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Speed Racer's Visual FX Uncovered 274

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hey-shannon-this-better-not-suck dept.
Marco Trezzini writes "View exclusive interactive samples of the digital building blocks behind the Speed Racer movie in VRMag's in-depth interviews with award-winning Matrix visual FX guru John Gaeta, Dennis Martin, Lubo Hristov, and Jake Morrison. Including Virtual Reality panoramas of the movie locations, turn tables of the mach 5 and 6, and many making of videos unveiling the secrets of the visual effects. Link to 'Speed Racer uncovered' and to John Gaeta's interview." The first time I saw the trailer for this movie, my jaw hit the floor. Nobody makes live action "Cartoons" that look like this. I guess that makes me believe there is no way the movie can be good.
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Speed Racer's Visual FX Uncovered

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:23AM (#23299672)
    All they do anymore is remake crappy tv shows i never wanted to watch in the first place into crappy movies i still dont want to watch.

    Writers strike be damned, im on a viewers strike!
    • by gardyloo (512791) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:12AM (#23300196)
      Yeah, but once there's a live-action/CG movie of The Gummybears, I'm there, man, I'm there! And I want my couch-cushion fort in the theater, too.
    • by Kierthos (225954) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:33AM (#23300458) Homepage
      Oh thank you. I thought I might be the only one. I mean, Speed Racer? Who greenlighted that piece of shit?!

      I swear, it's like for every good movie out of Hollywood, there are five marginal movies, and for every marginal movies, there are ten that are complete crap, like this one: a movie based on a badly dubbed and chopped piece of crap cartoon about a guy who races in every single episode in this, okay, admittedly, tricked out car, and he's smart enough to remember which button is the jump skis (or whatever the fuck those things are) and which button is the buzzsaw in the front bumper, but he's too fucking stupid to check the trunk for the kid and the chimp, and no one picks up that Racer X is his brother.

      What's next? Thundercats the movie? Blues Clues the movie?

      Here's hoping it tanks like a Uwe Boll film and Hollywood gets the message.
      • Uh, yeah they're making a Thundercat movie. Hopefully not Blues Clues tho :s
         
         

        Racer X is his brother
        I hope that's not an important twist :( I didn't even know this was a remake of a cartoon. The film does look pretty crappy just because of the racing physics - looks like Ridge Racer style impossible stuff, but hey it's got Christina Ricci, and she's hawt :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kierthos (225954)
          I refuse to consider anything I say about a cartoon that is 40 years old to be a spoiler. It's like talking about how King Kong dies at the end of the movie. It's been out a while. There's a time limit on this shit.

          And really? A Thundercats movie? That's just fucking sad.
        • Why not a Blues Clues movie? Steve was in "Netherbeast Incorporated" and he's put out a f***ing awesome album with Steve Drozd of the Flaming Lips. How could any movie starring him and an animated female blue dog NOT kick ass?

          I especially want to see the scene where Steve showers with Slippery Soap, and they have to have a conversation about personal space.
      • The first time I saw a rumor they where making this steamy loaf I though no one could be that stupid. I was wrong. I said, well maybe it won't be that bad. Wrong again. Just looking at the previews you can tell how bad it is.

        I just think this is part of crappywoods attempt to combat movie piracy. They'll just make movies so bad that nobody wants to watch much less copy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sconeu (64226)
          I just think this is part of crappywoods attempt to combat movie piracy. They'll just make movies so bad that nobody wants to watch much less copy.

          You're half right. \

          1. Make movies so bad that nobody wants to go to them.
          2. Complain to Congress that their profits are down because of the Evil Content Pirates(tm)
          3. Get new Uber-DMCA laws passed
          4. PROFIT!
      • by Pojut (1027544)

        I swear, it's like for every good movie out of Hollywood, there are five marginal movies, and for every marginal movies, there are ten that are complete crap, like this one: a movie based on a badly dubbed and chopped piece of crap cartoon about a guy who races in every single episode in this, okay, admittedly, tricked out car, and he's smart enough to remember which button is the jump skis (or whatever the fuck those things are) and which button is the buzzsaw in the front bumper, but he's too fucking stup

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:23AM (#23299674) Journal

    The first time I saw the trailer for this movie, my jaw hit the floor. Nobody makes live action "Cartoons" that look like this. I guess that makes me believe there is no way the movie can be good.
    "No way?" Why on earth do you say that? I mean, the odds are high we have the equivalent of Fantastic Four, Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow or a Matrix sequel. You know, movies that have great or novel special effects but little else. On the other hand, you could have something like Brazil, Blade Runner or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Movies that had different or strange special effects with more supporting features than just that.

