Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...The Mach 5. An instrument of precision, speed, and true badassedness, this car can do amazing things. Bulletproof glass, re-inflatable tires, traction spikes to climb up icy cliffs, a jump boost feature, and safety foam protection systems...just in case you wreck the thing. Yes, the Mach 5 has it all, and it's pretty fucking sexy. And so is Speed Racer, the IMAX experience.
This past weekend I took my brother and my girlfriend down to Atlantic City, just to see Speed Racer in IMAX. In the past couple of years, I've made it a habit to go and see at least one movie a year in IMAX, and it hasn't done me wrong yet. (Though, for the record, the movie least improved by an IMAX showing is Poseidon in my opinion. NOTHING could save that ship.) For the uninitiated, IMAX is a larger format than the traditional movie theatre. The screen IS one of the walls in the room, it fills your field of vision, and it's got kick assed surround sound. Now imagine a hypercolorized, adrenaline addicted film being shown in such a venue, and you have an idea of how I spent part of my Saturday night.
I'll admit, seeing the trailers made me excited to see the movie, but it wasn't something I obsessed over. I left the obsessing to Indiana Jones and The Dark Knight. (Which will also be in IMAX.) But when I heard it was in IMAX, I leaped at the chance to see it. (Especially since I've been kicking myself for not having time to see Shine A Light in IMAX.) I planned on taking my brother, Lewis (the middle brother of the three of us) and my girlfriend, Danielle, to go see this movie and our schedules aligned this weekend. An hour and ten minutes after departing, we got to the Tropicana Casino, valet parked the car, and made our way to the IMAX theatre house in the French Quarter. Three tickets and around an hour's wait later, we were seated in the theatre, and after some decent trailers (I actually want to see Kung Fu Panda now.) the screen burst out with a kaleidoscope of colors. Michael Giacchino's score swelled up, and just as the opening logo revealed itself, I knew I was going to like this movie. This movie is one giant cartoon, a living, breathing, amazingly entertaining cartoon. It's a film heavily dependent on your inner child, and whether or not they're stuck at summer camp for eternity, or if they're sitting in the living room reading comics and drawing cool designs for rocketships. I don't have to tell you which one will enjoy the film more.
One of the best things about that night however wasn't the movie, but the reaction my brother and I had to it. My brother is fifteen now, and he's in that phase in his life where teenage rebellion has set in, and he's not as easily impressed or wowed by things. Gone is the little lad who would talk to me with his Eeyore, and here is the kid who's playing his Bass to AFI and New Found Glory. It's an adjustment when you see the ones you love grow up and seem to put away their toys of childhood, and it's a hard one at that. You keep half expecting them to pick up their stuffed animals and play again, but you know it's not happening and you try to find some other level to connect on with them. I've found that level with Lew, but sometimes it's not easy to maintain. That night though, his inner child met my inner child and our jaws hit the floor. The nine years between us left the room, and we were both six, reborn in the UberTechnicolor glow of The Mach 5, Royalton Industries, Casa Cristo, and The Grand Prix. When Speed raced through the final finish line, in a brilliant explosion of light and sound, there were no words for how amazing it was.
In case you were wondering, Danielle enjoyed the movie as well, but not on the same level as us guys. The whole evening's experience was amazing, because for a night, I saw Lewis geek out. For a night, my brother and I weren't separated by our ages and differing generational views on pop culture, we were both geeks. I intend on taking my best friend and both my brothers to see it, because Lewis and I are dying for a second lap. Plus, we'll get to once again marvel at the awe inspiring beauty that is Christina Ricci as Trixie.