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NEWS: Speed Racer Ends U.S. Opening Weekend with US$18.6M


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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3833
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:44 am Reply with quote
It's not too surprising that this movie didn't exactly storm the box office. The show itself is very old, so I'm not sure how many people were really that interested to begin with. Personally, I don't like the idea of Hollywood adapting Anime into movies because I don't trust them to get it right, so I really have little interest in any of the current or future projects out there.
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LordRobin



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Posts: 354
Location: Akron, OH
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:55 am Reply with quote
Also, the reviews have not been kind. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 35%, and that's a great improvement from its score after the early reviews.

------RM
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Splitter



Joined: 19 May 2003
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Location: Knockin' on Heaven's Door
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:07 pm Reply with quote
LordRobin wrote:
Also, the reviews have not been kind. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 35%, and that's a great improvement from its score after the early reviews.

------RM


Any time I saw a critic talk about the weak plot, I sighed... it's SPEED RACER! How much of a plot can you extract from a show that was about racing a souped-up car cross-country doing death-defying stunts along the way?

From what I have heard otherwise, it's not kind on the eyes, and moreso because it's at least a half hour longer than it should have been. The Wachowski Bros. should not have been allowed to have the iron grip they had on the project. Rather than satisfy their own egos, they should have concentrated on connect a pretty much foreign concept to American audiences.

At the very least, hopefully Japanese audiences will pull some weight for the movie.
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kokuryu



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 915
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:14 pm Reply with quote
It was the typical speed racer type plot. I thought it was excellent. But I can understand why it did not do so well in the theaters. The movie is longer than the other movies out there, and the theaters did not devout enough screens to it, leaving blocks of hours with no showings of Speed Racer. I must have seen over a thousand fans leave unable to get tickets at one local theater where I am.

On the other hand, Iron Man was in over 50% of the theater's space, with showings every 15 minutes - so when people showed up, if they couldnt get tickets for Speed Racer - or a half dozen other movies, they went to see Iron Man because there was a fresh showing starting.

I would give Speed Racer a few weeks to see the real numbers in the end - it will take some time for everyone to see it.
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R.G.



Joined: 16 Nov 2003
Posts: 678
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:20 pm Reply with quote
I blame the Naysayers.
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BuffaloStyle



Joined: 28 May 2003
Posts: 274
Location: Colorado
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:33 pm Reply with quote
I agree with kokuryu, the movie was done very well. As someone who has waited almost 30 years for something like this, I was pleased with what I saw.

While the movie is a little long, I barely noticed it at all as I was enjoying the story. Let's give it some time and see how it does in the long run. I'm really curious about what kind of reception it will get in Japan, though.
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Furudanuki



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1874
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:39 pm Reply with quote
I went to see Speed Racer last night because I have two grade-school aged girls who want to see it eventually, and someone has to make sure the content is actually suitable for them. And since yesterday was Mother's Day, my wife declared herself exempt from being the aforementioned "someone". The movie wasn't bad, and I don't think some of the criticism is exactly deserved when the subject matter is taken into account. Unfortunately, I wound up walking out about 90 minutes into the film because I simply could not tolerate the optical assault any longer. I had to do the same thing during Cloverfield thanks to the "ShakyCam" filming, and Speed Racer's "Strobo-Seizure Vision" wasn't an improvement. Those who can handle the visuals will no doubt have a better impression of the film. But Hollywood won't be getting any more of my money for movies that leave me with headaches for hours afterward.
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Teriyaki Terrier



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 5689
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:44 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
It's not too surprising that this movie didn't exactly storm the box office. The show itself is very old, so I'm not sure how many people were really that interested to begin with. Personally, I don't like the idea of Hollywood adapting Anime into movies because I don't trust them to get it right, so I really have little interest in any of the current or future projects out there.


True, I don't trust hollwood with adapting anime either. Truthfully, I don't expect this movie to remembered for long either. People these days are more interested in love comedies and such.

If there is ever a Legend Of Zelda movie, then I will be interested. But not if Hollywood had anything to do with this movie.
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bleuster



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 455
Location: Orange County
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:12 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I had to do the same thing during Cloverfield thanks to the "ShakyCam" filming, and Speed Racer's "Strobo-Seizure Vision" wasn't an improvement.

I hear you on that. Sitting through all those "head-transitions" I wondered, how could you not get psyched out watching this?

