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RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 11:34:51 AM   
krudler


Posts: 7018
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

Or so you say.

While I haven't seen it, I have to admit that it sounds like a by-the-numbers rehash to me, with only Robert Downey Jr. and his quirky half-mumbling delivery making it anything worth watching.


I do say, as i've seen the movie

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Post #: 121
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 11:48:30 AM   
porntrooper

 

Posts: 2616
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: Sheffield
Max, the reason I picked up on that 5 star review was that it is totally shocking and the guy has the audacity to call himself 'The Smartest Film Critic In The World'.  That single claim is enough to make me discount every single one of his reviews.  Of course it's all subjective and it's his view, but the review of Speed Racer itself doesn't really tell us anything about why he feels it's a 5 star movie.  Now, if I'm reading a review of a 5 star movie, I want to know why it is.  Something a little more substanial than a 'flawless cast' and a 'divine vision of psychedelic visual ecstasy' someone could claim that from the trailer.  The visuals do look good, OTT yes, but I get the style and what its trying to achieve and it seems to be succeeding.  No one could argue the cast is very good, wether they manage to pull off the material is another thing, and from the 7 minute preview it looks debatable.  Albeit without any of the major players involved too much. 

What I'm getting at, is that the review you've used as source to fuel your entusiasm is a shocking one.  The Empire review holds far more weight.  Cole Smithey just sounds a tool.

I wasn't aware a new camera had been developed for Speed Racer.  However, the visuals still don't look that groundbreaking.  It looks nice, but not pioneering.  Superman Returns used new camera equipment, still looked like any other film and will  never be considered groundbreaking.  The stylistic approach is something we've seen before, done differently yes, but not anything new in my eyes.  I'm looking forward to reading you're review Max.  I have one request, could you tell us in your review how old you are? It seemed to be important for Roger Ebert, so I'm sure it's of consequence here, eh?

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Post #: 122
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 1:09:03 PM   
max314


Posts: 2746
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: London
quote:

ORIGINAL: Felix

No, I meant theres no possibility of you ever admitting it if you dont like the film.


Well, seeing as the Wachowskis are such accomplished filmmakers, it's likely that I will dig it.

But if I don't like the movie, I will have no reservations about saying so and then detailing the reasons why I felt that way.

I've done it for movies I've anticipated in the past, and I will continue to do that for any movies that I anticipate but then let me down in the future.

Hopefully, Speed Racer won't be one of those movies.

quote:

Why cant you just accept that some people, including me, really arent interested in it and if anything, have been put off the film even more by the migraine inducing headache of a trailer.


When did I not "accept" it?

I just disagreed with it.

I am entitled to disagree, right?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Neth

My friend just got back from seeing Speed Racer. He said it was even better than the time he drank some spiked Kool Aid and played Wipeout 2097 for fourteen hours straight whilst a transvestite hooker jerked him off and Limp Bizkit did a live set in the corner of his lounge.


Oh, that's nice...

quote:

ORIGINAL: krudler

I do say, as i've seen the movie


Yeah, you said that already.

quote:

ORIGINAL: porntrooper

Max, the reason I picked up on that 5 star review was that it is totally shocking and the guy has the audacity to call himself 'The Smartest Film Critic In The World'.  That single claim is enough to make me discount every single one of his reviews.  Of course it's all subjective and it's his view, but the review of Speed Racer itself doesn't really tell us anything about why he feels it's a 5 star movie.  Now, if I'm reading a review of a 5 star movie, I want to know why it is.  Something a little more substanial than a 'flawless cast' and a 'divine vision of psychedelic visual ecstasy' someone could claim that from the trailer.  The visuals do look good, OTT yes, but I get the style and what its trying to achieve and it seems to be succeeding.  No one could argue the cast is very good, wether they manage to pull off the material is another thing, and from the 7 minute preview it looks debatable.  Albeit without any of the major players involved too much. 

What I'm getting at, is that the review you've used as source to fuel your entusiasm is a shocking one.  The Empire review holds far more weight.  Cole Smithey just sounds a tool.


Although I don't know for sure, but I just assumed that the "smartest film critic" tagline was perhaps a third party opinion he used as a promotional thing.

Either way, I don't really understand what bearing that has on his opinion of the film.

And yeah, his review is short.  But the comments he makes are pretty much in agreement with much of what other positive reviews have said about the film.

Plus he's officially cited on Rotten Tomatoes, so his opinion is worth the same as everyone else who's posted on there.

quote:

I wasn't aware a new camera had been developed for Speed Racer.  However, the visuals still don't look that groundbreaking.  It looks nice, but not pioneering.  Superman Returns used new camera equipment, still looked like any other film and will  never be considered groundbreaking.  The stylistic approach is something we've seen before, done differently yes, but not anything new in my eyes.  I'm looking forward to reading you're review Max.  I have one request, could you tell us in your review how old you are? It seemed to be important for Roger Ebert, so I'm sure it's of consequence here, eh?