    I don't think that's exactly fair. There is some way the movie could be good. The original Matrix had neat (maybe not original) effects but it also had a very sound core science fiction theme along with a lot of great drama and situations. The dialog wasn't the best but I thought the story was very very strong. My 50+ year old aunt and uncle watched it when it came out and the one thing they remember from it is the story. Not the special effects or dialog or who was in it but the possibility of this Man Vs Machine universe.

    I'll admit when I saw the Speed Racer trailer, my brain didn't comprehend anything that happened. I couldn't tell who was what, what I was looking at or even what kind of conflict the movie centered on. I was utterly stupefied. I'm not afraid of admitting that, it was just confusing and I've never seen or read any Speed Racer material so I have no precursor or knowledge of what the theme is.

    If this movie is relying 100% on its stunning visual effects, it's going to be a summer blockbuster and nothing more. It isn't going to age well and might go down as being a standard to watch on the latest plasma screen until next summer when a better movie comes out. There is, however, still a very likely possibility that one or more elements comes through to save the movie. Whether it be the directing, the acting, the story or even the music.
    • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan@jared.gmail@com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:37AM (#23299808)
      I am behind you all the way on Bladerunner and 2001, but The Matrix had a sound core science fiction theme along with a lot of great drama and situations...

      The science of the Matrix was pretty laughable, I mean the machines are smart enough to build human farms, but too dumb to use satellites to capture solar power. A lot of stuff didn't add up. The films only saving grace, which more than made up for the plot holes, was it's deep philosophical questions, specifically about the nature of experience and what it truly means to be human. These are common threads alongside the other two films mentioned.

      I think it is sort of obvious that Speed Racer isn't going to be tackling any sort of grandiose, fundamental question of philosophy. The whole cartoon was pretty campy, which the movie seems to have moved away from. This doesn't give make me hopeful about anything other than the visuals being worthwhile.

      Sure, it will probably be an enjoyable film, but I would be very reluctant to mention 2001 or Bladerunner in the same breath.
      • by KlomDark (6370) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:05AM (#23300132) Homepage Journal
        They changed to the "humans as batteries" because they judged the average viewer coudn't comprehend the idea of "humans as co-processors" idea in the original story. So it got Hollywooded, and we are all slightly dumber for it having been changed to a "lowest common denominator" story. :(
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cizoozic (1196001)
          I've read or heard that the "scorching of the sky" was done with some kind of nanotechnology that disabled electronics and did not allow electromagnetic waves to pass through. Supposedly when the ship pierced the clouds in one of the movies it stalled because of this. I still like this humans as coprocessors idea much better though, because thermodynamically the whole human battery thing never made any sense to me. Sure we produce chemical(/electrical) and thermal energy, but we get that from our food and t
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            "thermodynamically the whole human battery thing never made any sense to me. "

            It was never supposed to. Nearly all the information fed to Zion by the machines, and subsequently relayed by Morpheus to Neo in the first film, was obvious, obvious falsehood.

            The truth:

            The machines 'scorched the sky' to protect themselves from Humanity. Humans are dependent on solar power, not machines -- no sane human capable of using such technology would ever willingly do it. On the other hand, making humans dependent on machi
        • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:12PM (#23305026) Journal
          I wonder where this "original story" lives? Now I'm curious...

          It does clear up a few things, like how purely mental techniques and "training" could lead one to "bend the rules" -- and why the Machines couldn't effectively implement some basic security measures. It's impossible to fly in, say, WoW unless Blizzard lets you, but it would be downright easy if they, say, offloaded a bit of the physics computation to the clients.
      • by Yetihehe (971185)

        Sure, it will probably be an enjoyable film, but I would be very reluctant to mention 2001 or Bladerunner in the same breath.
        Sure you can. But you need to also use the "unlike" word.
      • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:36AM (#23300494) Homepage

        The science of the Matrix was pretty laughable, I mean the machines are smart enough to build human farms, but too dumb to use satellites to capture solar power.


