Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What fresh cartoon movie hell can Speed Racer unleash?

The next big summer movie to be released is the Wachowski Brothers' version of Speed
Racer,with the likes of Christina Ricci,John Goodman and Susan Sarandon as part of the supporting cast(had to do a double take when I saw Sarandon in the preview trailer at Comic Con. Is she behind in her rent or something?).

While the jury hasn't even been convened yet to determine the box office outcome of this live action TV cartoon movie,the possibilities for Hollywood to inflict these Frankenstein cinematic creations on us if this movie does well(altho,it'll be pretty
hard to top Iron Man's opening weekend take of a hundred million there)are more than endless.

After all, that Alvin and the Chipmunks movie is still haunting us on home video. Now,I know what some of you might be saying "Aw,come on, Lady T,lighten up! It's for the kids and not all TV based cartoons make for bad movies. Look at the Simpsons and South Park!" True,but the reason that both of those movies did well is due to the fact that they stayed animated,just like the TV show!

Need more convincing? Okay,let's look at a few examples from the not so distant past like The Flintstones. Yep, with John Goodman as Fred(that man has serious bad movie radar),Rick Moranis as Barney, Rosie O'Donnell as Betty and Halle Berry (another nose for bad cinema) as Rosetta Stone.

Now,this sucker actually made enough money to get a sequel(Viva Rock Vegas)that didn't even have any of the original cast in the movie! Sure,they passed it off as a "prequel" but give me a break. It's not like any of those folks were in such high demand that they couldn't appear in the follow-up. That should tell you something right then and there:

Not bad enough? How about Inspector Gadget,the charming Nickelodeon cartoon that was turned into a schlock fest for Matthew Broderick,with Rupert Everett as Dr. Claw(a character whose face was never shown in the cartoon,by the way)? A plot that combines the evil twin with the evil robot cliche-two retreads for the price of one!

Again,this film also had a sequel that didn't feature any of cast from the first film(it may have been direct to video,I'm not sure),a sure sign of shame from the actors involved. Plus,adding some rather off color humorous moments is more guaranteed to make a few of the grown-ups in the audience squirm and not be too inclined to take the kids back for more:

And last and definitely least,is the Josie and the Pussycats movie,which is pretty much an overlong MTV music video. Well, to be fair,I didn't see this movie but I grew up watching the cartoon and this looked so lame to me.

They didn't even try to wear those funky cat print leotards that the girls always dashed into for performances,just some cat ears and pin on tails. Plus,the plot doesn't even have them solving a crime,just the standard "teen rock band being exploited as one hit wonders" stock story line. Also, Parker Posey gets to prance around and overemote shamelessly in bad costumes,a true crime against humanity:

Oh,well,I tried. This is a futile battle,I know. As we speak,more TV cartoons are being greenlit and a good number of them will go the live action route. Perhaps Speed Racer will be a better movie than it appears to be. Then again....

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