Say what you want about Speed Racer, but I don't think anyone can seriously say that it "looks like any other film".

And no, I won't disclose personal information over the internet, but I'll tell you that I'm old enough to hold a Ph.D, but not as old as Ebert.  Who, by the way, thought Blade Runner sucked and that "its visuals overwhelmed the story"...


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Laying the 314 on your candy ass.

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Post #: 123
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 1:16:34 PM   
porntrooper

 

Posts: 2616
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: Sheffield
Don't worry, I'm not genuinely trying to find out your age, I just thought it a nice point given the fact that you brought it up for Ebert. 

I notice you also refer to his review of Blade Runner, are you saying that his dislike of that film makes his opinion on others less worthy or influential?  But in this same thread when I commented on Smithey's one star review of Son Of Rambow you said it's an acceptable view etc.  Have a gander at some of the video reviews from Cole Smithey, that guy is a tool of the highest order! Just sometimes seems that you'll see what you want to see in these reviews and comments from other people, ignoring bits that you dont like etc.  I have to say it again, Cole Smithey's reviews are terrible... read some of his others, for the most part they're just plot outlines.  Terrible film critic..... and he has really distracting hand movements. 

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Post #: 124
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 1:17:55 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: max314

And no, I won't disclose personal information over the internet, but I'll tell you that I'm old enough to hold a Ph.D, but not as old as Ebert. 


Does that mean that you're of an age that it is possible to hold a PhD, or that you actually hold a PhD... You don't specify.

Oh, and anyone who clicks on your profile can see your birthday, unless you entered a false one. Which makes you recently turned 26.



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Post #: 125
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 1:21:43 PM   
Mason Verger


Posts: 4724
Joined: 13/1/2006
From: Bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri
quote:

ORIGINAL: max314

quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Max, you have to admit that whether you like it not, your prior respect and admiration for the work of the Wachowski brothers will undeniably affect your reception of any new film of theirs. Ridley Scott is my favourite living director, and I'll freely admit two things. 1) He's made at least one turgid film, and several below-par (par being pretty bloody awesome) films. Nevertheless, I am going to go into any new film of his predisposed to liking it. How you anticipate a film will undoubtedly affect your perception of that film. It could result in disappointment if you've had had built up for you and ends up being below par. Or, if you've built it up for yourself, you could simply subconsciously ignore the negative aspects and enjoy the positive ones. Take, There Will Be Blood, for instance. I was humming and haaing over whether to go see it as it seemed a bit of a slog, and I felt maybe I wanted something a bit lighter. I decided to see it anyway, and I was expecting a hard watch. I was rewarded by seeing the best film this side of the millennium (bar LOTR). I then hyped it for others who came away slightly disappointed, perhaps partly because I and others had hyped it too much so their expectations were too high.
Another example is The Simpsons Movie. I freely admit there were fairly major flaws in the film, but my abiding love for The Simpsons can neatly ignore those and enjoy the film for what it was - a very funny film. I wish it had been a masterpiece, but I was happy with what it turned out to be.
I don't think anyone is saying you shouldn't be passionate about a particular film or director, but it is the manner in which that passion is shown that some may find objectionable. Some people simply don't agree, and that's absolutely fine. I found that the trailer for Speed Racer that preceded Iron Man last night looked headache-inducing, with some questionable acting and day-glo colours. Everything was a bit too blurry to be able to ascertain its quality. Now, I'm not saying these things to antagonise you - your love for the Wachowskis seems to immediately put you on the defensive to any criticisms of the film. I'm simply saying what I saw. I'm still going to see it, and I'll reserve judgement on the whole film until such time as I have seen it. I don't take much heed in reviewers unless I know them personally - they're other people; they're not me, nor are they my son. They're the opinions that will matter when I see it, and I'll put both opinions in my review when I do review it.

In the same way that I expect an honest review from Max, I also expect honest reviews from those on the other side of this, um, discussion. However, what both sides have to realise that regardless of this discussion, Max is coming from a point of view of positive respect and admiration for the Wachowskis. Others are coming from the point of view of not particularly liking half of their previous directorial output. (I don't think anyone is disputing the quality of the Matrix, and Bound is a superb noir lesbian thriller, and you don't get many of them to the pound.) And their generally considered weakest films are their two most recent ones. So, you have to admit Max, that they do have a lot to prove to the general public with regards to their return to directorial greatness. (Again, as far as most are concerned.) Speed Racer seems very niche and specialised and I'm not sure this will be their big comeback. However, I'm keeping an open mind, and I hope everyone else will. There seems to be a lot of closed minds here, from both sides of the table. Let's all go away, watch the film, and come back with fully-informed opinions.



