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Trailers from Hell: Josh Olson on Wachowskis' Overlooked and Underrated Flop, 'Speed Racer'

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood April 15, 2013 at 11:27AM

Overlooked and Underrated Week begins at Trailers from Hell with screenwriter Josh Olson introducing the Wachowskis' $120 million live-action version of Tatsuo Yoshida's 52-episode anime series, "Speed Racer," a major critical and commercial flop.
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Emile Hirsch in "Speed Racer."
Emile Hirsch in "Speed Racer."

Overlooked and Underrated Week begins at Trailers from Hell with screenwriter Josh Olson introducing the Wachowskis' $120 million live-action version of Tatsuo Yoshida's 52-episode anime series, "Speed Racer," a major critical and commercial flop.

The film underwent 17 years of development, and involved such names as Julien Temple, Gus Van Sant,  Alfonso Cuaron, J.J. Abrams, Vince Vaughan, Johnny Depp and more. Shot largely against Greenscreen at Germany's Babelsberg Studios, the unnecessarily convoluted plot confused kids and bored adults, but its brilliantly realized cinematics are destined to be cited as a milestone in the advancement of filmic storytelling techniques.

This article is related to: Trailers, Trailers, Trailers from Hell, Video, Video, Wachowskis, Emile Hirsch


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.