Movie Defense Force: Super Mario Bros.

schmulki

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Sorry, Jim, this one didn't work. It's just a bad, bad movie. It's a bad adaptation. It's a poor script. It's poorly directed. The production of the movie was a legendary mess.

I saw this trainwreck in the movie theaters originally. If I'm going for a nostalgic, not-very-good mario-centric movie, I'd MUCH rather watch The Wizard.
 

Setch Dreskar

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Have to agree with schmulki on this one, I don't remember all those iconic scenes fondly, whenever something does spark that memory of old back into my mind I usually sigh and wish the movie had never been made. The same scenes you hold up as being good are what I use to point out how utterly inane this film was. Basically only memorable in that they were so bad I couldn't hope to forget as much as I tried.
 

RJ Dalton

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Um, no, the actors did not throw themselves in with gusto. They weren't even trying. They've admitted as much because the production was so bad and the directors were such assholes. Hoskins outright said in an interview that he and Leguizamo came in drunk to more than 90% of the scenes they shot because it was the only way they could deal with the shit they were getting from the directors. And Dennis Hopper's own words on the subject were something like "I just did whatever because I knew nothing mattered. I couldn't make it any better or worse no matter how I tried." That's a paraphrase more than a direct quote, but that's basically what he said.

The bob-omb was probably one of the most brilliant examples of complete absurdist humor, though. Everything about how that was executed was hilarious, right down to its blatantly product placing Rebock shoes. I loved that thing. I don't care if it was their intention for it to be great for that reason, but I'll take it.
 

Lightknight

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Certainly a weird and very memorable movie. Can't say the same for most movies that actually do their source materials any real service and it's not like Mario's universe was really all that established at that point.
 

SnakeoilSage

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I love this movie. The trailer scared the hell out of me as a young man, but the wackiness of it all was just too much fun for me to say it was a bad film. In terms of storylines, the Mario Bros. series has about as much depth as a typical street fighting series, but the movie followed it faithfully even though it didn't "look" like a Mario Game. It had unique gadgets and a strange industrialized world that other game adaptations like Double Dragon tried and failed to mimic.

And being a teen at the time, I have to admit that Francesca Roberts as Big Bertha gave me an... appreciation for certain aspects of the opposite sex.
 

azurine

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At around 1:57 you said "game" instead of "movie".

Errors aside, I have wondered if this movie would've been received better if they called it anything else...
 

Chairman Miaow

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Nov 18, 2009
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I always remembered liking the movie so was confused when people said it was terrible. I hadn't seen it since I was about 8 though. May have to dig out the old VHS.
 

Callate

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Full points for trying, Jim.

I will say that I remember watching it on video and we actually got through the thing from beginning to end (something my family could not say of, say, "Howard the Duck".) I was amused by the Bob-omb, and it certainly cast actors of a grade well above that of the material itself.

...The fact that several of those actors frankly admit to getting roaring drunk during shooting to escape the pain of it all really says something, though.

It has just enough actual Mario Bros. to make the viewer wince, because the inclusions make little to no sense, and seem ridiculous and out of place amidst any tenuous attempts to create something that's feasible even in the more permissive realms of science-fiction and fantasy.

...And they left it open-ended in case they got to make a sequel; that took a remarkable amount of delusion.
 

Seracen

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Dear God Jim! What have you done?!?!?!

I can understand the "so bad it's endearing, if not good" mentality. I can even allow the "it's a 90's flick" defense. But this movie was just plain bad. Apparently, filming was a nightmare for the actors as well.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Lightknight said:
Certainly a weird and very memorable movie. Can't say the same for most movies that actually do their source materials any real service and it's not like Mario's universe was really all that established at that point.
I have to agree. There wasn't much lore in the games in 1993. There wasn't that much material for them to go by other than 'Plumber saves princes from giant turtle'

How on earth do you translate a 2d side-scroller into a full length feature film? It's amazing what they managed to come up with and the nods to the game they managed, showed that they actually played it.

I loved this when I saw it as a kid and I still love it now. As Jim said, it's not a great film, but it is still a lot of fun.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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I remember watching this in the theatre and I also remember not liking it.

