Speed Racer [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Directed by Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski. Starring John Goodman, Matthew Fox, Christina Ricci.
The Wachowski brothers, the duo behind The Matrix Trilogy, are back with Speed Racer. Hurtling down the track, careening around, over and through the competition, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsh, Into The Wild) is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolised-the legendary Rex Racer - whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill. Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer (John Goodman), the designer of Speed's thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company's maniacal owner but uncovers a terrible secret... With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci), Speed teams up with his one-time rival-the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox, Lost) - to try and win the race that had taken his brother's life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as The Crucible.
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However the main reason for buying this was not to re watch it at my leisure but thanks to the amazing colours & eyepopping visuals that take place during the races,show how amazing high definition films can truly be.
I have several friends who are still on the fence regarding blu-ray & the whole HD Debate & i find the best way to showcase the quality that HD can truly capture is encapsulated in the film speed racer. The Watchowski brothers (now known as the watchowski siblings as one of them is currently aiming to go through gender re-assignment proceedure)are masters in pushing the CGI & visual effect envelope as with the blu ray box set of the matrix trilogy which also shows off to a lesser level the wonders of HD speed racer with its Fully CGI Raceways & the explosions of colour from carribean sea blue to sickly Candy cane pink & the million colours in between really turns the OTT Meter up to 11!!
Thats not to take anything away from the film 4 stars for that but thanks to the full use it makes of the HD format it knocks it up to a full 5!
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
If you like your films ridiculous and colorful or you're a 10 year old boy (or both) then give it a go.
One of the best things to come out of 80s comic book to movie adaptations in a long time.
I don't get what the deal with the monkey was though.
Whilst the story is relatively predictible, it is the way it was told that makes this an absolute must have for any blu-ray/hd tv owner. It comes across as more of a piece of moving visual art rather than a movie. Borrowing heavily from the SpeedRacer comic book, the colour in this movie simply has to be seen to be believed - everything is pumped up to the max and looks incredible.
The racing itself looks stunning and it fizzes along so quickly you miss so much of it. I bought this disc because I reckoned it would look amazing in HD and it certainly does. The depth of the image is awesome and the backdrops look 3d.
This is premium grade demo disc material for showing off your high-def rig to family and friends...don't hesitate, buy it today and enjoy!
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