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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 05-10-08, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Variety is reporting $6.2 million for Friday. Regardless, that's Bombs-ville for the movie and for the Wachowskis - who probably won't be given this kind of budget for a movie again for a long time, if ever.
Actually, filmmakers that turn in poorly performing product often get rewarded.

Best example I can think of is Renny Harlin, who got a kings ransom for Long Good Night after Cutthrost Island.
Old 05-10-08, 10:09 PM
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I don't think one bomb is enough to halt the Wachowski's from getting more opportunities. Michael Bay bounced back from The Island. And while it was just produced by the Wachowski's, V for Vendetta was a decent success wasn't it?

Anyway, I haven't gotten a chance to see this yet but the reviews here have been fairly positive. Seems like Fantastic Four 2, where reviews on this forum were on the generally positive side despite mixed critical reviews.
Old 05-10-08, 10:11 PM
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true, it's tough to sell a successful film as a box office failure when you're in accounting, but when your film looks like a box office failure on paper (it'll make back it's money in the long run) it's easy to swing the numbers into being a failure all around.
Old 05-10-08, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bunkaroo
I'm sure this has been asked before, but as someone who knows noting about Speed Racer and never watched the cartoon, is this worth seeing?

I like the other Wachowski's other stuff so I'm just wondering if there's anything the movie takes for granted which some people might know.
I went into it knowing ahead of time most of the basics of who the characters were (although I don't recall ever actually watching a single full episode) and I enjoyed myself immensely. Even with a theater mostly full of kids, it wasn't bad.

I will say that I'm a little surprised that they managed to pull out a PG based on some of the language, violence (even if it mostly ended up cartoony) and other gestures. I'm not so sure I would taken anyone under 7 to see it - but that's just me.
Old 05-11-08, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan
I don't think one bomb is enough to halt the Wachowski's from getting more opportunities. Michael Bay bounced back from The Island. And while it was just produced by the Wachowski's, V for Vendetta was a decent success wasn't it?

Anyway, I haven't gotten a chance to see this yet but the reviews here have been fairly positive. Seems like Fantastic Four 2, where reviews on this forum were on the generally positive side despite mixed critical reviews.
Bay was saved by The Island doing great business overseas (it ended up turning a profit) and having Transformers as his next film.

I'd say this is close to the end for the Wachowskis. V for Vendetta was a success, but last summer they were heavily involved (both production wise and directing wise) with the The Invasion, which even afterworld wide gross, was $25million in the hole.
Old 05-11-08, 12:41 AM
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After the excruciating first act, I really enjoyed this movie. I LOVED the sequence in the snow and the final race had me choked up the whole time (they got some pretty great reaction shots from the family/extras). I'm an even bigger Matthew Fox fan after tonight and liked everyone else just fine (including Emile Hirsch, who has been singled out in many reviews as a weak lead).

If the first act weren't so wordy and confusing, it would call it a great movie. The actor playing the villain just wasn't able to deliver all of that exposition with clarity, I thought.

Sad to have only seen this with about 20 other people in the audience, Saturday night at 7:30 even.
Old 05-11-08, 12:47 AM
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Rich dude fixes races to get richer. that's pretty much it. The details weren't really important.
Old 05-11-08, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Boba Fett
I'd say this is close to the end for the Wachowskis. V for Vendetta was a success, but last summer they were heavily involved (both production wise and directing wise) with the The Invasion, which even afterworld wide gross, was $25million in the hole.
No one will place the blame for the Invasion on the Wachowskis. They were a stopgap method, at best.
So long as Joel Silver can produce movies, the Wachowskis have a home. Tarantino has a home with Harvey Weinstein no matter how badly his pictures perform. And Silver and the Wachowskis have a similar relationship.
Old 05-11-08, 01:40 AM
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I think it's unpopular to like movies these days. I mean honestly, what did people expect from Speed Racer? I'm absolutely dumbfounded by all the negative reviews. It doesn't make a lick of a sense to me. Speed Racer exceeded my expectations. I haven't even seen the original cartoon, but I knew what I was going to get going in. I found it immensely entertaining. It's really disappointing that this movie is going to bomb because no one could do a better job than the Wachowski brothers did. How could they have done Speed Racer better, based on the source material? I just get so sick of all the pretentious reviews that I read.
Old 05-11-08, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Brack
Rich dude fixes races to get richer. that's pretty much it. The details weren't really important.
That's exactly my point. I understood it no problem, but I could tell the little kids around me were bored to tears by that scene and half the dialogue in it could easily have been cut. Did they really need 15 minutes to explain what you just put into one sentence?

Again, still found the movie to be extremely enjoyable, would see it again, and hope it finds an audience on DVD.