Now, play nice.



Well, I respect the candid disclosure of your own psychological approach to watching films you anticipate.

But I have gone into movies like X-Men, X-2, Mission: Impossible 2, Batman Begins, Terminator 3, and a few others that I really had a huge amount of anticipation for.  I mean pant-wettingly high expectations.  But I came out bummed.

Now, these films are generally considered to be "good" (even M:I-2 and Terminator 3 did get 3 or 4 stars and they're generally considered at least "okay" by most).  So surely my huge level of anticipation would dull out the negatives, and I'd come away loving them anyway.

But I didn't.

And that's because, no matter how much I want a film to be good, I cannot in good conscience allow myself to say "yeah, that was good" if I honestly don't believe it.

Trust me, if Speed Racer turns out to be shit, I'll be the first one to tear the thing to shreds.  The Wachowskis are filmmakers with a 100% record in my book.  If they fuck this up, no-one will be more pissed off at them than me.

But by the same token, there's a chance that I could end up agreeing with the 4 and 5 star reviews out there and feel the Wachowskis knocked it out of the park.

So some people may indeed go into films with bias and have their experiences affected by those biases.  And that's fine.  But I have always been incapable of of being anything other than brutally honest with even my most highly anticipated films.

But thanks for a mature post



You'd be a lot safer waiting for the DVD.


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Post #: 126
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 4:17:57 PM   
Driver 8

 

Posts: 107
Joined: 26/4/2007
*Ahem*

Speed Racer-5.5/10

Well, the initial reaction was something akin to "what in blue fuck was that?", but i've had time to rehash that slightly more eloquently . Speed Racer is one of the more uneven films I've ever seen, it will do something horribly misjudged one minute, only to turn around and be endearing the next. First off, the opening could've been done a lot better, by which I mean, the flashbacks/forwards thing is a little too much to drop us in with, even if the "ghost car" trick was a nice touch. I suppose rather than go through the entire plot I'll single out the good and bad, as I see it.

Emile Hirsch isn't really given an enormous amount to work with, given a pretty two-dimensional character, but he brings a likeability to Speed (god, the names...) that is important in making you actually root for the character, despite the film's failings. Kudos to to John Goodman, who actually invests his character with some humanity, which is a quality that's dished out sparingly in Speed Racer. Most of the races themselves were impressive, certainly the visuals in these sequences are to be admired, and most of these sequences are effective set-pieces. The villain is solid enough, if again a little two dimensional (i know it's a live action cartoon, it doesn't make it any less true).

One point in the middle of the good/bad spectrum is Speed's brother and his monkey. Initially the comedy here "worked" for me, but they did overplay it a lot by the end.

And the drawbacks....remember why we loved the Matrix? It came along in the summer of the Phantom Menace, a hollow, largely soulless exercise, and was followed by two sequels where every single scene felt it was taking place in an artificial environment that felt unreal in the worst possible sense. Several of these sort of environment plague Speed Racer. I know they're going for the hyper-real cartoon vibe, but some of the backgrounds just look horrendous and badly realised, and it does take you out the film. Then there's the dialogue. No, I don't expect anything Oscar-worthy from the film screenplay, and I realise it's a kids film, but there's some groan inducing stuff here, Goodman's line after the ninja attack being one of the worst culprits. To make the Star Wars prequel comparison again, it often feels like the cast is succeeding, when it is, in spite, not because of the script. Matthew Fox follows his wooden performance in Vantage Point with a wooden performance here, so he's at least consistent. Christina Ricci is given a surplus of wardrobe and a deficit of character, and does what little she can to salvage it.

As mentioned above, it's a horribly uneven experience. A race scene will finish, followed by a scene that either falls flat because of the script, or tries to be "zany" and loses everyone but the fanboys who will be giggling to themselves and making a checklist of references. I enjoyed about half of Speed Racer, if that, and if it were bad, I could class this, to use a car analogy, as a write-off, but the problem is, with a bit of work, it could've been a quality motor. Shame we have to settle for a dodgy second-hand Fiesta.

Hit me Max

< Message edited by Driver 8 -- 9/5/2008 4:22:12 PM >

(in reply to Mason Verger)
Post #: 127
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 4:37:20 PM   
jphackett

 

Posts: 6
Joined: 11/1/2008
Cool as FFFFFFoooooosssh, I am here to tell you that you need to see this film on the largest digital screen you can find.
35MM just cannot compete with digital when it comes to this movie. The colours are so vivid, unlike anything I have seen for such a long time.
 
The film is a visual feast, so what if the story is a bit up and down, it's a cartoon with real people in it. When was the last time you took apart an episode of Top Cat or Hong Kong Fooey?
 
