Daniel's Critical Corner

May 14, 2008

Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Speed Racer”

Filed under: Film — Daniel @ 8:40 am


This Helmet McDonald’s Gave Me Is Just TOO Tight !

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
Getting The Green Flag Today:  Speed Racer

 A funny thing happened to me the other night when I visited our local movie theater
to check out the brand new (and highly anticipated) early summer film, “Speed Racer”.

I had my ticket in hand, and I happily walked over to the concession stand (as I always do). 
The savory aroma of popcorn filled my nostrils. I licked my lips and tried to decide rather or not
to get a “Diet Coke” or just go crazy and grab a “Sprite” .  If you ask me, both go well with a
buttery bag of hot corn at the movies !  

Then I got a whiff of something else… Familiar, yes…  Something yummy… But what was it ?
  For a moment I just couldn’t put my finger on it.  Then (SNAP) I realized that I was smelling
cotton candy !  WOW !  They had set up a real cotton candy MACHINE !  Usually, one only 
sees such a thing at an amusement park (or a baseball game) !  The sticky confection was 
swirling around, promising to turn into a nice wad of goodness !  I was in Heaven ! 

  This seemingly serene moment however, did not last long.  Someone came up from behind
me and grabbed the back of my neck !  I gasped, and tried to escape this mystery
person’s grip, but could not.

I was being pushed towards the aforementioned cotton candy machine, this much is 
certain.  The last thing I remember seeing (before everything went pink) was my own 
reflection in the machine’s glass.  The perpetrator shoved me forward, and my head 
went clean through the contraption with a deafening shatter.  The pain did not   
phase me, as all of a sudden pink swirls were whizzing around my dome.  I tried to
scream but all I got was a mouthful of delicous crap.

Somehow, I found the strength to break free.  Falling to the floor, I managed to look up
at my attacker.  There, before me in all his glory, was none other than Willy Wonka !!!  He
held a large bag of jelly beans in his hand…  With a look in his eye that just had “pure evil”
written all over it.  I raised my arms in a defensive maneuver, but to no avail.  Wonka 
started beating the heck out of me with his giant bag o’ beans.

There was a resounding “pop” as the bag broke, and I was assailed with all the colors
of the rainbow.  Finally, I was able to let out an earth-shattering SHRIEK.  That’s when
the guy next to me said “Will you shut up ALREADY” ! Turns out, I was never pushed  
into a cotton candy machine at all…  I was in fact already sitting down watching
“Speed Racer” !

LOL !  Yep.  This movie is a kaleidoscope of crazy color that (at times) made me want
to say “Stop the ride, I want to get off” !  But I remained seated for the duration.  More
often than not, it was oh so sweet. 

Walking into this movie, I thought it was going to be DREADFUL.  And yes, parts of it
were.  Imagine “The Matrix” if you will.  Now, imagine “The Matrix” being directed by
Elton John.  Now, imagine Elton John spilling a bottle of “Pepto Bismol” on the camera,
(and subsequently licking it off).  There you have it.  Yes folks.  It’s true.  “Speed Racer”
is the gay “Matrix”.  There is even a scene in this movie where “Boy George” appears to 
be driving a truck !  

Hmmm…  Let me give you another example !  Imagine Liberace directing “Blade Runner”. 
Now,  THAT sums this movie up in a nutshell.  The Good.  The Bad.  And everything in
between.  Ha Ha Ha !!!    
  
 Love it (or hate it),  this movie really is “avant-garde” .  And if nothing else, it does have
 some MERIT.  For example:  There is a cute monkey !!!  Here at Critical Corner, a monkey
 automatically earns a film an extra point.  Also, ANY venue featuring John Goodman (of
all people) doing “Matrix” style martial arts can’t be that bad.  Some might say such a
thing is the very definition of entertainment.  I’m inclined to agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY.   
Indeed, watching Mr. Goodman defeat a bloodthirsty ninja gave me a real kick !

 


It’s Daniel From “Critical Corner”…  Quick,  Get The Monkey !!!

 

 Now let’s throw in a little Susan Sarandon for good measure.  True, these days she’s more
“Rocking Chair” than “Rocky Horror”, but who am I to complain ?  I like her, as well as her
cute co-star Christina Ricci ! 

We follow the adventures of “Speed Racer” (played by Emile Hirsch) as he and his race   
car loving family fight for honor in what turns out to be a pretty high octane film.  Yes,
this flick does “drag” a little bit during the first half hour, (no I’m not talking about “Boy 
George” again). And it probably could have been just a tad shorter.  But it still manages
 to entertain.  The entire audience seemed transfixed, with the possible exception of the
guy in front of me who was having some sort of seizure. 

