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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sugar Rush Cinema
If you want to buy a blu ray movie that will show off the full capabilities of the format (visually at least), your tv and your blu ray player, then look no further. I've been a blu ray viewer for the last couple of years, and made the transition to 1080p 6 months ago. I own Samsung UE46D6530 46-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 3D 400Hz LED SMART Internet TV with Freeview HD...
Published on 7 Jan 2012 by M. Carter

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great visual film but poor DVD extras
The film follows Speed Racer, a young racing whizz kid, like Lewis Hamilton, who is racing in memory of his older brother Rex Racer, who died in a dangerous road race. Royalton industries offers to buy Speed for his racing team but he refuses and joins forces with the mysterious Racer X to bring down the corrupt Royalton.

The film itslef is very visual with...
Published on 30 Nov 2008 by Bill Brasky


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sugar Rush Cinema, 7 Jan 2012
By 
M. Carter (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
If you want to buy a blu ray movie that will show off the full capabilities of the format (visually at least), your tv and your blu ray player, then look no further. I've been a blu ray viewer for the last couple of years, and made the transition to 1080p 6 months ago. I own Samsung UE46D6530 46-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 3D 400Hz LED SMART Internet TV with Freeview HD which, as What Hifi Sound & Vision said, "has 2D pictures to die for".

That tv made me realise the potential of blu ray - until now, the King of Picture Quality has been Iron Man 2. Speed Racer's picture quality is as good, if not better. It's absolutely, undeniably, jaw-droppingly good for almost the entire film. The colours are so vibrant that they seem to leap out of the screen at you. It's like watching a film made by Haribo. The picture is pin-sharp with hardly any grain to be seen at all, almost as if you're watching a video game and not a (semi) live action movie. I think if only one movie could be said to be truly psychedelic, it has to be Speed Racer.

As for the film itself, I found it to be pretty enjoyable and engaging, in spite of the almost ridiculous levels of cheese and vacuousness. The acting is pretty solid and suitably OTT to match the general theme of the movies. The main characters such as Speed Racer himself have plenty of depth and I found them to be sympathetic. I can imagine that this is probably a marmite kind of film - those who can't get past the cheesiness, the obscure and confusing plot and the frenetic editing will invariably hate this movie. However, if you're after an effects-sodden visual spectacular with a fairly engaging plot and some thrilling action scenes, look no further. If you're simply looking for a demo disco to show of the capabilities of your home cinema system, you really should buy this for the picture quality alone.

One final and negative comment has to be reserved for the sound. For some impenetrable reason, Warner Bros opted not to include an HD sound track and have instead used a standard Dolby one (i.e. dvd quality rather than blu ray quality). It's not a deal breaker but it is a shame that the quality of the soundtrack does not match the stunning visuals. I've learned for myself just how astounding a really well done Dolby/DTS HD surround soundtrack can be when played through a decent AV receiver - The Dark Knight and Blade Runner are fantastic examples.

So it's a shame about that, but overall this is a must-buy for home cinema nuts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars speed racer goes speed racing, 1 Aug 2009
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Speed Racer [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is a movie based on a popular japanese cartoon series of the 60's that developed quite a following in american when it was shown - redubbed - over there. apparently. because I'd never heard much about it before and thus I was able to approach this movie as a member of the general viewing public rather than a die hard fan.

Speed racer is the name of the title character of the film. and he's a young man who drives race cars for his family race team. not quite over the death of his elder brother after a fall from grace as a driver, speed is offered a role driving for a team run by an industrialist. saying no reveals to him how corrupt the sport is. despite finding he has a few allies out there, it's a long hard road for speed to become a champion and clean up the sport.

the directing and the style of the film tries to make it look like what is basically a live action cartoon. whilst this can be a bit jarring for the first fifteen minutes, not least thanks to some rather obvious cgi backgrounds, you do get used to it after that. the inventive use of editing and some beuatifully coloured scenery only adds to the effect.

