Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Childhood Memories

I grew up watching and loving the Speed Racer cartoons. Every week, I used to eagerly await the show and enjoyed the adventures of Speed and the mysterious Racer X.

But when I saw the cartoons on tv a few years ago, I was amazed at how bad they were – all the shows had the same old story of car crashes and needless slapstick humour. However, I still cherished my pleasant memories of the cartoon.

When I first learned that the Wachowski brothers were going to make a Speed Racer movie, I was not too keen on the idea. And the trailers just confirmed my idea that the movie might be a mess. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover today that the movie is not as bad as I had expected. In fact, I enjoyed watching it. Essentially, the movie is an updated version of the cartoon, complete with car chases, explosions and similar characters. The one interesting aspect in the movie is how the story of a lone speed racer against the big evil corporation can be likened to a battle between independent films & big Hollywood studios. In the movie, talented drivers who are not allowed in the Grand Prix are left to risk their lives in an underground race circuit. But the big corporations still keep an eye on the underground tracks in the hopes of finding a talented driver. This is similar to the situation where indie films are left to play at underground film festivals and if a movie is a hit, then the big studio distributors swoop in like vultures to release the movie to multiplexes.

Rating: 7.5/10

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