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SPEED RACER Screened This Week, And Our Spy Was There!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. When this spy wrote in the first time, he sent a very thin piece. Hesitant. I wrote him back, asked him some questions, and asked him to write in with more detail. I had one big question for him, since Toshi’s mad for this trailer, too. Basically, the entire Apple Quicktime page is like a playground for him when he comes into my office to see me while I’m working. “Daddy, play BATMAN. Play FUCK YOU PANDA. Play INDY JONE. Play WALL·E. Play SPEED RACER.” What makes me laugh the most is the way he plays trailer karaoke. He does a wicked Heath Ledger as The Joker ("Daddy, it's me!"), he pretends to be a robot while he watches WALL·E. And he can perform most of the SPEED RACER trailer now, with his impression of the smarmy dude who threatens Speed in the trailer (“I guarantee you won’t even finish the race!”) a particular joy. So one of the things I’m most curious about is the potential rating for the film, since the Wachowskis said they were aiming for a G. I'd love to take Toshi to see this in the theater this summer. I asked this guy about it, and he said: “No, as it stands there is cursing in it, which shocked my roommate and I because we heard that they were gunning for the G rating as well. They say “ass” about 3 or 4 times, “shit” at least once, and Spritle flips off another character. Not sure if that’s all going to be edited out, but one or two scenes, it seemed impossible to do so, as it would change a lot. But I’m sure that they will figure out something, maybe alternate takes of the same scenes. I just don’t understand why they would include them if they planned on going for a G eventually anyways. This seriously is the biggest surprise for me this year, because I thought I was going to hate this movie.” And he didn’t. Not by a long shot. Check it out, and thanks again for the review, man.

MINOR SPOILER REVIEW First time reviewing a film in writing, not the best but here ya go. So on Monday, Feb.18, I was able to attend a screening of a very unfinished version of Speed Racer held in the afternoon on the Warner Bros. lot for "friends and family". Needless to say I was not expecting much out of the film for too many reasons. One: Its based on a cartoon, which hasn't been the greatest contribution to cinema in the past. And while I remember the cartoon and liked watching it as a kid, I had no real sentimental attachment to it or the characters. Two: Written and directed by the Wachowskis, their track record has been spotty at best ( I like the first Matrix, the other two are complete meandering disasters). And three: The trailer. It caught me off guard because it looks exactly like a living cartoon. And that was the last thing I expected. Of course they warned us that the music was only temporary, and that the FX had not been completed just yet and was a huge understatement! I have been to many test screenings and have never seen anything this incomplete before, seeing as how the movie relies heavily on CGI to make up the environment around the characters in nearly every aspect of their lives. Strangley I am able to say that I still actually enjoyed this movie a whole hell of a lot. It is definately a living cartoon handled by two, ahem, people ( men?? not sure what I should put there) who seem to have a true love and affinity for the cartoon. Its hoaky, corny, and completely defies reality, sure. But it is done so well that it truly was entertaining. Exactly what a family summer movie should be. The race sequences are some of the most kinetic and intense that I have ever seen (even when it is just shitty cartoon pre-vis renderings flying around on the tracks). The action was so intense and crazy in parts that seriously it made the Matrix movies seem like you're watching a Gus Van Sant art film. The plot is typical of a movie like this. Main character is good at what he does, gets the world offered to him by a crooked business man, and has to defy him and expose him for his crimes. Nothing new there and I dont believe I am spoiling anything, as you can see that in the preview. What is surprising is the amount of character and family that the movie portrays.The movie starts off with Speed waiting in his locker room for the race to begin. Then immediately we flash back to Speed as a kid trying to take a test in grade school, but he just cant seem to concentrate, all he can think about is racing, so he pretends to race through the test. We literally see his imagination come to life as he races a childishly drawn race car past other crudely drawn race cars. One thing I didnt expect from the movie was how well they develop the relationship between Speed and his brother Rex. This level of writing surprised me, because the movie, to me, moved beyond typical superficial fun, and actually has character, story and heart. I had heard that the Wachowskis were in fact going for a G rating, but as it stands, this just isnt going to happen unless they edit out some major moments, or have alternate takes for them. I am guessing that they will end up with a PG-13 rating, due to violence and cursing. My favorite scenes (besides the races) involved, sadly, the childish antics of Spritle (Speeds younger brother) and his monkey ChimChim. They are used to break up certain moments in the movie from getting too serious or too boring. Trust me though, there is plenty of action in this one, including a great fight scene where ninjas try to attack a group of racers in their sleep. Moments like this are typical of the Wachowskis, and people seem to expect this from them now. They completely deliver. Is the movie perfect? No. The only problem for me was that it did drag a little bit in the middle, seeing as how this was a first cut however, that didnt bother me too bad. Im sure they will tighten it up before release. The relationships between several of the villains is confusing and needs to be addressed and due to unfinished FX there was a lot of confusion at first as to what was happening during the races. After watching it though, I am even more curious to see a finished product of the movie because I know it will be jaw dropping. I think that this could be a big hit for Warner Bros. this year, as long as audiences get what they were trying to do with this movie. I do think it has appeal to just about anybody, even if you are not a traditional fan of the cartoon, as I was not. If you use this review please refer to me as Keyholed.
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