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Moriarty Interviews Speed Racer!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. Emile was at the screening we went to at the Bridge. So was most of the cast. They were just hanging out at the edge of things. My son was with me, and this was a big night out for him. He’d spent the time before the movie charming the Warner publicists who were there. I let him work the crowd for me now... he’s better at it. He talked to Goodman. He talked to Silver. He made sure he got heard. But the one person who stopped him cold... Emile Hirsch. Toshi saw him and hid behind me. He wasn’t scared so much as he was in awe. He’d just seen Emile win all the races. He knows Speed Racer when he sees him. He wouldn’t go talk to him. He just wanted to stay in the lobby where he could see him for a while, and then finally he let us leave. On the way home, he told us all about seeing Speed Racer there in person. As far as he was concerned, that was a documentary, because the real people were there at the theater where he could see them. So Speed Racer is totally real to him. The next day, I saw Emile at the same convention center where I interviewed Joel Silver. Between the interviews, I went outside to watch some cars make a lap in the Long Beach Grand Prix, and then I went back inside. I was told just before the interview that Emile was excited. “He’s been reading the site since 1998. He was 12.” And with that rattling around in my head, I walk in, take a seat, and wait no more than two minutes before Emile walks in, all smiles.

Emile: Yo. What’s goin’ on? Did he dig it?

Moriarty: He flipped!

Emile: I read that he loved the trailers though...

Moriarty: He did. He’s been... this is the first time he’s ever been hyped for something. Like aggressively excited for something for like six months before it came out. It’s funny because he, um, talked to Goodman last night...

Emile: He did?

Moriarty: He walked up to him and called him “Pops” and then walked away. He just said “Hi, Pops,” like he was playing a scene in the movie and walked away. But he was intimidated by you.

Emile: Really...

Moriarty: He saw you and I said, “Who’s that?” “Peed Racer” “Wanna say hi?” (shakes his head)

Emile: Really?! Why?! (laughing)

Moriarty: I think he was just... he was really... he was sooooo into the movie. The racing blew his mind. He had to stand during every race. He would sit during the talking, but he would stand through the races and we couldn’t touch him. He was in his own world. We couldn’t bother him during any races.

Emile: That was so cool. Could you imagine what...

Moriarty: I can’t imagine what it looks like to him because, as an adult, I think it’s really... remarkable. The finished product is remarkable.

Emile: Yeah.

Moriarty: ... and drugs are redundant. I would say that to anyone who was like, “Dude, I am gonna get high to see that.” Dude... you don’t need to!

Emile: It is so trippy that you would do drugs and then you would watch it and be like, “It’s totally normal. I felt like I was sober.” It would be like two negatives.

Moriarty: It is... it’s something else, and I love that so often when you see these kinds of movies, you’ll see in the trailers the really visually aggressive stuff, and then you’ll see that in about 15 minutes of the movie, and the movie is, like, regular. This movie never stops. There is not a single moment of this movie where they haven’t designed the world, the look and the feel...

Emile: ... and the colors pop and everything is like digitally...

Moriarty: How did they talk to you guys about the reality of this? Because you are all playing this certain tone... like I think Matthew... I’ve never seen him do anything like this. He is so funny in this, and so right on, and there is this sincerity...

Emile: When he, when he pops the car and punches the guy... I mean, that is one of the, like, classic moments. He is just like “BWOO,” and he drives off and he is like “HA HA.”

Moriarty: He looks like he is having a blast, which I don’t know if I’ve ever seen from him.

Emile: Yeah, yeah.

Moriarty: What was the... because there is a sincerity to it, the film really means it, and it is not snarky and it is not winking at you and it is not making fun of SPEED RACER. It is sincere.

Emile: For my part... I mean, all the actors got there in different ways. For me, I was just, like... you know, I played in all these serious movies like, y’know, INTO THE WILD and all this stuff. And just because this is a bit of a different film, I’m gonna take it just as seriously as I done everything else and try to be just as good as I have... just as good as I’ve been able to be in anything else. IF anybody thought I was good... if you know what I mean. So it was really just, it was really just putting yourself into the role, into the world, y’know? Taking it seriously and... ‘cause I always feel that if you give that extra something to movies like these... usually they don’t get serious acting or anything like that... it just makes the races that much better, it makes the world that much more real for everyone.

Moriarty: Well, ultimately, it is a really sweet film about family and about the idea... it’s weird because I am getting letters from my dad about stuff of mine that he reads, that he likes and that he reacts to, and at the same time, I am watching my son start to figure out what he likes in the world, and I think there is something very potent about as a parent watching your kid find their place in the world. That’s all this ultimately is, and that is something that, special effects aside, you either buy the family or you don’t buy the family, and I think you guys work well together as a group. It’s a fun group of people.

Emile: Yeah and it’s, it’s interesting because it’s all... that is all real, y’know? Like we all hang out as... like last night, we were all in the hotel across the street getting ready, and it was literally the whole family except for Spritle and Chim Chim because Paulie isn’t here and Chim-Chim is somewhere probably working right now. But it was like the Racer family with Sparky and we were just hanging out and that’s like kind of the bonds that have grown and hopefully if we’re gonna make some sequels, y’know, that’ll continue.

Moriarty: I like that they didn’t quite resolve the Rex story. We know as an audience, but you guys don’t know, so there are a lot of threads still left in the air. I think there is room for to come back to it. How was it for you, because you walked off of INTO THE WILD onto this. That was the other extreme of film making.

Emile: Yeah...

Moriarty: Was that good for you? Are you glad you did that before so that you had all that reality to hold onto while shooting green screen, or is it just..?

Emile: I’ve thought about this before, and I think what it was... I don’t think I could’ve ever made SPEED RACER if I hadn’t made INTO THE WILD, because I don’t think I would’ve been strong enough to handle... not just the pressure but the mental exertion working with the Wachowskis... was really gonna take. Now Sean really gave me the experience of a lifetime and gave me a huge learning curve and everything and, um, made me a lot tougher, and I needed that going into a movie like this where it was every day, all day, the grind of the green screen, because green screen might seem easy because you aren’t climbing a mountain...

Moriarty: I think this is real theater. I think it is taking you back to the absolute core of what you do as an actor, which is you INVENT.

Emile: Yes! But there is something about not being outside or on a set... it can just suck the life out of you, y’know, so it’s really firing up your imagination. And I got a little bit spoiled by INTO THE WILD because it was like the mountain was right there, and I was lookin’ at it and smiling. This is like... you look at that green screen and you make it real...

Moriarty: That river was really cold, I am sure, and those...

Emile: See, there was no fakin’ anything.

Moriarty: I think what Sean said when I talked to him about INTO THE WILD was that Alaska humbles you...

Emile: Uh-huh.

Moriarty: ... and to have that kind of experience before you go into this kind of green screen created environment, it has to be something you carry...

Emile: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I would think about it all the time. Sometimes I would actually, I would just be stuck on the green screens somewhere, and I would just close my eyes and remember certain memories of just like, “Oh man, I remember when I was in the bus, looking outside, and there was a hummingbird, bushes, and the snow, and mountains... awesome...” And then I would open my eyes and look in the mirror and I’d have like, Elvis’s hair and I was in, like, a tight leather jumpsuit caught on a gimbal, and it was just like... (unintelligible car sounds)... and thrashing me around and I was like, “Hoooo Doggy.”

Moriarty: When did you just... I understand that before the Wachowskis got the greenlight on this, they had to do a five or a six minute short to test the world out. Did you see that before you signed on?

Emile: Uh, yes... yes, I did.

Moriarty: And was that enough? Were you like...

Emile: I was like, “Oh My GOD, that is insane!” Um, and I had been a fan of the show growing up. I watched it when I was about 6 years old, and I was, like, super into it. I remember I used to have cereal, and I used to pour soda into the cereal because I never had milk. My dad was a lazy fucker, he never had any milk, so I would just eat it with soda every day and watch Speed Racer. Um... and then THE MATRIX, I saw THE MATRIX when I was about 13, and that was like...

Moriarty: I feel so old.

Emile: Hey! You’re a dad! You are allowed to feel old.

Moriarty: There you go.

Emile: ... and I literally was, like, gripping the sides of the theater, my mind was so blown, and as soon as I found out that not only they were making SPEED RACER, which I thought was cool, but the Wachowski brothers were making it?

Moriarty: You are in the position now where you are getting to work with... I mean, for me, just talking to Sean about INTO THE WILD was such a huge thing... to sit down and pick his brain for a half an hour, because I have... that guy has been an icon as long as I’ve been watching movies, and I am blown away by him and by the way he’s survived in this business. So, you know, to kind of be picked by him, ‘cause this is the kind of role that I imagine he would’ve played at a certain age...

Emile: Right...

Moriarty: ... and to be the guy who gets to carry the torch for him, who he puts through that experience, you are working with some guys now... you’re on a new level, I think, as an actor in terms of who you get to learn from and pick things up from and work with...

Emile: I mean, the people who I’ve been able to work with in the last two years alone... it’s just been unbelievable, y’know, the process of the whole kind of epic adventure with Sean in INTO THE WILD and then moving on with the Wachowski brothers and the wonderful cast of SPEED RACER and the technology involved was such a... it was something different. It was the other side of the spectrum. It was like, “Wow I knew so much about nature, and now I know how work with is a green screen. This is so weird.” And to go from that onto MILK with, like, Gus Van Sant and Sean Penn and ACTING with Sean is like... Sean: The Sequel, you know what I mean? It was so much different working with him as an actor, and it’s just, like, he is unbelievably talented...

Moriarty: And all three of those pictures were in development forever. There has been... I mean, as long as I have been in LA, they have been talking about doing a Harvey Milk film, and Joel was telling me it has been 20 years now that SPEED RACER has been in development, and INTO THE WILD... since the book was published, people have been trying to solve that, how to make it a film. The timing is very interesting, how they are all coming together now...

Emile: Absolutely, I lucked out so hard. I lucked out! I mean, y’know, I am very lucky that these kinds of projects are coming along. It’s a very narrow window. I mean, they have been trying to make SPEED RACER for 20 YEARS, and I just happened to be the right age, have the right look, and they wrote the part right now for this age... and the technology exists now...

Moriarty: I am curious to see how they will do these to keep Paulie Litt the right age for Spritle...

Emile: Yeah. To keep Paulie LITT-le.

Moriarty: Yeah. (laughs)

Emile: Although, honestly, I thought it would be cool to, you know, to have a grown up Spritle and Chim Chim. It would be hilarious. It would be amazing.

Moriarty: Well, it’s, it’s interesting that this is... a lot of times when they say “family films,” they mean “kid’s films.”

Emile: YEAH! YEAH!

Moriarty: I think this is a family film. I can picture... one of the big SPEED RACER fans I know is a guy who is older than me, who is like 45 now, and he grew up first generation with the show. When I told him that they had a toy at Toys’R’Us where you can open the Mach 5 and put Spritle and Chim Chim in the trunk, he was like, “ Get the fuck out. I’m buying one. I’m going tomorrow.” And my son is crazy about it as well, so it really is the kind of thing that I think speaks to a pretty wide age range. Cars are pretty universal; you don’t get over that...

Emile: Cars are just awesome. I’m someone who, when I was growing up, all I was into video game-wise was racing games. So there is just something about the race, and when you watch the races in movies, like, I wasn’t too crazy about some of those new STAR WARS FILMS, but the pod racing scene is kick-ass.

Moriarty: Yeah...

Emile: That’s amazing. I mean, that’s so dope.

Moriarty: What I think about this... what is really amazing about this is that they pulled off the “Car-fu.” Like I get what the moves are, and how you do this kind of driving, and by the end of it, you really understand the style of it. It’s not just random chaos. There are some very aggressive choices made in the flipping of cars, and it’s really groovy to see them pull that together.

Emile: I know. When they are in the archways and stuff... oh, and they are... and he is just doing the flips over the cars and jumping over the other cars... it’s just crazy, and the cars are like... sometimes they just seem so, so real.

Moriarty: There is stuff in this that you stop thinking of as effects work. I think that’s, uh, maybe the ultimate compliment you can pay John Gaeta and that team. You stop thinking about how they did it, and you just start buying it.

Emile: It’s so trippy. So trippy. You are just like... yeah... but the finale for me, The Grand Prix, was where I was, like, flipping out. I was just like... I can’t believe they did that.

Moriarty: Because we buy you guys as a family, it becomes... it’s genuinely emotional. The movie is genuinely emotional. What I loved in the first race, the visual way they sell that he is racing Rex, he’s chasing his memory. It carries a suprising punch. It’s not just an effect. There is something you are getting about the character, about the story there, and it’s a great visual, but...

Emile: It’s a hard visual to, to let people understand. A lot of people... it is something that they pulled off in just the right way, the ghost car.

Moriarty: Now, how are they? Because obviously they don’t talk to the press anymore and they build the Willy Wonka air of mystery around them, but once they invited you into the process, did you find them really approachable in terms of how they communicated what they wanted to you?

Emile: Yeah, I mean, the Wachowskis are super, super nice guys. So approachable, y’know? So friendly. We were just hanging out on set every day, just laughin’ it up. Constant jokes, constant fun stories, constant great intellectual conversation, you know... everything you would hope the Wachowskis are in your wildest dreams, they kind of are... in the best ways.

Moriarty: Very specific?