The family is cute and lovable, and they really have a strong bond reminiscent of what  
“The Brady Bunch” had.  They must all turn their back on a haunting past, in order to 
embrace Speed’s future.  Turns out, his brother was killed in a racing event, and that’s 
what “drives” our hero to go faster (and do better) every time he gets behind the wheel. 
His girlfriend (Ricci) protests, but eventually she sees the light and helps him reach his
next goal: To compete in the “Grand Prix” !  Bad guys GALORE show up and try to thwart
Speed at his every turn…  Fortunately, some dude wearing a kinky leather outfit shows  
up and helps to save the day.  I think they call him “Rated X” (or something like that)…

 


Leaving His Favorite Leather Bar (Booze Your Daddy),
The Mysterious Rated X Ponders “Auto Erotica”

 

Many times, I found myself staring at the screen, wide-eyed (and drooling a little bit).
I was saying “Look at the pretty colors” !  “Monkey funny” !  OK, I’m really a sped… 
Oops,  I mean “speed” fan now.  Despite it’s flaws, I liked this flick.  Just think of it all
  as a sour apple blow pop.  You almost hate it, but you put it in your mouth anyway. 

Aside from a couple of bumps in the road, “Speed Racer” manages to stay on track ! 

~

Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating: “7.5” out of  “10”

 

 

14 Comments »

  1. Love the review. I also liked Speed Racer, but I thought it was a little too long. The action parts were way cool though! Its a movie I had fun watching but don’t need to see it again…

    Comment by alntv — May 14, 2008 @ 6:36 am | Reply

  2. Thank You ! Well, I can see how people would not
    want to sit through this again. I probably will watch
    it once more when it comes out on DVD to look for
    little details I may have missed the first time around.
    There was SO much going on, very hard to take it all in !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 14, 2008 @ 7:59 am | Reply

  3. I totally get the “blow pop” analogy the same goes for Jolly Ranchers…”why am i eating this, it’s awful… oh it’s already in my mouth I guess I’ll just have to suck on it” LOL!! I LOVE this review! The Wachowski’s set out to make a live-action cartoon and that’s exactly what was up on the screen. I would agree it could have been about 20 minutes shorter but suffice to say I’m looking forward to seeing this again on blu-ray.

    Comment by russ — May 14, 2008 @ 9:14 am | Reply

  4. LOL ! Thanks ! Yes, I have a feeling
    this movie will look stunning on Blu-ray !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 14, 2008 @ 9:17 am | Reply

  5. Great review! The opening story about the cotton candy machine was perfect. Your vivid descriptions of being bombarded by swirls of color were spot on! Loved the assault by Willy Wonka and the bag ‘o beans!!! Your picture captions were awesome! I laughed out loud at the first one… you’re right, it does look like the McDonalds “M” is on his helmet! Another great review!

    Comment by Chayne — May 14, 2008 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  6. LOL !!! Thanks Chayne !!! My favorite caption is the
    the leather bar reference, “Booze Your Daddy” ! Makes
    me giggle every time I look at the page… I’m Lovin’ It !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 14, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Reply

  7. I love the review..the blow pop comparison is classic..hehe Susan Sarandon. I didn’t see it but I know I can picture it the way you described, very colorful like a circus..lol

    Comment by Gayle — May 14, 2008 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  8. A circus with an adorable monkey no less ! Thank you Gayle !!! 🙂

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 14, 2008 @ 10:15 am | Reply

  9. The Wachowski bros certainly put a lot of effort into making Speed Racer… the movie overall looked and felt like a cross between anime, a kaleidoscope, that Flintstones movie, a video game and the Dukes of Hazard

    Comment by patrick — May 14, 2008 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

  10. Ha Ha ! So True ! Other times it felt like I was watching
    an Oompa-Loompa spinning around in a dryer, crayons melting
    in a microwave, or a flamingo eating a bowl of Lucky Charms ~

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 15, 2008 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  11. I simply can’t add anything more to this one! Just putting down a bit of text to let you know how much I enjoyed the review – glad you didn’t “auto-asphyxiate” yourself on this one…

    Comment by Aaron — May 18, 2008 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  12. LOL !!! Thank You Aaron !!! Ha Ha ! Ugh, Your
    Puns “Drive” Me Crazy… But I Love Them 😉 !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 18, 2008 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  13. You are the first to say this is worth watching..hmm..that almost makes me want to go see it now. :>

    Comment by oxfordfilmfreak — May 18, 2008 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

  14. Thank You ! I thought it was such a fun
    movie… Let me know what you thought
    either way !!! 🙂

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 24, 2008 @ 6:30 pm | Reply


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