A month ago I blogged about Warner Brothers generously 'inviting' people to traipse over to Holborn just to see a 5 minute preview from 'Speed Racer' (here). At the time they were saying there would be no full previews, so this was 'a real opportunity'.
I had a whinge about how ridiculous film promotion has become if Warner Bros really expected bloggers and reviewers to travel at their own expense just to see a 5 minute trailer, and this drew a hilarious, irate response about me being 'classless, insecure and mean-spirited' from someone identifying themself as 'Anonymous' who apparently wanted to hit me over the head repeatedly with a hammer. I think we can all guess which film company 'Anonymous' might have worked for!
Well it seems Warners had second thoughts, and decided to hold preview screenings of the film, which opens nationwide on Sunday 9th May, after all.
For some reason ;-) I wasn't invited.
But I went anyway!
And to my surprise I liked it!
The film has its faults - it's half an hour too long with one endless climax after another for one thing (Peter Jackson's Return of the King has got a lot to answer for!)
And the first half hour is confusing as hell, even for adults, with endless sudden switches between the past and the present and what a person is imagining rather than what is actually happening.
But it's a MUCH better movie than I'd expected given all the secrecy around the project, reports of it being 'in trouble' and that ridiculous 'We're only showing people a 5 minute preview' email.
Think Tron updated for 2008 and you've pretty much got the feel of it. Every penny of the $200 million spent on it is up there on screen, and I'd say I don't think I've seen so much endless eye candy in a film for a long, long time.
I mention all this now (some two weeks before the film is due out) just in case anyone was put off going to see it by my original 'Promotional Madness' blog post. This is a film that needs to be seen on the big screen, in the same way that 300 and Transformers were - and ideally at an IMAX cinema which is launching the film day and date with 'ordinary' cinema's.
Advance tickets will likely sell out fast as 'word of mouth' spreads, so if you're tempted I'd say book your seat now. Much of what's on show here is as ground-breaking as the same directors' work on The Matrix was, so I'm ALMOST prepared to forgive The Wachowski Brothers for the dreadful second and third Matrix movies (let's not get too carried away - I said 'almost').