Saturday, June 14, 2008

Speed Racer redux

During my trip to California, my friends and I watched Speed Racer once again. I was pleased to see that it held up pretty well to a second viewing. Here are a few thoughts on things the second time around.

1) The opening 10 or 15 minute section, which intertwines the backstory of Speed's childhood, the family's fractured relationship with his brother, and the film's first race, is breathtaking. I particularly like the way that the soundtrack and the sound design move you through these jarring sections with comfort and comprehension. Each section has its own musical thing thing going on, so you know exactly where you are. Really beautifully done.

2) Many complaints have revolved around the "incomprehensible" stock market explanations. The point is missed that they are supposed to be incomprehensible. You're only supposed to understand the basic idea, that the capitalists are corruptly profiting from the sport. The rest is supposed to be alien language to the purity of the competitive endeavor.

3) I liked Emile Hirsch more on this viewing, because I found his quietness/near-pulselessness to be within the character, rather than some shortcoming of his performance.

Anyway, if you can catch this box office bomb before it leaves theaters for good, please do so.

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