Speed Racer and Snatch
In the past two days I have seen two movies, which is not really my usual schedule but I am on break so the regular schedule does not apply.
I saw the first movie, Speed Racer, on the silver screen, and I give it one and a half stars. I was prepared to see this movie and come out giving it a half of a star, so I was pleasantly surprised. Speed Racer earned an additional star for some decent thematic elements. The Racer family was ideal. They supported one another because they liked one another, not because they were just family. They even included members of their family which were not related by blood, Trixie and Sparkie. However, I do dislike Pops Racer changing his treatment of his sons. His first son, Rex, leaves, and Pops Racer tells him never to return. I assume Rex and Pops had some philosophical differences. Therefore, any difference that extreme warrants Pops' response, for letting Rex return would be a moral compromise, pointing out one of the many faults with unconditional love. However, Speed appears to come to the same philosophical conclusion as Rex, but Pops decides to let Speed return whenever he wants. Of course, the philosophical differences are never made clear, Rex becomes Racer X who upholds the same philosophy as Pops, and Speed never ends up leaving. However, returning to the positive aspects. I also like the fact that the Racers make their own cars; thus, like Iron Man highlighting the greatness of human creation and production. Though, obviously Speed Racer 's depiction of this virtue is not as well done as Iron Man 's. However, the one line that really convinced me to give Speed Racer another star comes from Rex, also known as Racer X. He tells Speed something to the effect "that you don't get into a car to be a race car drive. You get into a car because you are driven." As I understand it driven means that Speed strives for success, and success is acting out one's values. Of course, one's values must be correct, and Speed's are pretty close to the truth. Though the entire racing tournament that Speed is part of is private, he does strive to rid it of fixed grand pries.
Now, onto the parts I do not like. Honestly, I have never viewed a more annoying film style. I understand the movie is modeling the anime of the television show, so there will be some objects panning across the screen. However, this was done to excess. Every four seconds something was flying at the screen. Also, the beginning takes forever to get moving. First, there is ten seconds of past, then ten seconds of present, then ten seconds of past, then ten seconds of present, etc. throughout the entire first race. To make this all worse the annoying flash backs and noxious filming is used at the same time. So past pans into present while a present announcer swings over the past, until the whole present swirls back to the screen, just to have a mass of characters vomited at the screen. Another unfortunate feature of this film is that the villain is a bad business man, and the hero, Speed, is again aided by the government. First, I am so tired of the evil business man. It has been done. Furthermore, whenever it is done it is not just saying, "Hey this is one bad business man," it is saying, "Hey capitalism is evil." Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Capitalism is not evil. It is great. Unfortunately, in Speed Racer modern CEO's, 2oth century industrialists, and money are all depicted unfavorably. In one disgusting scene hit men lean over a pile of money, and dollar signs appear in their eyes. Money is not evil. These men are evil. Therefore, get the dollar signs out of their eyes. The final bad seed of this film is Speed's younger brother. I don't even know what his name is. It sounded like a mix of Sprite and Turtle. Also, Spritle has an annoying pet chimpanzee. I already despise chimpanzees and all monkeys. I think they are the worst animals. However, Spritle and Chim Chim are frustratingly ill used characters. I understand they are supposed to provide the comic relief like C3PO and R2-D2. However, C3PO and R2-D2 were funny while playing important roles in Star Wars. Roles that moved the plot along. Spritle and Chim Chim appeared at inappropriate times eating candy, playing air guitar, and spying on Speed and Trixie trying to get it on. The best example of this is when Speed is speaking with his arch nemesis Royalton one second, and then suddenly in a complete different part of the building Spritle and Chim Chim are racing down a crowded hallway. Then it cuts back to Speed and Royalton. That Spritle/Chim Chim nonsense had nothing to do with what Speed and Royalton were talking about.
My review for Snatch will be much shorter. I did enjoy this one a little more than Speed Racer, but I am only giving it two stars. The movie is from the same maker of L4yer Cake , which is his later and best movie. I saw L4yer Cake first, so I know the potential of this creator, and the roots are evident in Snatch . Unfortunately, Snatch has too much going on, and it starts with that over used non-linear beginning that has no purpose for this movie. The movie is supposed to circulate around Turkish (Jason Statham) who advertises boxing matches, illegal boxing matches. I do not really see why they should be illegal. The government should mind its own business and allow consenting adults to fight, as long as they do not kill one another. So, I will not hold Turkish's profession against him. Eventually, Turkish's friend Tommy finds a dog that has accidentally swallowed a diamond about the size of a fist. Consequently, Turkish sells the diamond to make lots of money. That is really the only important stuff. However, Turkish's history is included leading up to his discovery of the dog. This includes a psychotic mob boss named Brick Top in charge of the fights who wants Turkish's man to go down in the fourth. Unfortunately, Turkish' man gets injured by Mickey (Bradd Pitt) when Turkish' man and Tommy are trying to buy a trailer from Mickey. So, Turkish puts Mickey in the fight, he does not follow the rules. However, Brick Top wants him to fight again and uses some lethal force to convince him. Mickey fights again, does not follow the rules, and exacts his revenge, setting Turkish free from Brick Top's merciless retribution. When Turkish tries to find Mickey, he discovers that Mickey has moved and finds the dog instead. Also, the history of the diamond is included, which has nothing to do with Turkish until he gets the dog. These two story lines should have been consolidated to one more concerned with Turkish, or maybe even Mickey. However, the film is entertaining and Mickey's revenge on Brick Top is wonderful. When a mob boss burns your mother alive in her house. There is nothing better than getting your friends to kill all the mob boss' friends and blow the mob boss' head of with two double barreled shot guns. Violent? Absolutely. Vicious? I doubt it. Revenge and justice are sometimes linked, which I believe is captured perfectly here.