Go Speed Racer Go!

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Brief Synopsis:
Speed Racer follows in the footsteps of his big brother Rex, becoming a hometown hero in auto racing before learning the horrible truth about the industry. With his career and his family's future at stake, he must accomplish what his brother once tried to do - get behind the wheel, change the future of the sport.

In this new edit which includes a shiny new color grade, shortcuts were found and corners were shaved off to achieve a new track record of 117 minutes!
I felt like the color grade was too oversaturated -- instead of complementing the vibrant hues of the art direction, it just becomes visual noise. I also felt like the filmmakers must have had a need to balance out some of the intensity of the movie with comic relief moments that don't go anywhere and scenes that repeat what audiences could already infer. The comedy relief goes against the film's non-stop fast-paced attitude, and the repetitive exposition goes against the Wachowskis' own ideals that even when making a "Movie for kids" the audience doesn't need everything spelled out for them if you can convey the general idea with visual storytelling.
Additional Notes:
Most of the cuts I made, involving either Spritle, or Speed as a kid, recontextualize what Siblinghood means in this film. I believe that this film, like anything written from the heart, is a bit autobiographical. (Just take Mom's speech at the midpoint and replace "Races" with "Movies" for example.) Whether subconsciously or not, I feel that the sibling relationships between Rex, Speed, and Spritle may have been inspired at some point by that of Lily & Lana Wachowski. However, taking the young characters' actions and boiling them down to "Kids doing funny things" kind of hides that, but when we take those scenes away we see how much heart really lies within these characters.
Other Sources:
Speed Racer (2008) Theatrical Trailer - used the logo animations to create the opening title.
Special Thanks:
ArtIsDead - for being genuinely cool and enthusiastic.

Futon88 - for providing eagle-eyed feedback and notes

ThatOneBatBear (not a forum member) - for being the best, and bearing with me.

All of the original cast and crew - for making a film about how you can thrive in your art despite how the industry may mistreat you for breaking from the mould. (Lana & Lily, I see you.)
Release Information:
  • Digital
Editing Details:
I started with the color grade, as that initially was the only thing I felt was absolutely necessary -- Rec. 709 was not made for that sort of saturation! Additionally, I felt that the color temperature was a little too cool and the blues needed to lean more toward cyan. Shadows needed a lift and skintones were a bit too pink.

Color grade consists of some basic Temperature and Curve adjustments, followed by HSL curves, then a Bleach Bypass filter with a Kodak Film LUT in the Luminance channel, and finally some softglow and grain.

Then I cut the scenes that I felt were a definite skip. Then, after I challenged myself to get the film down to the 2 Hour mark I got obsessed, and kept chopping it up until the whole thing was just a mess. Then, I started from scratch.

At one point, I found the original screenplay online and discovered the changes between the script and the movie. Did any of these cuts create loose ends in other scenes? Were there any late additions that weren't necessary? Was anything rearranged in a way that might have been more jarring than it was in the script?
Cuts and Additions:
ADDITION: Title card including the standard disclaimer, a fanedit credit for myself, and at the top, credit to the original movie using the directors' correct preferred names.
ADDITION: Animation of the FANEDIT.ORG logo and wordmark flying into the kaleidoscopic opening title animation.
ADDITION: The caption "Silver Pictures" now accompanies said company's logo.
REPLACEMENT: The red and blue "SPEED RACER" title flying into frame is replaced by title animations taken from the theatrical trailers, arranged to read "Go Speed Racer Go".
CUT: A few seconds of Speed erasing an answer.
CUT: Speed looking at the clock, imagining it as a stopwatch at the start of a race, and getting to work on his test at the sound of a starting gun.
MOVED: The scene of Mom and the teacher talking has been moved to after Speed's imaginary race. The movie works better if it starts right away with the most stylized sequence.
CUT: Mom's line "He couldn't be here"
CUT: Speed leaving class as soon as the bell rings, then getting picked up by Rex, whom he convinces to take him to the track. The backgrounds look a bit garrish here, and the dialogue doesn't convey Rex & Speed's relationship as well as the scene on the racetrack.
CUT: The flash forward to Speed getting ready for a race starts a bit later to make it flow well as a transition.
CUT: Rex telling Speed to close his eyes when he listens to the car. He does still say that Ben Burns drove the final lap of the Vanderbilt Cup with his eyes closed, though.

CUT: A couple shots from the gag where Spritle gives the binoculars to Chim-Chim and then promptly gives them back. Better comedic timing this way.
CUT: Trixie's flashback has been reduced to just the scene in Pops' Garage. The scenes with the other school kids are too slow and seem pointless other than to introduce Trixie... which is better served by seeing her inseparable from Speed from the get go, and intrigued by danger when Rex gets a bomb in the mail.
CUT: The line "Rex Racer nearly took Yokima's head off with that jump."
CUT: Everything in-between young Speed watching TV announcers badmouth Rex to him punching a loudmouth kid for doing the same.
CUT: Some unconvincing shots of the kids fighting, as well as the British colloquialism "Crumbum"... ???