Emile: Very, very specific. Sometimes we would do quite a few takes, y’know. They really know what they want, every little nuance. They never let any little detail that they are not happy with slide, and that’s one of the ways they construct such precise movements. They are both very engaged in all parts of the process. Sometimes you think, “Well, he is just the writer and he’s the director.” It’s not like that, though. They are both into everything. A lot of times, one of them would just come up, like Andy would come up and give me a direction and go back, and on the next take Larry would come up and come back, and in the next take they BOTH come up and go back. They are playful and they run a really great ship and everyone loves them, y’know? And I think within the crew they are known as super, super nice.

Moriarty: I think it speaks well when you see the same guys want to come back and work with them over and over. There is a sort of a rolling community that comes along with them when they are working on their pictures.

Emile: Yeah, they keep a verrry tight crew.

Moriarty: Who knew they were funny?

Emile: They are hilarious.

Moriarty: The MATRIX movies are very serious movies and you don’t get any of that. They are really funny, and this time out, it’s... y’know, I think Spritle and Chim-Chim could be deadly in the wrong filmmaker’s hands...

Emile: Oh, yeah... awww...

Moriarty: They would just stop the movie cold, and you’d hate it. But they are actually really funny, and they got how to do it right.

Emile: Yeah, the monkey... Chim-Chim... yeah.

Moriarty: It is amazing that such visual film makers, such precise guys as that, would work with an animal as unpredictable as a...

Emile: That actually ended up as one of the really big catalysts for humor on that set... the Wachowskis, as precise as they are, working with, y’know, KIDS and a chimpanzee. Two of the hardest to control things on the planet. I mean, it was literally... they set themselves up. Like every day it was (weird voice) “Uhhh, the chimp’s not doing what they want it to do. We have to do another 40 takes. Ohhhh nooo.” I mean, it was truly hilarious watching the Wachowskis trying to work with this chimpanzee because it was so difficult for them, and the chimp would just jump up in the middle of the take and run around and, like, drink water. Dude, the fucking chimp in one of the takes... jumped up, jumped on Christina Ricci’s lap, felt her boob, jumped up on the other chair by me, picked up my glass of Diet Coke that I hadn’t sipped yet... and I was looking forward to sipping it... drank it while looking me in the eye, put it down, then ran over and jumped onto Royalton’s lap, reverse cowgirl style, and started humping his stomach. And Royalton was so freaked out but such a pro that he kept on saying his lines. He was like, “Oh, given the right opportunity, I have no doubt whatsoever,” and the chimp is like “Ehh, ehh, ehhhhhhhhhh.”

Moriarty: What do you say at that point?

Emile: You just go, “Wow, what a ridiculous job I have. I am pretending shit is here with a monkey and this craziness...”

Moriarty: Now, how much of the car...

Emile: I mean, it felt like a BONA FIDE circus some days on that set. It was like, “Wow, we are in the circus.” I am looking down, and I look like Elvis with leathers on and almost assless chaps, because it was so hot in the cock pit I just took the pants off, and I was just like... (whistles)... lookin’ around, nothin’s there except this huge robotic machine. I look over, there’s this quadrant of geeks who are like “Ehhh, buddy, we’re about to kick your ass in this video game.” Literally, Larry would come in, pick up the joystick, look at the controller like he was playing a video game, and I’m in the gimbal, and he controls it with the joystick...

Moriarty: That’s awesome

Emile: ... and he’d be like “Fire it up,” and it’d be like “Mmm mm mmm,” and I would be like... (unintelligible boy sounds signifying fast mechanical movement)

Moriarty: That’s kind of cool that a director can have that much hands-on control over the technical...

Emile: Yeah, he loved to take that thing hard, though. It was so funny.

Moriarty: Yeah, I bet that would be part of the fun. So what’s next, man? What are you doing after this?

Emile: After the Harvey Milk movie, I have no idea.

Moriarty: Really?

Emile: Yeah, well, I only finished recently. Finished about a month and a half ago, so right now I’m just chillin’.

Moriarty: Well, I really hope this takes off for you. I really hope to see more of these. I hope you guys come back and do it again.

Emile: Yeah, it’s wild.

Moriarty: It’s pretty special.

Emile: Well, I am so happy that you liked it, y’know? And it’s cool, too, because I love Ain’t It Cool News.Com.

* * * *

Short but fun. Hirsch strikes me as a guy who is really starting to figure out his place in this business, and who is smart enough to learn from these people he’s working with, and I think he’s in it for the long haul. And if you have to ask me why I’m talking about my kid in terms of my experience with this film, then you probably haven’t seen the movie. The family stuff in the film, the father-son stuff, it suckerpunches me every time, and it’s one of the reasons I really like the movie. Sharing it with my son just makes it that much more special. I don’t fault a non-parent for not giving a shit about that, so I hope you don’t fault me for including it as part of my reaction to the film overall. Thanks again to Anne and Warner Bros for putting me together with Emile and Joel, and to my new transcription elf Saffy for prepping the interview. I’ve got a review of PRINCE CASPIAN and a few catch-up pieces to get to now, so let’s get that talkback started...

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • May 13, 2008, 5:01 p.m. CST


    by Prossor


  • May 13, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Point Break sequel directed by Jan De Bont

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Point Break: Indo to be set in Asia. The horror...

  • May 13, 2008, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Would be interesting to interview them post-release

    by blindambition238

    And to hear how the cast and crew feel about the lack of commercial and critical acceptance...

  • May 13, 2008, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Good Flick

    by Toonol

    This talkback will be loaded with negative comments, nearly all from people who decided months ago not to watch the movie.<p> It was fun, and surprisingly funny.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer is better than it's opening weekend suggests

    by barnaby jones

    and its just as good as Iron Man. Hopefully the best is yet to come this summer though.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    "You're A Dad. You're Allowed to Feel Old!"

    by DKT

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit. <br><br>I like this kid.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I am a fan of the series & I did see the movie....

    by JackinNYC

    And I did not care for the film at all. That does not make me a "hater". It makes me someone who paid money, invested time and is disappointed to say the least at what I got. Period. And it seems I am not alone. Not by a long shot. And it seems that even Mr.Hirsch has his own problems with the results. Just ask his ex-agent. So to all of you who sling your profanities at anyone who dares disagree with your ‘opinions’, too bad. This movie was awful.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST


    by Iron-kong

    Apparently most of the world decided months ago they weren't going to see this.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Uhmm, gotham_night..

    by BartholomewNeff

    He's perfect as Speed Racer. Judging by that comment and your other about people liking it suggest you haven't seen it. Everyone that saw it when I was there loved it. And this kid was great as Speed, if you'd have checked it out before saying that you'd probably agree. If you don't like the film once you see it fine. But it's a fun film, a really good film. It has more heart than most of the crap Hollywood dishes out that makes money. Sadly it's going to have to be discovered on DVD and Blu-Ray.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Short but fun?

    by beelkay

    I bet he is! ;0)

  • May 13, 2008, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Iron Kong

    by Toonol

    That's fine; it's a weird damn movie, and I wouldn't blame people for passing on it. But if you do, it's pretty juvenile to subsequently bitch about the movie online.<p> I have no desire to ever see "Into The Wild", because it doesn't interest me in the slightest. But I don't relish the chance to complain about the movie on internet forums in an attempt to justify my opinions.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    unfortunately, it'd take a miracle to get a sequel made now.

    by greenstyle92

    a miracle like Speed Racer becoming a reference disc for Blue Ray's first big holiday season this year? maybe.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    The trailers

    by beelkay

    I think if you saw the trailers, you have a really good idea of what the film is like. Racing, family moments, comedy, bad guys...I was gaga over the trailers, and I loved the film.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:50 p.m. CST

    How many lines did Hirsch do before this interview?

    by epitone

    I'm thinking somewhere between one and two dozen.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST


    by vaterite

    fun and interesting interview mori, however i think there's more red text than black on this one.

  • May 13, 2008, 5:56 p.m. CST


    by JackinNYC

    The pod race was the one thing he liked about the SW prequels?

  • May 13, 2008, 5:58 p.m. CST

    saw the movie yesterday and...

    by ampersand110

    i thought it was fun. It was a bit long and yea some parts are a little too goofy but for the most part its a fun summer flick that most hipsters aren't going to like cause it's not filled with jokes adults will get but not kids like any dreamworks animated film.

  • May 13, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    This film will make bank on Blu Ray & dvd

    by Quake II

    Watch it become one of 2008's biggest selling dvd's. I see it tomorrow and cannot wait! I expect something completely different and totally mind-blowing. Movies should be an experience and from what I've read, Speed Racer is.

  • May 13, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Gotham Night

    by Toonol

    ...provides an excellent example of the type of person I mentioned a few posts up. Thanks, I suppose.

  • May 13, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST

    AICN, just back away from Speed Racer slowly...

    by BLEST

    you can do it, nice and easy, before all credibility is ruined.<p>Bottom line: The film sucks. 9/10 people think so. It made zilch for bucks. Critics hate it. Half of the meager 18 mil it made is accounted with people on this very site who watched and say it's crap.<p>I love how Emile Hirsch mentions "Into the Wild" FOUR seperate times in the interview, LOL. Even he knows he better get started with damage control.<p>Oh well, maybe there will be a Girl Next Door 2: Emile pays the rent.

  • May 13, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST

    fanboys started treating summer like a horse race

    by greenstyle92

    at some point. I don't know when it started. Must have something to do with the internet, but I first noticed it here on AICN summer 2006. Not only were there movies talkbackers wanted to succeed, but there were ones they were determined should fail. I understood the former, but not the latter. In 2006, the mob wanted Pirates 2 to win and Superman Returns to fail. That's what happened, but people wanted that BEFORE either movie came out. And I was like "Why would you want superman to suck and fail? why would you not want a cool Superman movie?" I'm not talking about people who held out hope for Superman then were disappointed, (like moriarty,) but jerks who wanted it to fail in the first place.<br> <br> I then noticed the same this year: A month out, talkbackers turned against speed. Wanted Iron Man to succeed and Speed to fail. And I don't get that. I've seen both. I like both. Of the two, I probably like Speed Racer better, but that's not the point. Why do we have to hate on these movies?

  • May 13, 2008, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Ha Ha, blest!

    by greenstyle92

    I'd actually say the numbers are: 6/9 critics think it sucks and 3/4 talk backers who have seen it like it. Don't go pulling numbers out of your ass, now. Once rectal bleeding starts, it's hard to stop and your shit gonna burn for atleast a month. I speak from experience.

  • May 13, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST

    oh, btw, i called the $20 million opening weekend

    by Magic Rat

  • May 13, 2008, 6:19 p.m. CST

    the reason i called it

    by Magic Rat

    is threefold: <br> <br> 1. Not enough people remember Speed Racer. <br> <br> 2. Not enough people care about Speed Racer. <br> <br> 3. It's just a flat-out stupid concept for a movie.

  • May 13, 2008, 6:22 p.m. CST

    I'm glad it worked for you and your son


    I was in absolutely the same frame of mind before going in. I'm not a huge Wakowski bros fanboy and i thought this looked really bad but the great reviews here convinced me it might be the one to take the family to and maybee it would be a Starwars zen-like experience for my 3 year old son who was gagging to see it. Unfortunately he got so utterly bored during the dialogue/family scenes and didn't seem to be really digging the races either, he found the monkey and the fat kid funny and then he fell asleep before the final big race. My wife turned to me with eyebrows raised midway as if to say I can hardly take any more of this shit and i had to tell her it was by the same guys who did the Matrix which she fucking detests because of all the bullshit hyperwaffle! Anyway I think you must have to be an American who grew up on the cartoon or get off on staring at strobe lighting. It wasn't a complete wreck but it aint the all singing all dancing second coming you guys would have us believe!

  • May 13, 2008, 6:24 p.m. CST

    SPEED RACER is probably the trippiest movie ever made

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Can anyone think of anything trippier? I saw this film last night and sat in awe at the things the Wachowskis were trying to pull off. As Emile said, I couldn't believe they were doing that!<p> I could see how people who actually saw the film could be turned off by it. This movie doesn't do anything by halfs. When it gets crazy, it gets crazy. When it gets goofy, it gets gooofy! Amid all this insane "hyperreality", though, is Emile's portrayal of Speed. I think he is the emotional anchor of the film. By the end of the film, you know Speed Racer approaches racing with deadly seriousness.<p> I think anyone who's into the type of films promoted by AICN owes it to themselves to see this movie on the big screen. I think it really is the trippiest movie ever made.

  • May 13, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST

    The Wachowskis are nice guys?

    by JackPumpkinhead

    I thought only one of them was still a guy. [Sh-sh-sha!]

  • May 13, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    Go directly to your nearest IMAX. Before its gone and you kick yourself in the head after you watch it on blueray at home and realize you missed one of the most eye-popping, stunning, and insane experimental pop art spectacles ever made. AND its true to the source material! A cult film on a blockbuster budget. This one is too cool for the mainstream, they were crazy to even try, but I love that they did and I LOVE the movie. Go see it before its gone. Take your kids! Or just take some 'shrooms! Either way you're bound for awesome!

  • May 13, 2008, 7:33 p.m. CST


    by jingle_balls

    Lucky monkey felt up Ricci.He knew exactly what he was doing. "Oh Im a stupid monkey..." I am onto you Chimmy

  • May 13, 2008, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Harry and Mori are on the take ....

    by Luscious.868

    They continue to promote a box office disaster that almost every pans. The studio is paying them to promote this turdfest. Stay home. Don't waste your money.

