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John Drew

Speed Racer (2008)

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It's an overwhelming experience, especially on first viewing. The first fifteen minutes are a make-or-break test of enduring blitz after blitz of information. When I showed it to my roommates this year, one of them said "I think I hate this movie." By about the twelve-minute point, he was in love with it. My experience in the theatre was about the same. I don't know exactly how the movie charmed myself or my roommate into surrendering to it. But it is a genuinely sweet-hearted film; completely committed to a core story built around the beauty and importance of family, and one of the most visually thrilling things to come out of Hollywood in years.

Ryan, I'd say it's every bit as committed to it's own specific style - no irony, no sarcasm, just plain old sentimentalism - as Temple of Doom is to it's pulpiness (don't let that turn you off, Stef. Otherwise, the two are worlds apart). I return to Speed Racer when I get sick of the snarkiness that saturates pop culture, and I'm still kind of amazed that something so earnest and, I guess, kind of innocent, was produced in this age.

In any case, the best defense that I've read is Dennis Cozzalio's. It's long, but well worth the read.

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A real breakthrough in some ways, but it's hard to see if it will influence future films, a la <i>The Matrix</i>, or be a fading one-time experience that quickly evaporates, a la <i>Dick Tracy</i>.

Thought I'd pull this up and quote myself as a way to link to Keith Phipps' Slate article on the void into which Dick Tracy fell after its release.

The film enjoyed no afterlife. It won a few Oscars (for art direction, makeup, and best song), then made its way to cable. It's not spoken of today in the same breath as Back to the Future, Die Hard, Jurassic Park, or other near-contemporaries, nor has it enjoyed any kind of revival as an overlooked cult film, like Joe Versus the Volcano or Miami Blues, both released the same year. Inescapable in 1990, it's become at best a hazy memory.

I'm not sure where Speed Racer fits on the continuum between wanna-be blockbuster and forgotten relic. It's too soon to tell.

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I got this on bluray, and have probably watched it 3 times since. I maintain that it is the Wachowski Brothers' best film, and it's one of my favorites to come out of 2008.

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Edited by old wave

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I got this on bluray, and have probably watched it 3 times since. I maintain that it is the Wachowski Brothers' best film, and it's one of my favorites to come out of 2008.

I remember we'd set up our 60" television with a sound system my friend had designed and built for the room. This was one of the first things we watched on it on blu-ray. Over the top and completely overwhelming and I can never get enough.

Edited by Scholar's Parrot

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I'm not sure where Speed Racer fits on the continuum between wanna-be blockbuster and forgotten relic. It's too soon to tell.

I got this on bluray, and have probably watched it 3 times since. I maintain that it is the Wachowski Brothers' best film

Ahead of the release of the Wachoski's Cloud Atlas, Slate calls Speed Racer the filmmakers' masterpiece.

Edited by Christian

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I'm not sure where Speed Racer fits on the continuum between wanna-be blockbuster and forgotten relic. It's too soon to tell.

I got this on bluray, and have probably watched it 3 times since. I maintain that it is the Wachowski Brothers' best film

Ahead of the release of the Wachoski's Cloud Atlas, Slate calls Speed Racer the filmmakers' masterpiece.

I watched this in college. We lived in a house with a massive TV and one of the guys was a sound engineer that built our surround sound system FOR the room. It was ridiculous. One of the first movies we watched was this one. My best friend and I have always cherished it. It's world building is perhaps TOO good, the uncanny valley line from that Slate article rings very true. But that's all kind of the point. They seem to get so much right here, that it's almost TOO much like a live action cartoon. And again, I think that's the point. I wouldn't call it "their masterpiece" because I don't know if it is one, but also because if it is Amasterpiece, the Matrix must be as well. I saw the io9 article last night and immediately sent it to a friend, but it's so great seeing someone at Slate loving it as well.

Edit:

I got this on bluray, and have probably watched it 3 times since. I maintain that it is the Wachowski Brothers' best film, and it's one of my favorites to come out of 2008.

I remember we'd set up our 60" television with a sound system my friend had designed and built for the room. This was one of the first things we watched on it on blu-ray. Over the top and completely overwhelming and I can never get enough.

Well...might help if I read a few more posts up, haha.

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On 5/7/2008 at 6:09 PM, Christian said:

Yeah, I just handed in a pretty positive review, although the few four-letter words were disappointing to me and not terribly "cute." Still, the film is so unapologetically kid-centric, in a good way, that I find myself, like Moriarity, somewhat in awe of the brothers Wachowski. Regardless of how many people go to see this film, it's an artistic accomplishment, at times a real marvel.

 

 

Tonight I pulled up Twitter and saw that Speed Racer was trending. I don't often notice what's trending on Twitter, but because I've grown to love this movie, I clicked and found that ... well, I'm still not sure why the film is trending - and neither are most others who've been tweeting about the film today. Everyone's just, "I don't know why Speed Racer is trending, but that's a great movie." And then they post a GIF.

I have to say, this is the most fun I've had on Twitter in a long time.

And I'm still not sure why the film is trending.  

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