Last edited by Zee; 05-11-08 at 02:37 AM.
Old 05-11-08, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by justbarelymovin
I think it's unpopular to like movies these days. I mean honestly, what did people expect from Speed Racer? I'm absolutely dumbfounded by all the negative reviews. It doesn't make a lick of a sense to me. Speed Racer exceeded my expectations. I haven't even seen the original cartoon, but I knew what I was going to get going in. I found it immensely entertaining. It's really disappointing that this movie is going to bomb because no one could do a better job than the Wachowski brothers did. How could they have done Speed Racer better, based on the source material? I just get so sick of all the pretentious reviews that I read.
They could have made a more serious action drama like the cartoon was.
Gone for the R rated action.
Old 05-11-08, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
They could have made a more serious action drama like the cartoon was. Gone for the R rated action.
To be honest, I really think that would've made the flick worse.
Old 05-11-08, 08:03 AM
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Agreed. But if it were R we could have gotten some Christina Ricci nudity. Oh well.
Old 05-11-08, 08:49 AM
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Just got back. Loved every second of it. Can't wait to buy it.
Old 05-11-08, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Zee
That's exactly my point. I understood it no problem, but I could tell the little kids around me were bored to tears by that scene and half the dialogue in it could easily have been cut. Did they really need 15 minutes to explain what you just put into one sentence?

Again, still found the movie to be extremely enjoyable, would see it again, and hope it finds an audience on DVD.
I know when I was a kid I would've found the story pretty interesting, but then again I guess I wasn't the average kid.

The Wachowskis wanted to give some real substance to this "good vs. greed" story. I think kids knew that Royalton was bad from the start, and maybe didn't understand all the details, but I guarantee they understood "You walk away from me, you walk away from this deal, no matter how well you drive, you won't win, you won't place. I guarantee you right now you won't even finish the race."

Was it the right choice? In this ADD America, I guess not.
Old 05-11-08, 11:10 AM
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Pacing has never been the Wachowskis' strong suit. The 3 Matrix movies, even Bound, had some serious pacing issues in em.
Old 05-11-08, 11:00 PM
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I went in expecting the worst, but enjoyed it immensely. I got a few recommendations that were along the lines of "It's fun...not to be taken seriously...but fun." Isn't that how all summer movies should be taken? I loved Iron Man, but I didn't tell my friends "Great movie...to be taken seriously." I agree about the length. The set up with Speed and Royalton was way too long and wordy. I like the way it was structured and I liked what they were trying to do with it, but it was too long. But that's a minor complaint. I think people really wanted to hate this one. Maybe it's bitterness left over from the Matrix sequels or maybe justbarelymovin is right...it's unpopular to like movies nowadays. I hope this one builds word of mouth and finds a second life on DVD.
Old 05-12-08, 12:19 AM
  #293  
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I also ended up liking it despite the fact that the things I feared were going to be bad pretty much were. I thought the candy colored 'look' of the movie was fantastic for the action/racing etc., but I found it really odd and distracting in the suburban/everyday moments. And the little brother and Chim Chim (and other slapsticky elements) just didn't translate well to live-action for me... perhaps they were *too* loyal to the source material. That said, the movie won me over despite my reservations. It pulled me into its strange surreal world and I was much more involved than I thought I'd be, despite individual elements that would normally doom a movie to my 'bad movie' list.
Old 05-12-08, 01:47 AM
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The movie was a lot of fun. They really pulled off the 2D cartoon style with the crazy transitions and wipes, parallax backgrounds, foreground and background characters both being in focus, speed lines, etc.

If they had made an entire movie in this style based on fighting instead of racing (the 2 fight scenes in the movie were hilarious and looked amazing), I don't think you'd be seeing half of the negative reviews that are coming out right now.
Old 05-12-08, 01:48 AM
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God what an awful movie. I had to fight my temptation to walk out from within the first 20 minutes. The studio must have shit their pants when they saw the final cut that they dropped a $100 million on. It was one of those rare moments when the movie had almost absolutely nothing likeable, every new scene/character/line of dialouge feels like a stiff kick of unpleasentness. The racing scenes were very disappointing and the cast was bad all around. The chim chim and little brother were downright terrible. The Wachowski siblings probably have the worst last 3 movies of any director working today.


In short, worst movie of the summer. I dare any movie to challenge its awfulness.
Old 05-12-08, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
God what an awful movie. I had to fight my temptation to walk out from within the first 20 minutes. The studio must have shit their pants when they saw the final cut that they dropped a $100 million on. It was one of those rare moments when the movie had almost absolutely nothing likeable, every new scene/character/line of dialouge feels like a stiff kick of unpleasentness. The racing scenes were very disappointing and the cast was bad all around. The chim chim and little brother were downright terrible. The Wachowski siblings probably have the worst last 3 movies of any director working today.


