Our amigos at First Showing directed us to these new lysergic images from the Wachowski BrothersSpeed Racer. The still above makes me want to sink into an altered state and get a $50 car wash with a $5 Sweet Pear air freshener. That’s a first. These images will appear in an upcoming cover story of EW, complete with fresh explanations of the film’s divisive green screen special effects included below. Every time we scoff at this movie, it pulls Slashfilm back in (and vice versa)!

“If these photos are looking a bit more two-dimensional than usual, that’s by design. The Wachowskis “wanted to incorporate some of the limitations of ’60s cell animation in the movie,” says Leo. Explains fellow effects supervisor Kim Libreri: “The backgrounds are mostly from photographic elements that have been shot from locations around the world [and then] intensely processed to be super-colorful and super-contrasty.”

“Do you remember the 1980s video game Outrun,” asks Libreri, “with the palm trees flying past? A lot of the movie looks like that. But instead of using painted elements that they used the early days [of anime]. there are actually photographic elements flying past the road.”




More images and “car-fu” effects descriptions after the hop…

Discuss: Not sure about you, but I think Kim Libreri’s Out Run reference is quite ace. Is there another film that did the “candy store aesthetic” better than what you’ve gleamed from Speed Racer?

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Speed Racer Character Movie Posters

Speed Racer Character Posters

Warner Bros has released four new character movie posters for The Wachowski Brothers’ Speed Racer.

I had high expectations for this film, and the first few movie trailers disappointed me greatly (as they did most of the internet). The recent domestic trailer got me back on board the Mach 5. But these new character posters look rather cheesy (but in all fairness, what character posters don’t look cheesy). The four posters feature Emile Hirsch as Speed, Christina Ricci as Trixie, Matthew Fox as Racer X, and the Mach 5. Check out the new posters after the jump.

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Speed Racer Movie Trailer

When The Wachowski Brothers announced they would be making a live action cartoon-looking adaptation of the classic anime series Speed Racer, I was all for it. When it was revealed that the film would be Rated G, because the brothers wanted to make a family film, I was still on board. But when the first teaser trailer hit, that was when I fell off the tracks, down a hill, and into a lake in another state. I argued against the merits of the film in second ever episode FightCast. And was even less impressed with the two international movie trailers released last week. To me (and many others) the action sequences look like a video game, and nothing more. The film appeared to be a disaster of epic proportions.

But then this new domestic movie trailer hit the interwebs, and I’m now feeling very confused and conflicted. I’m not sure if it was just well edited, or may-be I was completely wrong about Speed Racer (if so, I’ll need at least a few days to wash off the egg on my face). But check out the new trailer for yourself, and tell me what you think in the comments below.

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You can also catch the new trailer in High Definition on Yahoo Movies. Speed Racer hits theaters on May 9th 2008.

Discuss: Could Speed Racer actually be good after all?

Speed Racer Movie Trailer

Warner Bros has released two new international movie trailers for The Wachowski Brothers’ big screen adaptation of Speed Racer. I still remain unsold on this film. I loved the idea of a live action cartoon, but the result looks ridiculous, with a couple of the sequences looking more like a video game than a animated movie. Watch the two videos, and tell me what you think in the comments below.

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Speed Racer hits theaters on May 9th 2008.

Discuss: What did you think of the new Speed Racer movie trailers?

Early Review of the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer


An early review of Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski‘s Speed Racer has popped up over at AICN and the anonymous reviewer reports that the film might not be rated G after all. He’s saying PG-13.

“No, as it stands there is cursing in it, which shocked my roommate and I because we heard that they were gunning for the G rating as well. They say “ass” about 3 or 4 times, “shit” at least once, and Spritle flips off another character. Not sure if that’s all going to be edited out, but one or two scenes, it seemed impossible to do so, as it would change a lot. But I’m sure that they will figure out something, maybe alternate takes of the same scenes. I just don’t understand why they would include them if they planned on going for a G eventually anyways.”