  • May 13, 2008, 8:19 p.m. CST

    I think you're on the take, Luscious.868..

    by BartholomewNeff

    I'll bet you haven't even seen the movie. You're probably one of the Nega-nerds that continually bash something because you didn't like the preview. Most of the people I've talked to and seen post here that have seen it like it. Maybe you're a plant for "What happens in Vegas". That makes about as much sense as your ridiculous statement. I guess you have to like what you like to not be a plant. What an ignoramous...

  • May 13, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Importing vs. Transporting

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    Speed Racer is everything these superhero flicks are not. I don't enjoy comics and cartoons because they are realistic, I enjoy them for the escapism. I like the color process, the stylization, and limitations of sequential art. Put it on the the big screen and the film makers always attempt to bring the fantasy into our world and it falls flat. They try to bring it to life when they should be taking audiences to dreamland. Finally somebody gets it right with Speed Racer of all things. This flick is the closer to achieving it's full potential than any key color adventure ever re-imagined for film. I can't imagine them ever topping this, so I am totally okay with the backlash, and if they never make a sequel that's fine.

  • May 13, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST

    I agree with the "on the take"

    by BLEST

    comments. y'all might not be, but it appears that way.<p> The movie's out, people can judge for themselves. It was panned by critics and made little money and yet...we have no less than 4 Speed Racer articles in the "top stories" section, 2 that were added after the films unsuccessful release. It stinks to high heaven of studio-paid propaganda, even if it isn't.<p> To quote the famous father of one of this summers 3 TRUE awesome films: "Indiana..let it go."

  • May 13, 2008, 9:07 p.m. CST

    When is this movie coming out?

    by fiester

    Oh, wait. Nevermind.

  • May 13, 2008, 9:14 p.m. CST

    "On the lake"

    by Zerath

    My opinion on that matter is - the "critics" grilled Speed Racer which hurt the box office numbers. Out of probably 50+ people I've talked to about Speed Racer, only 1 of those people watched it. He was a movie buff. Everyone else said CNN, Etc, gave it a bad review so they weren't going to see it. *shrugs* I found it to be a fun movie. Walked in with no intentions of it being a great movie and was surprised at the level of fun I had. I'll watch it again.

  • May 13, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... so I need to ask you before I can decide to continue to run coverage of a film I quite like? And if I do, I'm "on the take"? <P>You're pathetic. One day, you'll realize that people have different opinions than you, and that they have them for any number of reasons. Different life experience, different aesthetic tastes, different sense of humor. <P>But immediately jumping to "on the take" is just miserable and small of you, and it's one of the reasons talkback has become a wasteland. You're not interested in talking about movies... you just want to shout down anyone who dares have an opinion that doesn't mirror your own.

  • May 13, 2008, 9:28 p.m. CST

    The general public does pay attention to the critics

    by Chishu_Ryu

    A majority of folks I've talked to about the film also said they had doubts about checking it out due to all the bad reviews. I'm positive that the critical "attack" on the Wachowskis is responsible for about 60% of the film's potential box office. Lesson? Movie critics are assholes...

  • May 13, 2008, 9:37 p.m. CST

    form your own opinion...

    by bobaswart seeing the movie if it interests you on any level. if you're a perv and like christina ricci, then see it. if you liked the cartoon, then see it. but whatever you do, don't not see it because some critic said it was no good. i saw it. it was an ok summer movie. one thing i will disagree with is harry saying john goodman is a 'fighting god' (or whatever his comment was to that effect). that scene in the hotel room was utterly rediculous. and for that comment alone, 'on the take' certainly applies.

  • May 13, 2008, 9:39 p.m. CST


    by Chishu_Ryu

    So you're saying you haven't seen the film either but you've been attacking the film on all the threads as if you have?

  • May 13, 2008, 9:43 p.m. CST

    I think what Harry meant by "fighting god"...

    by Chishu_Ryu that Graeco-Roman Freestyle Wrestling beats Ninjitsu...

  • May 13, 2008, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Pops Racer understands it's all about grappling...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    I think a wrestler beat a ninjitsu guy in UFC once even...

  • May 13, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Cool interview

    by Frankenbastard

    My 2 kids loved the film as well and I know they would have had no trouble running up to him and saying OMG you’re Speed Racer! This is a no brainer as far as buying it the day it’s released on DVD and I think a lot of people that purchase it are going to kick themselves in the ass for being sheep and not seeing this puppy in a theater. This film was pure fun.

  • May 13, 2008, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Great clips on youtube

    by Quake II

    This guy SpeedRacerCrap has a bunch of bootleg scenes from the film as well as soundtrack cuts. The ice caves and ninja fight scenes are wicked. How is this film not cleaning up at the box office? (make sure there are no spaces in the link)

  • May 13, 2008, 10:36 p.m. CST

    I now wish to become a chimp who works in cinema.

    by Dave Bowman

    Too bad I evolved in the wrong direction in my movie.

  • May 13, 2008, 10:38 p.m. CST

    here he comes here comes speed racer....

    by Groothewarrior

  • May 13, 2008, 10:41 p.m. CST


    by Knuckleface

    "I was just, like... you know, I played in all these serious movies like, y’know, INTO THE WILD and all this stuff." This guy is delusional about his own accomplishments. What "stuff" is he talking about? To the best of my knowledge, dude's only been in one other movie of any consequence, and nobody bothered to see it... Just like Speed Racer... And Mori, can you be any less gushing? Integrity, man, look it up. This Hirsh guy is playing you like a fiddle... a fan since he was 12... yeah... right.

  • May 13, 2008, 10:53 p.m. CST

    by cyberskunk

    I have no real point in commenting, but I'll do it anyway. I saw the movie and think it has the strangest aesthetic of any movie I've seen. Not that I've seen tons and tons of movies. I personally did enjoy it and I appreciated that it was as weird/experimental as it was. I suppose my review is more, "I liked it. That was STRANGE" rather than "I LIKED it. That was strange," if I may emphasize feelings based on making words in all caps.

  • May 13, 2008, 10:53 p.m. CST

    "I will punish the Wachowskis for ruining my Matrix!"

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    That's what I'm getting from the negative thread, especially when so many repeat TB'ers continue to reveal how little of the film they actually saw. If the Bros. W would have left The Matrix alone and gone straight to this, all you Negative Nancy's would want just as much coverage as the rest of us. Please consider me "On The Take" as well. It's starting to have a positive connotation, right up there with "Open Minded"

  • May 13, 2008, 11:42 p.m. CST

    I just saw Speed Racer and I really, really feel the need to pus

    by markjamesmurphy

    I don't understand why it's bombing. Look, if you haven't seen it because of the mixed reviews, just get yourself out and see it. It is a living anime. It's packed with cool visuals. I was fully engaged the whole way through - I don't even feel like it's too long (which I had been hearing.) I feel like a kid again. I'm taking a friend to the IMAX screening tomorrow because I want to see this amazing film in even higher rez, and I want to vote with my dollars so I can see more of this crazy fun shit in the future. The Wachowskis did an amazing job on this awesome film and they showed me something new. Envelope-pushing crazy pop-art insanity, with a heart. GO SPEED GO!

  • May 14, 2008, 1:15 a.m. CST

    hurts my heart

    by frankenfickle

    that speed tanked. i'll be buying the dvd. mori stop responding to trolls.

  • May 14, 2008, 1:22 a.m. CST

    ChimChim was deadly

    by TallBoy66

    Lame shit

  • May 14, 2008, 1:23 a.m. CST

    ChimChim was deadly

    by TallBoy66

    Lame shit

  • May 14, 2008, 1:58 a.m. CST

    loved it

    by Dogma_Jedi

    I saw it tonight.... I loved it. I hate that it's getting so much bad press. I want to see more of these movies. Sigh. Critics suck.

  • May 14, 2008, 2:14 a.m. CST

    No audiences didn't make up their minds about this movie

    by Johnno

    The bullshit critics made up their minds for them, and they nodded and didn't go see Speed Racer. That's all there is to it. A lot of people would like it if they actually saw the freaking thing, except nobody did because they were convinced not to.

  • May 14, 2008, 2:25 a.m. CST

    "one of the reasons talkback has become a wasteland"

    by SilentP

    Wait. There was a time when tb wasn't a wasteland?

  • May 14, 2008, 2:41 a.m. CST

    This film will cause you to have vivid, bizarre dreams

    by Dingbatty

    during the following sleep cycle. The way it's arranged must influence particular brain waves. Others have mentioned this happening. Will kill on blueray.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay


    Damn You Michael Bay

  • May 14, 2008, 3:15 a.m. CST


    by Dingbatty

    my brain is still scrambled

  • May 14, 2008, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Seriously a large majority of you are fucking idiots.

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    The ones who are saying the movie sucks and have not seen it yet to give a real opinion. I though the trailers sucked. I was not hyped for this movie. Than I saw the 7 mins online and it struck a chord. I went to see it on Friday. It was amazing. If you don't go see it while you can in the theater a lot of you will be crying and whining that you wish you had. The movie delivers. Fucking shame how it did at the box office and a crime that the critics peed on it. Idiots.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:44 a.m. CST

    And Moriarty, keep pushing the film.

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    It needs 10 more talkbacks to get through the thick skulls of the morons who will sit home and not give a chance. <BR> <BR> You know I think the Indy movie is going to be total shit. I hate the trailers. I hate the interviews I've read with Lucas and Ford. I've been disappointed by Lucas for years but I am still going to see Indy and if it's great I will come back on here and say it was great. The trailers suck but so did the trailers for Speed Racer. Whoever made the trailers should have their editing credentials questioned. Whoever decided to release the 1st 7 mins is a genius because that is what sold me and put my ass in the theater. How can anyone watch that and not think to themselves "Holy shit this would look amazing on a big screen?". <BR> <BR> Please, more Speed Racer talkbacks. Seriously, people need to see this movie while they can on the big screen. Fuck the haters.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:46 a.m. CST

    "give it a chance"

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    goddammn I hate this site for not having a FUCKING EDIT BUTTON!! It's the 21st century. Is it too much to ask for an edit button?

  • May 14, 2008, 4:08 a.m. CST

    There are some heavy flaws with SR I've never seen addressed.

    by IndustryKiller!

    Look I appreciate what the Wachowskis were trying to do and I don't actively dislike the film but it certainly doesn't deserve unchecked support nor cult status anymore than it does the drubbing it's taking at the box office. First of all is the limits inherent with the visual style. Now I don't know if it was by necessity or time contraints but far too many of the non- racing scenes in this film are shot almost exclusively in close up. It's incredibly claustrophobic and in a film with as distinct a visual style as this one it's also incredibly frustrating. Many of teh shots have no sense of framing or scope. the characters don't live in the world so much as alongside it and showing everything in extreme close up doesn't help. Which brings me to my next complaint, the dialogue. I have no problem with about 50% of it, I understand the choice for a portion of the dialogue to be in that sort of cheesy cartoon style, it fits the visual tone and energy after all. But the Wachowskis also throw in a great deal of scenes were two characters are supposed to be having a very personal and human connection about some very serious things, and when they're still talking EXCLUSIVELY in bad platitudes and cheesy lines right out of the worst writing of the 50's then it's impossible for the audience to truly share that connection. In more grounded moments the Wachowskis should have put a little bit of grace into the dialogue. Instead, almost every emotional scene comes off as forced and some sort of weird wink at the audience, reminding you constantly that it isn't taking itself too seriously when a little bit of serious is exactly whatt he film needs. It's terrible when the camera is so tight on the actors and and what they're saying just makes no sense. The third thing, and I'm gonna say it, is Emile Hirsch. Now the Wachowskis share part of the blame for this, but he doesn't really seem to be aware of the sandbox he's playing in. It's the same problem Orlando Bloom has in the Pirates of the Carribean movies, others are having fun in this crazy fun world while he's stoic and dour. In Hirschs' case he's constantly playing a sense of introspection, internalizing to the point the character comes off as a blank slate bore, more a conduit for everything around him than a three dimensional character. He doesn't seem to be having any fun whatsoever. Even in the racing scenes where his one clenched mouth expression seems constipated and a reminder to the audience that he's concetrating. VERY. HARD! I realize Speed is supposed to be going through some very heavy shit but he doesn't seem to be in awe or surprised or excited about any of the insane turns his life is taking. Now on a film shot almost exclusively in blue screen it's up to the directors to make sure the actor is on the level, only in certain cases like the excellent Matthew Fox, Christina Ricci, and whoever that british bad guy was, does it seem to click. I think those are the reasons the film isn't doing better. The racing was pretty damn cool though.

  • May 14, 2008, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Life on Mars!

    by pearlanddean

    Is being remade by ABC!

