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Wachowski Bros to direct Speed Racer (with Vince Vaughn and Keanu Reeves)

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Wachowski Bros to direct Speed Racer (with Vince Vaughn and Keanu Reeves)

Old 05-09-08, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffkjoe
Look, dude. The movie made almost 200 mil, enough to spawn a sequel. Who's laughing now?

You armchair critics don't make one iota of difference.
Since when does a movie making money qualify to deem it as a good film?

Madagascar sucked.
Old 05-09-08, 01:19 PM
  #227  
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This film has so many problems (from a business perspective) I'm shocked it got a green light:
  • No star power
  • Fans of the original show are too old to see a children's film
  • Kids (the target audience) are likely unfamiliar with the franchise
  • The Wachowski Siblings have little draw any more after the Matrix sequels
  • The summer market is already over-crowded with "must see" films -- anything else is destined to be an "also ran".
Old 05-09-08, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffkjoe
Hey Matthew:

I'm currently animating MADAGASCAR 2.

When I take my breaks from working on this film, I like to come onto dvdtalk.com and read comments like yours and realize that they make NO difference whatsoever.



-----
Take pride in the fact that the animation was the best part of the movie.
Old 05-09-08, 01:23 PM
  #229  
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Originally Posted by jeffkjoe
Look, dude. The movie made almost 200 mil, enough to spawn a sequel. Who's laughing now?

You armchair critics don't make one iota of difference.
I think DreamWorks has the animation process completely wrong.

I met Mark Andrews from PIXAR about a year ago and we were talking about his past working with Warner and Turner and the one thing that stands out was the comment he made about PIXAR. PIXAR's overall goal is to create great stories that'll appeal to everyone and inspire the creators creativity to make the best possible product. I think that's why people continue to go back to PIXAR films. Cars, I feel, is their only misstep at the moment (especially when following Bird's The Incredibles).

I haven't seen that from a DreamWorks animated feature except the Aardman titles (two other great family titles that also tanked). Over the Hedge would be the one that might come close, despite being toned down a bit from it's original comic for mainstream acceptance.

Trying to imply that to Speed Racer, as Shannon called me out on, the story and acting might not exactly be there, but the creativity on how the film looks is. A wonderful style in style over substance that I feel works, but few directors can pull that off and make it work.

I also second Groucho's comment that looking back, it's shocking that this film got a green light especially with the size of it's budget -- and I don't see Joel Silver having the pull now he did a decade ago.

Last edited by Matthew Chmiel; 05-09-08 at 01:26 PM.
Old 05-09-08, 01:26 PM
  #230  
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Originally Posted by Matthew Chmiel
I think DreamWorks has the animation process completely wrong.

I met Mark Andrews from PIXAR about a year ago


You meet one person, and you think you automatically understand the animation business completely?

OK, teach me Matthew Chmiel.

Even though I've been doing this for 10 years, tell me.
Old 05-09-08, 01:27 PM
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I suggest that we take the animation discussion to another thread? Or email.
Old 05-09-08, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffkjoe
You meet one person, and you think you automatically understand the animation business completely?

OK, teach me Matthew Chmiel.

Even though I've been doing this for 10 years, tell me.
I didn't say I understood it, but I feel that's a good business approach to look at it that still implements creativity.
Old 05-09-08, 01:28 PM
  #233  
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I suggest that we take the animation discussion to another thread? Or email.


Don't worry. I'm done.
Old 05-09-08, 01:28 PM
  #234  
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I suggest that we take the animation discussion to another thread? Or email.
Agreed. This thread is for discussing how bad Speed Racer is.
Old 05-09-08, 01:55 PM
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Or how good Speed Racer is.
Old 05-09-08, 03:39 PM
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from imdb.com
"Few analysts expect Warner Bros.' Speed Racer to win the box-office race this weekend. The film -- likely to attract mostly families with small kids -- is expected to gross around $30-35 million. That's about a third of what Iron Man earned a week ago, so if that film drops even 60 percent, it would remain at the top. Analysts suggest that such a plunge is unlikely, especially given last week's exit polls indicating that it may even do considerable repeat business. Today's (Friday) Los Angeles Times indicated that Warner's top execs are concerned that Speed Racer has been tracking so poorly that only "a narrow sliver of boys 7 to 11 years old" seem eager to see it. Warner's marketing chief Sue Kroll told the Times that she was "bewildered" about the tracking surveys, noting that preview audiences have responded favorably to the film. "There is a disconnect between how people react to the film and what the tracking is indicating," she said. The studio's concern is no doubt amplified by the fact that the movie may have cost some $250-300 million to produce and market. "