The cast are all pretty good - especially the chief villain - and as an adventure story it's not bad. You will find yourself getting quite caught in some of the race action. Yet thie may not quite succeed in grabbing all the age groups. spritle, speeds young brother, and his pet monkey are comedy support characters and are clearly meant to be charming and funny but they're horribly irritating. although if you're of their age group then you'll probably love them. trouble is that age group will want to see fast races and excitiement, and they may get bored during all the character stuff. And there's a fair amount of that, especially in the first hour of the film.

This clocks in at 129 minutes. on the whole it's an enjoyable spectacle, but it may not be for everyone.

the dvd is a rather basic package. It begins with a trailer for the movie get smart. which you can skip past via the next chapter button. and a trailer for a speed racer video game. you can't skip this but you can fast forward through it.

The language tracks on offer are english czech and hungarian.

the subtitles are english czech hungarian and romanian.

there are just two features by way of extras:

spritle in the big leagues has the actor who plays the boy touring the set. it runs for thirteen minutes, and thankfully any attempts at humour work okay. It also is quite interesting if you wonder what goes on on movie sets.

Sooed racer: supercharged!: runs for fifteen minutes and uses footage from the film and a few new sequences of computer graphics to make a documentary suppoesdly from tv in the world of the film about the various drivers and race teams from the races. as a way of filling in background details it has it's moments, but a lot of the technical details of the cars it goes into may not grab you unless you're really into that kind of thing.

And that's the dvd. Okay package. not a bad movie
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventive but charmless, 21 July 2008
By 
D. Jackson "DJ" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Speed Racer [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
My girlfriend dragged me into the cinema the other day to see this, so I was expecting some kind of shamefully high-budget Hollywood rubbish. What I saw was something completely different from anything else I ever have in this genre... but not particularly in a good way.

I have a bit of a soft spot for arty and unusual films... What I saw here, beneath the layers, was an 'art-house' feature just screaming to get out, and the contrast didn't feel comfortable at all. Amongst the action and special effects, Speed Racer contains a surprising amount of emotional depth, which (as far as I know) is hardly seen within this genre of film.

It tells the story of a young man named Speed Racer, who dreams of one day becoming a star in the extraordinary world of speed racing. The over-complicated plot line involves all the usual oh's and ah's, such as secret corporations hell-bent on bringing him down, mystery characters- never revealed until the end, a some-what touching love story, oh yea... and ninjas (?)

With the exception of the 2005 version of War Of The Worlds, the 2006 version of King Kong, and last year's Transformers, I'd say that Speed Racer contains some of the most brilliant CGI I've ever seen. As an audience, we are taken everywhere from sweeping deserts to beautiful futuristic cities. Some scenes are intriguingly cartoony, but don't worry- this is intentional. About an hour and a half through, when you're just starting to get slightly restless, the movie plummets towards a very flashy showdown of 'good vs. evil', making even the most emotionless audience members raise an eyebrow.

Now all the good stuff's out of the way, it's time for a moan: what I didn't like about Speed Racer, was A) The strange 'strictly-for-children' feel. (For example, there is a bit towards the end in which 2 characters are about to kiss, and the movie pauses so the audience can have a 'cooties warning' from Speed's younger brother.) This slightly put me off. B) The script sags in parts, and you find yourself starting to loose concentration. C) It's far too long.

So any way, even if you think you've seen all the Hollywood nonsense you can handle, try and squeeze in an evening for Speed Racer; though it slightly underwhelms expectations in most departments, it's somewhat worthy of being added to your DVD collection.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood Brilliance, 28 Dec 2008
By 
B. D. Wilson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
There is something about the Wachowski Brothers that film critics, and much of the general public, simply don't get. We have already seen how their brilliant Matrix sequels were panned by critics - largely on the grounds that these people simply didn't understand them - and now we're seeing the same thing with Speed Racer, which is being subjected to some of the most undeserved vitriol from critics that I have ever seen.