  • May 14, 2008, 4:46 a.m. CST

    can't wait to see this

    by Mr Gorilla

    genuinely. cannot wait.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:49 a.m. CST

    made 18.6

    by palewook

    they overstated the 20 million+

  • May 14, 2008, 5:50 a.m. CST

    Just Go See It! GO SEE IT!

    by LaserPants

    If you see it and hate it, thats fine. I also don't think its likely that you will hate it. More likely than not you'll LOVE it, or at least like it a whole lot. Don't hate for the sake of it. Go to IMAX and have your mind blown whilst laughing and having a great time. Its a fantastic movie that critics didn't get, but thats what happened to BLADE RUNNER and TRON as well. Don't be that guy at home wishing he had seen it in the theatre when he had the chance.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:55 a.m. CST

    gotham night

    by kungfuhustler84

    are you really basing your entire critique of a film based on its COMMERCIALS?! You are a complete idiot, and a close minded hater. That is totally ridiculous. you are so sure you will hate it I doubt it even matters now whether you see it or not, and that's a damn shame because while I really liked Iron Man, Speed Racer just totally blew it away. Best summer far. It's gonna be a good season. Too bad trolls like you are so determined to shoot everything down before it's even released that you won't be able to haul your dumb ass out of your computer chair to actually, oh, I don't know, WATCH SOME MOVIES!! Or you could just stay in your cave, watching trailers online and immediately deciding whether or not the movie sucks based on 30 seconds spliced together. I guess. And Talkbacks aren't telling you what to think of a movie. EVERY TALKBACKER is telling you what THEY think of the movie. You just have to be smart enough to actually see the film and decide for yourself.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Go see it. right now.

    by kungfuhustler84

    on the biggest screen possible

  • May 14, 2008, 6:53 a.m. CST


    by BDT

    He seems like such a great guy. I wish him success. I think he did an awesome job with Speed. And, Drew, the mom heart to hearts with Speed brought tears to my eyes. So you aren't the only one who is kind of struck by some genuinely poignant moments among this colorful entertaining kids' fluff. It didn't seem at all out of place when these points hit, but how powerful they are comes from the essence of truth of caring and support that most parents strive for with their kids.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Movie should have been a toon

    by Dazzler69

    The TNMT toon movie worked ok at the BO it probably did not need to be made live. I can't recall a success from a toon to live action yet. Poor Dragonball.

  • May 14, 2008, 7:17 a.m. CST

    I wonder how hard Warner marketed to the NASCAR crowd?

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Maybe they should have included a free Speed Racer movie pass with every case of Budweiser...

  • May 14, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Aw, come on! Another entry about this crap flick?

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    I mean, WTF?!? A dozen news entries about CHIMP-THE MOVIE don't increase the quality of this infantile borefest. Not a fucking bit.

  • May 14, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    re: IndustryKiller!

    by Chishu_Ryu

    1. I thought the racing scenes were extremely well-framed and edited. There seemed to be balance of action master shots and close-ups. The close-ups are important 'cuz there are characters behind the steering wheels. Faces are important here.<p> 2. I thought the emotional scenes between Speed and his family i.e. Mom, Pops, Racer X, were...well, emotional, and not audience winking or sarcastic at all. Someone even said they got a tear in their eye with the Speed/Mom scene. <p> 3. Most comedy-themed films have the lead character as a straight man (Sienfeld, Mickey Mouse, Something About Mary, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Superman, etc.) whilst the supporting cast are allowed to fall into slapstick. It allows comedy into the film while allowing the audience to still take the film (the lead character) seriously. And Speed Racer approaches his racing with deadly seriousness. He ain't fucking around on the track, that much is evident. Emile makes the movie for me, moreso even than the groundbreaking filmmaking. He's a good kid. He has to be.

  • May 14, 2008, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Ban Motoko Kusanagi...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...from all Speed Racer talkbacks...

  • May 14, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST

    And don't even dare to call me a hater!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    I watched the trailers (which were nicely edited) and was kinda underwhelmed.<p>Then I watched the first 7 minutes and was shocked about the bad acting and the lame "race" (i.e. driving lesson) sequence. I thought that the preview sucked.<p>BUT I even gave it a try in theatres. But it just proved what I feared: that SPEED RACER suffers from wooden acting, lame, overblown action sequences, flawed camera work and infantile jokes. It wasn't only the fucking chimp and the fucking fat kid which ruined it for me. It was all the above plus the fact that the overall movie is a borefest par excellence. What a shame, I really like all the actors (except for that jerkoff Hirsch).

  • May 14, 2008, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Oh yes, Chishu_Ryu...

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    ...ban all those who differ from your opinion, because you're the one and only and your opinion is the only right opinion.

  • May 14, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    It doesn't get much more fun than this

    by Christobal

    Saw it on Friday in a pretty crowded theater. EVERYONE applauded at the end (in a good way). I don't see that too often. Going to see it again in IMAX this weekend. Too bad so many people are missing out on this movie because of a few loud-mouthed dipshits.

  • May 14, 2008, 8:08 a.m. CST

    And another AICN catchphrase is born...

    by Kid Z

    ...from now on, whenever geeks are bitching endlessly in unrelated Talkbacks, this movie will henceforth be known as "Peed Racer".

  • May 14, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    SR wasn't THAT bad.

    by Tomarru

    OK, i saw it last saturday with a couple of mates with no real expectations, was just another summer movie in a long line of big summer movies and had already seen the critical panning it had received. Came out of it with no real disappointment, infact enjoyed the vast majority of it but it has been discussed pretty much continually for the past week amongst those of us that saw it which is a rarity for any movie. It's a kids movie, theres no denying that but im not sure if the wachowskis know that. It is far too long and drawn out for a kid, even my attention was wandering during a number of the one to ones, god knows how your average kid will stay invested in it for the full length of the movie. The monkey and kid were very hit and miss, maybe it's differing tates in comedy but I found them to be annoying and tedious, the scene with the cartoon and them jumping into it and fighting it out was so far removed from what I was expecting it had me questioning what I had let myself in for. The start of the movie is where most of my crticism stems from, the CG in places jumps about and doesn't know what it's trying to do, like the scene of the street just outside the school looks very jarring with the actors in front of it. Then the scenes in the factory with the tour and the scooter things in fast forward mode, again very jarring which just looked cheap rather than cartoonish. Thankfully after that it settled down a bit and looked more like the 200 mill movie it was. Then theres little things, the commentary during the racers just seemed to be cheaply done, you have this phenominal looking car action going on then it jumps to two guys in a carboard box, why not have the race map, statistics, positions etc shown in and around them, give some geography to where the booth is and give us something a little more clever than cheap regurgitated one liners. Wish they had some more people give their opinion on it before release cause im sure a lot of the issues could have been tweaked out of it, theres scenes which could be shortened and cut without anyone loosing out which could have also brought a bit more consistency to the story and effects.

  • May 14, 2008, 8:38 a.m. CST

    What a wild coincidence!!!!

    by BobParr

    AICN continues to get interviews with actors and the producer of Speed Racer. This film is universally despised by everyone except Harry and Moriarity and they coincidentally get the interviews as well. This site is totally credible and Moriarity has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he isn't Joel Silver's little whore. I also look forward to Harry loving M. Knight's next masterpiece as well.

  • May 14, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    so Toshi is now like H.W.?

    by Spandau Belly

    But when he gets knocked deaf (by an IMAX malfunction) you'll stop bringing him to press junkets, right?

  • May 14, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Haha that chimp sounds worse than working with brando

    by greentealite

    But he'd probably do the same in that scene: feel the actress's boob, drink someone else's coke while staring them down, hump an actor while he does his lines. Yep

  • May 14, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST


    by BurgerTime

    When it was over I got the urge to jump in my car and drive away from the theatre as fast as I could. <p> (And not because I was inspired by the movie.)

  • May 14, 2008, 10:53 a.m. CST

    IndustryKiller! Come on...

    by Mace Tofu

    All of that is from the source material. I watch a episode the next day after watching the movie. The episode I watched Speed was moody. Ah! & mmm! In the movie Speed drove down the side of a mountain. The episode I watched had a shot where speed drove down the side of a mountain. Speed drives on a winding elevated race track with ramp jumps, was in the movie too. Driving and having conversations with other drivers racing you, check. As crazy as the live action is the original SR 'toon is wilder ( idea wise ) IndustryKiller . Did you watch SR the cartoon and like it? The new feature worked in all of the classic SR moments clenched mouth expressions and monkey fu. The bad guys played rough on the TV show and in this movie they were not above putting your hand in a piranha tank or threatening to rape your sister- the word rape is not used but adults will get the point while going over the heads of the lil ones. To you the dialogue may of sounded "bad" but to me every little line was cool. The GRX is brought out to beat speed. The engine is mentioned in one quick scene as the motor the bad guy is using to beat speed in the last race. No other info is given in the movie on what a GRX is but fans know it is dangerous and 5 people died testing it. I ate it all up even the scenes Tomarru hated "... cartoon and them jumping into it and fighting it out was so far removed from what I was expecting..." Tomarru back in the 60's my brother and I had epic ULTRAMAN battles on the family couch daily. We could crawl under our bed and sit behind the headboard- now our spaceship - and play astronaut in our imagination. I'm in my 40's and I still understood that whole cartoon scene was the kid and monkey fantasizing they were in the FIST OF THE NORTHSTAR knock-off cartoon. Mom caught them and brought them back to reality- well the movie's reality anyway. When that cartoon part came on I was like COOOOOL I like anime. Sorry others felt WTF? each time the movie changed up the style as again the "extra cartoonish" look of the Spritle/Chim Chim rally was more their candy rush fever dream than the movies " reality "- wasn't some rock song like CRAZY TRAIN playing during that scene? Re: "little things, the commentary during the racers just seemed to be cheaply done" I just watched a episode where all the commentary was delivered by the announcers with empty blank backgrounds, Anything "cheap" in the movie is a tip of the hat to the original and is done for fun. I thought it was funny and cool.

  • May 14, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    I wonder if Emile posts on here?

    by Series7

    Ok Moriarty, first off why didn't you ask John Goodman why he wasn't doing any press for the film? People don't even realize he is in the movie. And he was one of the highlights of the film. Emile and Ricci didn't come off so hot on their late night circuit run, Emiles new to it and Ricci is alwasy a little weird. Goodman is one of the kings of the late night talk shows. He's acting is what sold the integrity and heart of this movie. I think it would have gotten more adults to bring their kids to see the film knowning he was in it. <P> Also I feel why people have a hard time with this movie while Ironman has done so well. Is that Ironman took very little to few risks. While Speed was all risk. You could say that Downy was a risk because he is not a box office draw, but everyone knows he is very likeable and a good actor who was just never given the chance to be in a big movie, it was more of a long time coming then risk. Plus everything about Ironman was very well done yes, but ultimately pedestrian in terms of pushing to the next level. Ironman is just the best/most solid comic book movie to be made in this new surge of comic book movies, I guess you could say X-men being the start of it. While speed on the other hand turned the cartoon to movie on its head. Instead of the typical kiddie far (Underdog/Alvin/Garfield) or just making a cartoon movie (TMNT/ATHF/South Park) or just using the name to make your own movie (Transformers/Æon Flux/Thunderbirds/The Pink Panther/Inspector Gadget/G.I.Joe (probably)). They fucking made a real live action Speed Racer, pretty much the only movies you can compare it with really are The Flintstones/George of The Jungle/Dudley Do-Right but those were mainly comedies. But people are making it out to be more Æon Flux and Rockey and Builwinckle then The Flintstones. I would say the best movie to compare this too is Flintstones. And seeing that they both have John Goodman and Speed is a lot better. But then again The Flintstones are a much bigger part of the American culture then Speed. Which brings me to what I've been saying in other posts. This should have waited to come out around Christmas. It would have had a fighting chance. Just like Alvin which isn't a hugely popular old cartoon, and critics hated it but there was nothing else out for kids. And from what I've heard adults didn't mind it that much.

  • May 14, 2008, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Actually sorry

    by Series7

    The best film to compare this too is Casshern. If you haven't seen it and really liked Speed, check it out. Its no secert that the brothers W, get a lot of influence from Asia. And you can see a lot of the similarities in style and the way the CGI was handled. Plus Casshern is based on a old ass Animie. Casshern is a lot more serious, but at the same time is robustly over long, has a convoluted plot as well and the action is ADD. Overall Speed is a much better movie. I think they tried to hard to sell the style of the film rather then the film itself. They should have tricked kids/parents into seeing it, and word of mouth would have spread better. People realized that they were too conservative when they saw the previews and there was nothing ever given to them to change their minds (and this site can only change a few geek minds). I bet this movie becomes a case study over at WB. And probably in Film Schools, not only for its style, but how its almost unmarketable. <P> Take Hancock for example, from what I gather is that it could be a an edgy/vulgar take on superheroes. But they didn't cast an edgy/vulgar actor, they got William Smith. And his big budget more comedey then action movies haven't been as huge(Wild West/MIB2) so they are making Hancock seem more serious in the previews (You deserve Better, I will be better, and the defelcting bullet looking like the bullet in the eye from Superman). Thus ensuring big B.O. returns.

  • May 14, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST

    If you guys push any harder for this movie...

    by Blue_Demon

    you're going to get hemorrhoids.

