austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

He's a demon on wheels

I saw on the Cartoon Brew blog positive mention of the trailer for the oncoming Speed Racer movie, and the things that were positive about the comments -- particularly that they seemed to be capturing important parts of the spirit of the original, down to some of the original sound effects and that weird dialogue where even the characters who aren't speaking in code appear to be speaking in code -- I clicked to look at the trailer. At the AOL site housing the trailers I clicked the ``Watch Trailer'' link, which I imagined would let me watch the trailer. This brought up a warning that this content was not authorized for my area yet and one I clicked the nondescript warning button it presented a little movie panel which downloaded without any threat of ever playing.

So I tried again on the ``Watch the exclusive new trailer in HD:'' links, which offer, helpfully, buttons labelled ``480'', ``720'', and ``1080''. This probably means something to people who actually care about the difference between normal television and HD television, but my rough tastes still can't even tell for sure whether the audio is in stereo so the alleged improvements in picture clarity are lost on me. I did click on the 1080 link since usually with this sort of thing a bigger number means more extra double plus good, and soon Quicktime opened up a window several times the size of my computer screen. Apparently my computer is not 1080. (It doesn't look a day over 768.) I clicked on ``half size'' and waited for the file to download, eventually.

And when we get to the action, there's that exciting musical sting and bit from the opening credits of the cartoon, that checkerboard pattern, and then the image froze partway through a screen refresh. The trailer staggered on that way, with a few seconds of motion, a frozen picture, and then odd bits of dialogue. Occasionally the movement on-screen matched the dialogue, but often it was out of synch, and very often what would happen is there'd be a still or nearly still picture implying action while music or speech was going on.

Most likely this is just an artifact of my computer not handling such a huge video file as quickly as it needed, but you have to admit, the effect certainly captures the spirit of the original cartoon.

Trivia: Picric acid was first synthesized in 1771, and was used as an artificial dye for silk and wool. Source: Napoleon's Buttons, Penny Le Couteur, Jay Burreson.

Currently Reading: Starchild, Frederik Pohl, Jack Williamson.


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