In short, worst movie of the summer. I dare any movie to challenge its awfulness.
I dunno if you'd count them as summer or not...but you do realize Prom Night and Superhero Movie are still in theaters, right?

And as far as the last three movies comment, I really hope you aren't talking about Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions...

And just out of curiosity...did you watch the original cartoon? It seems to me that those who enjoyed the original cartoon appreciated this MUCH more, especially considering the fact that the casting and acting was so perfectly matched to the old cartoon.
Old 05-12-08, 01:59 AM
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Review

Saw it today/this evening in IMAX. woah.

The following comments are coming form the perspective of someone who has fond memories of the original cartoon (seen as reruns a few years after the original run...). I am not a major fanboy of the original show, but I have bought DVDs of the original series, and been, well..."eh" about the originals when watching them nowadays. I liked it much better when I was much younger for some reason.

I didn't have high expectations for this going in. I went to see it in IMAX because I figured if nothing else, the visuals and audio would carry it. I actually really enjoyed the flick...and somehow ended up regressing to childhood while watching it on the IMAX screen.

Some points:

1. This WAS the original cartoon....only in live action.
2. Per the first point, I thought the script, acting, and even delivery of the dialog was done in a fitting way. IMHO, if someone was just watching the movie, and didn't understand this point, that person would be having some really major "what the ^%&# is this %$&#??!?!?" moments.
3. The visuals...dear lord, the epilepsy-seizure-inducing visuals....woah....it was all of the primary colors and stuff from the original cartoon x10000. After watching the movie on that size screen for that long...well...reality just looks sorta dull and grayish now. I don't know of any other movie ever that has "looked" like this. I wonder if the CGI and FX could possibly garner some major awards down the road?
4. The racing scenes were insane.
5. The action scenes were unreal (again, think the original cartoon come to life!).
6. One could tell that the folks involved with this flick cared about the source material...references abound

Spoiler:

The big rig from the original episodes, the desert race, Pops' Judo/wrestling, etc...


Other neat touches:
Spoiler:

Having long snippets of the original closing theme song playing during the ending credits

Having a snippet of the original Japanese opening theme play. "Mach a go go" indeed.

Ninjas!

7. It did drag in spots, but then, I thought the originals did too.

8. Highlights: John Goodman WAS Pops. Spridle and Chim-Chim seemed dead-on as well. C. Ricci looked quite hot as a short-haired brunette...drool.

This movie was awesome fun! I consider my admission price really well spent. I might actually go see it again (IMAX of course).

I agree with several others here that this should make a great reference-quality Blu-Ray disc.

If any of you have an IMAX theater around, I would urge you to go see this flick in IMAX. As a movie, your opinion may judge Speed Racer to be crap, but as an IMAX experience, it is well worth the admission price.

Unfortunately, I am betting that this will be a commercial bomb, which would actually, be a shame IMHO.

I bet that this will become a cult classic though and find its audience later.

Also for those who have seen it, I have a question:
Spoiler:

In the credits, I saw mention of the Jonny Quest theme. Where was it?????

Last edited by elengineer; 05-12-08 at 02:10 AM.
Old 05-12-08, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kstublen
I dunno if you'd count them as summer or not...but you do realize Prom Night and Superhero Movie are still in theaters, right?

And as far as the last three movies comment, I really hope you aren't talking about Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions...

And just out of curiosity...did you watch the original cartoon? It seems to me that those who enjoyed the original cartoon appreciated this MUCH more, especially considering the fact that the casting and acting was so perfectly matched to the old cartoon.
I am not very familiar with the original cartoon. I've seen a few episodes here and there but I'm hardly an expert. If its anything like the movie, I'd probably hate it.


And yes I am talking about Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions.
Old 05-12-08, 02:26 AM
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I could not agree with you more elengineer. Never in my life have I seen such accurate live action portrayals of cartoon/comic book source material. I think people that disliked the acting most likely are unfamiliar with the movie's source. Like you said, John Goodman WAS Pops, just like the kid nailed Spritle. I don't ever recall Sparky having an accent (lol) but aside from that his portrayal of the character was spot on. But everything was so reminiscent of the cartoon. All of the "car-fu" or whatever you want to call it are also very similar to how it was handled in the original cartoon. The homages to the original made this film even more enjoyable.

And the visuals were amazing. The most visually stunning movie I have seen in a long time. This will be the first film I buy on Blu-ray...no question.

As to your question...I noticed that as well but couldn't figure it out either.
Old 05-12-08, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
The racing scenes were very disappointing and the cast was bad all around.
Couldn't disagree more. Goodman and Fox were awesome.

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