  • May 14, 2008, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Okay, let me clarify a few things:

    by BLEST

    1.) I love the W bros/sisters. I have and always will love the entire Matrix trilogy, and V for Vendetta.<p> 2.) It isn't the CG or the look. I also love all the PT (sue me) and the CG doesn't ruin it for me. As I said in the OTHER tb for another story about SR after it's release: I like what they were trying to do with the world/colors, just as I loved the Dick Tracy flick when I was a kid. (and still love it now..again, sue me)<p> 3.)As I said in the other tb, I appreciate that this was a new thing, and what the W's were trying to do.<p> 4.)I watched all the previews and it just seemed too...fake I guess. But I decided to check out the 7 minute preview and it was weak. As I said in the other tb, it was the actual "race" that seemed off to me. To much like a video game, like F-Zero or Mariokart. No weight behind it. I mean c'mon, TPM is almost TEN YEARS OLD and it got the pod race right, with CG sky, sand, pods, aliens, everything!It can be done, and have weight and realism to it. Harder to do in a "cartoon look" film I suppose, but it just looks like a playstation game to me, no danger there.<p> 5.)I don't know if your comment was directed at me Moriarty, because I said that I DIDN'T think you were on the take, but rather letting you know how posting all these interviews and such AFTER the film bombed can APPEAR to be suspicious and a little contrived.<p>Take that with a grain of salt. Don't use it now, put it on the shelf and pull it out later if you want, when you aren't so angry.<p>To the other tb'ers (and Mori as well, I suppose) we get it: You liked it and think it's underrated. What you don't get is that people on here saw it and didn't like it, or saw at least all the trailers and 7 min. of the film and were turned off. Heck, Capone blasted the film but nobody gets on his case.<p>I'm done, but I want it understood where the "on the take" accusations (or even cautions, as I posted) are coming from. And also understood that there are non-haters out there, regular fantasy/sci-fi/comic book film lovers, who saw either some or all of the film and gave it a pass. I have no agenda here, I just wasn't digging it.<p>You dig?

  • May 14, 2008, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Speed Racer Slumber Party!

    by Aquatarkusman

    Who could forget Emile's insight in the E-surance (money well spent, studio!) exclusive footage: "I mean.. their last name IS Racer." (sound of 120 million minds and dollars being blown).

  • May 14, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Aaaghhh! You and your kid

    by Thunderbolt Ross


  • May 14, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    First Flop Of '08

    by Roboteer

    And it may set a mark difficult to top. Why? The reviews were abysmal, 35% positive. It suffered from the same boring nonsense as Matrix 2 & 3. And lastly, it had an anti-Capitalist (read anti-American theme.)So ha and ha. Better luck next time throwing away a $100 M.

  • May 14, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Crazy kids and your hip lingo!!

    by Darth Macchio

    I swear if it isn't Montana Hanna and those crazy longhair rapper guys it's those crazy email phones and super hi-tech video games like Nintendo and Donkey Kong! You crazy young people and your crazy hip language! Like! Yeah! Snap! Farout! Everything is cool! Yes, cool! NOT! (l)augh (o)ut (l)oud!!!!!

  • May 14, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Good film. Could have been great.

    by hopewell1

    The movie needed to be about 90 minutes for the masses. Plus there was a little too much pulling away from the race to close up on the announcers and such. That said, I liked the non racing scenes and really liked this story of a wholesome family not going corporate and trying to make it on their own. Which is decidedly far from anti-capitalist Roboteer. Pops even gives a little nod to the value of being able to choose different engines instead of giving in to a monopoly.

  • May 14, 2008, 1:23 p.m. CST

    "Ghost Rider" had worse reviews than SR...

    by Blanket-Man

    ...but somehow more than doubled SR's opening weekend box office - in the middle of fucking winter. GR had better trailers and a more bankable star... Don't blame the critics for this bomb. It was just a lousy idea for a cartoon-to-movie adaptation that NO ONE was clamoring for. And no, like most of the movie-going public, I haven't seen SR, either.

  • May 14, 2008, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Motoko Kusanagi

    by JackinNYC

    I agree with everything you wrote. Moreover, I find it inexplicable that just because someone speaks the truth of their own personal movie going experience that they are then called ‘haters’ and are attacked. Seems to me that the ones who are HATERS are the ones doing the attacking. They are the ones slinging profanities. They are the ones trying to psychoanalyze the motives (seen / haven’t seen it) of the people who didn’t care for the film due to their own insecurities of the film losing millions and the overwhelming amount of critics who have panned it. But it is easier to attack people speaking the truth instead of trying so see what just isn’t there up on the screen. Speed Racer is bombing at the box office because it is a bad film. Moreover, the film is being marketed even more poorly. This combined with horrible word of mouth of those who have seen it is keeping people away. Period. Blaming the critics or advance word of mouth is a cop out. Titanic had the worst pre-opening word of mouth rumors up to that time (it was even called CameronGate for a time) and it went on to be the all champ. So enough already. If you like the film…Good for you. Then you believe you got your money’s worth. Looking forward to the Blue Ray? Knock yourself out. Go for it. But there are many, many more people out there that feel they were cheated and not only aren’t going to buy the blue ray…BUT WNT THEIR MONEY BACK! So once again, for all you ‘Haters’ out there: 1. I am a huge fan of the series 2. I was looking forward to this movie 3. I paid to see this movie 4. I saw this movie 5. I disliked this movie 6. I want my money back In that order. End of story.

  • May 14, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST


    by Zybon

    More like anti-monopoly. The whole story is about the little guy fighting for what ultimately amounts to keeping big corporations from skirting antitrust laws. Since these laws are what helps keep the American economy sane, how can you say that it is anti-American?

  • May 14, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Hey LaserPants

    by JackinNYC

    I saw it. Now give me my money back. See, the problem with bitching at everyone to "just go see it" is like Scientologists telling everyone to 'just find out for yourself'. THEY BOTH COST MONEY.

  • May 14, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    Another post about this garbage movie?

    by Dick Bahls

    I'd like to know how much the studios are paying the guys who run this site under the table. Unless you're under 7 years of age or taking a child under 7 years of age you should not be seeing this kiddie movie. I only saw it because my kid wanted to see it and yes - my review in a nutshell was that it was a total piece of crap. Save your money & your time. If (around here the probability is quite high) you are a big fanboy nerd who can't get laid the go rent a porno & wack it instead.

  • May 14, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    Iron Man Vs Speed Racer?

    by Quake II

    I notice some people are comparing the two films. Why? They have NOTHING in common. I do agree that Iron Man took no chances. It was well made, cast and directed. It came together and was entertaining, but risky? Not at all. I applaude the makers of Speed Racer for taking the biggest summer risk in years. It failed critically and the box office is poor but many of the greatest films ever made make little money upon initial release. You people throw out opening weekend numbers like they mean something...The general public has SHIT taste. Period. Spider-Man 1 had the biggest opening weekend in history at the time...So is Spider-Man 1 one of the greatest films ever made? I can name 50 films right now that made under 30 million on opening weekend that blow Spider-Man 1 away. If you post on here to spew hate and didn't actually see the film...Do us a favor and fuck off. You're not helpful and rather annoying. Go see the movie and if you hate it, THEN flame away. Whenever I see hateful posts I always picture some 14 year old skinny, pimply punk wearing a Punisher skull shirt, drinking Mountain Dew sitting in the dark typing away. I never picture a business man or Corporate CEO or father of three spewing that kind of ignorant venom on here.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST

    RDY, Perfect for Iron Man; Speed Racer Movie Sucks

    by kenichi tanaka

    gotham_night, What are you talking about? Robert Downey Jr was perfectly cast as Tony Stark. I doubt nobody else could have done it better without being too campy.<br><br> Also, Speed Racer really sucked. I think the W-Brothers should never have made this movie and adding to the fact that they released this movie too close to Iron Man, the movie is going to end up losing money for Warner Brothers. Iron Man wins by default and to make it even worse for Speed Racer, Iron Man was expertly done, although I would have made a few changes to the movie.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Quake II

    by Series7

    I think you've been trying to drive this point on other post as well. Box office numbers are a huge deal. If they weren't, then I should be able just go up to Paramount and be like, Hey give me $300 million to make a Snorks movie. Yeah you can say, well its art and shouldn't be judged by its cost blah blah. But the truth is, since the WB owes a lot of money to the box office success of the Matrices, they gave a lot of creative freedom to the Brothers W. If you can't make a marketable movie you end up like Terry Gilliam and no one wants to finace your movie because its a wasted investment. I mean I see what your saying that, low box office numbers doesn't mean that the movie sucks. But what it does mean that, we'll see more Alvin and the Chipmunks type movies, and less Speed Racer films. I mean this may almost end up being the biggest flop in history, and thats saying a lot. No one knows just how much it cost. but I've heard reports of $300 million. And at least Evan Almighty got close to breaking even. So you can't just dismiss box office numbers because that doesn't refelct the films quality. But it does refeclt how much crap we will see to make up for its loss.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:31 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    So I guess Tobey Migure was a sure fire hit off the bat? As well as Christian Bale and all his huge success? OH and how about the Hugh Jackman, we all knew he was just going to be perfect as Wolverine. And good thing they picked Daniley Craig to be the new Bond, because everyone knew who he was before the movie. Or how about that star of Dracula 2000, it was obvious that he would make 300 a hit. Dude the list goes on. Casting next to no bodies in a comic book/franchise movie happens all the time. Casting a NO BODY (Superman) is risky.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    I don't believe Iron Man is not as well known as everyone likes to say it is. Doesn't matter how well known a comic book is, do you think women and moms know the difference between Spiderman and Ironman? No. I do believe that they've seen or heard of both of them before the movie came out. Yeah the general Schmo may have known a little more back story behind Spidey and X, but they knew of Ironman. Its not like they made Too Much Coffee Man and it was a hit.

  • May 14, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST

    I mean

    by Series7

    Thats why Samuel Jackson is set to play Nick Fury. Because people don't know who he is.

  • May 14, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Hey JackinNYC

    by LaserPants

    Was I bitching at you? Did I curse at you? Did I insult you? No, no, and no. I just recommended (highly) that everyone at least go see it and give it a chance. I still suspect that the lions share of people here who say they hated it still haven't seen it (Motoko, you didn't see it. You watched the trailers and the first 7 minutes online and made up your mind.). If you, Jack, saw it, and didn't like it, I'm sorry. But why do I suspect you didn't see it either? Seems most of the people here who did see it are saying they either liked it, liked it a lot, or loved it. Of course, as the box office has shown, not very many people did see it. Too bad for them. But I suspect these numbers are comparable to your average anime film release in the US. Although anime style has infiltrated the global pop-conciousness, the actual art of anime is still firmly niche.

  • May 14, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Gotta agree with...

    by JackinNYC

    gotham_night again. I had never heard of Iron Man before I saw it. EVERYONE KNOWS WHO SPIDERMAN IS. And risky??? Jon Favreau helming a 180 Mil project with Downey as the lead? That's not Risky??? Show me a BLOCKBUSTER on their resume. Whearas the W. BROS??? They sold this project to Warner based on their Billion take on the Matrix films. AND IT BOMBED. End of sory.

  • May 14, 2008, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Mace Tofu

    by Tomarru

    Ok, i get all the references back to the old cartoon, but remember, this is a BIG budget modern day live action version of said cartoon. Said cartoon is old to the point where I have only ever caught maybe 10 mins of it in my life (im 22) so the number of actual fans still in the right age range to actually be bothered to see SR is relatively low i guess. With this low number of fans that will actually get the old references they will just end up feeling cheap and wasteful. Thats what im trying to get at, the average person will just see it as disappointing rather than nostalgic. The likes of the flintstones got away with it cause thats still shown daily all over the world but SR doesnt have that luxury. In the end the wachowskis have taken what to the vast majority of the world is an unknown franchise and included a ton of tacky referenches to something which they wont get, if they had felt natural to the movie then go ahead but dont make it so glaring. As for the jumping into the cartoon and the sugar rush scene, i was also on about the scene into the factory with the entire family aswell. What i was getting at was they were so glaringly different to everything else, cheap/terrible/gaudy CGI and at a completely jarring pace to everything else around it. If the movie was sold as purely for 3 year olds then go ahead, fill the entire movie with it cause nobody will go see it but this was a big budget movie sold as a family movie ala the star wars prequels. I get what they were trying to do but within the context of the rest of the movie it just felt so tacky and utterly childish (preteens childish, I doubt any kid over 10 could even forgive that type of humour). Don't get me wrong, as i said i enjoyed it, just those were big areas that i felt let down, at least I know what scenes I will be skipping past anyway when the dvd/blu-ray hits anyway.

  • May 14, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST

    SPEED RACER Was Just Too Obscure For The Mainstream

    by LaserPants

    Again, I think the main reason why it failed is because most people only vaguely remember the show if they remember it at all. We geeks know it, and remember it, but the mainstream doesn't. Not really. Not enough to generate blockbuster type numbers. It was a risky move, and it crashed, but I loved it, I'm glad it was made, I'm gonna see it again, buy as many of the toys as I can when they go on sale, and eagerly look forward to the deluxe DVD with extra awesome. They tried to make a blockbuster out of a cult film idea and got burned. Oh well. I'm glad they tried. And I suspect there will be a second life for this as a cult movie.

  • May 14, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Also, It Was Deeply Weird and Psychedelic Pop-Art Movie

    by LaserPants

    Again: cult. Nothing mainstream about it. It was a good try though. Too bad most people are really boring and don't enjoy crazy stuff like this.

