Saturday, May 10, 2008

go, speed racer

So I'm not following Hollywood as closely as I, an American and therefore presumably a celebrity- and entertainment-crazed person, apparently should be. So the news that they are releasing a movie based on the cheesy 1960s TV comic "Speed Racer" was a complete surprise to me.

A.O. Scott doesn't like it - at over 2 hours, it sounds like too much time spent on too little substance.

I haven't even seen it and I don't like it. I don't like it because it's another unoriginal idea from Hollywood.

I remember the "Speed Racer" animated TV show. It frankly wasn't that good. It certainly didn't seem like the sort of thing that deserved to be revived 40 years later. But revived it is, as a live-action movie no less.

Why? Because it is easier and more cost-effective to plunder past products than it is to come up with an original thought. That is most obviously true for sequels (Is Bruce Willis up to "Die Hard XVI: Clawing at the Coffin Lid" yet?). But it is also very much true for this sort of thing.

Frequently, the quality of a revival of this sort is based in large part on the quality of the original TV show, movie, comic, book, whatever. Not often is the movie better. "The Brady Bunch" movie for example was pretty awful - it was only bearable perhaps if you had watched the TV series as a kid and allowed the movie to take you back.

And I suspect that will be the case with "Speed Racer." Go, Speed Racer - please get off the screens soon.

But of course, we largely have ourselves to blame. If fewer of us would watch this derivative crap, less of it would be made.



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