speed racer

Review: Dragonball: Evolution

Review of:  Dragonball: Evolution dragonball-movie-poster Overall Rating: 8

Dragon Ball: Evolution is not a great movie, it is not even a good movie but it does do one thing well which is the most important requirement of a movie… it is a really fun movie.  This is a niche movie and thus will not appeal to movie goers beyond those in the niche market.  For those fans Dragonball: Evolution rocks and I highly recommend watching it in the theaters.

Are you the type of person who will love this movie?  If you like silly fun martial arts movies then you will love this movie.  If you liked: Bullet Proof Monk, the Mortal Combat movies, speed racer, or the Shaw Brothers films then you will love this movie.  If not then this is not a movie for you.

Dragonball: Evolution captures the spirit and feel of Dragonball so brilliantly that we even had a debate whether it would cause some dissent amongst the Dragon Ball Z fans because of the subtle differences between the series.

If you pass the niche test and are debating whether to watch this movie in the theaters or just to rent it I recommend seeing it in the theater.  This is one of those movies that really takes advantage of the theater experience giving more depth to the adventure through the rumble boxes and seeing the fights larger than life.

Although the pace is brilliant and they kept the story fun the story is fluff.  This movie lacks any deeper meaning or thought educing moments.  This is not a requirement for every movie since some times it’s just good to sit back and be entertained but beyond the light message of “believe in yourself” and some enemies can not be overcome with force.

For more on Dragonball: Evolution read Theater or Renter: April 2009 here


  1. Good Dragonball film
  2. Shen Long looks awesome
  3. It has a really good pace
  4. They did a great job capturing the characters, Yamcha’s voice, their interactions, master Muten Roshi was even the perverted old man.
  5. The action sequences were fun and funny
  6. Piccolo was not as much of a power ranger villain as the promotions made him out to be, in context his outfit looked good.
  7. The capsule car rocked
  8. magic looked good
  9. Oozaru looked good
  10. i like that they didn’t dwell on the grandfather Gohan’s death yet used him as an inspirational force and motivator for Goku
  11. I like how he overcame the Oozaru
  12. I liked how they handle the romantic parts of the film with the focus on love and relationship and not sex and pornography

Dislikes / Concerns

  1. This is not a mass appeal movie
  2. Shen Long was too small
  3. the animated hair looked fake
  4. This movie is just fluff, there is really nothing deeper to it.

Get more Dragonball and Dragon Ball Z - Season One (Vegeta Saga)'>Dragonball Z  here from amazon

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JMS on Forbidden Planet, World War Z, Lensmen and Last Words

Image via Wikipedia

J. Michael Straczynski has given us a bunch of updates:

Forbidden Planet

I'm on draft two of Forbidden Planet, and the process is going well, very exciting stuff, and I hope I can talk about some of that in more detail soonish (JMSNews).

While I am not a big fan of remakes, if anyone could make this movie right, it's Joe.  Rumors persist that the new Forbidden Planet will be a trilogy explaining what happened to the Krell.  I cannot wait to learn more.

World War Z

About to make the final touches to World War Z, then with any luck we can get this thing into pre-productoin also soonish (JMSNews).

I am a little tired of Zombie movies.  The book was good and the audiobook was better.  I am curious how they are going to do the film.


Draft One of Lensman is in, now working on draft two (JMSNews).

The Lensmen is E. E. Smith's Space Opera masterpiece which defined an entire genre.  The very notion of the creator of Babylon 5 working on what will hopefully be to first film in the series makes me as giddy as a kid on Christmas Eve.  Note to Hollywood: Green light this film!

Ninja Assassin

There have been a couple of previews for Ninja Assassin, and the audience scores have been just terrific. I have a suspicion that this is going to do very well (JMSNews) .

This is the next film from the Wachowski brothers who made The Matrix, V for Vendetta, and Speed Racer.  Need I say any more?

Last Words

The pilot script for Last Words has gone in to Dreamworks, and they're very very pleased with the script. So we'll see where this goes (JMSNews).

Wait a minute... Joe + Dreanworks + pilot = awesome series I need to see.

Other News

Interestingly, due to all the writing work, I've lately begun to be offered directing gigs, most of it in the SF genre (natch). Nothing has grabbed me enough yet to want to tackle it, but we'll see what the future holds. A couple of studios have extended the offer for me to write and direct my own stuff, which is pretty cool.

My agent has forbidden me to take on any other screenplay assignments until March/April, but some projects have begun to circle Casa Straczynski of late, looking for an open place to land when an opening comes. Some very cool stuff on the horizon (JMSNews).

Anything I get from Joe, I am ready to go.  Great news all around.