CUT: The scene of Spritle and Chim-Chim watching anime, jumping on the couch, and declining phone offers on Speed's behalf. Funny stuff, but Sparky reading the paper makes a better start to the breakfast table sequence.
CUT: Spritle's line "The kitchen is the most dangerous place in an earthquake!" is cut for comedic pacing.
CUT: Back and forth of Pops not hearing Royalton speak at the door.
CUT: Royalton hesitating Mom's pancake offer.
CUT: Royalton listing Pancake ingredients and qualities. Now he says "Gorgeous, Mrs. Racer. Absolutely gorgeous!"
CUT: Royalton talking about owning a packaged foods company before taking a memo about the pancakes. Overall, Royalton is just more eager about the pancakes in this edit.

CUT: Royalton's line "Only 6 are granted a year". Makes the music too jarring with the next cut.
CUT: The flight attendant offering Spritle & Chim-Chim candy, and Pops limiting them to one piece each. This scene (especially the Hallelujah chorus) got a laugh from me and my boyfriend but it sets up a chain of events that derails the whole character IMO.
ADDITION: Barn-door wipe transition to bridge two scenes I pushed together.
CUT: The scene of Royalton showing the Racer family around the penthouse suite before sitting them down to talk business.
COLOR: Nighttime scene of Racer X saving Taejo from Cruncher Block has extra brightness added for visibility in night driving sequences.
MOVED: Scene of Royalton and Musha striking a deal has been moved earlier, to right after X saves Taejo. BEFORE the date scene.
CUT: Speed and Trixie getting out and walking around the back of the Mach 5. Instead we get a smash cut to Speed opening the trunk to reveal Spritle.
CUT: Spritle's lines "No, don't do that! We couldn't sleep, we just wanna hang out!" and "By the way, cooties shot." I kept the line "We didn't know you were going to in-spew-ation point!" (fun fact: the line "Can we stop for ice-cream first? was originally written to be after the trunk closes on Spritle.)

5. ROYALTON'S HISTORY LESSON (in which i remove all the unnecessary comedic filler.)
MOVED: Spritle & Chim-Chim poking their heads out of a drawer in the K-Harrier has been moved to later.
CUT: Spritle & Chim-Chim finding the candy stash.
CUT: Scene of Spritle & Chim-Chim, having gone through said candy, sneaking out upon a visit from the janitor.
CUT: Royalton's line "Look - There is the true spirit of the golden age of racing." ...The camera flash makes a better transition point.
CUT: Scene of Spritle & Chim-Chim joyriding through Royalton Tower on a Go-Kart to the guitar solo from Free Bird. (This has been replaced with them poking their heads out.)
CUT: Some fragments from Royalton's monologue - "It was already decided", "They met there as they had for years. They met...", "That year Goldman was supposed to win, but he knew that if he sold his win to Sirrus, whatever that win might be worth was nothing compared to what could be gained." Simplifying these lines made the whole monologue less confusing.
FRAMING: To hide the chocolate on Spritle's face when he sees Royalton manufacturing cheating devices, I added a dramatic zoom on Spritle's eyes.
CUT: The scene of Speed in the locker room after the Fuji Helexicon, talking to Ben Burns. This was a late addition and is never brought up again by Speed. Without it, it's more vague whether or not Royalton is lying, and the flash-forward to Fuji is less chronologically confusing.
ADDITION: Some extra frames of the elevator doors as the newspaper Sparky's reading wipes the frame into the next scene. This was a pain in the butt to rotoscope.

CUT: Spritle & Chim-Chim jumping behind the couch after answering the door to Racer X
AUDIO/MOVED: The sound of them freaking out, music and all, is added to the shot of X telling Inspector Detector "This was a bad Idea." albeit muffled behind the door.
CUT: Pops walking over to the door before opening it.
CUT: Spritle & Chim-Chim pretending to watch a show in German that features a monkey. Again, funny but it stops the movie dead in its tracks.
CUT: Speed's line "I don't know anything about corporate crimes and honestly if I did it wouldn't really matter." Uhh... he just got the whole spiel from Royalton and was pretty broken up about it.
CUT / MOVED AUDIO: When Goodboy Jones says that the cheaters are just a few bad apples, instead of seeing him speak, this is juxtaposed with the X-Ray shots of cheating devices in the cars.
CUT: Some of the race sequence in the archways, namely the sequence involving a blue car with a slime gun.
COLOR: The desert sequence has extra brightness added to make it look like an especially arid environment.
CUT: Cruncher Block bribing the various groups of "headhunters" there are some beautiful shots in here, (The mercenaries with dollar signs in their eyes overlooking the race; the transitional shot of the cars racing over moving hills of sand, and THE MUSIC) but the inclusion of cutaways to explain that these are bad guys is perplexing.
CUT: One of the hired goons launching a beehive, and it landing on her own head. The focus of the scene should be Speed and X's teamwork, not hilarious boobytraps.
CUT: Scene of Spritle & Chim-Chim sunbathing while Pops mows the lawn, then sneaking back inside to watch the race only to find out that Speed is participating. In my edit, this scene just starts with them getting caught watching the race.