HOLY SHIT! I had no idea it cost that mush but i certainly believe it.
The Asians better eat this one up cause i dont where else they are gonna be able to make their money,
Old 05-09-08, 04:03 PM
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Where does imdb pull these numbers out of? The original production budget was pegged around $100m, which is what it looks like, and noway they spent $150m on advertising.
Old 05-09-08, 04:42 PM
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I don't know - not one, but two good reviews at Twitch:

http://twitchfilm.net/site/view/spee...eview#extended

http://twitchfilm.net/site/view/spee...bliss#extended

I'm probably going to catch the early showing tomorrow morning (cheap) - the trailers have won me over - especially on the big screen.
Old 05-09-08, 05:01 PM
  #239  
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Originally Posted by chris_sc77
The studio's concern is no doubt amplified by the fact that the movie may have cost some $250-300 million to produce and market."
That's ludicrous. Did Warner expect this to be another Wachowski Matrix-like franchise with a huge cult following? That doesn't even make any sense.
Old 05-09-08, 05:16 PM
  #240  
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I saw it on Imax today and really liked it (I never particularly liked the cartoon). There were maybe 3 things that I didn't like (little 5 second bits, I mean), especially the "warning" at the end (it really messed up the otherwise nice moment, I thought). Only about 40 people at my showing, and the few kids that were there appeared to really enjoy it.
Old 05-09-08, 06:08 PM
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I caught it on IMAX today as well. Great fun. Thoroughly entertaining. I was never bored, and I don't exactly understand the length complaint, as I thought it allowed for some great racing scenes. It was very silly at times, but that was to be expected. I really liked the whole family aspect as well. Whoever said this movie had no heart must've seen an alternate version or something.

A couple of questions for people who've seen it (there were some noisy kids, the only part of my experience that annoyed me):

Spoiler:
Why did Togokhan's sister (Huroku I think) give Speed the invitation to the Grand Prix? Did she steal it from her brother, or was it because he wasn't planning on racing at all? He looked pretty comfortable at the race just chilling. Was she just fed up with what her father was doing?

Also, the part near the end when the Inspector Detector asks Rex if he thinks he did the right thing faking his death and all that, Rex simply says "That's something I have to live with." Why can't he tell anyone at that point who he is? Did I miss something, or is that just supposed to be left a mystery?
Old 05-09-08, 09:38 PM
  #242  
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Originally Posted by Brack
A couple of questions for people who've seen it (there were some noisy kids, the only part of my experience that annoyed me):

Spoiler:
Why did Togokhan's sister (Huroku I think) give Speed the invitation to the Grand Prix? Did she steal it from her brother, or was it because he wasn't planning on racing at all? He looked pretty comfortable at the race just chilling. Was she just fed up with what her father was doing?

Also, the part near the end when the Inspector Detector asks Rex if he thinks he did the right thing faking his death and all that, Rex simply says "That's something I have to live with." Why can't he tell anyone at that point who he is? Did I miss something, or is that just supposed to be left a mystery?
Spoiler:

She stole it and gave it to Speed because like you said, her brother was planning to decline it anyways. I'm guessing she felt bad for Speed since he risked his life to help out her family only to find out he was being used purely for financial gain. Togokhan did look surprised when Speed's name was put up on the board, but I'm guessing he appreciated his sister's gesture, hence seeing him cheer Speed on; maybe it's some sort of "there are more important things than money" kind of lesson.

As for the second question, I'm going to guess that the Racers have accepted Rex's death and moved on as best as they can, and Rex probably thinks it's for the best. It would probably just bring in a new set of problems if he suddenly reappeared.

It was a fun film. They could have chopped down some of the exposition, seeing as how it was the film's weakest point...well, that and the kid who played Spirtle--Christ, was an annoying actor (they should have switched him out with the child who played the young Speed). But overall, it was nowhere near as bad as many critics are making it out to be. I don't know if it's something I'd see again anytime soon, but it was certainly worth my $6.50.
Old 05-09-08, 11:05 PM
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Just back from seeing it. I enjoyed it. It's not an earth shattering movie, it's just fun and colorful. As for Paulie Litt who played Spritle, I thought he stole every scene he was in. I didn't find him the least bit annoying, but the funniest parts of the movie (along with Kick Gurry who played Sparky). Christina Ricci was might fine to look at.

The only part that I didn't really care for was the constant flashbacks at the beginning of the movie during the race. Speed would be racing, and then he'd flashback, then he'd be racing again, and then another flashback. It really knocks the momentum of that first race down. Other than that, I couldn't really find anything I disliked. Those who have seen the original cartoon and know how over the top it is, shouldn't have any problems here.

I don't think it'll beat out Ironman this week. There were only about 30 people in the theater for the 7:00 showing (but they had multiple screens showing it tonight too.) I don't think it'll do repeat business, but I'll pick it up on DVD when it comes out. We got the Wonderful World of Racing from Target and watched it right before we went to the movie, and I think it helped my child understand the movie a little better.

Last edited by Star Wars Guy; 05-09-08 at 11:09 PM.
Old 05-09-08, 11:24 PM
  #244  
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Thanks Green.

My take on the flashbacks was simply to show his thoughts, everything he felt were important times in his life, all leading up to that race. It made me care about the race more, and I thought it was done pretty well.