  • May 14, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Hey gotham_night

    by JackinNYC

    Gimmee a break. Speed Racer is very well known cartoon. When did Iron man ever have a series that was endlessly repeated in syndication? It is because I loved this cartoon that I am bitterly disappointed in the movie.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Making a Speed Racer movie wasn't a risk

    by Chishu_Ryu

    It's the way the movie was made that was risky. Stuff was tried in this film that's never been done in a summer blockbuster movie of all things. A very different approach was taken in executing this potential cult classic. That's where the "risk" is.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST

    I think Speed Racer is mainstream

    by WerePlatypus

    Fat kids go after candy, a monkey flings poop, ninjas attack in a hotel room, the car stalls halfway through the finale, radio announcers serve to inform us how to feel about the incomprehensible action sequences set before us, and the emotional climax is a wash of CGI. About the only originality I see in the way characters and action is presented . . . is the spicing of flashbacks to carry emotional weight into the action sequences (liek when the evil corporate fellah tells Speed exactly what will happen, as it is happening - the race and its consequences become a flash forward, which turns the industrialist monologue into a flashback), and the close-ups that constantly sweep across the screen. Of course, that stuff I'm praising is only a stylistic variation of what Oliver Stone has been doing for years . . . it's a one-trick pony that just doesn't come together onscreen in a cohesive way. We'll see it again in W, only instead of hyper-color cutouts sliding across green screen CGI, it'll be slow-mo black and white, cut and recut through the narrative. Still, we'll wonder why it looks so familiar . . .

  • May 14, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    On the other hand, making Iron Man a movie was a risk

    by Chishu_Ryu

    But the Iron Man film itself took little or no risks. Maybe not casting a true "Hollywood heartthrob" as Tony Stark was a slight risk, but it's already been proven you can get away with that in super-hero films like Batman '89, Spiderman, and Ghost Rider. So I don't think casting RDJ was a big risk. The film as a whole didn't really break any new boundaries or do anything new or different other than give us a live action Iron Man. Filmmaking wise, it was quite boring. To give Jon Favreau the benefit of the doubt, I don't think he's a strong enough filmmaker to know how to try anything risky. He's obviously no Tim Burton, Ang Lee, Christopher Nolan, or Sam Raimi. In conclusion, Iron Man was boring filmmaking. Speed Racer was exciting filmmaking.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    Both in terms of content and execution. I dug IRON MAN a whole helluva lot, but I LOVED SPEED RACER way more because it totally hit all my inner 5 year old buttons, and it was this completely nutso and insane psychedelic popart explosion of awesome. <br><br> That said, I agree that IRON MAN was risky in the sense that people aren't that familiar with IRON MAN. But it wasn't risky in that it is running off of a popular trend -- superhero movies -- and was told in a pretty straightforward narrative manner. Again, I dug both flicks, so, I'm not doing this weird SPEED RACER vs. IRON MAN thing (which, btw, is totally fucking retarded. Those who are engaging in this, do you have some money invested in it? Otherwise, methinks you're over-identifying with your entertainment choices). I eagerly look forward to owning both on dvd. And I eagerly look forward to the IRON MAN sequel (while being saddened that there will most assuredly not be a SPEED RACER sequel).

  • May 14, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST

    And, SPEED RACER Is Totally Cult

    by LaserPants

    If it ever was mainstream, it wasn't since the late 60s, early 70s, and even then it was kind of obscure.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:40 p.m. CST

    You know why Favreau...

    by JackinNYC

    took risks?? He went against the hollywood blockbuster / comic book adaptation by making the special effects service the story, not the other way around. Some may call that boring. I call it brave and exciting story telling. And judging by the success...many, many people agree. And the reason BO numbers matter??? Maybe other films will be pushed to this direction and not towards fx loaded empty eye candy.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    gotham, Speed Racer was the original Japanime...

    by Chishu_Ryu strike a major chord with American culture. If you grew up in the late 60's to early 90's, you knew who Speed Racer was. It was on everyday after you came home from school. Sometimes it might have been on before you left for school. But before Dragonball Z, YuGiOh, Pokemon, and going further back...Voltron, Battle of the Planets, etc. and everything else, there was Speed Racer. Astro Boy never became as popular. Agreed that kids today or young adults will not be familiar with the cartoon.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:59 p.m. CST


    by WerePlatypus

    in terms of the 2008 movie's execution. You guys were talking about the "mainstreaminess" of the original cartoon. . . That's my bad . . . sorry.

  • May 14, 2008, 5:59 p.m. CST


    by JackinNYC

    Agreed. Speed Racer is not 'cult'. It was so prevalent, for such a long time that any kid would have to be living without a TV not to be exposed to it.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    okay, just saw Speed Racer

    by newc0253

    went in with totally low expectations, having read a bunch of negative reviews, and actually really enjoyed it.<p> i don't think all the negative reviews were necessarily wrong: Speed Racer certainly has some substantial flaws and you gotta be willing to get past some quantum levels of cheese to appreciate it. but i also think it's foolish to write it off as a big budget turkey. sure, it might have bombed mightily at the box office, but it merged groundbreaking effects with genuine charm and a true heart. makes me think that history will look a little more kindly upon it than it is now.<p>

  • May 14, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Favreau had established hits...

    by Quake II

    and so did the Wachowskis. When I say Iron Man wasn't a risk, I mean it's ANOTHER superhero film (which generally do pretty well-to-excellent in box office). Superhero films rarelt lose money, so in that sense, it wasn't a huge risk. Downey Jr is an outstanding actor as is Jeff Bridges. Favreau had a few hits under his belt like Elf, Made and Zathura to a lesser extent. Iron Man had some very "safe" things in place before it started filming. Speed Racer was a cult show turned into a cult movie disguised as mainstream fodder. Any movie adaptation of a cartoon or cult film is riskier than a Marvel superhero. BTW, Iron Man is a much better film than Batman Begins IMO.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:07 p.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    Are you sleeping with Jon Favreau or something? I mean, don't get me wrong, I thought IRON MAN was great and he did a great job, but I don't think he did anything risky or different than any of the other superhero movies did. He did make a kick ass movie, though. One with a much more mainstream appeal than SPEED RACER, which, I'm sorry, is cult.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST


    by Jed

    you didn't SEE the movie, did you.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST

    And for the record, I hate most CGI.

    by Quake II

    I find it distracting and fake looking. I did appreciate Iron Mans LACK of CGI (although a couple scenes were poorly done). We're still not there yet with computer graphics IMO. I see Speed Racer in 2 hours. I'll post an honest review later tonight.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Elf made some good $$$

    by Quake II

    It was a huge hit at the box office.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Have Fun Quake II

    by LaserPants

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  • May 14, 2008, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Marvel did an A+ job marketing Iron Man

    by Chishu_Ryu

    There was a commercial for the film in your face like 24/7 beginning with the Super Bowl ad. The commercials were all pretty exciting. Robert Downey Jr. was funny in them. There was definitely a lot of hype in the air created for this movie. The positive reviews sealed the deal.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:28 p.m. CST

    I'd say the cast of Speed Racer was definitely risky

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci make mostly studio independents. Susan Sarandon is out of the loop. John Goodman is getting old. It's Matthew Fox's first movie role. And a basic unknown was cast as the villain Royalton.<p> For me, casting Emile Hirsch drew me to this film initially, as I've been a fan of his work since "Into the Wild."

  • May 14, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST

    And He Totally Looks Like Speed Racer

    by LaserPants

    Which is to say he looks like Elvis in Spinout.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST

    I remember watching

    by Campion

    Comedy Central in the old college days. When they had Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Speed Racer and this brand new show called South Park. All these shows were funny but weird. No one I watched with had heard of Speed Racer but it was a kinda funny show. Now the movie comes out in the middle of 3 super-mainstream blockbusters and I just can't bother to see it with so many expensive must-see films already. Iron Man is a less-well-known comic hero, but people still know him much more than Speed Racer.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:36 p.m. CST

    So Downey was...

    by JackinNYC

    So Downey was lying when he spoke about neither he nor Favreau had the type of blockbuster experience many thought was required for this film? He said it, not me. All I know is my son and I were surprised by and enjoyed Iron Man. Not so for SR. After the film all he could muster was "why did u drag me to that?" And all I could say was...that was not the speed racer I remember.

  • May 14, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST

    The real tragedy is...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...that we may not get a Speed Racer sequel and thusly see the awesome insane scene where Spritle and ChimChim hijack the Mach 5 and take it on a joyride...

  • May 14, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Chimpanzees are violent mischievous beasts...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Tim Burton got it right with his Planet of the Apes film. Chimps can't be trusted. They need a good smack on the head every now and then to remind them who the dominant primate on the planet is. <p> Perhaps they should have hired a rare endangered Bonobo to be ChimChim...

  • May 14, 2008, 9:57 p.m. CST

    The only questions I would have asked is...

    by mrfan

    did Christina Ricci and you get it on? If so, how was it? If not, what the hell is your problem?

  • May 14, 2008, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Ok, I just saw it with my son..........

    by Quake II

    Breif history on me. I am a BIG fan of the show (I have all 52 episodes on dvd). I ran home from school in the mid 70's to watch Speed Racer at 3:30 every day in Washington DC. When I saw Pulp Fiction I thought Eric Stoltz wearing a Speed Racer shirt was fucking awesome and went and bought the same shirt. I re-discovered the show in the early 90's on VHS and dug it all over again. I "got" a lot of what they threw into the film. The likes: Racer X was badass. Every time he was on screen, the movie got 1000x cooler. The family stuff was cute and most of the race stuff worked fairly well. I also loved the martial arts stuff which was every bit as cool as the Matrix fights (just much shorter). The late 1950's Mid Century art deco stuff in the Racer home was a great tribute to the cartoon as well. The characters mostly using vintage World War 2 and older weaponry was a great tribute to the anime as well. Chim Chim and Spritle supplied comic relief for the kids without pissing me off (a major feat). Emile was likeable and got the job done as did the rest of the cast. No issues with the actors overall. The "villian" drivers were cool and I liked the Army guy and Vikings as well as the crazy chicks with the matching pink cars. Reminded me of Death Race 2000 characters. The dislikes: Some of the CGI was absolutely photo-realistic, but some was very cartoony looking. Almost as if different companies worked on the film. The flashback stuff slowed the first 1/4 of the film down and could have been mostly cut. The editing could have been slowed down a little bit during some of the race scenes to take it in. Not enough Racer X badness. The movie had some amazing moments but fell short of a full-on action masterpiece due to editing and pacing problems. Not enough Ninjas. Will I buy it on Blu-Ray? Of course. My 6 year old liked it and there were about 4 scenes that I could watch over and over again. Racer X vs the Mammoth Car rocked, Cata Cristo race was epic and I really dug the hotel Ninja fight.

  • May 14, 2008, 10:33 p.m. CST

    The toys aint moving.

    by stardogg

    Warner Brothers must be having a shit fit. Did some shopping at Walmart (yeah, I'm poor) today and the Speed Racer cars and action figures were in great supply. Not one kid or parent stopped to look at them. I haven't seen the movie-visuals turned me off-but I'll check it out on disc in a few months. I might go back to Walmart and get the Speed Racer car because I am a fan of the original cartoon.

  • May 14, 2008, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Tomarru, that is what is so great about DVD

    by Mace Tofu

    and Blu-ray. You can just skip the parts you don't like. I watch the second Matrix movie in about 20 minutes these days thanks to DVD. I worked on a version of Speed that never went anywhere but the challenge then was how to bring Speed into todays world. I didn't think at the time that you could just take the show as-is and win over todays audience. We were working on a version where Speed was married to Trixie and their child would fill the Spritle role, Spridle the Speed role. Racer X would of been more of a Mel Gibson (my choice) type so my take was to just move the family dynamics over one generation but keep the ideas from the show pretty much the same as the current movie did. To me the movie that Warners made is SPEED RACER. Out of all the versions in pre-production over the years I really can't fault them for making a version that sticks so close to the original, warts and all. Tomarru you say you couldn't even make it thru 10 minutes of the original cartoon, I couldn't make it thru 10 minutes of the original CARE BEARS cartoon so I didn't go see the feature of that when it came out. I missed MY LITTLE PONY the movie too. I did see 3 or 4 POKEMON movies in the theater but not the last few (Pokemon overload reached). I love SPEED RACER the cartoon and I loved the Movie. You thought they should of made it more mainstream. I too thought it should be re-worked but after seeing the new movie I do have to concede they made a better SPEED RACER than I could of at the time. I salute the Wachowskis for a fantastic job capturing everything I love about the old SR from my childhood.

  • May 14, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    QuakeII, Re: FXs ... different companies worked on the film.

    by Mace Tofu

    That is TRUE. That middle race had some of the weakest CGI in the movie. I too did not like the fact that the Mach 5 in some shots looked 100% like a real car jumping in the air while 2 seconds later a shot would look like a PS2 90's era CGI render. I blame TIME. If you watch the trailers you can see the same CGI shots jump in quality from the first to last trailer. I'm sure there are a few shots they would of rendered at a higher quality if time permitted. I've worked on plenty of projects were FX shots went out in a state I wasn't happy with. Maybe they will finish them for the DVD like Lucas did with his movies or RR did with SPY KIDS 3-D. I see BO MOJO has SPEED listed as costing $120 not $200 million so that should help on what they need to break even or squeak a profit out of this. I do hope in the long run this turns a profit as I really like it and think the press has been overly harsh on SR. Well my wife is calling me to come watch American Idol so I'm out of here : )

  • May 14, 2008, 11:20 p.m. CST

    The risk didn'

    by DarkCouncilus

  • May 14, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Mach 5 should have been a talking car

    by lodoss24

    I love this film, I really connected with it. That first race where Speed chases Rex's ghost car was moving. Extremly happy I got to see this flick. And it turned out to be film about the Racer Family, not the fucking car. A film where you must see it in the theatre. I guess for this film to make it big, the Mach 5 would have had to talk, speed would have a bionic arm, and Racer X would have been brother turned arch villain. Package repeat for next summer. Thank you again for this film. Loved it

  • May 14, 2008, 11:41 p.m. CST

    The risk didn't pay as a bussiness...

    by DarkCouncilus any conceivable way. Food chain will be merciless with those that are not the Wachowskis, masterpice of pop art or not. "Can a family live with nothing but un-sold Speed Racer candy and other perishable goods? find out in the next season of SURVIVOR: SPEED RACER MOVIE... CBS!"

