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Speed Racer's Visual FX Uncovered

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the hey-shannon-this-better-not-suck dept.

274

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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274 comments

Don't forget ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299650)

... to pay your $699 cock-smoking fee you licensing tea-baggers [twofo.co.uk].

Not trying to troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299656)

I feel fear that the W. Brothers were involved with this project. I also feel fear that comes from a childhood cartoon being turned into a film.

I'm sure that the movie will be enjoyable to some; I will be skipping it, though.

Hollywood is dead to me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:Hollywood is dead to me (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Hollywood is dead to me (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300278)

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.
Here, let me fix that for you:

        "I'm there, man! In fact, I'm bouncing here and there and everywhere!"

Re:Hollywood is dead to me (4, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300458)

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.

Re:Hollywood is dead to me (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300540)

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:Hollywood is dead to me (3, Interesting)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300614)

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.

Re:Hollywood is dead to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23301008)

[...]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[...]
Say, wait... remove the "piece of crap" part, and that gives me an idea. Tom Slick: The Movie!

No, wait, my mistake, Hollywood's proven THREE TIMES that they can't get the comic timing of Jay Ward cartoons right (movie adaptations of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, and George of the Jungle). Speedy wit and banter is not Hollywood's forte, it seems.

Maybe, then, we're best off if they just stick to Speed Racer. Then the cheesiness fits in with the rest of the box office fare. Though a race-off between the Thunderbolt Greaseslapper and the Mach 5 would be epically silly.

*throws away spec script for a movie adaptation of Super Chicken*

Re:Hollywood is dead to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300880)

And tell them to stop spelling everything more "xtreme." Why, oh, why is it so hard to spell out "effects?"

Why the Instant Dismissal? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299674)

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.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299802)

I'm sorry, but I think I had to stop reading your comment about when you said that SPEED RACER could live up to movies like 2001 and Blade Runner. Just can't laugh that hard and read at the same time.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300574)

He didn't quite say that. He said it might not be a piece of crap that is forgotten in a year's time. We can't exactly know until we watch it. I think Christina Ricci could be that element that "comes through to save the movie" for me =p

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (5, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299926)

"sound"? Using humans as batteries? Get off my planet.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300610)

he was quoting the parent poster. Get off my forum until you learn to parse hierarchical structures..

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300802)

No, he was doing a shitty job ofg quoting the parent poster. You don't quote people by suddenly starting to copy what they said in mid-sentence with no other marker than suddenly using italics, which is totally ambiguous in meaning.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (4, Informative)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300132)

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:Why the Instant Dismissal? (3, Interesting)

cizoozic (1196001) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300422)

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 therefore from the sun. Anyway, you coppertops can believe what you want to believe.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300446)

That would have been even worse. Why wouldn't they just wipe out the humans and use all of that space for a massive computer? Silicon CPUs would be trillions of times faster and more efficient than human brains.

I'm sorry, the Matrix films were nothing but action flicks. If you saw a deep story or philosophical message in it, then it's likely that you are simply uncultured. Try reading some books.

Personally, I hated the first Matrix film. It just seemed to drag along without actually conveying anything that the average teenager wouldn't have pondered on their own. I liked the second and third Matrix films because they all but dropped the pretense and pseudo-intellectual crap and focused on what I wanted to see it for, the action.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300722)

You are right about the message. I have since read the Sprawl trilogy of William Gibson and it covers the 'man vs. machine' and 'dystopian future' concepts about a million times better than The Matrix. Nevertheless, I loved The Matrix and responded to its lamer sequels a lot better than most people. Lots of action, cutting edge effects, Hugo Weaving chewing up the scenery, Monica Bellucci, "I know Kung Fu", and of course, "Whoa."

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300390)

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.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (3, Informative)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300494)

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:Why the Instant Dismissal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300534)

I've always felt that the machines had feelings, and a desire for revenge. They couldn't just settle for killing us off, It wouldn't have been insulting enough. They wanted to keep us around so that we could actually realize how defeated we were.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

zuralin (462240) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300734)

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.
From wikipedia.org:

The sky is covered in thick black clouds created by the humans in an attempt to cut off the machines' supply of solar power.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300812)

On the other hand, the fact that the visuals were made as "colorful" as possible points to it retaining the campiness of the cartoons.

