The Speed Racer Movie Flatfoots It With Two Great Episodes
Michael Daly | Wakefield, MA USA | 08/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Speed Racer Movie is a compilation of two episodes from the Speed Racer TV series with a couple of late-1950s short films and a new Speed Racer music video added for good measure. The main draw, though, is the pair of classic episodes, featuring the voices of Peter Fernandez (Speed), Corrine Orr (Trixie), Jack Curtis (Pops), and Jack Grimes (Sparky). They showcase an entertaining mixture of goofy charm, cheesy comedy, genuine drama, and excellent character interplay.The Car Hater opens things up with the meltdown between a young woman, Jeanine Trotter, and her car-hating father, who lost his son in an automobile accident and will stop at nothing to destroy cars - even down to riding his horse onto a racetrack in the middle of traffic, sending them crashing every which way. His hatred of cars blows up in his face when he hires some goons to sabotage cars repaired at Speed and Pops' shop and Jeanine winds up driving one without brakes.The next episode is the show's most popular - Race Against The Mammoth Car. A six-hundred foot long trucklike monster, the Mammoth Car, highlighted by an immortal theme cue, emits a piercing whine as it rolls along. The Mammoth Car is being used to smuggle $50 million in gold out of the country, but how it is actually doing it is the mystery, and Speed and Trixie nearly pay with their lives in trying to find out. This episode features a brief reunion between Speed and the mysterious Racer X, who intercedes to save their lives. The reunion is very well handled as the young couple look up to Racer X with genuine humbleness and Speed ponders the question that plagues him - is Racer X his long lost elder brother Rex?The episode closes with a bang - a spectacular oil inferno that reveals the true secret of the Mammoth Car."
Go Speed Racer Go!
Burndawgz | Renton, WA | 03/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Speed Racer was my favorite show back in 1970. I was eight years old, and could hardly wait to get home from school to watch it with my pals. While many of my buddies towed hand-crafted hydroplanes on string behind their sting-ray banana-seat bikes, I towed a wooden version of the Mach-5, specially retrofitted with a GRX engine of course!I'm not an anime fan - just a 38-year-old guy who hadn't seen the show since I was a kid - completely oblivious to the MTV & Cartoon Network resurgence in the early 90s. For me, this DVD was an absolute treat! The characters and storylines are great - from the complete camp of the villains, to the complex and intriguing storyline of the Mammoth Car episode - my all-time favorite as a kid. It's amazing how this episode portrays so many aspects of what now makes up the modern action film. It still seems fresh, and I was struck by the definitive role it obviously played in shaping my personal tastes for drama in the years to follow. I say that with one exception - specifically the now shocking scene of the Car Hater angrily, yet almost casually, lashing his daughter with a horse whip! I'd like to think that was as politically incorrect & offensive then as it is now.The DVD:The color and sound are both very good - certainly superior to any pre-cable-era broadcast previously viewed in the 70s. The sound effects are awesome - the animation straightforward and well preserved, original dust bunnies and all. The Trivia challenge is enlightening & forgiving, so you won't have to resort to the internet for clues to view the bonus hidden feature. All in all, the DVD operated perfectly from my inexpensive Sony player.There were a few disappointments, most notably the lack of the original score/song for the opening sequence. It has been replaced by a hip-hop 90s version, filled with typical DJ rap-esque samplings. A music video of this is also included. The exclusion the original song from this disc seems a curious and rather maddening oversight.Reviews of the VHS edition mention 60s era commercial announcements in between the episodes, but they do not seem to be included on the DVD. Also, casual watchers seeking to relive their youth may be surprised to learn "The Treacherous Pirate" (the hidden bonus feature) is not a Speed Racer episode, but rather a 50s short. It's kinda cute, but I'd rather have been rewarded with the original song!The audio commentary is interspersed with a number of interesting & insightful gems, however it spawns more questions about the production than it answers. Ms. Orr, unarguably a very nice person, seems to be lost in the clouds with her giggly, repetitious, syrupy-sweet reflections of how "fun" it all was, how Trixie was such a "fun" role model, how Sprittle was so "fun" - well it's just over the top! I found Peter's commentary much more insightful as well as entertaining... there are many occasions where you can almost see him cringing at Corrine's sunny-day musings, wanting for another glass of scotch, which he mentions in hindsight at least twice. Though sometimes tedious and sparse, ultimately the commentary is a generous inclusion that's definitely worth the listen.Having become aware of this DVD's imminent release, I rented a couple episodes of the NEW adventures of Speed Racer (circa 90s?) on VHS. In my humble opinion, they don't hold a candle to the original series. There is only one Speed Racer, and he and the Mach-5 have been restored faithfully on this DVD, sans the original opening song. I'll doc it a star for that, but it's still a keeper I would highly recommend to both anime and casual fans alike."
Don't mess with Speed!
Fezzy 'd | Kutztown, PA United States | 09/18/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I ran a search at Amazon.com to find any DVD's of Speed Racer. There was a single hit, Speed Racer The Movie. So, I bought it. I was really in the mood to be taken back to my youth and have a great time watching a Speed Racer "movie." I knew that I had not actually purchased a "movie," but a collection of episodes...I would have picked a different set by the way....You get the "Car Hater," and "The Mammoth Car" (parts 1 and 2). Of the two, the Mammoth Car is the most fun. I particularly like the omnious sounds of the Mammoth Car. The supplemental material comes from one of the first (if not the first) episodes where Speed describes the capabilities of the Mach 5. This is fun, but I would like to see better selections of episodes. Hey, why not put them all on DVD in their proper order like Harmony Gold did for ROBOTECH?"
Mach Go Go!
Leealike | London | 07/12/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not much of an anime fan, but I am a huge fan of vintage looney TV animation - and the US version of Mach Go Go is a true classic of that genre! Featuring 3 epsiodes and some nifty bonus features this isn't a bad disc - it even has some pretty 3D menus and various specs on Speed and the Mark 5.Two "secret" extras on the disc are an episode of the classic 50s show Colonel Bleep, and three B/W animated commercials, which I enjoyed imemensly - but I'm that way inclined. You also can't fault the transfer and print quality of the Speed Racer episodes which are bright, spotless and gorgeous.The only major let down is that they let some fool tamper with the opening sequence, which cuts abruptly into a very bad "remix" and then clumsily back into the original titles - which is just a waste of time and is done embarrasingly badly. (They also have included a pointless music video for the remix - which must rate as one of the worst pop promos of all-time!)The commentary track from the voices of Speed and Trixie is a nice bonus too and it runs throughout the three episodes. All in all, not a bad one for retro anime people!"