Speed Racer 2008 ★★★★

If the Wachowskis had been any less committed to this film, it would have failed - and I'm not talking commercially, because I know it did that. I thought Speed Racer was pretty excellent, actually. A truly live action cartoon, the world of Speed Racer was brought to life in a complete way, with an OCD-level attention to detail and a firm commitment to creating a completely believable, completely artificial world. This movie is why adults (*cough* me) still read comic books and still play video games - fun is not just for children.

I think I liked everything about this movie - of course the visuals, but also the TV/anime-inspired effects, the flashbacks, even the convoluted, dark plot. It's a shame that this was such a nightmare to market, because I think the Wachowskis did something really amazing and ballsy here.

Also, I really liked the casting and acting. Everyone seemed to successfully tread the fine line of giving a performance that was realistic enough that you could actually believe in it, while still channeling the essential cartoonishness of the picture. I was pretty intrigued by Emile Hirsch (oh yea, I liked him in Milk, but I haven't seen Into the Wild). John Goodman was great, looking rather trim. I want Susan Sarandon to be my mom, and Christina Ricci basically looks like a white anime character anyway. And I know the Spritle character could be annoying, but I really didn't mind, and I can't get enough of little boys who look like old men, they just crack me up.

9 Comments

  • I've been putting off watching this movie since it came out, and you have just now convinced me to finally get around to it. Also, "Into The Wild" (don't know how to do italics) is pretty solid.

  • Oh good. Looking forward to hearing what you think. I hope you think it is fun!

    I just moved Into the Wild up next in my queue. I've been meaning to watch it for forever.

  • i love when "children's films" have actual plots and especially dark ones. it wasn't until i read "mrs. frisby and the rats of NIMH" in middle school that i really understood what i'd been watching all those years in that cartoon.

  • Me too! Kids can handle darkness (although I have no idea how I feel about more borderline stuff - torture is a weird one, no?).

    And oh shit, I almost forgot... RAAAAIIIIINNNNNNN!!!!!!

  • Your review perfectly captures my feelings.

    I remembered reading about the Wachowskis developing techniques to keep both the foreground and background in focus simultaneously - so as to mimic the depth and definition of anime. This effect is so unique that even though I don't own a massive HDTV, it kept me engaged for some of the otherwise dull scenes.

  • Glad you enjoyed it :) I would love to know more about how everything was done. Too bad I think I read that the special features are pretty lame though. Agreed, even in the slow parts, I loved just looking at the world (and I enjoyed the acting).

  • Glad you enjoyed it :) I would love to know more about how everything was done. Too bad I think I read that the special features are pretty lame though. Agreed, even in the slow parts, I loved just looking at the world (and I enjoyed the acting).

  • Woo-hoo! Someone else who likes this film! I saw it in the theaters and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought I was the only one who did, considering the critical and commercial reaction it received (I don't even think the people I saw it with enjoyed it). Your review perfectly captures why this film works. Well said!

  • Wow I would have loved to see this in the theatre, although on a screen any bigger, I might have barfed a little. Thanks =)

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