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Speed Racer


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First look: 'Speed Racer' wheels into live action


When it hit the airwaves in the late 1960s, Speed Racer was pretty innovative television — for a cartoon.


Four decades later, the story of a family that works out its issues on a racetrack seems a little hokey.


So how do you please a YouTube generation that likes its humor ironic and its special effects cutting-edge while pleasing baby boom moviegoers who still remember Trixie's haircut and Chim Chim's jumpsuit?


The brothers Wachowski (The Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta) take a crack at updating the cartoon with Speed Racer, which gets its first look here and whose trailer runs tonight on Entertainment Tonight.


The film comes after an uneven track record of big-screen TV adaptations. Transformers was a smash. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Not so much.


But Racer, says producer Joel Silver, has a trump card — or two, actually — in Andy and Larry Wachowski, the gadget-happy siblings who were huge fans of the TV series, one of the first Japanese cartoons to make it to the USA.


"The effects are beyond belief. We called it 'car fu,' because it was like kung fu with the cars," Silver says. "We couldn't have made this movie until right now."


But effects, he says, take a back seat to the Wachowskis' true love of the old series: the cars, costumes and message.


"It obviously has a present-day aesthetic to it," Silver says. "But it's still a great yarn about family and not selling out. That's an important message to the (Wachowskis) and why we all connected to the show."


Well, not everyone. Christina Ricci, who plays faithful girlfriend Trixie, first saw Speed Racer in clips in Geico insurance commercials.


She quickly received an armful of DVDs to acquaint herself with the Racer family, which includes a monkey, Chim Chim. Unlike stars Emile Hirsch and John Goodman, Chim Chim required two stand-ins: Kenzie and Willie.


"You'd think that would be tough, using live monkeys," Ricci says. "Now we're worried about them stealing the movie."


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What the HELL is the meaning of this:




Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is a young man who has natural racing instincts whose goal is to win The Crucible, a cross-country rally that took the life of his older brother, Rex Racer (Scott Porter). Speed is loyal to the family business, run by his parents Pops (John Goodman) and Mom (Susan Sarandon), with Pops responsible for designing Speed's vehicle, Mach 5. The owner of Royalton Industries (Roger Allam) makes Speed a lucrative offer, and Speed rejects it, angering the owner. Speed also uncovers a secret that top corporate interests, including Royalton, are fixing some of the biggest races to gain profit. With the offer to Speed denied, Royalton seeks to ensure that Speed will not win any major races. Speed finds support from his parents and his girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci) and enters The Crucible in a partnership with his one-time rival, Racer X (Matthew Fox), seeking to rescue his family's business and the sport itself.[1]


I emboldened for emphasis. If you very watched Speed Racer, I guess you shouldn't highlight this:

Rex Racer IS Racer X!!! Why the fuck are two different actor playing him? One's in his late 20's the other in his early 40's, but they have the make-up and computer technology to use the same actor for two different points in a characters adult life. They better not make Racer X's identity anyone other than Rex Racer.


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I thought they were going by "The Wachowskis" since Larry had a sex change.


Edit: Nevermind.


Lana Wachowski rumor


Shortly after the release of Matrix Reloaded, it was rumored that Larry Wachowski began to make small public appearances dressed as a woman, using the name Lana Wachowski.[5] In his column, published May 30, 2003, David Poland said "Every indication I have says that Larry Wachowski is now in the process of changing his sex. Dressing in public like a woman, taking female hormones and yes, having a sex change operation." This was further supported by a March 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article on transgender people, which reported that Larry Wachowski, "has changed his sex and is now living as Lana Wachowski". [6]


However, in a 2007 interview Joel Silver, the producer of numerous Wachowski films, stated that the rumors concerning Larry's sex change were "all untrue," further explaining, "they just don’t do interviews, so people make things up." Similar statements were made by crew members working on the upcoming Speed Racer film, with one employee pointing out, "on the call sheets, it still says Larry."

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Oh dear, oh dear. The movie may not turn out to be terrible, but that is a bad trailer.


Not sure if the ultra cartoony effects are a good or a bad thing, but they certainly do jar with the joyless planks of the live action cast.

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