  • May 15, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST

    "Matthew Fox's first movie role"

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    ???<p>2006: Smokin' Aces, We Are Marshall<p>2008: Vantage Point

  • May 15, 2008, 2:18 a.m. CST

    'Realism' in car-fu

    by half vader

    This is the same completely redundant argument as the wire-fu in Crouching Tiger all over again. If you don't get that it's not about weight and realism, you should humbly take yourself out of the discussion. <p> If you disagree with the premise being inherently UNrealistic, then don't criticise them for being successful in exactly what they were trying to achieve. If you're talking about realism & weight (and natural dialogue for that matter or non-stylised performance), then I'd respectfully argue you don't in fact "get it". The pod race is a DIFFERENT kettle of fish, the similarity very literal and surface.

  • May 15, 2008, 5:49 a.m. CST

    Glad You Liked It Quake II

    by LaserPants

    I bought the whole thing hook line and sinker, but you're critiques are valid enough. I actually liked the flashback parts with Rex in the first 1/4, though. I think where the film dragged a bit was with the Royalton stuff. The same information could have been conveyed in half the time -- Royalton is sleazy, Speed is good / pure. I think the Ws were trying to bring in some of the clunky compressed exposition from the show in those scenes, but it still could have been done quicker and been more effective.<br><br> Oh, btw, I can totally relate to your Speed Racer fan timeline. I was the same little kid in the mid 70s running home to catch the show. This was later replaced with Star Blazers, and then later still Voltron, Tranzor Z, and Robotech, after which running home to catch a cartoon show wasn't as much of a priority (ya know, high school, girls, punk rock, et al, got in the way).

  • May 15, 2008, 6:08 a.m. CST

    If Even Half The Haters Actually SAW It

    by LaserPants

    Then SPEED RACER would have made at least $50mil. The sad fact is that people just didn't see it at all, and therefore may have missed (unless they run out there this weekend and actually SEE it before it disappears) their chance to see a truly insane, unique, and asskickingly cool pop-art explosion of awesomeness. I can't wait to hear people kicking themselves in the head for missing it when they finally DO see it at home on BluRay and realize they missed their chance to see it in the full glory of IMAX.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Quake II

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Glad you mostly liked it.<p> Your criticisms about Speed Racer stopping short of being a full on action-masterpiece seem to me to be a major reason people who actually saw the film might not have gotten completely onboard with it. I can understand that. Not enough Racer X badness. Not enough ninjas. Too much Spritle/ChimChim. Fair enough.<p> We should remember, though, that the title of this film is "Speed Racer." Not "Ninja Racers" or "The Further Adventures of Racer X." At the core of the film is a young grommet named Speed Racer who has a near pure passion for the art of automobile racing, and he's the best there is at it. That's when the film becomes deadly serious. That's when Speed gets "that look" on his face and won't let anything stop him from being the first to cross the finish line. Ninjas are merely a fun diversion. Racer X is just there to help. Focusing too much on this other stuff, investing more emotion in it than it needs takes away from the true being of the film, that is, automobile racing.<p> In addition, I don't think the Wachowskis were looking to make a pure full-on action masterpiece and thus fall into typical summer movie fare. Typical action movie narrative. I really think they were trying to give us something we've never seen before. This may be a problem for most audiences looking for standard movie fare, but as the Stones song goes, "you can't always get what you want, but sometimes, you get what you need." Maybe this is what cinema needed? We'll see.

  • May 15, 2008, 9:56 a.m. CST


    by ArcadianDS

    well done. This update was 98% typo free, which is a HEEEUGE improvement over most of the content here.<p> But do we really need the "yeah yeah... monkeys...amirite?" parts - you could probably just dump those out and the interview wouldn't miss them.

  • May 15, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST

    The OTHER reason Tbs = wasteland

    by ArcadianDS

    lack of active moderation. If someone is being an assclown, just delete it. How hard is that?

  • May 15, 2008, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Wasnt StarBlazers pre Speed Racer?

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Or am I wrong? I remember StarBlazers far more prominently in the mid to late 70s than Speed Racer - but lived in a small market in the neolithic days pre cable tv so maybe that was the only option we had.

  • May 15, 2008, 11:13 a.m. CST


    by BDT

    sounds like most of these people have forgotten how to just have fun at the movies. They take themselves too seriously. This movie is a kids' movie. I saw it in a theater full of kids (of all ages) and the vast majority had a great time, in fact everyone I talked to loved it. Before seeing it, I honestly expected to dislike this movie after seeing the crazy colors and the psychadelic race scenes. But truth be told, somewhere about a third in, I found myself genuinely enjoying it. The only problem I had with it was the timeline jumping around too much, with too many flashbacks that seemed to take away from the continuity of the story. The other problem was, with the exception of the slimy character of Royalton, good guys were actually bad guys and the reason and clarity were a bit over my head (yeah go ahead and call me an idiot). And the bottom line is the kids had fun and didn't seem to mind a bit. I really enjoyed this movie...with the story and the acting being the highlights. I could take or leave the crazy colors, but I always admire an attempt to do something different.

  • May 15, 2008, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Now ask me if I liked it better than Iron Man

    by Quake II

    and see if I can answer that directly. I can't. Both films had some great moments and replay value. I am a big Robert Downey Jr fan, and without him as Tony Stark I would pick Speed Racer, hands down. Iron Man had a lot less action than Racer but I was a bit more invested in Tony Stark as a character than Speedy. BUT I feel that nothing in Iron Man matched the coolness of Racer X when he was onscreen. Iron Man had some great action scenes but they were very short and always left me wanting more (going back to Afghanistan for 5 minutes of revenge?). The final battle in Iron Man was also a little "been there, done that". Two mechs fighting is always impersonal and cold...even with people inside them. I honestly feel I would have to watch both films again and see which one holds up on a second viewing. For me, the summer is 2 for 2. Now if Indiana Jones is cool......

  • May 15, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    But SPEED RACER was my fave of the two hands down. I agree, 2 for 2. Buying em both on dvd and/or bluray whenwver they come out. So far my summer movie going experience has been a blast!

  • May 15, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    The original run of SPEED RACER was 1967. The original run of STAR BLAZERS was 1972 in Japan. I saw SPEED maybe around '75-77. STAR BLAZERS wasn't until like '79-80. Somethin' like that.

  • May 15, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by BiggusDickus

    I genuinely rate you as one of the more interesting and balanced movie reviewers; not just on this site, but working in the industry today However, your blinkered love affair with this material is becoming embarrassing now.<p> Step back a bit, son. Regain your perspective.

  • May 15, 2008, 2:12 p.m. CST

    The IMAX argument re: Speed Racer

    by Orbots Commander

    I haven't seen Speed Racer (nor plan on to since I wasn't a fan of the show as a kid and am not a huge fan of anime), but I don't agree with the argument that the way to REALLY appreciate Speed Racer or any other movie is through IMAX or watching it on a big screen. If anything, a large screen will mask a film's faults, through sheer sensory overload. The mark of a GREAT movie is when it plays great and you can enjoy it on an eight year old 19 inch tube tv.

  • May 15, 2008, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer at the Box Office


    First, it hasn't hit the international market yet. Hang on for that. They might learn from their U.S. marketing mistakes, or just luck into better marketing. Then there comes the Blu-Rays, the DVDs, the rentals, life on cable . . . this movie may be disappointing at the US box office, but it's going to have a long shelf-life.

  • May 15, 2008, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Or, It Hasn't Hit the Full International Market


    Doing lukewarm business in some Central American markets. But it has yet to go the full global. Still, it'll be lucky to break even (but it's not impossible). That being said, this is the sort of the movie that's likely to have a very long shelf-life, and develop a significant number of fans that have a life-long love affair with Chim-Chim . . . sort of like 80s fanboys and Tron. On line rentals and on demand movies and DVD . . . Speedracer will make bank, and become an asset in the long run.<br><br>Of course, I really liked both the Matrix sequels (the second more than the third), so I may lack objectivity.

  • May 15, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Vern liked Speed Racer.

    by greenstyle92

    That pretty much ends the debate.

  • May 15, 2008, 5:53 p.m. CST

    I just saw Speed Racer a second time...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...with a friend's 10 year old kid. There were five other people in the theater including a father and son behind us. The son was laughing and hooting the whole time, I could tell he enjoyed it. I asked my 10 year-old buddy what he thought of it. "That was awesome!" he said. "I'm excited now!" "My favorite was Racer X!" This movie does well with kids, apparently.<p> As for me, the second time around, the movie has risen from brilliant to near genius. I liked it twice as much the second time. There were things I picked up that I missed the first time (the sound was a bit low on my first viewing). The absurd scenes weren't as absurd. The talking floating commentator heads seemed more appropriate. Everything made more sense. The execution of this film was damn near perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. Nice work, Bros. Wachowski.<p> Speed Racer is one of the greatest multiplex extravaganza movies to come out in a long time.

  • May 15, 2008, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Critics are stupid jaded assholes...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    They've seen and reviewed so many typical standard formulaic Hollywood movies that it must be burned into their brains that a movie must be a certain way for it to be any good, and any deviance from that formula is shit.<p> Bullshit. Critics are shit, and I'll never trust one again. Ever.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Christina Ricci

    by Chishu_Ryu

    As I watched it the first time and afterwards, I thought maybe this film would have had more mainstream appeal if they had just cast Trixie with some new hottie from one of the popular teen to twentysomething TV shows.<p> Watching Speed racer a second time, only Christina Ricci could have pulled off the Casa Cristo race. Any other generic hot newcomer would have been like casting Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. Stupid.<p> Christina Ricci IS Trixie.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer is actually a trilogy in one movie

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Like three back-to-back-to-back episodes of the old cartoon comprising a bigger story arc. Episode One ends with the Fuji race. Episode Two focuses on the Casa Cristo race. Episode Three is the Grand Prix. Fucking brilliant.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Every kid in America should see Speed Racer once

    by Chishu_Ryu

    And every adult should see it twice.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer Go!

    by Chishu_Ryu

  • May 15, 2008, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Christina Ricci Is Now, For Me, The Ultimate Fetish Girl

    by LaserPants

    She's not only Trixie, she's like a template for every female anime character. I always thought she was smoking hot, but now, its an obsession. <br><br> Hey, Chishu, I think you and I are the last AICN stand for this movie. I'm gonna see it this weekend on IMAX again, roped some friends in to see it too, and after that I'm gonna kiss it goodbye until the dvd comes out and I get to obsessively watch my favorite scenes over and over and over again...

  • May 15, 2008, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer on IMAX

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Isn't playing in my city, but I will travel two hours to the next big city to see it on the IMAX there maybe next week. I now officially have Speed Racer fever.<p> Yeah, it's pretty sad that this film was lost on the masses, Laser. My 10 year-old buddy says he's the only kid in his class who saw Speed Racer so far. That's a freaking shame.<p> I will buy a Blu Ray player because of this film.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer as a trilogy film

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Come to think of it, I'll bet each "episode" I mentioned comes out to 45 minutes, as 3x45=135, the length of the film.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    One of the best ones too! That alone would have made a great movie. It had the Car Acrobatic Team and Snake Oiler and Captain Terror and everythin'!

  • May 15, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Yeah, You Gotta See The IMAX Version

    by LaserPants

    Its really outta control insanely awesome on that gigantic screen.

  • May 15, 2008, 6:56 p.m. CST

    re: Speed Racer on IMAX

    by Chishu_Ryu

    "Outta control insanely awesome" Right now, I can only imagine...

  • May 15, 2008, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Needed more wipes

    by Mike Fornes

    Just sayin'

  • May 15, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST

    I'll see it again this weekend....

    by Quake II

    Why not? I may just spend sunday jumping movies, but I'll start with Speed Racer. I too will buy a Blu Ray player in November for Speed. And hopefully Indiana Jones. Apparently my son's best friend at school brought his McDonalds Happy meal Mach 5 & Racer X car for show and tell last week. Hilarious.

  • May 15, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    2nd time around, even the "video game look" makes sense...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ..during some of the racing sequences. I'd have to say that the Fuji race looked the most "video gamey" of the races. But probing deeper into it, it makes sense that the filmmakers might choose this look. I can't quite spell it out, but it has something to do with how video games and virtual realities like "Second Life" and Grand Theft Auto (to a degree) have become burned into our modern consciousness. That people might somehow relate more to a CGI race than a real life race. It's a bit of a stretch, I know, but I couldn't help thinking that while watching the Fuji race sequence...

  • May 15, 2008, 11:24 p.m. CST

    I really liked this movie

    by Series7

    I wish I could see it IMAX. THe closest one to me though (2) hours, the one in town shut down. Just shows the fucking IMAX nature films??? How does that one stay open and the one that shows real movies get shut down? I think I've convinced a friend to go see it with me again this weekend. If not I'll go see it by myself. Its my second favorite movie of the year right behind Rambo. I've only seen like maybe like 10 films in theaters this year, and everyone of the has been twice as good as the best thing I saw in theaters last year. I don't get all the hoopla about how great last year was. This year has been fucking amazing, lets hope it continues.