I loved this movie. It's not perfect, and it's not a work of genius like the Matrix trilogy was, but it's yet another example of how these two brothers attempt to push the boundaries of film-making. The editing - including the floating wipes and non-linear narrative - are top-notch. As one online reviewer put it, the Wachowskis have managed to transcend the boundaries of time and space in this movie. Not only have they achieved shots in which we are looking at two different things happening in two different places at the same time, they are also able to move us back and forward through time with effortless ease, and without disrupting the flow of the story.

If you're an idiot bent on hating Speed Racer no matter what, though, it's likely that the complex, visual style of storytelling on display here will befuddle you beyond redemption. I read with amazement, for example, the amount of people who found the opening sequence, during which we see scenes of one of Speed's races interspersed with his back-story told through flashbacks, completely bewildering. And yet the storytelling couldn't BE any clearer, in reality. I even shook my head in dismay as I read the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw claim that in the film, cars go through other cars "like ghosts". No one who understood the film (and thus was worthy of reviewing it) could have made such a simplistic, embarrassing assertion.

Anyway, this is in fact a brilliant film. Ignore all the reviewers' tropes about "over-reliance on special effects", "style over substance", "no characterisation or soul", etc. All of these criticisms miss the mark at a basic level. Watch it free of the shackles of prejudice and prepare to be blown away by a tour de force in imaginative, visual film-making. I certainly was.

Besides, the film has a chimp in a hard hat, riding a buggy while rockin' out to Freebird. Need I give it any higher an endorsement?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Languages & Verdict, 8 Sep 2010
This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Blu-ray all zone

Ratio of the feature film:
2.35:1

Languages of the feature film:
Dolby 5.1: English, Castilian Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish

Subtitles for all the videos:
English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Complex Chinese

Verdict:
Picture and sound are perfect, there is not any single flaw about this film and above all, the story is funny and well written.
Even the children would love watching it -> it is rated Parental Guidance (on the Blu-ray).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Blu-Ray, 7 Jan 2009
By 
Chris Morse "faraway_pictures" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
If ever there was a movie to show off Blu Ray, this is it.

The film is apparently based on an old Japanese TV show that made it to the west. I dont remember it at all. It's about a family called Racer and the son is called Speed, hence Speed Racer. It's also a film about very fast race cars, but dont think of Silverstone, think more of your old toy TCR race cars with loops, twists and perhaps the occasional concealed weapon.

It's a pretty basic story from The Wachowski brothers involving race fixing and the small Racer family against "The Man".
The cast are excellent: Emile Hirsch, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox, Christina Ricci, John Goodman all looking like they're enjoying themselves playing larger than life characters. There's even a chimp in clothes and Ninjas. What more do you want from a popcorn flick!

The races though! Absolutely stunning. The colours! The neon! Just incredible and beautiful scenes. It really is a stunning showcase film for how good Blu Ray is.

I have seen a bit of controversey with the American version not having decent audio, but I bought British and it's all good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Color, 1 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Discounting the story line that is a bit patchy, this is a feast of incredible color with a superb sound track. Good entertainment, not to be taken too seriously. Looks like an exercise in car rendering in Photo Shop.
John Bentley. Liverpool.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning video, 22 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This is one of the best Blu-rays I have ever seen.Obviously not the movie itself, because story is quite boring, but the images are great!!! Sharp and detailed with fantastic colours -this is the BD you have to buy to see potential of your BD player :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment, 2 Dec 2009
By 
R. Crosland (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I loved The Matrix, was disappointed with Reloaded, and pretty much appalled by Revolutions. Just thought I'd get that out of the way - as apparently one's opinion on the Matrix Trilogy is of some importance when it comes to reviewing Speed Racer, which I happen to absolutely love.