I tried again years later to see if maybe my childhood memories were too harsh on it, and I can go into it with an open mind.

Nope, still didn't like it, and while there are a few scenes that are fun and silly, the story was shit.
RJ Dalton said:
Um, no, the actors did not throw themselves in with gusto. They weren't even trying. They've admitted as much because the production was so bad and the directors were such assholes. Hoskins outright said in an interview that he and Leguizamo came in drunk to more than 90% of the scenes they shot because it was the only way they could deal with the shit they were getting from the directors. And Dennis Hopper's own words on the subject were something like "I just did whatever because I knew nothing mattered. I couldn't make it any better or worse no matter how I tried." That's a paraphrase more than a direct quote, but that's basically what he said.

The bob-omb was probably one of the most brilliant examples of complete absurdist humor, though. Everything about how that was executed was hilarious, right down to its blatantly product placing Rebock shoes. I loved that thing. I don't care if it was their intention for it to be great for that reason, but I'll take it.
I remember reading something about that as well.

If memory serves, there was some producing problems as well, and it got so bad that the drama leaked onto the set. It was a bloody miracle that they even finished the movie really considering all the shit that happened before, during, and after the filming.
 

Mus815

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You know, Jim, you should do a Movie Defense Force of Speed Racer, my favorite film of at least the past 10 years. Not merely because it's entertaining, but because unlike every single movie you've done here, there's absolutely zero sarcasm or cynicism, in terms of adaptation or just being a regular old film. In fact, Speed Racer is literally the ONLY time I've seen an Amalgamation pulled off not only flawlessly, but with sheer verve, energy, drive, and gusto, even going so far as to turn a silly little anime into a transcendent work of art, even going so far as to make Rex Racer symbolic of Lana Wachowski's personal struggles with trans-genderism and being unable to appear in public for a long while after her sex-change. I've read all the negative reviews, and I'm convinced that they were written long before the critics actually saw the movie, thinking that there was no WAY a movie based on a stupid T.V. show could be any good, and when the movie made them cry, they felt insulted and insecure, so they published the movie as is. And many people have been staying away ever since.
 

el_kabong

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Yeah...can't really come with you on this one. It's not a great movie. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the movie thoroughly, but BECAUSE it's a crap fest.

The only thing that, in looking back on it, is quite awesome is that the political musician who gets de-evolved is played by Mojo Nixon (who is a real-life musician who often tackled social and political issues). I didn't know who he was as a kid, but since then I've gotten into underground music as an adult (like punk and psychobilly) and now I can appreciate that cameo as pure genius.
 

flying_whimsy

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I saw this when I was little and had nightmares about the goombas. That aside, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the movie mostly because it was so content to go off and do its own thing.

Ignoring the movie franchise, I always thought it was a fun piece of absurdist humor. It didn't hurt that the toy cars from the movie had to be recalled because the sparking gimmick started fires.
 

Trishbot

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My young childhood self saw a creepy, crazy woman STAB YOSHI WITH A KNIFE.

Go back to the games after that, kiddies.
 

Phuctifyno

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I love the theory of evolution viewed through the lens of this movie: people in the parallel dimension evolved from dinosaurs instead of primates, but they still look exactly like us. lol

Also, I always liked the scene where they argue with the cop about their names - a bit of cheeky "who's on first" classical comedy. The idea that Mario is their last name made sense to me, too, since they are the "Mario Bothers". None of my siblings use my name as a title. It was a strange, creative, and funny way to dig themselves out of a nonsensical hole that Nintendo dug for them...

...which, on reflection, might be a microcosm for the whole film.
 

Jenvas1306

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The first time I saw this i didnt get the beginning, so I didnt know right away that it was supposed to be a mario bros movie... I felt like i was taking a trip into a weird bizarro-verse
You cant look away from movies like that. They are so bad and so good at the same time.

just look at some of the stuff that tries to be good these days. mario bros is good without even trying.
 

Kinitawowi

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On the one hand, it's a great depiction of the sort of thing people think Nintendo should be doing; taking these well-worn franchises in different directions, trying to do different things with them rather than just recycling the same old tropes over and over again.

On the other hand, it's also the perfect depiction of why Nintendo aren't doing that.