CUT: Cruncher Block on the phone to Royalton. The scene interrupts Speed wondering about Racer X's identity, and we don't need it re-explained that they're in cahoots.
CUT: Speed's line "Nothing could be proved." Instead, he just trails off.
CUT: A few frames here and there during Pops and Speed's argument. Speed's line "Maybe Not."
CUT: Spritle's line "Woohoo! Room service!"
COLOR: Added brightness for visibility when a ninja attacks Racer X
CUT: Snake Oiler launching a snake at another driver.
CUT: Cruncher’s henchmen telling them the signal’s loud and clear
CUT: The first three lines from Speed and Trixie’s exchange about catching up to Snake.
ADDITION: A wide shot from those first three lines
CUT: Sparky’s line “Woohoo! Go get ‘em girl.”

CUT: Horuko’s line “My security man still believes I am at the opera.”
CUT: Speed’s line “It’s Fine”
CUT: Crowd shot with the Mach 6 and GRX pinned together on screen
MOVED: Spritle’s line “That cheater, he’s using a Spearhook!” has been moved to after it’s shown on screen.
MOVED: Racer X’s two reaction shots to Speed and Cannonball slugging it out, which have been moved to when Speed cleverly uses the TV cameras to reveal Cannonball’s Spearhook.
ADDITION: Camera flash effect when the Mach 6 and GRX pass by the camera
CUT: The rest of the previous shot after the camera flash.
CUT: Shot of various TV announcers reacting to the spearhook. (Audio is used for X’s first reaction shot.)
CUT: Part of the shot where Royalton is pacing angrily. (audio is used for second reaction from X)
CUT: Announcers announcing as Speed sits idle. Sparky spouting techno-jargon about nickel-hydrate cells.
CUT: Flashback of Racer X telling Speed “You don’t climb into a T-180 to be a driver
ADDITION: Possibly my proudest moment as a faneditor so far – after Spritle whispers “He’s gonna do it…” we flashback to young Speed saying “Nobody’s gonna catch him! He’s gonna win it. My brother’s the best racer in the world, everybody else is just running for second.” as present-day speed zips through a curve, we hear his younger self screaming “Yeah!”
THAT is how you make Spritle’s character
CUT: Removed the word ‘that’ from Mom’s line in a flashback – “When I watch you do some of the things you do… that you just take my breath away”
CUT: The freeze-frame during Speed and Trixie’s kiss, and Spritle & Chim-Chims warning to the uninoculated/cooties-sensitive viewers.
ADDITION: Camera flash effect as the kiss goes from full-speed with round bokeh to slow-mo with heart-shaped bokeh.
CUT: The last chord of the score is now matched with the first chord of the credits music
CHANGE: Corrected the Writer/Director credit to just “The Wachowskis”
CUT: The Wachowskis’ Executive Producer credit that includes their deadnames.
CUT: Shots of Chim-Chim in the End Credits that don’t have any credits in them
CHANGE: Sped up the rolling credits to fit the music.

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(Updated: October 04, 2023)
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FULL DISCLOSURE: I was asked to preview this edit and had a hand in the approval process. Having said that, the edit came to me in a state that was highly polished and very close to perfect, in my opinion. My input was minimal, and many of the small tweaks that made their way into the finished product came directly from the editor as they iterated a few more times near the end.


Essentially perfect, and the editor was very cognizant of some of the challenges presented by the source material on this front.


All of the cuts and transitions were seamless, with at least one feeling very much like an original transition.


Basically perfect, and there was at least one amazing bit of audio editing that I thought was in the original, but was actually added by this editor.


All of the dead-ends and kid-focused side quests were removed, and the narrative was thus improved.


I had many false starts over the years as I tried to watch this movie. I value the Wachowskis and their bravery, but I could never get to the point in the movie where I was hooked and it would just diesel away to the finish line. The Spritle interludes pulled me out of it every time.

This version just works. For me, the moment where the style becomes secondary and I find myself hooked is during Casa Cristo, and specifically that moment after Trixie removes her helmet and there's a bit of natural bickering between her and Speed, with X interjecting as if he's their older brother. It's the first moment where they feel like three normal people, and X no longer feels like a nameless cipher. The movie only gets better from that point on, and the stunning checkboard finish doesn't fail to impress, even after multiple viewings.

Since my enjoyment of this version is higher than the original, I score this a 10.

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