        To me, it makes more sense that the humans were part of the computing power that gave the machines intelligence. That would also explain a lot of other things in the movie. The nice thing about the matrix is they didn't try to explain everything, allowing you to figure out what you would (the battery thing was a dumbed-down idea that could have been done much better, IMHO).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dido (9125)

          My own interpretation is that the machines are actually obedient to the last drop. They are trying to create a perfect world for humans, and the entire contrivance that is the Matrix is really a massive system designed for the machines to understand what will constitute a perfect world for humanity. I think of the Oracle in the Matrix in the sense of the 'oracle Turing machine' described by Alan Turing in the paper "Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals", as a special type of state that the machine can go in

      • by TheLink (130905)
        Actually you could see the Matrix in a different way.

        Why should we take that "battery thing" as the real truth?

        It makes more sense if you see that the "scorched world with humans as batteries" reality they are "living" in is not the "real reality" either - after all that could explain why Neo could do the stuff he did in that "real world".

        And that the whole thing is part of the Oracle's/machines plan to hybrid people and machines and upgrade herself.

        She believes there's something that humans have that the m
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LS (57954)
        The science of the Matrix was pretty laughable

        I think you completely miss the point of The Matrix. The issue with using human batteries is not as clearcut as it may seem at first. If you recall, the world we live in is actually a simulation, so any assumptions you might have about the laws of nature are no longer valid. In the underlying layer of reality, humans have another type of of biomorphic energy that doesn't exist in the simulated layer or in the sun. This is supported by the fact that Neo is ab
        • by vrmlguy (120854) <samwyse.gmail@com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:20PM (#23304446) Homepage Journal

          Also, the science in movies like 2001 and Bladerunner is laughable from some peoples' perspectives. You can't hold your breath and go into a vacuum without rupturing your lungs, but this is done in 2001. That may seem minor to a layman, but if you are someone in the field of space travel, it might look like space opera to you.
          From http://physics.suite101.com/blog.cfm/how_to_survive_a_vacuum [suite101.com]:

          If you have the misfortune of being exposed to a vacuum, for instance, if you are a character in a science fiction story, your body will not explode, but your blood and other fluids may boil, given a long enough exposure. Frost will form in your mouth as your saliva rapidly evaporates. Your ears will pop. Eventually you will die of asphyxiation, if you haven't already had a heart attack from panic.

          You have about a minute and a half to get to safety. Before exposure, or immediately after initial exposure, you should exhale and remove all the air from your lungs. Otherwise, the air pressure will rupture the delicate alveoli, the air sacs, in your lungs. That is not an injury that's easy to recover from. There is not much else you can do.

          The only accurate depiction of vacuum exposure in fiction can be found in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the movie the main character is exposed very briefly, and handles the situation well.
      • by debrain (29228)

        The science of the Matrix was pretty laughable, I mean the machines are smart enough to build human farms, but too dumb to use satellites to capture solar power. A lot of stuff didn't add up.

        I always took it as a sign of a pre-existing 'peace treaty' between man and machine that permitted the humans to subsist as batteries with some cerebral stimulation. Otherwise, why would the machines not just use cattle or any other biomass that (a) doesn't occasionally reject 'the program' and lead rebellions against them, and (b) is more energy efficient? I find that it is the mysteries of the Matrix's genealogy that make it interesting science fiction.

      • But nothing can make up for showing Keanu Reeves's ass 7 feet wide on the big screen.
    • While I wasn't a fan of either Fantastic Four or the Matrix sequels , I found Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow a nice movie.

      It had a retro feel to it, not just the "tech" but the storyline and such. Not quite a Rocketeer but a decent movie none-the-less.
    • by sesshomaru (173381) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:54AM (#23300024) Journal
      As a fan of the original series, I can say that odds are that this movie will be deeper than Blade Runner, Brazil and 2001:A Space Odyssey combined!!!

      I mean there's a twist, and I don't want to give away anything... but there's a big secret involving Racer X. And the existential angst of Spritle and Chim-Chim. Like something out of Kafka, you see, one of the twins is actually a chimpanzee.

      If this movie doesn't sweep the academy awards, I'll have to believe that it must be because it was too deep for them.

    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:56AM (#23300044) Homepage Journal
      Reverse psychology.
      If they came out liking it, everyone would assert "Oh, they're a bunch of tools, the movie is teh l4m3".
      I, for one, plan on going to see this flick and reverting to age 8 for an hour and a half, irrespective of whether the movie is so content-free as to qualify as a political speech.
      Neener, neener, neener.
      • There is absolutely nothing wrong with. There is also absolutely nothing wrong with someone desiring a movie to have a little more depth. Speed Racer was important to a lot of kids, and as such this movie is going to bring up a lot of feeling for them. It wasn't personally what I grew up with, but when Pinky and the Brain gets made into a film, I'm sure I'll feel the same.

