This Week’s Pick: Speed Racer

By Johnna Rizzo

Do you feel the need, the need for Speed? If so you’re in luck this week as Warner Bros. unleashes the pioneering anime hero from the early 70s, one Speed Racer, to rev up moviegoers.

Speed Racer’s gone from cartoon to live-action in the remake, packed with high-caliber stars like Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon. The look remains high-gloss slick, with a colorful kick. And Speed's girlfriend Trixie’s still there, with just the right touch of glamour, courtesy of Ricci. But diehard fans will notice one difference: Speed partnering up for the big race (The Crucible, the same race that killed his brother Rex Racer) with cartoon-version rival Racer X, played by Fox. Speed, played by Hirsch, and Racer X buddy up to beat the newest baddies on the scene, Royalton Industries, who are looking to take over Speed’s family’s business.

The movie isn’t the only way to get into the Speed Racer spirit. A real-life version of Speed’s iconic car, The Mach 5, debuted at last summer’s Comic-con convention, but now you can refuel your childhood fantasy on a smaller scale, or get your little ones hooked on the hero, with a die-cast mini Mach 5. Courtesy of old-school staple Hot Wheels, the little ride can be had for about half the price of a movie ticket.

Though it’s not quite as wallet-friendly, hour-upon hour can be spent with the film’s cast in-home. Add a little high-octane to your living room via Speed Racer: The Videogame for Nintendo DS and Wii, timed to the movie’s wide release. Grand Theft Auto who? Go, Speed Racer, go.

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