  • May 15, 2008, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Series7...Last summer sucked.

    by Quake II

    Every movie I saw last summer left me cold. I enjoyed Transformers (kinda) but had no desire to go back and see it. Pirates 3 was more of the same, Fantastic 4 ROTSS was average (the Silver Surfer stuff was cool) at best. Spider-Man 3 had some of the worst digital effects I have ever seen in a major motion picture. The New Goblin/Spidey fight was terrible. Like rubber people bouncing around buildings. The rest of Spidey 3 was "ok" at best. NOTHING stood out last summer. I stayed out of theaters for months after being burned all last year.

  • May 16, 2008, 5:38 a.m. CST

    I believe Speed Racer is the only film with ninjas this year

    by Chishu_Ryu

    That's got to count for something

  • May 16, 2008, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Or "nonjas" or whatever they're called...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    It's a shame what passes for a ninja these days...

  • May 16, 2008, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Agreed, last summer sucked

    by Chishu_Ryu

    With Bayformers as King of the Shitpile. I was one of a select few, though, who enjoyed Spiderman 3. I thought of the three Spidey movies, it had the most complexity as far as the relationships between Mary Jane and Peter and Harry went. I liked the sentiment that was thrown in between the three, especially when Peter and Harry become friends again. We'd hardly ever seen them as true high school chums. I just thought of all the Spidey films, it had the most heart. And that has to count for something. Agreed that there were some crazy plot jumps in Spidey 3, though...

  • May 16, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    How could the critics have been so WRONG??

    by Sanjuros_Sword

    I've been a lurker here for years and this is the first time I've felt compelled to actually bother to log an account and post. Speed Racer was fantastic. The critics were WAY off and I simply can't figure out how they missed the mark so completely. I've been it twice now and am driving an hour to see the IMAX version next week. I'm saddened that we wont see a sequel to this as it seem to have some teasers that begged for a follow-up. I'm also upset that the wonderful job that all the actors did will go so unnoticed. Finally someone gave us what we wanted, a true to source material adaptation...and the public never gave it a chance. Funny. Everyone I speak to who has seen it at least liked it a lot if not outright loved it. Only those who haven't seen it have made negative comments to me. Oh well. Thanks to everyone involved in this picture. This film made my summer.

  • May 16, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST


    by Sanjuros_Sword

    Wow, no edit feature. LOL

  • May 16, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    On the first 15-20 minutes...

    by max314

    Quake II apparently didn't like the opening 15-20 minutes, but I actually thought the opening minutes represented some of the best writing the Brothers have ever done.<br><br>Those opening minutes are essentially the soul to the entire story. If that hadn't been there (and if it hadn't been done so well), then I don't think the movie would have been as emotionally affecting as it ended up being.<br><br>I'm inclined to agree on the CGI front, though. The Brothers were working their asses off trying to get as many of the shots finished as possible, but there simply wasn't enough time. I hope they manage to finish them for the DVD release.

  • May 16, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    The first 15-20 minutes.

    by Series7

    Like watching those I had this feeling that this movie was actually going to suck, like I wasn't buying it at all. I just thought it was cheesy and lame. Then as the movie got going it all came together. Then I realized what it was, this movie has a learning curve built into it. You had to sit through the first 15-20 min before you really got what was going on. Before you were emerssed in the world. It made me appreciate the first section a lot more because of it.

  • May 16, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    It's not that I didn't like the first 15-20 minutes...

    by Quake II

    I just felt like it was a little to "jumpy". I could tell my son (he's 6) was a little confused at first. Here's the past, now the present, now the past again etc. I think they could have just started in the present and let some quick dialogue explain how Trixie & Speed met and touch on Speed's childhood obsession with racing. A quick flashback with Rex teaching Speed would be ok. But these are minor complaints. I'm going back to see it this weekend. And I am already putting together a Racer X costume for Halloween (which will be less offensive than my SS costume last year). ;-)

  • May 16, 2008, 1:20 p.m. CST

    SR and exposition

    by Sanjuros_Sword

    Personally I loved the first 20 minutes. The film had a LOT of exposition to get through so it could tell the real story. I thought this was a powerful way of doing it. "Series7" is dead on, it perfectly set up the pace and style of the picture. And I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet but the final 20 minutes were almost perfect and. The way the whole story came together and the way the directors handled the call-backs and pay-offs from the previous scenes worked brilliantly. Very nice job on the score too in these scenes. It's wrong of me to love this film this much isn't it?? LOL

  • May 16, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Second viewing

    by AdmiralNeck

    Better than first. I've gone from liking it to loving it. Dare I see it for a third time?<p>Did someone earlier say the film was anti-monopoly, not anti-capitalist? Exactly. Racer Motors needs the market to survive, as much as Royalton and Togokhan. The only difference is that they play fair and only want to survive within a small niche, not monopolise production of an essential motor part using crooked tactics. "Cheaters never prosper," is the last pre-credits thing we see for a reason.

  • May 17, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I find it sad to hear he dropped his agent because of the $20 mi

    by Anna Valerious

    Dude, you should've dropped him after "The Girl Next Door". Besides, didn't he do the movie because he liked the anime?

  • May 17, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST

    So, 2?, 3? how many months before the DVD is out?

    by DarkCouncilus

    Or will the WB risk further and try for a gutsy December release? <p> There is a really really huge gap to fill before the producers get any money back from this business utter failure / "pop masterpiece".

  • May 17, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    The commercial failure of this film....

    by Quake II

    ..keeps it in the "cult/niche" market and that's fine by me. Eventually many more people will see the movie via Blu-Ray and Netflix and I'm sure it will have a big following eventually. I don't care that a sequel will never be made. Sequels usually suck anyhow. There are 52 episodes of the 1967 series, many more from the Japanese 90's revamp series (Speed Racer X/ aka Y2K) and still more from the lame new flash animated 2008 series. Speed Racer has no shortage of material to watch. Somehow I've managed to get by without sequels to some of my favorite movies.

  • May 17, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Quake II

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Still it would've been nice to see Speed Racer do better up front, a reward to the filmmakers for such a daring venture. In the meantime, I'm afraid heads may roll at WB for this film's failure. Not sure whose, though. Marketing?<p> I purchased a DVD of the old Speed Racer cartoon the other day, and am "rediscovering" the classic episodes like "Mammoth Car" and "Most Dangerous Race." Wow. I didn't realize the Wachowski Bros. were being so faithful to the original cartoon. There are elements in the movie taken straight from the cartoon. Again, it's a shame this great film is being lost on audiences right now who aren't discovering it on the big screen.

  • May 17, 2008, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Needs to do better for a Racer X spin-off.

    by Dingbatty

    I enjoyed Fox's kooky yet cool performance the most.

  • May 17, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Chishu_Ryu....classic episodes

    by Quake II

    Yeah, the Wachowskis obviously watched the series right before working on the movie as they took elements, situations and characters straight from the episodes. People bag on the show on here and say "It was a badly drawn anime that no one watched", but the truth is, many scenes from the show are beautifully drawn and shaded. Watch "Challenge Of The Masked The Masked Racer" and there are some amazing shots in there. Anyone else notice Peter Fernandez (The voice of the original Speed Racer) as the announcer in the movie. He was the older guy who looked like Stan Lee. Cool cameo that only a true fan would spot.

  • May 17, 2008, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Marketing department really screwed up though.

    by Quake II

    As a fan of the series, I watched those commercials and thought "Uh oh!". They didn't sell the movie as anything other than hyper active video game trash for the Mtv generation. The truth is, the movie has a story, heart and great choreography. Those elements were completely hidden from the trailers. So yeas, I blame marketing 100%. Whoever cut those trailers should be shitcanned.

  • May 18, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Cult Classic?

    by max314

    'Blade Runner' was also a commercial bomb, but it became a phenomenon after its time. It's ironic that the same criticisms aimed at 'Blade Runner' (e.g. "the visuals overwhelm the story") are being directed towards 'Speed Racer'.<p>Of course, anyone with even a basic knowledge of dramaturgy and screenwriting craft knows that 'Speed Racer' had a damn fine screenplay. But it would seem that critics who were so numbed by the groundbreaking visuals that they couldn't see the forest for the trees.<p>Ironically, the few audiences who have seen the film have actually had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. The problem is that not enough people are actually going to begin with, although there is a possibility that positive word of mouth could allow the film to hang in for a number of weeks longer than expected.<p>So yes, I think this film will be remebered kindly by history. Although that's little consolation to the Wachowski Brothers and their team. But I suspect they were well aware that - as with all their films - they were taking a risk. And, as with any risk, it doesn't always pay off.<p>Time will tell.

  • May 18, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    This was a good movie

    by wash

    Just caught it last night finally. I do think there is sort of a limited audience for this, but it seems like the Wachowski backlash is working a bit too well in scaring people away. This movie was a shit ton better than Transformers.

  • May 18, 2008, 8:01 p.m. CST

    You know what will be remembered kindly too?

    by DarkCouncilus

    The jobs and ascending careers of those whose heads rolled and are not a Wachowski sibling.

  • May 18, 2008, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Chim Chim and Sprittle

    by Maui

    This was a good movie. They just needed LESS of Chim Chim and Sprittle. Talk about annoying. Awesome special effects wizardry by the Wachowskis.

  • May 18, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST

    To our dearly departed...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...suits who got axed due to the box office failure of the modern masterpiece that is "Speed Racer", your noble sacrifice will be remembered and honored, and know this, that some fights really are worth dyin' for. We salute you!

  • May 18, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Any one see this more than once?

    by Mindtrip

    I saw it for the second time Friday and maybe it was because I took a muscle relaxer for my back pain or just that I was overall less stressed, but I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. I'll definately buy it on DVD when it comes out.

  • May 19, 2008, 12:13 a.m. CST

    It's no illusion, mindtrip

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Speed Racer is a really good movie, and improves with subsequent viewings, the mark of a great movie. Contrary to some movies that are good the first time, but then when you watch them again, the flaws start coming out...

  • May 19, 2008, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Speed Racer hasn't opened in France or Japan yet...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...perhaps Speed's last stand to make a last effort push at a piece of the summer box office...Go Speed Racer Go!

  • May 19, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST


    by Series7

    Looks like there are only a few dying fans left for this movie. I can't seem to convice any of my friends to go see it on their own. And I want to see it again, but I don't know if I'll have time to before it goes out of theaters. I blame those damn Pokemon cartoons for why this didn't click, also bad posters, terrible posters. Like I went to look and see if there was one I wanted and no nothing cool. I blame Pokemon because A) that was like the start of the GROWTH of the mainstream popularity of asian animie and B) All adults associate anthing that kind of looks like it to it. So I bet a lot of grown ups/college age kids were like, man this looks like Pokemon shit, lame. But then again Narnia didn't destroy the BO this weekend either, maybe people just don't give a shit about movies like they used to. Whatever, there loss.

  • May 19, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST

    BraneRobot, you misspelled "brain"...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...but nobody's perfect. I'm sorry you couldn't grasp what was going on with the strategy of the races, you know, to try to win the race. It's a very complex idea to wrap your brane around, I know. Maybe seeing it on the IMAX was too much for your senses maybe? Try seeing it again on a smaller screen, which probably won't happen. And that's great you were able to read the minds of every child in the theater, or did you do an exit poll when the movie was over? Maybe if you weren't so busy studying the movie watching habits of your fellow moviegoers instead of paying attention to the movie, you wouldn't have been so lost. Really. I'm truly sorry you were bored. But who was it that said "bored people are boring people"? Anyway, your post is boring. I understand Speed Racer is not your cup of tea. I guess it's a good thing Prince Caspian (a real movie, right?) opened this past weekend to save the day for you.

  • May 19, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by Christobal NOT a word you can use to describe the racing in this move. BraneRobot surely had too much turkey before he saw this movie and it made him sleepy. I saw it again this weekend in Imax and the family I went with had a blast. They thanked me for the idea to go and see this film.

  • May 19, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST


    by Quake II

    "people that loved it and said you're making a Racer X costume for Halloween? That's cool, I guess certain 10 year olds would like this, but leave the real movies for real movie fans." I'm 37 years old and the costume will be around 300.00 (real leather). I found elements of Speed Racer to be amazing. Sorry you hated it. I'm a movie lover (watching Blow-Up for the 20th time right now) and and to assume that those who liked Speed Racer have bad taste is ignorant. To each his own. My son loved it.

  • May 20, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST

    For all those that loved Speed Racer

    by Series7

    And all those that sat around talking about how bad it was getting reviewed citing the Rotten Tomatoes % meter of just 34 percent like it fucking mattered. WELL Postal the new masterpiece from Uwe Boll has a 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I am pretty sure that the whole "critic" idea is just fucked. The fact that these two movies are within 1 percent of each other on Rotten Tomatoes flawless rating system proves that critics are fucking usless and retarded. I am not sure what world you live in, but even the most violent Brother W haters could never say that any of their movies are just a HINT better then the BEST Uwe Boll movie. His movies by the way average 0 percent on the rotten tomatoes scale. If these numbers hold, I am pretty sure I'll never look at that site again.

  • May 20, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST

    "Speed Racer" is excellent.

    by Dave Bowman

    There is no sane reason for this movie to bomb. If people aren't going to see it, I guess they just don't want any Speed Racer movie, no matter how good it is. Maybe it would have been more successful if they'd made him a NASCAR driver and given him a southern accent.