Get a life people, leave your expectations at the door and just let yourself be a kid again.
 
Made me want to rush out and buy a model T-180 to have on my fireplace! My mate wanted to jump in his Mustang and go drifting round roundabouts! Hooo Harrrr!   

(in reply to krudler)
Post #: 128
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 4:40:59 PM   
jphackett

 

Posts: 6
Joined: 11/1/2008
Beep beep, go see it on a digital screen..... you will bve able to see the difference.....Beep Beep
quote:

ORIGINAL: porntrooper

Max, the reason I picked up on that 5 star review was that it is totally shocking and the guy has the audacity to call himself 'The Smartest Film Critic In The World'.  That single claim is enough to make me discount every single one of his reviews.  Of course it's all subjective and it's his view, but the review of Speed Racer itself doesn't really tell us anything about why he feels it's a 5 star movie.  Now, if I'm reading a review of a 5 star movie, I want to know why it is.  Something a little more substanial than a 'flawless cast' and a 'divine vision of psychedelic visual ecstasy' someone could claim that from the trailer.  The visuals do look good, OTT yes, but I get the style and what its trying to achieve and it seems to be succeeding.  No one could argue the cast is very good, wether they manage to pull off the material is another thing, and from the 7 minute preview it looks debatable.  Albeit without any of the major players involved too much. 

What I'm getting at, is that the review you've used as source to fuel your entusiasm is a shocking one.  The Empire review holds far more weight.  Cole Smithey just sounds a tool.

I wasn't aware a new camera had been developed for Speed Racer.  However, the visuals still don't look that groundbreaking.  It looks nice, but not pioneering.  Superman Returns used new camera equipment, still looked like any other film and will  never be considered groundbreaking.  The stylistic approach is something we've seen before, done differently yes, but not anything new in my eyes.  I'm looking forward to reading you're review Max.  I have one request, could you tell us in your review how old you are? It seemed to be important for Roger Ebert, so I'm sure it's of consequence here, eh?

(in reply to porntrooper)
Post #: 129
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 6:32:17 PM   
wrenster


Posts: 1906
Joined: 12/10/2005
The Wachowski Borthers haven't been behind the camera since the last Matrix film. Well, maybe they should have stayed away. For this film version of an old 60s Japanese cartoon is all colour and no substance.

The very thin plot involves corruption in the motor racing industry and the loss of a brother for the title character...and that's about it. But just throwing everything at a screen and hoping it sticks doesn't make a good movie. Coming on like a 21st Century Tron, this is loud both in sound and visuals.

But not only is it just a special effects extravaganza, but it has the most annoying kid since the one in Problem Child, and a monkey as the comic relief. Sorry, but I just wanted to scream every time they appeared. And what was Susan Sarandon doing in this? Has her career really gone that far downhill?

All in all, a mess. Like looking at modern art. It's bright. It's colourful. But no one really knows what it is.

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Post #: 130
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 7:42:43 PM   
Mr Terrific


Posts: 1639
Joined: 15/7/2006
I am afraid that wrenster is on the right lines with his review of the movie.

Its a very colourful movie, very bright, very in your face. The visuals and sound are very good. The CGI is of a good standard too.

The story is quite simple and straight-forward. Very easy to follow. Big corporations are the bad guys and the death of an older brother racer. Very predicitable.

Don't get me wrong, it's not without its fun moments, like the Rally and the introduction of Racer X complete with some Matrix like shanigans.

But a couple of things bring it down in my opinion, the inclusion of that asinine kid and his pet monkey were one. That irked me no end. It was'nt funny at all. I had half a mind to go visit the toilet whenever they were on, they were that bad!
Secondly, I felt the film definitely outstayed its welcome, it could have done with some serious editing. After you see a couple of races in which CGI cars, crash and blow up you get tired of em, at least I did.
Thirdly, I felt the film was quite uneven in its tone, going from a death in a family to childish slapstick is quite jarring.



(Also that weird dude who sung that Spaceman song a couple of years back turned up as a commentator.)


If this film was a car, it would be a  good looking beamer, with a very crappy engine, that guzzles fuel like nobodies business, with dodgy brakelights.

< Message edited by Mr Terrific -- 9/5/2008 8:47:46 PM >


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Post #: 131
RE: Speed Racer - 9/5/2008 7:51:58 PM   
max314


Posts: 2746
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: London
Don't have time to discuss now.  My desk beckons after an afternoon of sublime procrastination.  But here's a review for you to digest in the mean time...





Speed Racer (Wachowskis, 2008):


[image]http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/2671/speedracerspeedcrowd600ec0.gif[/image]
"Stop steering.  Start driving."