        In short, what I'm trying to say is that there is no one definitive way to view and think about a film. A film can be many things to ma
        • when Pinky and the Brain gets made into a film
          :o a film made up of 30 5-minute shorts! Could be interesting. NARF!!
        • The really great movies operate on both didactic and entertainment levels, and stand up to repeated viewings.
      • by LS (57954)
        You go ahead and shut off your brain. I won't use that as an excuse to watch drivel. Not saying that Speedracer will be shit, but why don't you save yourself the effort and money, go shut off your brain and watch Veggie Tales or Baby Geniuses 2.
    • On the other hand, you could have something like Brazil, Blade Runner or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Movies that had different or strange special effects with more supporting features than just that.


      Brazil? Blade Runner? This is speed racer we are talking about.......SPEED RACER. A cartoon where one of the main characters got into trouble with his pet monkey chim chim. The main antagonist was a Mr. X a guy who was so subtle that he had a giant X on over his mask just to make him more mysterious.
    • by pla (258480)
      I couldn't tell who was what, what I was looking at or even what kind of conflict the movie centered on.

      I'd say you've answered your own question to the GP... Your comments on the trailer pretty much accurately reflects the original series as well, so it sounds like you understood it juuuuust fine. ;-)

      Seriously... Of all the series they could have done a modern live action remake of, why choose Speed Racer? It had no plot (unless the "secret" of Racer-X as Speed's long-lost brother counts), no charact
    • by radish (98371)
      The original Matrix had neat (maybe not original) effects but it also had a very sound core science fiction theme along with a lot of great drama and situations
      I agree with your post in general, but I think the Matrix certainly had original effects. The first bullet time scene had my jaw on the floor - I had never seen anything like it and I couldn't even figure out how it was done (at first, anyway). It was original enough that it's been copied a million times since.
    • by Hatta (162192)
      I was mostly confused by the fact that when people spoke, other things on the screen -- not just their mouths -- moved.
  • by zippthorne (748122) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:37AM (#23299800) Journal
    At least, the preview wasn't. The preview was quite clearly for a movie about F-Zero.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Artuir (1226648)
      I thought the exact same thing after watching it. I wish I were joking, too.
    • by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:28AM (#23300402) Homepage Journal
      Exactly. There's such thing as TOO MUCH cgi, and Speed Racer is a perfect example. It looks less like a movie, but moreso a non-interactive video game that we will see in 20 years. I'm going to skip this one.
      • by Barny (103770)
        Not to mention the fact that Anime tend towards trying to make animation as real as possible, whereas this film is doing the exact opposite, its making a real film as animated as it can.

        Of course it will make hollywood and all involved a lot of money, as someone else said it will be THE movie to test your $20k home cinemas on, but from the look, little at all toward the "anime as an artform" they seem to think.

        I say this not as a film critic, or even someone who is good with computer graphics, I say this on
        • by Junta (36770) on Monday May 05, 2008 @11:20AM (#23301050)

          Not to mention the fact that Anime tend towards trying to make animation as real as possible,
          No, by and large that is not what Anime tends to do. There are examples of attempts to look realistic, but by far they attempt to show fantastical and/or exaggerated things/colors. Take one look at the chosen color palette for a work of Anime, and it's obvious they are not even aiming for realism. Other things like using eye size to roughly indicate goodness/innocence, all the various exagerrated cues, etc etc. For example, Ghost In the Shell, I could see being argued as aiming for realistic color schemes/physiology, while Armitage deviates. Those are two pieces of sci-fi drama relatively close in genre with different artistic styles.

          Speed Racer definitely fell into the category of unrealistic/stylized on purpose, so it seems an appropriate fit.

          But then at the end of a day, it's just supposed to be a fun movie, and we miss the fun by overanalyzing it to death.
        • by drsmithy (35869)

          Not to mention the fact that Anime tend towards trying to make animation as real as possible [...]

          Say what ? O.o

  • Over done. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:38AM (#23299816)
    The previews for this film really bug me, particularly the way that the cars are constantly fishtailing back and forth. I realize that this is Speed Racer and this is not supposed to be realistic, but I believe that you need some inkling of reality to achieve any sense of excitement and drama.

