I didn't say research everything, just the bare basics. The very bare minimum. I'm not proclaiming every critic needs to do this, but has to be some self awareness. If you don't know what you're getting into, than look up a clip or two. Maybe a small article. Not an 100,000,000 word encyclopedia knowing every Mario character, story, and lore dump across 30 years. Bowser captures Peach; Mario and Luigi has to rescue her and Peach's kingdom. That's the simplest of gist that is easy to digest and understand. Besides, while Mario is faithful, it changes a few things for the better and still does it's own thing to stand out and be fun. It's called being familiar, but creative.
You shouldn't have to research anything
, certainly not for a work of fiction. Ideally, you'd want to be as unfamiliar with a work as possible going in, in order to be as unbiased as possible. That isn't practical of course, but in the realm of practicalities, I have no doubt that you, everyone, has seen a film at some point where they had no prior knowledge about the film and/or its source material going in. Sticking to animation, I'd be willing to bet that people who saw Disney films were introduced to the stories via those films before reading the actual fairytales they're based on, and even if they weren't, saying "you have to be familiar with Arabian Nights to understand Aladdin" or "you should read Hamlet before watching The Lion King" aren't statements that many people would (or should) take seriously.
But even then, familiarity with the original work doesn't necessarily mean that the adaptive work is better received, when in fact, it can be received worse. We can probably both agree that the Anderson RE films aren't that good, and we'd probably both agree that knowing the original RE lore makes one less reciprocal to them. Or another more recent example, MK 2021. As a film, it's tepid, as someone familiar with MK, it arguably makes it worse, since I have to put up with the Cole Young nonsense.
SMBM ain't trying to be Pixar. It doesn't make the the film immune to criticism, but I am not going to fault it for not having a moment like Toy Story. That's dumb and it's same shitty argument critics have been using dock points for not being the thing they like or are used to seeing.
Except surely you'd agree that Toy Story is a better film, right? And that the reasons for it are, among other things, better plot, themes, and characters?
They want to fit everything into their comfy little box that only appeals to them. The slow moments we do get, don't feel rushed and naturally flow in as far as I'm concerned. Video is time stamped to the point. I have some of my own disagreements with this guy, but he is totally on point. The movie set out what it achieved to do, without treating their audiences like thundering dumbasses
Yeah, I don't really agree with a lot of his arguments
-Top Gun: Maverick does
have a simple story, but more importantly, both critics and audiences loved the film. So apparently the critics weren't out of touch that one time?
-Heh, he agrees about the thin plot and lack of emotional gravitas.
-I don't agree that visual fidelity is a sufficient virtue in of itself to elevate a film. Was it nice seeing the Mushroom Kingdom et al? Absolutely. However, from an objective standpoint, saying the film is like the visuals of the original doesn't say that much. Again, HotD (the films) use a very different art style to the books, that doesn't inherently lessen them. Visual fidelity is nice, it can't make up for other shortcomings by itself.
-Also, that it's 90 minutes long and 2 minutes are wasted on Bowser singing Peaches...gah! Sorry, I know lots of people love the Peaches song for whatever reason, but I can't stand it. As a song, it's barely even worthy of the name, it's Bowser singing the same word over and over. From a story standpoint, it doesn't tell us anything we don't already know about Bowser or progress the plot. Ideally, in a musical, you want it to serve the story, not have the story stand still for the music.
-I agree that the Mario games aren't narrative-driven, but it's easier to get away with narrative-free games than narrative-free movies. If you're presenting an adaptation of a game as a movie, then it's going to be judged as a movie. Saying something like "Battleship has a thin plot" and responding with "but the game is bereft of plot" isn't really a defence of the film, and my personal thoughts aside, the Lego Movie had a more intricate plot than the Mario one, despite having even less core narrative in the source material to work with (incidentally, I like Mario more than the Lego Movie, but the Lego Movie does have the better plot and character development).
-By extension, there's plenty of successful films bereft of traditional narratives that are critical darlings - Fantasia, 2001: A Space Odyssey, etc. There's not much evidence to suggest that critics are only interested in narrative to the exclusion of everything else. Thing is, as pretty as the visuals in Mario are (I think most people would agree with that, regardless of their familiarity with the source material), the film's still telling a story, albeit a simple one with simple characters. In a film like that, saying "it looks pretty" doesn't solve the issue at hand.
Illumination can and will learn from their mistakes to make an even greater movie.
Eh, maybe? I dunno, Illumination seems content to make "good" (at best) movies, never "great" ones. Best of theirs I've seen is Sing, and while a "good" movie, it's still a bog standard one.
I know Nintendo is not going to have Illumination do all of their franchises, which is the best bet.
That, I agree with.