Our latest addition to the staff, director Mark Vernon, explains how he was not on acid when viewing the new live-action-esque version of Speed Racer.
A Crime Against Humanity? or: Have I Just Lost My Mind?
I went to a movie the other night. It had been a while since I had been to one because of all the good stuff life brings (job, bills, the overall daily rigamarol). As it was now a rare occasion to go to the movies, I wanted something that truly exemplified a summer movie experience…and no, I’m not talking about Iron Man (while a great movie in its own right, I’m gonna say its slightly overated…so nyah ;). I’m talking IMAX time, folks. And I’m talking Speed Racer!
Now, I know, I know. “Rotten Tomatoes has it at 35% rotten!” and “It looks like it’s a kids movie!”. Raspberries all around! Pffffffffffft!!! Yes, Speed Racer is a family flick. And yes, the reviews (of which I follow almost religiously) have panned the movie mercilessly. Yet, it seems as if it is a movie that Hollywood and the viewing public just threw out in lieu of other things…other things not as amazingly trippy.(see What Happens In Vegas review by Rye Silverman.)
I am not a fan of Speed Racer. I have seen a few eps during my youth and thought they were aight. Yet, I knew the film was magic because I believed in the Bros. Wachowski (even if Larry got that sex change operation, they’re still the bros to me), the masterminds behind Bound and Matrix. Yes, I believed in their revolution, even if I didn’t believe in their Revolutions. Sometimes, one has to trust in the imaginations of others. Even though the last two Matrix installments blew chunks pretty much, the Wachowskis could never be considered lacking in the imagination department. They are mavericks like Tarantino, Rodriguez, etc. People who are trailblazing…and bombing at the box office on the regular (see: Grindhouse…no, seriously F%C#IN see Grindhouse!)
Audiences must not have been aware of the radical departure from the norm Speed Racer is. It is long, with an over two hour running time, yet you can’t really feel it because you are too busy seizuring out on the floor, your eyes melting as your body turns to gleeful mush. It felt like what it was like to be a kid again and first go on the “Gravitron”. It felt like the first roller coaster. It felt fresh for once, not phoned in like so many other blockbusters these days. I almost fell to the floor when I stood up to leave, but it was a good dizziness, and an exhalted nausea!
So, I beg and plead with you. Here my inept cry (caw!…cough…caw!): this is a movie that anyone can see (except those with vertigo) and smile. It takes you into the first live action cartoon, with a blending of HD tech and a layering effect never before used. The acting is well done, the plot is serviceable, and the experience…the experience is pure cinematic gold.
p.s.- I have gone around my job hyping this film in hopes of saving it from its crappy box office. I now sound like a mad lunatic who has taken one too many tabs of acid. Well, I never took acid, I took Speed, and it was the best movie experience this year.
p.p.s- There’s a monkey in the film who’s ACTUALLY funny! See it already!!!