What works about it for me is how focussed it is. The cartoony graphics, corny dialogue, hammy acting are all perfectly suited to the story and the characters therein - nothing feels out of place, and you know what's going to happen from the outset. But that's kind of the whole point - the skillful direction ensures that the whole thing hangs together beautifully to create a wonderfully stylised film that I've watched more often than any other film I've bought in the last few years.

Of course, all of the above means that there is a chance you'll hate it, but I know a lot of people who have been pleasantly surprised by this film, and as such I would highly recommend you give it a chance.

Put it this way - it's one of the very few DVDs I'm looking to double up on BluRay
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Go Speed Racer Go, 17 July 2009
This review is from: Speed Racer [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Speed Racer is the Wachowski Brothers' take on the classic 1960's Japanese animated series Speed Racer (known as Mach GoGoGo in its Japanese manga form). The series was in the famous anime style, and the brothers do their best to imitate the look, feel and style of the show as best they can, whilst using full actors instead of voice-overs. This is worth noting because some of the many flaws of the film are simply aspects of the show that have been faithfully adapted. However, this still doesn't excuse the film for its main weak points.

The film follows the story of a racing driver called Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch). (Pretty cheesey name, but this was part of the original series so you can't criticise the film for this.) He becomes a racing driver after his older and successful but reckless brother Rex dies on a particularly dangerous course. Speed follows in his footsteps and becomes a successful driver with the help of his mechanic, Sparky. His parents (John Goodman and Susan Sarandon) are worried he will meet a similar fate to his brother, but they support him. He has a supportive girlfriend (Christina Ricci), and a little brother called Stridle, who hangs out with the pet chimp, Chim Chim.

Then there's some plot about corporate corruption, stemming from Royalton (Roger Allam) a racing company boss, and it is up to Speed, along with the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox) to stop the evil deeds through their racing, or something.

"What the heck, it's just a plot! Who needs it when we can give them endless scenes of car races?!", seems to the the thinking of the Wachowkis here. They previously showed their visual flair in the dark and gloomy Matrix trilogy, but Speed Racer's visuals couldn't be more different. The neon-lit, multicoloured and sometimes horrifically garish visuals don't exactly get any more endearing as the film goes on. This may be in-keeping with the style of the anime series, but the use of green-screening and CGI for the entire film means it's hard not to see it as much more than a hyper-stylish cartoon with actors put over the top. The racing scenes are breathtaking, that's a given, (especially in high defintition) but they are excessive, and eventually start to look (even more) unrealistic.

On the subject of the actors, for the most part they are surprisingly good, considering the nature of what they are doing. Emile Hirsch inahbits the part well, and if anything it's a shame that you don't see more of him actually acting in the film. Instead, as mentioned before, the film is taken up with in-your-face race scenes. John Goodman as Pops manages to seem fairly passionate and emotional, though is fight scenes are less convincing. Susan Sarandon is wasted as Speed's mother as is Christina Ricci as Trixie, while Roger Allam hams it up as best he can as an almost pantomime baddie, representing corporate corruption. As for the little brother, well the less said the better, but the chimp is good...

The thing that annoys the most about this creation is that it seems so confused as to whom it is aiming to please. The sometimes-horrible, cartoon visuals and constant, irritating antics of little brother, Spritle suggest a film aimed young children, to pre-teens. The hard-edged racing scenes and dark undercurrent of death and corruption seems designed to appeal to a more cynical and action-hungry teen audience. If the Wachowski Brothers thought that they could aim for both audiences in one film, then they wrong. The two sides feel incongruous and sit uncomfortavbly next to eachother.

Speed Racer is a strange, strange film. I would find it difficult to find anyone to recommend it to, other than fans of the original series and fans of racing films and anime in general. There is very little plot, the actors are either under-used or under-performing, the bright visuals get tiresome very quickly, and it is most definately too long. It's not a terrible film, it has a certain charm about it, but overall most will be hoping the Wachowskis get back to some better form.
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Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free]
Speed Racer [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free] by Larry Wachowski (Blu-ray - 2008)
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