If you're looking for a meaningful film with moments of quiet dignity, Speed Racer, out today on DVD/BD, won't be for you. But if you're easily distracted by shiny, fast-moving objects and bright colors, this hectic, hyperreal skittle of a movie will be right up your alley--and your kids', too. As a devoted fan of the cartoon as a kid, I was initially disappointed to hear the Wachowski brothers (for whom I'd lost all respect for after the last two Matrix debacles), were behind this live-action weirdness. But Speed, about a star race car driver living in the shadow of his older brother, turns out to be rapid-fire entertainment--just check your brain cells at the door.
In it, Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) stars as Speed, a natural behind the wheel of his Mach 5, who battles evil corporate shenanigans by entering a major race with the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox). He's supported by his loyal family and pixieish galpal Trixie (Christina Ricci). All leads up to this big race, which has the race cars and their drivers spinning, dodging and colliding their way around a rainbow-hued roller coaster track at impossible speeds. With their spectacular visuals, the Wachowskis prove they're moviemaking vanguards who know how to keep an audience entertained.
Extras: The DVD has two featurettes, a set tour with Paulie Litt (who plays Speed's little brother Spritle) and a look at the film's cars and twizzler-twisting racetracks. The Blu-ray has those, plus a look at the moviemaking process, a DVD game and digital copy.
Overall: This seizure-iffic special effects dazzler takes you on a wild ride so frenetic you might find yourself staring agape at the screen with no time to stop and pay attention to the sometimes incoherent plot. Watch in eye-popping high-def if you can.
New on Blu-Ray: 'Pirates of the Caribbean' boxed-up booty
Ready to sail the Blu seas with one of this decade's most popular trilogies? Now's your chance, with a new 6-disc high-def box set that includes the three blockbusters plus a treasure trove of extras. Definitely worth a look are the blooper reel; "Enter the Maelstrom," an immersive, so to speak, look at the making of the third film's bombastic finale; and the exclusive BD game Liar's Dice, an entertaining game of chance. It's the only new feature--so if you've already got them on Blu-ray, there's nothing groundbreaking here. But if you're new to Blu, come aboard.