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Monday, May 19, 2008

Radio Free Id: Serious Business 

I come here, not to bury Speed Racer, but to defend it.

As you may recall, I liked it quite a lot, an opinion that put me in a distinct minority. Critics panned it with a personal intensity that suggests the movie had insulted their mothers (witness professional laughingstock Armond White likening its racing scenes to friggin’ Nazi parades), and box office returns were limp compared to this summer’s so-far darling Iron Man. Even as a fan of the film, I had to acknowledge—thanks to the accursed rating system on the other site I write for—that Iron Man was the superior film. (I gave SR 3.5 stars out of 5, and IM got 4. Both are pretty rare from me.) And conventionally speaking, Iron Man is the better film: great actors, tight script, buckets of gee-golly action and special effects laced with humor and buoyed by just enough drama to keep the whole thing from floating away.

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