The guy goes on to say he’s not a big fan of the directors (latter two Matrixes sucked et al.) and wasn’t expecting much from the lysergic life-as-cartoon style seen in the trailer. He expresses mild shock at how unfinished the film’s special effects are (it’s due in May), but overall, says it should play gangbusters and expects the finished result to be “jawdropping.” And no, he doesn’t sound like a plant to me.

“It’s hoaky, corny, and completely defies reality, sure. But it is done so well that it truly was entertaining. Exactly what a family summer movie should be. The race sequences are some of the most kinetic and intense that I have ever seen (even when it is just shitty cartoon pre-vis renderings flying around on the tracks). The action was so intense and crazy in parts that seriously it made the Matrix movies seem like you’re watching a Gus Van Sant art film.”

One scene that sounds particularly inspired…

“Then immediately we flash back to Speed as a kid trying to take a test in grade school, but he just cant seem to concentrate, all he can think about is racing, so he pretends to race through the test. We literally see his imagination come to life as he races a childishly drawn race car past other crudely drawn race cars.”

Discuss: How well do you think Speed Racer will perform this summer at the box office compared to The Dark Knight and Wall-E?  

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

New Speed Racer Car Revealed

Speed Racer ARTA

In the upcoming Wachowski brothers big screen live-action adaptation of Speed Racer, Speed (Emile Hirsch) will be racing an actual racing team from Japan called “Autobacs Racing Team Aguri” (ARTA). In the movie, they’ll be driving this futuristic car which was unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon this week. A life size replica car of the Speed Racer’s Mach 5 is also on display. More photos after the jump, as always, click to enlarge.

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High Resolution: The 3D Speed Racer Poster

Speed Racer Poster Top

On Friday we published a camera phone photo of the new lenticular Speed Racer poster.

Update: We now have a studio issued high resolution version of the poster. Check it out below.
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Speed Racer Movie Poster in 3D

Speed Racer

The movie poster for Speed Racer is in 3D. No seriously. Our friends at FirstShowing found a new lenticular Speed Racer poster at his local multiplex. The helmet under Speed’s arms pops out at you, and the background is also in 3D. Check out the poster after the jump. We hope to have a better photo of this poster soon enough (but it seems like one of those things that you have to see in person). Speed Racer hits theaters on May 9th 2008.  Read More »

FightCastThe FightCast has returned for Round Two. In this week’s FightCast, we fight about the newly debuted Speed Racer trailer and The Golden Compass, two of the biggest topics of discussion heading into this weekend.

The very first trailer for the Wachowski Brother’s adaptation of the Japanese cartoon Speed Racer arrived yesterday, and is getting quite a polarized response. Alex thinks it will revolutionize cinema, while Peter isn’t impressed.

The Golden Compass hits theaters today. The fantasy adventure film based on the Philip Pullman novel is getting a mixed response. Peter enjoyed it a lot but had some problems, and Alex has a similar opinion.

This week’s episode was again recorded over the phone. I’m still trying to convince Alex to record the podcast through Skype, for clearer audio. But again, if you’re looking for high production value, look elsewhere. This isn’t even a show, it’s a conversation between two film geeks. The official website has launched – and for all future episodes and to subscribe to the podcast, head right to:!

Listen Now:


Download FightCast – Round 2!


36:39, 16.8MB, MP3

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Let us know what you think by commenting below or sending us an email off at! We hope you enjoy.

Speed Racer Looks Like a Video Game

Speed Racer Video Game

I made a comment earlier about how Speed Racer doesn’t look like a “live-action cartoon” but instead, a “live-action video game”. And I’ve already gotten a bunch of emails and seen a bunch of forum comments saying that the action sequences look like video game cut scenes.

/Film Reader Mark G sent me this screenshot from a Nintendo 64 video game called Extreme G, which looks very similar to one of the race sequences from Speed Racer. How funny is that? Click on the image above to enlarge.