I went to an afternoon matinée showing to fit around my schedule, and while there were only a few people there, we were all laughing along and people were cheering and whooping.  And I left the cinema with a grin the size of a crescent moon plastered on my face.  The Brothers seem to have delivered a real crowd-pleasing extravaganza of a film.

The racing scenes were bleeding spectacular.  I mean "spectacular" in a way that has never even been imagined.   Honestly, it deserves an Oscar nod just for art design.  What's so ingenious about the opening sequence is that it not only sets up all the characters with entertaining and emotional efficiency, but it also establishes how the cars work in this fantasy world.  So despite the races being faster than anything you're ever likely to see, the main action beats are always delivered with a clarity and a style that will keep you thrilled beyond belief.  Each race is perfectly crafted with the stakes and the challenges rising further and further with each successive scene...until we reach a final showdown that leaves you utterly breathless.  Literally.  And the "visual vocabulary" of the film is truly innovative.  It's like the camera is no object.  As an audience member, you've never felt freer.  Unlike the stylistic approach of the recent Star Wars prequels, which generally used locked off cameras and relatively tame tracking shots, Speed Racer ducks into, under and around the action in a way that opens up the medium like no other film before it.  Compared to other film in its greenscreen sub-genre, this leaves movies like Sin City and 300 looking rather timid by comparison.

But at the heart of it, this is really a film about fathers and their sons.  A coming of age story about hope, expectation, and the pain of loss.  I found myself with a lump in my throat while watching the movie.  Wait, let me rephrase.  I found myself with a lump in my throat within ten minutes of the film starting.  Emile Hirsch, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox and Scott Porter as the young Rex Racer all provide intimate and genuinely moving performances.  Make no mistake about it, this film is the definition of joviality on celluloid.  But the story is basically driven by the shadow of a lost family member from the very first scene in the film, and that's what really makes the film worth watching.  As well as being immersed in a fantasy world of drop dead gorgeous visuals, of course.

In the same way that Sin City was an exaggerated, impressionistic noir, and just as 300 was an exaggerated, impressionistic war movie, Speed Racer plays as an exaggerated, impressionistic 1960s kid's show.  Which is exactly what it is.  It's campy.  It's fun,  And it's full of humour and heart.  Of course, brooding characters and over-the-top gore is easier to sell than camp, colourful fun, but allowing oneself to become absorbed in the film's style makes for a rewarding experience.  I've heard complaints about the film's exposition, but the only scene where I could perhaps understand that criticism was about half way through when Taejo's family troubles were being told.  But even that zipped by very quickly and the audience still understands exactly what was at stake in the upcoming race.  So if it is a flaw, it's a minor one at best.

The characters are warm and lovable, the villains are wonderfully hissable, the actors' performances are all suitably camp, and the morality tale at the centre of it - the battle of family versus corporatism - gives the story a real spirit.  And makes the races all that more enthralling to watch.  It's infectiuously charming, and even at 129 minutes the film glides like a T-180 on ice.  I was convinced I was only in there for about thirty minutes, and when it finished I was left gagging for more.

So what's the verdict?  Well, it's a tricky decision between 4 and 5 stars.  While the story wasn't exactly the peak of literary greatness, it was very well told.  Despite its two hour plus running time, the narrative was sharp, the emotionality was touching, and the plot turns were genuinely exciting.  If the film was not such a special effects extravaganza, it would probably have been given a 4 star rating.  But the film does have incredible special effects.  And it does offer an absolutely sublime spectacle.  Not only that, but the Wachowskis seem to have yet again set another industry standard - one that will likely be copied and mimicked for years to come.  Until the Brothers reinvent the wheel for a fourth time, that is.  And as such, the rating for this film is for something that could easily end up becoming highly influential classic.

Bring on Speed Racer 2!


*****

< Message edited by max314 -- 9/5/2008 9:34:07 PM >


_____________________________

MAX

Laying the 314 on your candy ass.

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Post #: 132
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 8:40:11 PM   
Kazuya


Posts: 7978
Joined: 23/8/2006
From: The Eighth Dimension c/o Buckaroo Banzai
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

(Oh yeah and the film appeared to star Kazuya as Inspector Dectector!)  



Huh?


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Post #: 133
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 8:44:40 PM   
Mr Terrific


Posts: 1639
Joined: 15/7/2006
quote:


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

(Oh yeah and the film appeared to star Kazuya as Inspector Dectector!)  




Huh?


Sorry was being silly. Actor does look a bit like you.

_____________________________

..."lost like tears in the rain....."

"He claims he is a man. And one of the things about being a man is getting knocked on your ass and learning from it."

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Post #: 134
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 8:57:42 PM   
Kazuya


Posts: 7978
Joined: 23/8/2006
From: The Eighth Dimension c/o Buckaroo Banzai
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

quote:


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

(Oh yeah and the film appeared to star Kazuya as Inspector Dectector!)  