And this is one of the cases where you cannot generalize with great effects = 1 / good movie. Because, come on, it's a movie based on an old campy cartoon! How much worse can that get? The only conclusion you can derive from this is, the Wachowski brothers had fun making this movie, and we as viewers just have to sit back and enjoy.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300990)

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 machines don't (it's not the bodies of humans that make them different, but something else), and Neo's part of the plan and so's Smith - she feeds cookies to Neo and after each time Neo eats the cookies he "upgrades" in his abilities. She didn't lose herself entirely in Smith. Smith went around merging with humans and finally Neo. Then they restarted a new instance, this time perhaps an upgraded Oracle ;).

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299850)

The Matrix didn't have a sound theme, the basic premise didn't even make sense.

We need the humans as batteries indeed.

It was still a fun movie, and they did a decent job with the brain in the vat, but it wasn't exactly a wonder of consistency.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299884)

"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 ..."

Sounds like it's true in some ways to the original "Speed Racer", HA HA.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

Icarium (1109647) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299902)

There is, however, still a very likely possibility that one or more elements comes through to save the movie
Very likely? I admit that the possibility is greater than zero, but that is still a long way off 'Very Likely'. The visual effects are deliberately cartoonish, the trailer is an incoherent jumble and "Speed Racer" is not a franchise that carries the same weight as, say, Ironman or Batman. The only thing that could save this would be parents being gullible enough to think that it looks like a fun kids movie and dragging thier kids to watch (It looks like something out of the Spy Kids sequels)

At the very least, the trailers I've seen make it a definite miss.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299912)

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.
I saw the sneak peak of the film yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised by it. it was a really fun film to watch. This film is based on a show i personally remember as being ridiculously poorly dubbed and having an incredibly weak storyline, the guys name was "speed Racer". The directors realized this and ran with it, if you can go in ready to laugh at the movie as much as you might laugh with it, you will love this film. Oh and i nearly had 10 seizures in the final race scene.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299930)

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.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (5, Funny)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300024)

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.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (4, Interesting)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300044)

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.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300232)

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 many people. It's the interaction of these ideas that make the medium interesting. So never mind the flamers, and don't flame anyone else's feelings about a film (not that you were).

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300688)

when Pinky and the Brain gets made into a film
:o a film made up of 30 5-minute shorts! Could be interesting. NARF!!

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300708)

The really great movies operate on both didactic and entertainment levels, and stand up to repeated viewings.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300082)

Because, as Samuel L. Jackson put it so succinctly:

"A sewer rat might taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know because I'd never eat the filthy muthaf#@ker."

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300158)

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.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300264)

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 character development (and that, with completely flat characters to start with), and not even good animation (though I suppose this movie will at least address that problem).

If this movie does well, it will do so for the novelty of the effects, and no other reason.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (3, Funny)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300352)

> unless the "secret" of Racer-X as Speed's long-lost brother counts

Oh, great, now the movie is ruined for everybody.

Re:Why the Instant Dismissal? (1)

radish (98371) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300862)

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.

Barack "The Nigger" Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299678)

Barack "The Nigger" Obama and his racist reverend campaign for President. The evil (and comical) white man fight him every step of the way.

Can't a nigger just go on a racist tirade?

Re:Barack "The Nigger" Obama (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299954)

Heh. And that's different from your racist tirade how?

It's not "Speed Racer!" (5, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299800)

At least, the preview wasn't. The preview was quite clearly for a movie about F-Zero.

Re:It's not "Speed Racer!" (2, Funny)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299910)

I thought the exact same thing after watching it. I wish I were joking, too.

Re:It's not "Speed Racer!" (4, Insightful)

British (51765) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300402)

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.

Re:It's not "Speed Racer!" (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300632)

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 only as someone brought up on fansubs :)

Re:It's not "Speed Racer!" (3, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Over done. (4, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Over done. (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300030)

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 but out of sheer curiosity, I have watched one or two for this movie. The ONLY redeeming factors I can see are that they kept the sound of the springs when they are activated and Trixie looks hawt in her pink hot pants and boots. Other than that, the movie is most certainly going to be a dog.

Re:Over done. (2)

Huntr (951770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300066)

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. Add all of that up and this movie is kind of a non-starter for me. The next Batman and Hulk movies, OTOH ... :)

Re:Over done. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300462)

I've only seen one preview, and I only saw it a couple of times, but I think a large part of the intent of packing the action onto the screen was to not reveal too much detail about the movie. The preview shots are almost certainly peaks in the action, and almost certainly the tightest shots of the action. If they aren't, it is going to be a very difficult movie to watch.

Re:Over done. (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300370)

> 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.