    Its based on a cartoon! What they have created is a caricature of a caricature of reality. Granted that makes the previews a caricature of a caricature of caricature. Still, it gives me the overwhelming impression of trying too hard, probably to cover up for the script.

    Then again, I thought the Matrix series was kind of dumb.
    • The previews for this film really bug me, particularly the way that the cars are constantly fishtailing back and forth.

      Ding! That too annoys the crap out of me. It's one thing to suspend belief when watching the cartoon and have springs come out from underneath the Mach 5, but the one thing that the cartoon seemed to get somewhat correct was the way the cars (and drivers) reacted when driving. This looks, as you said, like the producers are trying too hard.

      As a rule, I don't watch commercials bu

    • by Huntr (951770)
      I agree. I see the trailers and all I can think is "too much." Not that that I want to look at a virtually barren screen with only a few cars, but there's just too much blurring by, like they're going overboard on the dazzle. In my experience, that tends to mean there isn't a lot of steak with the sizzle.

      Truthfully, I'm not really looking forward to it, anyway. I didn't watch Speed Racer as a kid, despite being in the right age group. Plus, the Wachowskis ticked me off with the last 2 Matrix movies. A
    • > but I believe that you need some inkling of reality to achieve any sense of excitement and drama.

      Anime shows shown us that you don't really need realistic settings to achieve either. What you need is gripping story and good characters.
      • All the anime featuring mecha/cars/bikes that I've seen has much more realistic physics than that of Speed Racer.. thinking of the cars in Ghost in the Shell, and the bikes in Akira for example. Speed Racer seems to be of the "I can drift around a hairpin bend sideways all the way" school, what I call the Ridge Racer philosophy. The latest version of Ridge Racer on the PS3 is tooooo arcadey in that way, so I'm just not going to get it. I got some of the originals for their nice graphics, and they did have s
    • by sconeu (64226)
      Exactly.

      I saw the previews and I had the same issue with it that I had with the horrible Hulk film. The CGI was too obviously CGI.

      I makes the willing suspension of disbelief [wikipedia.org] very difficult.
  • by Alzheimers (467217) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:39AM (#23299842)
    Really, the only way to possibly enjoy this film will be to go in with absolutely no expectations at all.

    Forget the Matrix, forget the old cartoons, don't bring any assumptions or fond childhood dreams to the party.

    Just order a large popcorn, maybe get a little intoxicated, and go watch the eye-candy.

    And if there's a plot that actually makes sense, it's all gravy.
    • I was incredibly dissapointed by the trailers. The juxtaposition of real people with cartoonish surrondings was jarring to me. I loved the cartoon as a child (yes I'm old), but I think I'll wait for the DVD on this movie, if I see it at all.
      • They said this all about Tron as well.
        • Yes, but Tron was supposed to look that way. To me the trailers look like they wanted to have it both ways; make it all cartoonish but with real people running around in it.

          The race courses in the cartoon actually looked MORE REALISTIC than the ones in the movie trailers. They should have either done an all CGI cartoon OR used live action with realistic looking CGI enhancements.

          This is all just my opinion of course, but I was really, really dissapointed. Judging from a lot of the comments in this discuss
    • by sexybomber (740588) <boccilinoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:53AM (#23300012)

      Just order a large popcorn, maybe get a little intoxicated, and go watch the eye-candy.
      (emphasis mine)

      A little? Every time I see the trailer, I think to myself, I've got to go see that movie when I'm tripping balls. I just hope my eyeballs don't pop out of my head!
      • A little? Every time I see the trailer, I think to myself, I've got to go see that movie when I'm tripping balls. I just hope my eyeballs don't pop out of my head!

        Every time I see a commercial for that glitterfest blip by on the TiVo I wonder how many kids will be carried out of theaters convulsing.

        Not that there's anything wrong with that.
    • by LS (57954)
      Yeah, why don't we just huff lighter fluid, go plant our asses on a dirty mattress in an alley, and laugh at pieces of trash blowing by?