Huh?


Sorry was being silly. Actor does look a bit like you.



It's cool man, no worries. Well unless it's some ugly ass dude


_____________________________

"Bleed, bastard."

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Post #: 135
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 9:01:48 PM   
wrenster


Posts: 1906
Joined: 12/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

I am afraid that wrenster is on the right lines with his review of the movie.

Its a very colourful movie, very bright, very in your face. The visuals and sound are very good. The CGI is of a good standard too.

The story is quite simple and straight-forward. Very easy to follow. Big corporations are the bad guys and the death of an older brother racer. Very predicitable.

Don't get me wrong, it's not without its fun moments, like the Rally and the introduction of Racer X complete with some Matrix like shanigans.

But a couple of things bring it down in my opinion, the inclusion of that asinine kid and his pet monkey were one. That irked me no end. It was'nt funny at all. I had half a mind to go visit the toilet whenever they were on, they were that bad!
Secondly, I felt the film definitely outstayed its welcome, it could have done with some serious editing. After you see a couple of races in which CGI cars, crash and blow up you get tired of em, at least I did.
Thirdly, I felt the film was quite uneven in its tone, going from a death in a family to childish slapstick is quite jarring.



(Also that weird dude who sung that Spaceman song a couple of years back turned up as a commentator.)


If this film was a car, it would be a  good looking beamer, with a very crappy engine, that guzzles fuel like nobodies business, with dodgy brakelights.


That's what it was...the uneven tone! You are spot on...it was all over the place. Do we laugh? Do we cry? Do we boo? Do we cheer? I've been to pantomimes that were more even.

And yes, it was FAR too long. 2hrs and 15 mins???? And who exactly is it aimed at? Young kids may like the prettiness of it, but will struggle with the long, drawn-out dialogue scenes which magically all link by the end, and may suffer from numb-bum by the end. Adults will be bored with the stupidity of it and so that really only leaves the teen market, and even they may find there's not enough blood, guts and gore.

So that leaves... the comic book fans...but I won't even go there for fear of starting a riot.

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Post #: 136
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 9:03:12 PM   
wrenster


Posts: 1906
Joined: 12/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

I am afraid that wrenster is on the right lines with his review of the movie.

Its a very colourful movie, very bright, very in your face. The visuals and sound are very good. The CGI is of a good standard too.

The story is quite simple and straight-forward. Very easy to follow. Big corporations are the bad guys and the death of an older brother racer. Very predicitable.

Don't get me wrong, it's not without its fun moments, like the Rally and the introduction of Racer X complete with some Matrix like shanigans.

But a couple of things bring it down in my opinion, the inclusion of that asinine kid and his pet monkey were one. That irked me no end. It was'nt funny at all. I had half a mind to go visit the toilet whenever they were on, they were that bad!
Secondly, I felt the film definitely outstayed its welcome, it could have done with some serious editing. After you see a couple of races in which CGI cars, crash and blow up you get tired of em, at least I did.
Thirdly, I felt the film was quite uneven in its tone, going from a death in a family to childish slapstick is quite jarring.



(Also that weird dude who sung that Spaceman song a couple of years back turned up as a commentator.)


If this film was a car, it would be a  good looking beamer, with a very crappy engine, that guzzles fuel like nobodies business, with dodgy brakelights.


That's what it was...the uneven tone! You are spot on...it was all over the place. Do we laugh? Do we cry? Do we boo? Do we cheer? I've been to pantomimes that were more even.

And yes, it was FAR too long. 2hrs and 15 mins???? And who exactly is it aimed at? Young kids may like the prettiness of it, but will struggle with the long, drawn-out dialogue scenes which magically all link by the end, and may suffer from numb-bum by the end. Adults will be bored with the stupidity of it and so that really only leaves the teen market, and even they may find there's not enough blood, guts and gore.

So that leaves... the comic book fans...but I won't even go there for fear of starting a riot.

_____________________________

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http://wrenster.blog.com/
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Wrensters-Store

(in reply to Mr Terrific)
Post #: 137
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 9:42:36 PM   
Starscream


Posts: 5221
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Cats Lair
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

quote:



quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

(Oh yeah and the film appeared to star Kazuya as Inspector Dectector!)  





Huh?


Sorry was being silly. Actor does look a bit like you.


Benno Furmann is the actor

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Post #: 138
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 9:46:28 PM   
Mikey C


Posts: 5436
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: The internet
quote:

ORIGINAL: max314



And no, I won't disclose personal information over the internet, but I'll tell you that I'm old enough to hold a Ph.D, but not as old as Ebert. 


