Monday, May 19, 2008

The Wachowski Brothers do it again.

It seems that brother director teams make for some good stuff. (ahem...Gareth..Trev??) I do love the Cohen Brothers, they are consistently entertaining-- as are the team of Andy and Larry Wachowski. And baby?-- the Wachowski brothers' live action take on the Japanese Speed Racer cartoons is freaking awesome! How many exclamation points can I use without looking like a 12 year old fangirl? The film is like is like being inside a pinball machine, you ARE the pinball!! The racing sequences are pulse poundingly frenetic.

The race tracks themselves are these fantastic roller coaster rides of adrenaline and power. The Mach 5 and of course her new baby sister the Mach 6 are easily considered characters themselves, anybody else thinking Roller Derby girls? I would argue the speedways are also viable personalities, especially the ice caves that supposedly killed my mysterious badboy Rex!

I have been told that I have the attention span of a kitten and that my magpie (oooh look shiny thing!) like tendencies will be the death of me-- but frankly I just don't care. That movie was so fast and so incredibly perfect. There are tons of allusions to the original cartoon (which I grew up with and adore) from Speed's lucky red socks to the one dimensional panel of race announcers from every country.

The costumes were brilliant (sooo.. much patent leather--did you see Trixie's boots! I want them!!) The actors were perfect. Roger Allam is the baddie who fixes races to boost corporate profits. My childhood crush--Racer X (Matthew Fox sigh...) and Inspector Detector have to save the integrity of automobile racing and of course the reputation of the Racer family becomes embroiled in the headlines. I was really worried about the monkey but it was all good. John Goodman was the perfect Pops. The kid who played Spritel? Paulie Litt --has such malleable facial schtick that I was wondering if the Matrix boys had rigged a little CGI on his forehead. But no--their slick cinematography meshed anime and reality from the very beginning-- a cartoon within a cartoon that just completely blows Roger Rabbit's weak ass shit off the screen. It was like a jello parfait with layers of color saturated visuals alternating with the mandatory melodramatic dialog, "HO! Speed!". The color palette was like the Brady Bunch on electric koolaid.

THE GIRLS? Happily my feminist sensibilities were relieved because Susan Sarandon's acting was spot on. Her portrayal was a fantastically surreal blend of June Cleaver and a checkered flag girl that Pops would have fallen for! Christian Ricci was magnificent, much better than that pablum in Sleepy Hollow she gave us. I want a helicopter. How did she make a welding mask look sexxy? She completely OWNED Trixie!!

I really wish I could have seen it with my dad (he used to race stock cars) and my brother in law who is addicted to racing games. I am sure Papa and Big A will both LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie.

Constant readers may not know that I used to drag race a little in HS and I swear after I left the theatre all I wanted to do was get on a motorcycle or a snowmobile or SOMETHING. Sadly--I was stuck in the backseat with Rox and Iz and despite our singing and dancing to the soundtrack (which was happily complete with the Mach 5 sound effects from the cartoon). I really wanted to go back in and see it again. Yeah-- it is THAT good!

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