Friday, April 18, 2008

Speed Racer

I am a big fan of the 60's Speed Racer cartoon. It used to play back-to-back with Johnny Quest (another CP favorite) when I was kid. While the show was cheaply made by constantly reusing shots and backgrounds in a different order, it had a good concept, unique style, and a fantastic show intro and theme song. I loved that each race took place in some perilous location like the inside of a volcano. On top of that, Speed was just in it to win, while EVERY OTHER racer was there to kill him. No wonder his car needed giant hidden buzz saws. Just look at that terrified expression on his face. I'd look like that while driving too, only without the scarf.

Since the cartoon holds a special place in my DVD collection, I'm a little apprehensive about the upcoming Speed Racer movie, which I'm sure you don't find too shocking. First what I like:

Michael Giacchino's soundtrack. He's the composer responsible for the Incredibles (one of the best soundtracks in the last 10 years). I got to sample some of his score today and it's FANTASTIC. To hear the theme music with a full roaring orchestra is already worth the ticket price.

The car. No doubt about it, that's the Mach 5. Forget Knight Rider, Connery's Aston Martin, or the Batmobile, the Mach 5 is the only car I'd ever plunk down millions for.

John Goodman as Pops Racer. Not only does he look spot on, but Goodman will always hold a special place in my heart after that episode of Roseanne where he throws everything out of the house.

And now the bad. While I love the fact they're going "cartooney" with the look of the film, it just all looks a little too Spy Kids for me. Each frame of this movie is so "busy" it's just a hair away from being a Magic Eye picture. As opposed to cramming the screen with as many CG elements as possible I'd think a simpler, colorful, 60's cartoon look would fit the film. The entire cartoon was about simplicity. They couldn't afford to load up the screen with tons of elements they didn't have the time or manpower to animate.

All that being said I'll reserve judgment until I've actually seen the film. And I am pulling for it. I really want it to be fun. In the meantime, there's always this:

1 comment:

Curt said...

"That happens to be an authentic replica of a civil war field is also a cigarette lighter," -Dan Connor right before he chucks Roseanne's coffee table out the door.