This is the best sentence max314 has come up with. It makes a simple statement of fact - Max is between the ages of 25 and 70 - into both a dig and a boast. But cleverly sort-of neither at the same time!

It must be framed for future generations to marvel at 200 years from now when we live in a utopian society inspired directly by the seminal works of the Wachowskis, like Bill and Ted only with cross dressing. You're like John the Baptist -sorry - Morpheous.


< Message edited by Mikey C -- 9/5/2008 9:49:45 PM >


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Post #: 139
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 9:46:52 PM   
Mr Terrific


Posts: 1639
Joined: 15/7/2006
quote:


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific


quote:




quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

(Oh yeah and the film appeared to star Kazuya as Inspector Dectector!)  





Huh?


Sorry was being silly. Actor does look a bit like you.



Benno Furmann is the actor


In the movie, I mean!

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Post #: 140
RE: Speed Racer... - 9/5/2008 9:52:47 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23708
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41°N 93°W
Very nice review Max, really well-written 

But one quick question - were you really ever going to give it any less than 5? I mean, did your preconceptions reflect the final score in any way? You signature has read "Official: Speed Racer Rocks!" for at least two months now...perhaps you had made (at least in part) up your mind already?

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Post #: 141
- 9/5/2008 11:03:29 PM   
shanyi

 

Posts: 146
Joined: 28/9/2006
From: UK
Utterly fabulous film. Gorgeous to look at, deftly edited and as exhilarating as five hundred adrenaline shots to the heart. I saw it with a cinema full of children, which would normally be the most appalling scenario, but instead it fuelled the atmosphere of sheer, giddy, supercoloured excitement. It's too long and the family scenes, though more sincere and honest than most, bring the furious pace to a grinding halt, but when the action is so thrilling, the colours so vibrant and the monkey so cheeky, who can complain? GO SPEED RACER! GO SPEED RACER GOOOO!

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Post #: 142
IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, THAT'S COOL. - 10/5/2008 12:01:59 AM   
Mopictures

 

Posts: 114
Joined: 14/2/2008
Okay, good review. But if it's gonna split the audience like a pizza-cutter, which side are you on?

By the way, I loved it. It's firmly in the category of "acquired taste" and one thing that must be said: A film this specific, this micro-directed, can only be 100% intentional. Everything in it is deliberate. It's not a question of trying to make a "good" film and getting it wrong with mistakes. Speed Racer isn't a mistake, they did it on purpose!

Five stars for being different from anything I've ever seen.

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Post #: 143
RE: IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, THAT'S COOL. - 10/5/2008 10:17:35 AM   
Mickey.p

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 28/11/2005
I work in a cinema. Speed Racer is in our biggest screen with 535 seats. Last night (friday opening night) 5 people came in LOL. Total of 45 people in two screens all day. That is one of the worst ever. The Eye had more admissions than Speed.  OOOPS could this be one of the biggest flops of all time ???

MickeyP

(in reply to Mopictures)
Post #: 144
RE: Speed Racer - 10/5/2008 11:00:09 AM   
Neth


Posts: 4750
Joined: 3/10/2005
Joel Silver has an ideology that every reel of an action-genre feature film should contain an explosion, a car chase, a fist fight or a shoot-out. It's a school of thought that is applied in spades to Speed Racer - you can set your watch by it, in fact. Unfortunately it does no favours to anyone, other than helping drive sales of Ritalin through the roof.

It's difficult to gauge who exactly Speed Racer is for. It's too talky and convuluted for pre-pubescent boys; it lacks any zing to attract teenagers; and adults will possibly find the hyperactive visuals a cause of headaches. The most likely answer is it's for the Wachowski Brothers themselves, as its self-indulgent streak is a mile wide.

The visuals themselves are certainly not the proclaimed "reinvention of cinema" that some (Silver included) would like you to believe - unless cinema is being reinvented as a bog-standard PS3 future-racer. The wide angle shots of the impressive tracks look clumsily rendered - that said, when the camera gets up close and personal with the cars, the adrenaline begins to spike and a real sense of excitement sneaks in. It's during these moments that Speed Racer really takes off - sadly, it's all too soon before the handbrake is applied and it grinds to a halt again.

Story-wise, the film tries to over-complicate a simple tale of corporate greed versus family values. It's slightly ironic that there's a tangent against limitless spending to produce the goods at work here, given the film's reported $185m budget and the alleged failed efforts of Warner Bros execs to try and rein in some of the excess. The performances are all distinctly flat, with Emile Hirsch making a bland lead (surprising, given how likeable he's been in movies like The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and Into the Wild) and Matthew Fox proving Seth Rogen's Knocked Up rant about him to be bang on the money. Elsewhere, Susan Sarandon has nothing to do  other than gasp and make sandwiches, whilst John Goodman tries hard to centre some humanity in this soulless mix. The horrendous on-the-nose dialogue of the script does little to help, and it's far too po-faced to possess a real sense of fun. Nobody appears to be enjoying themselves, save for the chimp.

