the 1950s refreshingly lacking in self-awareness, cynicism and the de-rigueur accessory for modern tent pole blockbusters darkness.

    Instead of black there is headache-inducing colour. Virtually every frame is lit up by an outrageously artificial palette that makes the film certainly live up to its billing of a live-action anime cartoon. This hyper stylisation is extended to both the acting and the script; the talented cast of character actors Into the Wild's Emile Hirsch, Jon Goodman, Susan Sarandon and Christina Ricci all play against type and deliberately act their roles as exaggerated and artificial as possible.

    It's all initially a rather disconcerting experience like being transported into an episode of The Jetsons. You find yourself waiting for the Wachowskis to drop in a post-modern nod to some contemporary piece of pop culture, or suddenly and ironically subvert the film's bright innocent tone - but it never comes. And actually its rather refreshing to suspend one's cynicism for a couple of hours and take in a big-hearted, beautifully played, all-too-familiar tale of the little guy standing up for himself.



    Deserving of most praise, however, are the film's money shots the racing scenes. Say what you like about the Wachowskis, the pair certainly have an unparalleled eye for ground-breaking, mind-blowing visual spectacle. Imagine being stuck in a giant, neon-lit pinball machine while multi-coloured lightning and you'll go some way towards replicating the experience of watching these sequences. It's deliriously unrealistic but exhilarating all the same, and certainly goes some way towards replicating the bonkers visual aesthetics of the anime cartoons.

    Indeed, save for the rather annoying comedy relief moments from Speed's younger brother Spritle and his accomplice Chim Chim the chimp who spend much of the movie in search of contraband candy and are obviously included for younger audience members - the movie is somewhat of a triumph. The directors have been outrageously successful in creating one of the most trippy, visually astonishing mainstream movies ever made, and have even thrown in some good-old-fashioned story-telling and morality into this kaleidoscopic brew for good measure. After the massive disappointment of The Matrix sequels it's good to have the Wachowskis back on groundbreaking form.

    Jamez
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by Jamez on Tue May 13, 2008 1:38 pm

    really want to see it it looks well good Very Happy
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    Bretteo
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by Bretteo on Tue May 13, 2008 2:13 pm

    Laughing
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    Jitto
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by Jitto on Tue May 13, 2008 8:15 pm

    must see

    Hybrid
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by Hybrid on Tue May 13, 2008 9:17 pm

    Nice

    TLP
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by TLP on Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:57 pm

    Wanna see it

    Jamez
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by Jamez on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:23 pm

    the special effects are uba cheers

    DaReaper
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by DaReaper on Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:24 pm

    Well i didnt watch this movie till now

    indotechcorp
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by indotechcorp on Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:49 am

    That's really good movie... you guys must watch it... lol!
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    DeTekT
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by DeTekT on Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:44 pm

    yeah i'll probably get that

    dlive
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    Re: Speed Racer

    Post by dlive on Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:34 am

    I don't have any interest in this movie just from the previews it looks boring, i'm still wondering why they allowed this movie at the imax.

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