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Go see "Speed Racer" -- what a blast!
by David Goodger
May 29, 2008
A couple weeks ago I saw Speed Racer with my wife and kids. Lots of fun was had by all in this action-packed animé brought to hyper-real life.


I took a day off work on May 16, a day when my kids didn't have school, and my wife and I took them to see Speed Racer, the new movie from the Wachowski brothers. I'd read the reviews, and seen the glowing review on Ebert & Roeper, and it looked like it would be a good time.

It was.

I never saw the original animated series "Mahha Go-go-go" that Speed Racer is based on. ("Mahha" is "Mach" -- as in the speed of sound -- in katakana English; "Go" is Japanese for "5", and a pun of course.) My wife is Japanese, and she grew up watching "Mahha Go-go-go" as a kid. She tells me that the casting was excellent; the movie characters feel like they're straight out of the cartoon (Christina Ricci's resemblance to a stock animé character doesn't hurt at all). The only issue I had was extremely minor: I thought that, when he had his "determined" look on his face, Emile Hirsch looked a bit like Jack Black.

Speed Racer is full of action. Impossible action. The cars have "extras", like jump-pistons, that absolutely defy physical laws. The racetracks are so outlandish, their construction would require Fullerene (carbon nanotubes) at least. But it's fun, and movies are where we suspend disbelief. And it's full of color. Oh, my, the color. It's like a day-glo world, like a candy store.

The movie is funny where it needs to be (I laughed out loud, which is pretty rare for me). The action is gripping. And it's even touching in places.

Speed Racer may not be for everyone. My tastes are definitely skewed; for example, I haven't had this much sheer fun at a movie since Kill Bill vol. 1 (in a much more family-friendly way though). However, it wasn't just me; my whole family enjoyed it.

Go see Speed Racer before it leaves the theaters. It's well worth seeing on the big screen. And stick around for the first part of the closing credits too.

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About the Blogger

David Goodger has been using Python since 1998, and began working on reStructuredText and Docutils in 2000. A proud Canadian, he lived in Japan for 7 years, where a stint at a document processing company in Tokyo began his love/hate relationship with structured markup. David is a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) Editor and a member of the Python Software Foundation. He currently lives outside of Montreal, Quebec, with his Japanese wife and their two children.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2008 David Goodger. All rights reserved.

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