Yet it's a hard movie to dislike, let alone hate. It's the filmic equivalent of a naughty puppy that's chewed your shoes to shreds after you've taught it to fetch them for you - you're pissed off with it, but it's intentions were good all the same. Despite any believeable warmth or convincing emotion, Speed Racer doesn't have a mean bone in its body. In its final moments, it even manages a half-way passable job of convincing you that you even kinda liked it. Some judacious pruning and a truckload of script doctoring would have all but confirmed that.  **

< Message edited by Neth -- 10/5/2008 12:12:27 PM >


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Post #: 145
RE: Speed Racer - 10/5/2008 11:24:36 AM   
krudler


Posts: 7018
Joined: 30/9/2005
$6 million opening day in the states, told ya it would flop

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Post #: 146
RE: Speed Racer - 10/5/2008 12:05:54 PM   
sanchia


Posts: 18265
Joined: 3/1/2006
From: Norwich
quote:

ORIGINAL: krudler

$6 million opening day in the states, told ya it would flop


An exceptionally poor showing especially for a film which has had a $100m marketing campaign behind it.  Sadly, from the word of mouth I have been hearing it doesn't sound like that is going to get the bottoms in the seats either.

It does look like there is a spectacular car crash ahead.

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Post #: 147
- 10/5/2008 1:42:56 PM   
shamilharoon

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 28/1/2006
A neon-blitz fusion of the Jetsons and the Nintendo Game Cube's F-Zero. You'll either get it or hate it.

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Post #: 148
RE: - 10/5/2008 6:39:55 PM   
krudler


Posts: 7018
Joined: 30/9/2005
just got back from it, at a 3pm showing in the biggest cinema in town in the 2nd biggest screen, bout 400 seats give or take, and there were 12 people at it, TWELVE, at prime kid movie showing time on a saturday afternoon, there was a bigger reaction to the Wall-E trailer than the entire Speed Racer movie, and a few people walked out during it

so how is it? spoilers ahead

Its....muddled to say the least, the tone is all over the place, its doesnt know if it wants to be a retro in the know kitsche romp or a kids movie, it certainly doesnt have a kids movie plot as the target audience would have no idea what the story is about, giant racing corporations fixing race outcomes to boost the stock of subsidiary engine manufacturer companies,or something? but it does have a monkey, and the most irritating child ever put on screen, make no mistake about it Spritle is the jar jar binks of 2008, every time hes on screen i felt the need to start punching the kids in the audience, every stupid line,every ridiulous grimace and gesture he makes just ruins whatever scene hes in, and the truth is I actually wanted to like this, from the opening it sets the tone quite well, its a super stylised cartoon brought to life, not unlike a Dr Suess story, dayglo colours and neon lights everywhere, the central storyline concerns Speeds loss of an older brother, Emile Hirsch is ok but nothing special as Speed, he really doesnt do a whole lot as he spends most of the movie sitting in a car cockpit save for one scene where he fights a ninja (thats right) John Goodman is about the only saving grace as a troubled father coping with never getting to say goodby to his son and hoping another one wont follow the same route, Sarandon is wasted, Ricci looks like shes 15 which is sort of disturbing, and Matthew Fox is as wooden as a patio furniture sale in b&q
Then theres the races, which start off as something spectacular but I soon got tired of seeing one multicoloured car smash into another mutlicoloured car in a load  of cgi and shaky camerawork, the opening where Speed is racing the "ghost" of his older brother on the same lap and nearly breaks his record has some genuine emotion but after that they just become a dayglo mess, the podrace in Episode 1 did all this much better nearly ten years ago. and there are some horrible cgi effects, one crowd scene in particular looks like the people have 4 frames of animation each , the cars themselves look great at times up close but from a distance more like video game models.

this may become a cult classic on dvd, but a $6 million opening day in the states and terrible word of mouth could spell disaster for the Wachowskis, to lose that much money on a major studio summer blockbuster could damage their career,it happened to the red hot M.Night Shyamalan, and its doubtful you'll ever see the phrase "from the makers of the matrix trilogy and speed racer" before a trailer, well maybe the matrix part, back to the drawing board for the brothers

2 stars **


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Squidward Hark Bugle

3D moving images are not films, they're holograms, and should be treated as a separate medium of storytelling, or artform.


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Post #: 149
- 10/5/2008 10:11:48 PM   
CameronJames


Posts: 570
Joined: 12/10/2005
From: Mansfield
HOLY SHIT THAT WAS BAD. It wasn't even exciting during the race scenes

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Post #: 150
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