Re:Over done. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300794)

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 slightly more realistic drifting.. I'm still going to watch Speed Racer though, you are almost right that a gripping story and such can save a movie sometimes if you can forget your pet hates for a little while..

Go in with no expectations at all (4, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Go in with no expectations at all (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299872)

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.

Re:Go in with no expectations at all (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299974)

They said this all about Tron as well.

Re:Go in with no expectations at all (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300136)

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 discussion I'd say I'm not the only one.

Re:Go in with no expectations at all (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300248)

TRON didn't have any preconceptions to work with. As the very first movie with extensive CGI, they had no idea what the viewing audience would or would not like. Also, the rendering technology of the day was so horribly limiting that they had to do the best with what they had.

Re:Go in with no expectations at all (5, Interesting)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:Go in with no expectations at all (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300164)

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.

Am I the only one that thought it sucked? (0, Troll)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299924)

Granted it was only a trailer, but it looked like a Uwe Boll production trying to channel Jerry Bruckheimer's style. Badly. If they added that movie announcer Don LaFontaine, it would complete the meme.

Speed Racer = Wimp. Racer X = Truly Bad Ass (4, Funny)

El Torico (732160) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299952)

You never saw Racer X going "AHHHH!" and looking like he's going to crap his pants.

For the non-US'ians... trailer response...? (4, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299968)

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?

Re:For the non-US'ians... trailer response...? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300100)

I'm asking because I'm thinking that Speed Racer is primarily a U.S. childhood memory keepsake. So what has audience response been in other countries?
I think Speed Racer is more of a Japan / US thing.

I'm a 29yo USer, and I never saw Speed Racer (1)

JimTheta (115513) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300764)

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, so I guess the nostalgia is from the 34-and-up crowd. That's not exactly the prime movie-going demographic, is it?

Re:For the non-US'ians... trailer response...? (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300772)

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, but it also has a nice story (not incredibly deep, but it's not bad either). Somehow, I don't think Speed Racer will match it.

Re:For the non-US'ians... trailer response...? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300872)

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.

Re:For the non-US'ians... trailer response...? (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300938)

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 might make money.

If that's their target audience, it means that they just bought the Speed Racer license to have some property to hang their futuristic Nascar film onto. Which makes me even less interested in this film -- it's likely to be a cynical attempt at marketing-driven art, and have no real soul.

Re:For the non-US'ians... trailer response...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23301002)

So what has audience response been in other countries?
Should do well in Australia, we grew up with Speed Racer too, alongside Astro Boy (please let there never be a live action version of that!).

Alita (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23299982)

I, for one, would like very much to see a movie about Battle Angel Alita (Gunnm)

For the kids... (1)

Steve Baker (3504) | more than 5 years ago | (#23299998)

Stop the hatin. This movie is for the kids. Of course it's going to suck.

Re:For the kids... (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300838)

Like any kids know who Speed Racer is... I'm 28 and for the most part Speed Racer pre-dates me... I hated the cartoon and this movie reminds me of the Scooby Doo movie.. which I thought was trash.

Not another NFS Underground clone (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300014)

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!

Pass on it (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300046)

Yet another modern adaption that takes something popular from the past, completely changes it and then takes a dump on it.

That the trailer and music video were enough for me.

It'd be interesting to know what the Japanese think about Warner Bros. version of their cartoon.

speedracer vs ninjas? (5, Insightful)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300112)

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 ;)

Re:speedracer vs ninjas? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300892)

Racing at those speeds develops your neck muscles at least. Using your arms and legs to drive all day does too. He'd have well trained reactions from racing, although admittedly they wouldn't be related to the reactions you need for fighting. Thanks for spoiling the end though.

Re:speedracer vs ninjas? (3, Funny)

blazer1024 (72405) | more than 5 years ago | (#23301006)

Come on, we all know all he has to do is wax his car and then he'll be ready for fighting!

The trailer was enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300148)

The trailer was all I needed. Yes, they can faithfully reproduce the cartoon in live action - very impressive. I loved how the casting of the live actors fitted the cartoon to perfection. Yes, the graphics are fun. (I work in graphics - I wouldn't say I was "impressed")

But I saw all of that in the trailer. Do I want to actually sit through 90 minutes of this? No way! I already saw all of the clever and amazing bits in the trailer.

visuals remind me of Tron (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300180)

Stop looking for realism, stop looking for cartoon - sit back and drink in this wonderful combination of the two. Know the last movie I saw where the special effects and lighting made me go - oh wow, look at this, we're in another world! - Tron. Yep, gotta go back that far to get the same kind of reaction I got when I saw the trailer. I love the vibrant colors (Trixie's ultra-red lips with so much ultra-hot-pink on screen is an image that just sticks in my mind), I love the chaotic scenery, and I love that gravity among other physics are mostly ignored. Even if the story doesn't live up to history, the wonder at which I stare at the screen will be quite enough for me - It all looks ultra-real, and that's got me excited just like Tron used to.

