Hurt Squirrels
Go Speed Racer
4/23/2003 4:22 PM
I picked up the new Speed Racer DVD last night and zipped through most of it. It wasn't too bad, but there was much room for improvement; there were several basic extras they could've added. However, I'm guessing they wanted to keep it an affordable not-quite-bare-bones release. Maybe in a year or two I'll be shelling out for the super deluxe ultra version. You know I will be.

The episodes themselves (the first eleven of the series) looked and sounded okay, but not spectacular. Still, they were fairly clean and better than the ones being broadcast, and I wasn't expecting a lot from a show that's nearly 40 years old. What really struck me was how well the show itself was directed. There were a couple moments when I almost thought I was watching a Kurosawa movie. Almost. But there was a lot of rain in these episodes.

As for the extras, most of it was fluff. Short cast bios, a Villains Gallery, theme song lyrics...pretty dull. The explanation of the Mach 5 control panel is listed directly from the first three minutes of the second episode. Another available "extra" is what I presume is the opening credits of the 1993 remake, causing the words "God awful" to come to mind. Glad I missed it. Also mentioned is the 1996 Honda GTO commercial. Gosh, that seems like something that would...I don't know...BE A COOL DVD EXTRA, PERHAPS?! Too bad they couldn't wedge that one in.

Ah yes, the packaging is pretty nice. The case enclosed by a rubber-coated slip-cover that resembles a tire. I'm a sucker for creative packaging. Of course, nothing has yet to surpass my pink fuzzy angora-coated Ed Wood box set, but I digress. The back cover of the enclosed booklet includes an English translation of the original Japanese theme song lyrics. Gosh, that seems like something that would...I don't know...BE A COOL DVD EXTRA, PERHAPS?! Many DVDs have multiple languages available; would it have been so hard to include the original Japanese?

However, I've focused too much on the negative. Despite these shortcomings, I'm quite pleased with the disc. It's especially worth it since I got it on sale for only $13. Hell, I would've paid twice that, at least. I give it eight thumbs up.

Previous | Index | Next