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Speed Racer Stunning Experience You Will Enjoy

speedracerdvd I am excited that Speed Racer is going to be released on DVD Tuesday September 16th.  At release this film got mixed reviews but most of that was because those that wouldn't get the film didn't.  It's sad because this film was brilliantly filmed, maintained an immaculate reality, and left the viewer with the feel of having watched an intense race.  You can read my full review where I point out the pros and cons of the movie.  For Me it's definitely an owner. stars-5 Get your copy of Speed Racer on DVD here!

Speed Racer is a great story about a young man who has to stand up and fight against tremendous odds and corporate interests who threaten his family and his world view: racing is about the quality of drivers and not a fixed sport.

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Speed Racer Like a Good Race Should Be

Speed Racer Movie PosterReview of: Speed Racer Overall Rating: 10 A+

Watch trailer here

Speed Racer blew me away! The Wachowski Brothers does it again. They took on a challenging project where they had to blend in the anime ascetic, live action and keep to the spirit of the original Speed Racer cartoon which carries the baggage of the late 60's cartooning style.

They actually achieve an immaculate reality with this project. The beginning will be a little rough for some as the audience gets pulled into the story and setting which has a very different visual style than what today's typical audience is used to. They also use the visual and camera style to create a feel that one would experience from watching an auto race which can be jarring and disorientating. Once into that reality they maintain it brilliantly and overall I was left feeling the same way I do after watching a really good race... exhilarated!

Speed Racer also has a great story which is about a young man who has to stand up and fight against great odds and corporate interests who threaten his family and his world view: racing is about the quality of drivers and not a fixed sport.


  • Brilliant balance between action, drama, and comedy
  • Thrilling and suspenseful like a good race should be
  • They were able to take a project where a decent portion of the audience knew ahead of time a lot of the key plot points and yet keep the plot points exciting.
  • Visually stunning and supportive of the story and spirit of racing.
  • the intro: how they broke up the first race with the flashbacks bringing the audience up to speed both on story and on the racing filming effect
  • The cuts to the race commentators was a nice tool to bring in more back story without slowing down the film.
  • The effects are not photo realistic but they were consistent with the film and the style set up so that it didn't pull me out of speed racers reality. Even it takes a few minutes at the beginning of the film to get used to it.
  • The acting was well done.

Dislikes / Concerns

  • concern: the first 5-10 minutes of the film. The Wachowski Brothers had a very high bar to cross to bring the audience into the reality of the setting and so the beginning could be difficult for some to cross.
  • concern: the filming style for the race could be found jarring and confusing turning off those audience members who are more susceptible to motion sickness.
  • concern: those who do not understand or have a background in the anime style may not like the filming style since the Wachowski Brothers did such a nice job adapting that style into live action.
  • Needed more Christina Ricci

For more information on Speed Racer

Get your copy of Speed Racer

May "Theater Or Renter?"

It's time once again for our favorite game "Theater Or Renter?" Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then Put in your comments below the trailer: does the trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

For May we have four movies:

Iron Man: [Watch trailer here]

Release Date May 2nd. Official Site. Listed as Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi.

The story from the official site: Tony Stark a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devasting weapon. Instead he builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. when he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications he puts on his powerful armor and vows to protect the word as the superhero Iron Man.

Other posts related to the movie: Iron Monger v Iron Man

Speed Racer: [Watch trailer here]

Release Date May 9nd. Official Site. Listed as Action, Family, Sport.

The story from the official site: Speed Racer is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive and fearless. His only real competition is the memory of his brother Rex Racer who death in a race left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill. When Speed's family racing business is threatened he has to beat Royalton in the very same race that took his brother's life, a cross-country rally called The Crucible.

Prince_Caspian_movie_poster The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: [Watch trailer here]

Release Date May 16th. Official Site. Listed as Adventure, Family, Fantasy.

The story via Wikipedia: 1941: a year has passed in our world since the first adventure ended, but in Narnia, almost 1,300 years have passed, and now it is time for the Pevensie children to return and make history. The villainous King Miraz prevents the rightful king, his young nephew Prince Caspian, from ruling the land of Narnia. Caspian uses Susan's magic horn that was left in Narnia to summon the four Pevensies to help him and a small army of Old Narnians reclaim his rightful throne.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: [Watch trailer here]

Release Date May 23rd. Official Site. Listed as Action, Adventure.

The story from the official site: It's been 18 years since the Last Crusade and Indiana gets pulled back into action chasing after the mythological Crystal Skull trying to keep the soviets from getting it first. His journey takes him from Connecticut, through New Mexico, the Jungles of Peru and Mexico City.

Speed Racer Trailer Thrills

I am shocked and horrified to be saying this, but the first trailer for the up coming anime to live-action film Speed Racer is out, and I have to say... I think I actually liked it. The FX were a bit cartoonish, but at least in the trailer it looks like it works out. It is rare that a flick surprises me this early, so I will keep a close eye on this in future. Check out the Speed Racer (2008) Trailer No. 1 in the Project: Shadow HQ.