Monday, April 07, 2008

Why I Can't Wait To See Speed Racer

Surely you all have seen the trailer for the upcoming Speed Racer movie, right? If not, please take a gander.

I'm sold. I have to admit that when it was announced that a Speed Racer movie was going into production, I didn't have high hopes, even with the Wachowski Bros. attached. I was pretty sure there would be some nifty action with them helming it, but the whole idea of a big-screen adaptation made me groan. The show was so goofy and frenetic to begin with and any real life interpretation would likely result in an empty and soulless product.

But when I saw the trailer in December, I was impressed with how faithful they stayed to the original tone of the cartoon. You get very few modern updates as far as costumes and dialogue are concerned and I think it was mighty bold of the Wachowskis to go in this direction. Most cartoon adaptations are reimagined with reality in mind and are thus set in a universe similar to our own. Judging from the trailer, it looks like the 21st century has been brought to the world of Speed Racer instead of Speed Racer being brought to the 21st century. Add to that, the trailer is abundant with cinematic eye candy (the kind that causes cavitites and gives you seizures) and it almost makes perfect sense to have the movie be mainly green screen when you take into account how fast-paced the original series was. I enjoyed Speed Racer well enough as a kid, but it's not a show that I still romanticize about as an adult (we shower our love on Pee-Wee's Playhouse and DuckTales). I have to admit there is a certain amount of awe in seeing a live-action version of a cartoon that I used to watch stay so closely to its original image. I'm interested to see how well the Wachowskis approach holds up for a feature-length film. If I have fun during the movie, I would consider it a success.

And while we're on the subject of Speed Racer, why not get reacquainted with Ghostface Killah's video for "Daytona 500".

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