Still, I had a great time watching this with my nephew. The original SR series bored the life out of me, but the way the W. brothers handled the film (for the most part) was exactly what I needed to see after all these terrible film releases in the past few months in the theaters.
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Chrno2



Joined: 28 May 2004
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Location: USA
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:20 pm Reply with quote
Not too shabby. But from the comments here and stuff I read a bit beforehand I didn't expect it to do that well. But not fail either. Again most complained about the story or the lack of, the fact that the movie would give folks a headache. Yeah, it's bright and overwhelming. It was a risk the Wachowski's took. It's not easy trying to adapt anime into a live action. Maybe it works in it's home country but not so much here in the U.S by our standards of filming.

Again some will still like it while others will curse it. I mean I wasn't sure myself when I saw it. But I'm willing to give it a look. Hopefully, the 'Gatchaman' movie will fare better. I wonder what 'Tatsunoko Pro' thought of the movie.
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:22 pm Reply with quote
LordRobin wrote:
Also, the reviews have not been kind. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 35%, and that's a great improvement from its score after the early reviews.


Ignore Rotten Tomatoes on this one. Pretty much all of the critics and reviews are flat-out wrong: the movie was great. I'd gladly see it again in IMAX if it were actually playing at any of the IMAX theaters around here.

I attribute a lot of the failing of the movie to the timing of its release, being sandwiched right between Iron Man and Narnia. I wager that when the release date was chosen, the powers that be assumed Iron Man was going to be a flash in the pan like many of the less well-known superhero adaptations have been (Ghost Rider being one of the more recent examples). That Iron Man turned out to be the number one film of the entire year in the span of about a week is pretty surprising. It's a well deserved win though, as I liked Iron Man a lot.

Abysmally negative as most of the film reviews are, the movie seems to be tracking quite well among the people who actually did see the film. I would say at least 75% of the testimonials I've personally read and heard among those who actually saw the movie were strongly positive. This to me demonstrates two possible things. Possibility number one: professional reviewers are tremendously out of touch. I for one have lost track of the amount of Speed Racer reviews where they invoke so-called pejoratives pertaining to candy / sugar rushes, bright colors, etc. Uh, what? It's Speed Racer, guys. I respect the negative reviews that effectively state "this is an awesome adaptation of Speed Racer, but unfortunately I hate Speed Racer," but those were very few.

Possibility number two: for all the money spent on the task, the movie wasn't marketed well. The bad reviews don't help, but I think the marketing did the most initial damage. They should have been advertising this one solely to the 8 year-olds, but all the trailers and commercials for Speed Racer really played up the "from the makers of The Matrix!" aspect. This to me was a double-whammy bad decision. Not only is The Matrix primarily known for being decidedly NOT family friendly on the violence scale (also, the Keanu's butt scale), the Gonzo-esque level of disappointment found in the sequels have left a lot of people with a serious axe to grind against the Wachowskis.

If Speed Racer was released just as it is now only later in the year and with ads targeted just to kids rather than ones attempting to draw in both kids and adults, I think the results would have been much better. It doesn't come out in Japan until July, so I suppose that can be a test of my hypothesis. Then again, July's when The Dark Knight comes out.
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slickwataris



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 1334
Location: Carol Stream, Illinois
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:48 pm Reply with quote
The Chicago Tribune and Ebert & Roeper gave Speed Racer raving reviews, I was surprised to find out about all the negative ones. It seems these "other" reviewers rather be trendy and talk about its bright, coma-inducing colors than comparing it to the actual source material.

Anyway, I wasn't able to see the movie yet. I saw a ton of hot wheels Speed Racer merchandise at wal-mart over the weekend. Kids love cars, I don't think the franchise will flop in the toy department.
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redhandgrunt



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Personally I thought it was pretty good. I haven't really ever seen Speed Racer that I can remember. I only have a couple of problems with the movie.

1. What was with the ninja scene? I mean they sneak into their rooms and the one they do get they drug with something that won't last a day. John Goodman fighting was pretty awesome though.

2. Why did they have to build a new car? The Mach 5 was fine.
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marklungo



Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 80
Location: Berea, Ohio
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:32 pm Reply with quote
As someone who hasn't seen Speed Racer yet, I have just one question: Is the original theme song in the movie?
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:37 pm Reply with quote
marklungo wrote:
As someone who hasn't seen Speed Racer yet, I have just one question: Is the original theme song in the movie?


It is indeed in the movie.

redhandgrunt wrote:

2. Why did they have to build a new car? The Mach 5 was fine.


No, it wasn't. spoiler[The Mach 5, which is Speed's own car and not the one used in the on-track races, was modified with all the buzzsaw blades and such for use in the rally race and therefore wouldn't be acceptable at the Grand Prix. The Mach 6 which was used during the sanctioned races was totaled during the Fuji race--the race that Speed was unable to win, place, or finish at--and as such it needed to be rebuilt.]
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