well, the weekend didn’t go as planned – early Saturday morning we discovered the basement was flooding and after getting a plumber out for an emergency call we had to “only” get the septic tank pumped out – which involved many phone calls, the hubby almost killing himself to dig out the hatches and finding someone to come out and “get ‘er done” on the same day – but it did all work out. Unfortunately I had to cancel my last booksigning, but so it goes…

Speed Racer may be technically a “flop” at the box office but I have to tell you I think this one is going to be a cult classic. I’m still hyped about seeing it Friday night and picked up the soundtrack last night; waiting to get my hands on the single – no, I don’t do MP3 downloads.

I’m not sure why it’s not doing well but I think part of it is that the marketing wasn’t really there – I’ve seen very little press on it and from what I understand the W. brothers don’t “do” media – which means that without interviews and pushing the product it’s just not going to get a lot of attention in a summer that’s got Iron Man, the Hulk, the last Indiana Jones movie and Hellboy 2… I don’t know who thought that marketing plan was good but it does seem that the movie will technically tank.

Which is a pity – it’s a visual masterpiece that just rocks and rolls through the two hours without much of a stop. One of the best parts, for me, is actually at the start when Speed is racing on the same track his brother set the speed record on – and he’s close to breaking it. Suddenly he’s ahead of the rest of the cars and literally chasing a ghost; the imaginary Mach 4 is there just ahead of him and tempting him the entire way. However, if he does break the record then Rex’s name comes OFF the scoreboard and his family will see the last remaining “good” thing his brother did disappear…

So, just as Speed gets beside the ghostly Mach 4 and stares at his brother’s image he takes his foot off the accelerator for just a second – enough to slow down and not break the record. Great example of Show, Don’t Tell there – it translates well into writing when the idea is not to fill paragraphs with discussions about how much he loves his brother and how Rex’s “betrayal” hurt the family and how much this last milestone means to them all… and if Speed should take down that record. Brilliant.

True, the movie does lag in some parts and I have to wonder about the relationship between Speed and Trixie – seems the girl practically lives there in the Racer household and darn it, she’s got her own helicopter to fly anywhere they want! Not to mention that her and Speed casually take off for weekends together, so… just marry the girl already and move out of the house, Speed! Sheesh!

But it’s a sweet romance that is totally PG for the kids and just a tease for us old romantics who enjoy seeing something a little less flashy than actresses flashing their ta-tas for the sake of getting a good review. The kid and chimp act is a bit annoying, but considering the crap that Disney pushes as kid-friendly these days it’s a mild annoyance and passes quickly.

I’d give this a solid B and recommend it if you want something light, fluffy and a bit different from the world of Iron Man and Indiana Jones for this summer’s viewing. I’ll be picking up the DVD when it comes out and if you’re smart you’ll at least put it on your rental list!


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