I agree about the kid who played Spritle, that kid really brought something to that role, a very expressive energy about him. I loved that "Free Bird" moment, so random.
Old 05-10-08, 12:00 AM
  #245  
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Seeing Racer X in a TV spot has given hope...when I watched the very first trailer some time ago my wife asked what did I think...I simply said no Racer X=fail.

I'll check this out in a few weeks with my son. As one who liked the catoon I hope it does better than expected.
Old 05-10-08, 02:02 AM
  #246  
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I thought it was pretty good. I will agree it's mostly a like it or hate it movie. It definitely has it's own style. Matthew Fox did a good job. It's by no means great, but it's a fun ride of a movie.

They kept with the cartoon quite a lot, including the car sounds, jumps, buttons, music
Old 05-10-08, 02:04 AM
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Just got back from seeing a 10:35 showing. I for one, love the original cartoon, and was really happy to see this live up the show.

There were numerous show references, most notably in the accurate portrayal of the characters. Sparky and Pops were perfect. For anyone that thinks Spritle was annoying or whatever, he absolutely was. But, you have to understand that is how he behaved in the show too, so it was perfect. He was always there for comic relief and as a backup to get Speed out of trouble.

Visually, this movie was stunning. I cannot say how impressed I was with the graphics and animations. It definitely had the cartoon feel of the original show, with some of the most breathtaking scenes and colours I have seen in a film in a long time.

Casting was on point for everyone...except for Inspector Detector - I was a little disappointed that the actor playing him wasn't as tall, broad, and large as his anime counterpart, but as far as the character himself, he nailed it.

I can understand why maybe the critics didn't necessarily like it all that much, but it was a fantastically fun family film (alliteration at its finest), that can appeal to both old/loyal audiences of the cartoon, and a new generation of kids.

Oh, and I LOVED the use of the original Speed Racer theme song throughout the film. I love the Mom & Pop Operation vs. Big Business & Corporation theme that was ever-present in the original series.

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Matt, I'm wondering about two things that I look for in a film: story and acting. How are those?
I personally liked the story and the acting. Refer to my previous comments about the accurate character portrayals. As far as the story goes, it may be a tired theme of good vs. evil, private business vs. coorperation, but that for me was always one of the big things Speed Racer was about (that and just general notions of honour, duty, etc.). This movie nailed all the themes and stayed very true to the cartoon. From having Speed volunteer to help the police, to refusing to leave Racer Motors. The story was good for me.
Old 05-10-08, 02:19 AM
  #248  
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I took my wife tonight with me to the IMAX screening. She started to move in her seat a ton toward the end and I figured it was out of boredom since she never saw the original cartoon. Turns out the seat was bugging her and she ended up loving the movie.

The Racer family proved to be one of the best presented and cast movie families I have ever encountered. Family was important in the cartoon and they really put together a great cast. The story was good even if my wife and I debated a few points on the way home. The visuals were outstanding. Even if I had seen a stunt dozens of times on the commercials and trailers I was still amazed by it at the showing tonight.

The movie will most likely get lost in the shuffle but I know my wife is already going to tell all the family members and friends that they need to take their kids to see it. Kids will flip out over the racing scenes and rightfully so.
Old 05-10-08, 02:53 AM
  #249  
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I will give credit to the Wachowski Brothers for pretty much pulling off an honest-to-goodness live-action anime with plenty of pizazz, nifty intermingling swipes and fades and other transitional devices. Plus the inclusion of the drifting head with dialogue shots so prevalent in the cartoons, just a lot of real nice attention to detail. The dual-focus system (keeping 2 people in focus even if one is in the foreground and the other is in the background) worked to mimic the cartoon look in some scenes, though it sometimes looked like they just spliced 2 heads into one shot to get that effect (then again, perhaps they film both people in the same frame and did figure out how to do the dual-focus for this film).

Not only were the Wachowski brothers slavish to the look of anime, but also the style of the storytelling in setting up the backstory in the first act, with fades into/out of the character's recollection of what happened in the past that impacted who they are in the present. Some of the bits worked well, other scenes looked odd. I wasn't all that entertained in the first act, but it got better in the middle act (most of it due to the racing, and some funny hand-to-hand combat), and then finds its stride in the final act. The setup in the first act might have gotten a little too convoluted for little ones to follow, but thankfully the rest of the plot is easy to follow, and the viewers are treated to a lot of razzle-dazzle racing sequences.

If you have any interest in Speed Racer, or live-action anime, or racing, or chimps, then you might enjoy most of this film, but it runs a little long at 135 minutes. Spritle and Chim-Chim both steal almost every scene they show up in, while the rest of the cast plays it straight for the most part, though Emile Hirsch just wasn't all that charismatic to me in the titular role.

I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B- (mainly for the sheer amount of cinematic ingenuity on display)

Last edited by Patman; 05-10-08 at 02:58 AM.
Old 05-10-08, 03:50 AM
  #250  
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I watched it tonight. Not really going to say much, but it was alright. It's a visual movie. The plot was thin, acting was good though. Doesn't really seem like a summer movie to me. The Wachowskis made an honest effort and I applaud them.

I bet it will look nice on Blu-ray.

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