Cartoons


#1686

Gosh. Maybe I should see it?

(I ceremoniously dislike The Matrix. Even the first one.)


#1687

I think everyone should give Speed Racer a shot.

It’s great.


#1688

I’ve seen lots of semi-ironic, guilty semi-praise over the years, but it looks like all of that is falling away now that the Wachowskis have retired?

(Not just here; I’ve seen a fair bit of murmur about the film recently.)


#1689

I have been non-ironically praising Speed Racer since it first came out which was a decade ago oh my god it’s been 10 years and anyway it’s a much better film than its initial reception would lead on and it’s a hell of a lot better than the light novel-adjacent Jupiter Ascending, a movie so light novel/young adult book and mediocre that it instantly renders the idea of adapting a number of these stories moot by sheer will of genericly applicable plot elements (though I guess you could argue that it really only destroys ones with female protags aimed at girls so as not to disturb the male power fantasy masturbation that is most of these kinds of stories, a rampaging train that will never stop and probably only gain steam as the live-action Sword Art Online gets released and SAO-styled nonsense hits a second cycle of popularity and when the hell did I get so cynical)

so, anyway, Speed Racer. good movie. watch it on as big a screen as possible.


#1690

yeah, I’ve been shouting Speed Racer’s praises from the rooftops since I saw it in theaters on initial release. Nothing guilty or ironic about it.


#1691

To dive deeper into the movie, Speed Racer does things with editing I have seen no love action movie do. It’s like someone saw the telephone booth hacking scene in Hackers and said: wait there’s untapped storytelling potential here.

It does a lot stuff with CGI only CGI could do, and instead of pretending like the cars don’t look fake, it leans into the artifice and hyper reality of everything.

And speaking of hyperteality, like I said up thread, it explores the key concepts of the Matrix movies, namely how big business controls how reality is perceived, and does such a better job it’s scary. I think it’s nakedly anti-capitalistic politics are what got it in trouble with reviewers the most, even if it wasn’t ever stated outright.


#1692

I think the idea that critics would dismiss it or give second thought to the movie because of it’s anti-capitalist themes is misguided because Hollywood, ironically, fucking loves anti-capitalist storylines and the kind of stuff explored re:small/family-owned business versus big corporation wouldn’t feel out of place in a piece of media from the past 30 or 40 years

honestly, I heard more teeth gnashing about the (seeming) parody of this concept when it was trotted out for The Muppets (only 3 years later and from fucking Disney for god’s sake), where the vocal critics seemed unconcerned that the villain’s name was literally Tex Richman, which is like, I don’t know if you should be holding that up as a serious anti-capitalist screed but here we are


#1693

Yeah but Speed Racer goes a lot deeper than most. Like it is an underdog story, but it spends time examining the social purpose of underdog stories, the way media influences and colors events, all well beyond generic ‘powerful corporation is bad’ stuff you usually see in movies.

Maybe it wasn’t the main reason for it’s bad reception, which probably is mostly do to it’s earnest but aesthetically weird storytelling, but I could definitely see it going outside some critics comfort zones.


#1694

It sounds like every aspect of Speed Racer is good, but nonstandard, and it got fucked over simply because talentless critics didn’t have the language to talk about it. They would’ve complimented its colors or politics or camerawork if those qualities had occurred one at a time, nice and slow, as cheap gimmicks in a bog-standard.


#1695

That whole fight scene in the mountain pass is so damn good.

All of the races are so damn good.

That scene where Racer X flips his car so he can punch a dude in the face while upside down in mid-air is so damn good.

It’s corny as hell but in this weirdly wholesome, earnest way that just works. Honestly the only time it felt wrong is maybe the one time when Speed says the word “shit.”

Also I’m kinda upset I watched it on this dinky hotel TV and not back home on my big honkin’ 4K screen. I might have to rewatch it soon.


#1696

I think the main reason for its critical drubbing is critics showed up to the movie expecting it wasn’t worth trying to engage with, spent a lot of time thinking about what to have for dinner while only half-watching, and concluded that any movie with that much chimp antics must clearly suck.


#1697

I think about half of people who watch the movie literally get motion sick. I’ve been evangelizing this for years ever since my friend (who turned me on to IC and SB, incidentally) stopped by after watching it in the theater, and then sticking around to watch it immediately again.

It’s a whole new visual language for live action; every element is isolated and moved independently to create depth and parallax, like 2D, but as live action elements we can more easily identify the incorrect elements. It just looks off unless you’ve decided that’s a good thing. And the same goes for the CG elements – instead of color-timing them to match the film, they color-time the film to match the unrealistically-lit backdrops.

I love love love the floating giant heads behind race scenes; the retired racer/color commentator in the last race is so amazingly redundant it’s a thing of beauty.

Also important: Roger Allam (Rex Royalton)'s wonderful chewy villain persona is used to good effect in the British political satire Thick of It, as an old-fashioned Tory of exactly the type you think he is.


#1698

A genre that I need to see


#1699

Love Actionly


#1700

I’m really getting sold on this.


#1701

I HAVE TO MENTION NOW THAT THIS MOVIE HAS A BLACK VIKING FOR APPARENTLY NO REASON AND THAT FUCKING OWNS


#1702

I vote we watch Speed Racer on a giant screen at Branson.


#1703

And the gag!

  • bribe the ladies racing gang: jewels
  • bribe the WW2 GIs: bucks
  • bribe the Vikings: soft, soft furs, to rub your turkey-leg-greased faces on

#1704

AND THE GI’S GET ACTUAL DOLLAR SIGNS IN THEIR EYES

IT’S ALMOST LIKE THE MOVIE IS SOME KIND OF ACTUAL CARTOON INSTEAD OF SOME HALF HEARTED BIG BUDGET FART WITH DECENT VISUAL DESIGN

SPEED RACER HAS MANGA MEAT


#1705

And it cuts from the GIs with dollar signs to the race that was already in progress with a partial wipe to leave them ominously staring out over our heroes racing in the desert!

SO GOOD

I can’t get over “as soon as the Queen sees the first light of the sun, she will signal the race to start”