      What is it with movies that everyone wants to an excuse to dumb down and shovel shit into their cortexes?
    • by raddan (519638)
      There are times when even braindead movies are enjoyable. Like when, say, you just finished your discrete math exam. So since I have this exam tonight, and Speed Racer isn't going to be out for another week, I'll just have to watch the old standby: Clint Eastwood. The only question is: Dirty Harry or westerns?
  • by El Torico (732160) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:49AM (#23299952)
    You never saw Racer X going "AHHHH!" and looking like he's going to crap his pants.
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      But you do see Racer X say "Oh No! Speed!" and look like he's crapping his pants for Speed when Speed's in trouble.
  • by Animaether (411575) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:50AM (#23299968) Journal
    I'm asking because I'm thinking that Speed Racer is primarily a U.S. childhood memory keepsake.

    I've seen the trailer pass by before various movies four times now (10,000 BC, Definitely Maybe, Reservation Road, The Spiderwick Chronicles - a pretty spread out mix of audiences), and all four times the audience's response ranged from "wtf is speed racer?" to "what's with the awful effects?".
    Somehow I can't see any of the audience here (NL) to be immediately drawn into the movie thanks to the lack of growing up with Speed Racer, and the trailer showing a minimum of story and mostly oddly-composited (I guess it's a "visual style") live action/CG doesn't exactly help to lure people in based on the visuals.

    So what has audience response been in other countries?
    • I'm asking because I'm thinking that Speed Racer is primarily a U.S. childhood memory keepsake.

      As a 29-year-old United Stater who watched a metric ton of TV when I was little, I barely know anything about Speed Racer. I have no idea where this nostalgia is coming from. The first time I'd ever heard of it was around '92 or '93 when MTV started showing it for a little while. I watched it once, and I thought it was lame (and I admit, most of my childhood favorites were also lame without nostalgia to help them).

      My impression is that it had its heyday in the US well before I was of TV-watching age,

    • by gaspyy (514539)
      Yeah, I never heard of Speed Racer either, although I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid, from Transformers to Thundercats (although I lived under a communist regime, I had a sat dish and I watched anything that was on Sky Channel [later Sky One] and the german RTL).

      After watching several trailers on Rotten Tomatoes, Speed Racer left me unimpressed and slightly annoyed. Too colourful and no story to speak of.

      Take "Cars" for example. My 3-year old loves them. It has excitement, fun, it's colourful and joyful
    • I didn't even know it was a cartoon until this article, and I thought the trailer looked fairly dire, but I'd read a short article about it online saying that it was intended to be OTT/camp, and so I'm just going to watch it with an open mind. The Wachowski brothers don't have the besterest of track records, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt for this one.
    • I'm 40 years old, and I watched Speed Racer as a child. Not that into it though, so this movie looks 'bleh' for me. (Although 'bleh' in a very gaudy, eye-searing CGI way.)

      Since I'm outside of Hollywood's normal demographic, I don't think this movie is meant to capitalize on nostalgia for Speed Racer. This movie is meant to appeal to the billions and billions of Nascar fans in the US. Racing is hot right now in America, and everyone loves to watch the crashes, so a race movie with lots of CGI crashing mi
    • by querist (97166)
      Actually, Speed Racer is a Japanese import. In Japan it is known as "Mach Go go go", and no, "go" does not mean the same thing as it does in English.

      That also explains the letters on their clothes. The "G" on Speed's shirt is for "Go", which is his name. Trixie is "Michiko", explaining the "M".

      Yes, I was one of those kids in the US who grew up watching Speed Racer. I looked up the rest of the stuff when _my_ kids started asking "Why does Trixie have an 'M' on her shirt?".

      Yes, it's horridly campy, but younge
    • by renoX (11677)
      I remember quite well my reaction to the Speed Racer trailer as I've seen it yesterday evening (before Iron Man which is okay: entertaining as expected): my first reactions were: uh, what is speed racer? and the scenario looks awfully dumb!

      People don't talk much in theater in France so I don't know what the other thought but I predict that this movie will be a vast failure in France: the CG is nothing special, it's too dumb for adults and doesn't appear to be funny enough for children..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Gah! How can they screw up a classic!?

    There aren't any Neon lights in the 1967 cartoon!

    Where's the really fast talking and loud gasping!

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Damn you Hollywood!
    • by sconeu (64226)
      You'll note that you never see Trixie in the out-loud gasping shots... But she *is* in the car...

      The remainder I leave up to your filthy mind. :)
  • by yakumo.unr (833476) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:03AM (#23300112) Homepage
    The CGI made me cringe.

    But what made me laugh was the trailer clearly showed he did _NOTHING_ his whole life but think about racing, or practice racing.