Just to ask this question . . . (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300256)

I watched this P. O. S. back when I was, erm, considerably younger than I am now, and I have only one question for the producers of the movie "Speed Racer" . . .

Why?

C'mon - "Japanimation" aimed squarely at the five-to-eight year old audience doesn't exactly scream out for a movie remake. What's next, "Kimba, the White Lion"? - oh, wait, Disney already gave us that (but they misspelled Kimba)!

I suppose it's true that Hollywierd hasn't got anything new to say - but why do they insist on trying to say it?

Meat Wad makes the money, see... (1)

Buddy_DoQ (922706) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300604)

Because Hollywood is a business. They rarely let fresh substance in, they like what they know will sell. If something has already been made, and sold well, no sense in trying anything new and discovering all too late that it will not sell. They ain't in this to make a statement about the human condition, question the limits of the imagination, or brave the unknown. Think of the loss!

Hope the dialogue is improved over the original... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300304)

...because the last thing I want to watch is a movie with lines like, "I am going to win because I will drive fast, and that way I will come in first because I will not lose and I will receive the trophy for being first and driving very fast and not losing but coming in first instead!"

Yea Gods, it's a MOVIE, not high art! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300382)

I grew up with Speed Racer, I'm looking forward to the movie, and I dig the all wheel steering systems!

Looks like a rush, and who cares if it ages well!

Of all remakes, why Speed Racer? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300406)

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?

Re:Of all remakes, why Speed Racer? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300952)

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 electric pulse' made me pretty sick too)

Is anyone actually interested in seeing this? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300460)

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.

Why I hate blockbusters and CGI-fests (4, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300464)

$100 million on the special effects

$40 million for the leading man and leading woman

$100,000 for the script

Re:Why I hate blockbusters and CGI-fests (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300652)

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.

Re:Why I hate blockbusters and CGI-fests (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300712)

Hrmm, I think you need to spend another $100,000 on CGI and special effects to really make it shine though.... :P

Re:Why I hate blockbusters and CGI-fests (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23300854)

A product of our continuing devolution as a species.

We are adult infants, and this is the $140 million dollar equivalent of jingly keys.

Re:Why I hate blockbusters and CGI-fests (1)

Buddy_DoQ (922706) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300942)

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.

Target Audience? (1)

harryHenderson (729254) | more than 5 years ago | (#23301044)

The PG rating gives away the filmmakers strategy for this film. They are hoping that the film will be a hit with the older crowd that grew up watching the movie. But they are banking on children with short attention spans. If it doesn't strike a cord with the large?/small? speed racer cult following it will still be a hit with the kids. My son never sits through live action films (still at the cartoon stage) but he would probably sit through this.
So all the discussion about disorienting CGI, poor scripts, or bad physics will probably have no bearing on the final box office numbers

Um, yeah, visuals (1)

Noexit (107629) | more than 5 years ago | (#23301062)

Have you ever seen the cartoon? It never was about deep plot lines, fascinating characters or great dialog. It was a kid, in a super-duper race car doing various improbable stunts to win races. For God's sake, one of the main characters is a monkey. Lighten. Up. It's supposed to be nothing more than "cooooool".

why slashdot commentary bugs me so (2, Interesting)

fudboy (199618) | more than 5 years ago | (#23301068)

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 manage to do it at 24 frames per second at IMAX resolutions and keep it going for 2 hours. All of the motion blur, lens flares and other camera artifacts are clearly intentional and separate from anything having to do with their cameras, most likely in order to emphasize a sense of scale or motion. Notice how the backgrounds are in focus, crisp and sharp along with the immediate foreground- this is surely the most essential element of creating the live action cartoon feel that the brief snippets of trailer are hinting at.

But the most important thing I'm able to extract from the limited glimpses I've had is that they employ all of this to convey the sense of big heavy cars racing at hundreds of miles per hour and flipping through the air as gracefully as a ballet troop in full deployment.

So what good does the optimistic assessment do me? For one thing, it gives me some joy in the anticipation. More importantly, I get the satisfaction of being truly sophisticated without sitting in a traffic jam down on Snark St.
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