FILM : Minutemen - First Look

I'm excited.

From AICN, here's a first look at the Minutemen, from Zack Snyder's upcoming Watchmen film. For those unaware, the The Minutemen were a group of superheroes that was formed before the events of Watchmen, in 1939 and then disbanded ten years later in 1949.

Judging by this picture, I think Zack and Co. has really got it right. Look at their attention to costume details, hair & makeup (need I remind you, it's 1940). I hope that they'll do justice to the Watchmen story too.

Oh yes, that's Carla Gugino as Silk Spectre I.

L to R : Silhouette, Mothman, Dollar Bill, Nite Owl I, Captain Metropolis, The Comedian (kneeling), Silk Spectre I and Hooded Justice.

WEB : The Best Viral Music Video EVER!

Here's the latest video from one of my favourite band of all time, WEEZER. Rivers Cuomo (plus handlebar moustache) and Co. are back with the new single, 'Pork and Beans' , from their upcoming 'Red Album' releasing June 3rd 2008.

Weezer unveiled this new video on YouTube yesterday. What so cool about the video is, it stars some familiar YouTube faces such as Numa Numa guy, Tay Zonday, Kevin Federline, Chris Crocker and Miss Teen South Carolina. These so-called 'YouTube celebs' got very famous for their viral videos on the net. In a way, Weezer was embracing the power of online videos (they also premiered their own YouTube channel yesterday) while at the same time, poking fun at it.

I know, I know.. I spent way too much time on YouTube.
But this video kick ass!!

SPORT : Bow Down To The Double Winners


"Is this my best team ever? ..Yes!!" - Sir Alex Ferguson, post-match interview.

FILM : Speed Racer - Acid Trippin' Fun!

Synopsis : Born to race cars, Speed Racer is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized - the legendary Rex Racer, whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill. Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer, the designer of Speed's thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company's maniacal owner but uncovers a terrible secret - some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits. If Speed won't drive for Royalton, Royalton will see to it that the Mach 5 never crosses another finish line. The only way for Speed to save his family's business and the sport he loves is to beat Royalton at his own game. With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie, Speed teams with his one-time rival - the mysterious Racer X - to win the race that had taken his brother's life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as The Crucible.

The Wachowski brothers are on an acid, LSD driven trip. It's not necessarily a bad thing, though. In fact, as Keanu Reeves would say, "Whoa!". Speed Racer is a fast-paced, live action anime, fueled with bright acidic colors, kinetic racing and a wonderful underdog story.

Now let me tell you something; I have read so many negative reviews about this movie that I have come to a conclusion. From all those negative reviews, 90 percent of it was slamming the Speed Racer anime , or the Japanese original, MachGoGoGo. And almost all of the reviewers was not a fan of the bright colors and fast moving images. So either the critics were a) hated Speed Racer when they were young, or b) have ADD, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy or just plain old.

Speed Racer for me was breathtaking, pop-art, psychedelic retro-future, amazing cinematic experience. It was probably far too ahead of it's time, too much for some people to digest. The storytelling was maybe a bit too cartoonish and child-like to the audience liking, but for me that's what great about it. The Wachowskis was obviously a huge fan of Speed Racer, so it was very clear they wanted to potray the film the way they remembered it : by staying true to the essence and spirit of the original anime series. It was supposed to be cartoon-like and garish. They basically took the spirit of Speed Racer and upgrade it to a new futuristic level. It was never meant to be a realistic film. They created an alternate universe, and a new way to look, see and think of movies.

What I also love about Speed Racer, besides the incredible car racing sequences, is the spinning narrative details with stop and start montages, multi-layered shots and fast transitions. The non-linear narrative comes to you hard, digitally radicalize cinematic language, with multiple storylines, with no cuts but rather central figures from each story horizontally wiping the screen to create transition. If you manage to catch the 8 minute opening scene of the movie on YouTube, you'll probably get the idea. This breakthrough technique is called "faux lensing toward a 'Photo Anime' film format" and once again comes from the great mind of the Wachowskis and effect supervisor, John Gaeta. Watching those scenes, I nearly had similar feeling of watching the Bullet-time scene in The Matrix for the first time. The style just fits perfectly with Speed Racer.

So besides being virtually stunning, what about the story? Actually, the story is essentially the same story that you see in every Speed Racer anime. There's a plot against the sanctity of racing by corporate and evil powers, and it is only through Speed and his father's financial independence and purity that said evil powers can be overthrown. It's the classic anti-capitalist story. It's also the classic underdog fable. And to tell you the truth, that is exactly the story that I wanted to watch. If the story had been any more complicated, it would have been a distraction.

The acting.. well, there's not much acting really. It was more like mugging for the camera, a steering wheel prop in hand, with the knowledge CGI will fill in the blanks. But I have to gave props to Matthew Fox and John Goodman. Fox got that badass-ness about him that was absolutely needed for his character. And he did a really god job. So was Goodman as Pops, towering above every character, in every scene he's in. Emile Hirsch did a decent job, Susan Sarandon brings the MILF-ness, Christina Ricci is weirdly hot in every movie she's been in since 'The Opposite Of Sex', and Paulie Litt and that chimp is dead on similar to the anime version of Spritle and Chim Chim.

This film is not necessarily just for fans of the Speed Racer anime - my wife, who never knew about the existence of Speed Racer until now, loves the movie so much that she demanded a revisit to the movie theater. Well, I would love to watch this movie again on the IMAX theater, just to see what it will do to my retinas. But as far as I'm concerned, if you wanted a new experience in cinema, if you're ready for one of the most genuinely confounding film in years, if you like fast moving racing cars, if you wanted to have an euphoric blissful visual trip without actually taking any drugs and of course, if you are not epileptic, I guarantee you will enjoy Speed Racer as much as I do.

Go Speed Racer Go !!

SPORTS : Champion Again!