    So htf did he build the muscles and learn the skills to take out the ninjas they show later? lol

    He's not even a pirate ;)

  • Speed Racer was cool when I was maybe FIVE. I think MTV brought it back in a prime time slot for a while and I was shocked at what a crap-fest it was from a new perspective. Why not remake something that we remember fondly, like Robotech?
    • I got Robotech, and it was pretty rubbish compared to all other mecha-anime, because (apparently) it's a mish-mash of several different series bastardised to create a completely new story. That's a semi impressive accomplishment, but I probably would have just preferred the originals. Even Transformers is better than Robotech :P Though the too-close-up camera views in the recent movie totally ruined it for me (oh, the 'get me a screwdriver so I can take apart that monitor to make something that generates an
  • The Matrix is one of my top 10 movies of all time. The sequels? Oh, man did they stink. It look Lucas twenty years to go from the awesomeness of the original trilogy to the woeful suckitude of the new trilogy; the Wachowski Brother and his Wachowski sister Dot traveled that same arc in what, three years?

    Speed Racer? Was this even necessary? And the color schemes. My God, it's enough to make the production design on Batman and Robin look heterosexual.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:33AM (#23300464)
    $100 million on the special effects

    $40 million for the leading man and leading woman

    $100,000 for the script

    • I'm hoping you're just throwing out typical blockbuster numbers. The leads aren't that quality of actor, the special effects aren't that good, and the script...I can only hope.
    • by Barny (103770)
      Hrmm, I think you need to spend another $100,000 on CGI and special effects to really make it shine though.... :P
    • by Buddy_DoQ (922706)
      Hardly a fair comparison! Any passable movie script can be cooked up by one or two guys over a weekend with some good coffee. Special effects, at the scale movie-goers demand, requires entire buildings full of artist going at it for months. That kind of manpower isn't cheap, and even then I'd say the writers will take home a lot more at the end of the day.
    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Monday May 05, 2008 @11:33AM (#23301228)
      The sad thing is that the expensive actors tend not to be any better than cheap actors. They make a lot of money because of silly factors like looks or previously held roles, not acting quality. This is especially horrid in animated movies, where "stars" doing voices are the focus of all the trailers, and then each celebrity essentially plays himself or herself. The talented voice actors (for instance, Billy West, who plays half of the characters in Futurama) come in to audition and get rejected, while the director will then coach the auto-hired celebrity based on the improvised performances seen by the talented but unknown actors.

      Next time you see an ad for Crazy Animal Doing People Things starring Al Pacino as Every Character Al Panico Has Ever Played and Cameron Diaz as Generic Bimbo, just walk away.
  • So, a thread where everyone gets to show how terribly sophisticated they are by turning their noses up at an action film? no way! I submit to you all that the vast majority of this trash talk is little more than fickle ignorance.

    This film is certainly about visual appeal. But i can say that with just a teensy bit of knowledge in that domain, it is readily apparent to me that this is a spectacular triumph.

    The film captures the recently popular technique called HDR or High Dynamic Range photography, but they
  • I saw a premiere of SR over the weekend and was quite pleased at the results. It's a PG movie and they have OBVIOUSLY geared it towards families.

    With that said, there is still certainly enough action, story and overall fun to keep all ages involved. Having grown up watching Speed Racer during it's first run (yes, I'm that old), I can say that they did a very good job of bringing the cartoon to life. The special effects were outstanding and all of the characters were dead on.

    Overall, I would go and see it a
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday May 05, 2008 @11:46AM (#23301384)
    According to a reporter who sneaked into an air vent (using modified Mythbuster techniques) above the Wachowski's offices, if Speed Racer does well, they plan to do a live action Urotsukidji - Legend of the Overfiend.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Thyamine (531612)
      You are right.. who doesn't want to watch a movie about a 100 story tall creature with 13 penises destroying a city.
  • I'm with the Taco on this one ... it's going to be teh suxors. The trailer has convinced me: don't bother.
  • by smoker2 (750216)
    I've never heard of Speed Racer, and after having my browser resized against my will on every page change of that site, then they can fucking keep it.
  • Am I the only one who thought the trailers looked like complete crap? I mean ... the visuals were just packed with problems, it looked terrible. It doesn't look real, it doesn't look like the cartoon, it doesn't look good. I was actually considering seeing it until I saw the first previews.
  • This movie looks horrendous. I will not be going to the theater to see this.

    I find it insulting that they had live actors on green screen and they then painted that trainwreck behind them.

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