Movie Defense Force: Super Mario Bros.

immortalfrieza

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I loved it enough to watch it over and over and over again and still occasionally do, despite the lack of anything resembling respect for the IP it's based off of, though any movie I like I tend to do that. I thought it was a fun wacky romp of a movie that didn't take itself seriously. I actually liked just about every superhero movie to come out since the Sam Raimi Spider-Man, including ones like Green Lantern, so maybe I just have a thing for movies everybody else says is bad.

Besides, it could be worse, at least it wasn't Dragonball Evolution.
 

Darth_Payn

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Seracen said:
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.
That's becoming a defense now? So that's why there's a "90s" tag underneath the video.

captcha: Brand Lift

I guess that's what the movie makers thought the Mario name needed.
 

Arcane Azmadi

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I remember I really enjoyed this as a kid. I doubt it would have the same rewatch value for me now, but I have to admit that if you don't expect any resemblance to the game whatsoever it can be pretty entertaining in a dumb way.

Besides, it had a pretty damn great soundtrack, including a simply EPIC credits theme by Roxette:
 

Seracen

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Darth_Payn said:
Seracen said:
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.
That's becoming a defense now? So that's why there's a "90s" tag underneath the video.

captcha: Brand Lift

I guess that's what the movie makers thought the Mario name needed.
Well, it's a defense if it's the right movie. Case in point, there were plenty of bad action movies that were endearing simply because of the mindset of being the 80's but more "extreme."

Look at what the 90's created from an 80's classic, Blade Runner...

Fifth Element and Johnny Mnemonic (I happen to love both). One is considered great, the other cheesy, both are entertaining, and quintessentially 90's.

I dislike "Last Action Hero," but can appreciate the camp factor this many years later. Hell, "Army of Darkness" was a 90's addition to the "Evil Dead" franchise, and arguably the best of the series (though it's debatable whether the decade influenced the flick at all).

More appropriate examples are the bevy of "buddy cop" movies that came out in the 90's, following the heyday from the 80's. Again, some crap, some good, but most are fun, to some extent, and distinctly "90's."
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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shogunblade said:
Fiz_The_Toaster said:
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.
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/featu...s-biggest-gaming-blunder.aspx?PostPageIndex=3

This is a Game Informer article that you might have read. I read it too, and it was very entertaining to read. I believe when I wrote something on the film, either a review from Marter or the 20 Anniversary Post a year or two ago (some something like that), I wrote that I would give anything to read a book about this movie's production more than the movie, but I do like it.

OT: It's a terrible film, but I do enjoy it. Compared to Double Dragon, it's high art. I loved Super Mario Bros, and I consider it a guilty pleasure, but an enjoyable one, and I don't agree with all of Jim's Points, but we can both agree that the movie was worth defending, and I love it... kind of.
Yes! That was the one. A friend of mine showed me that article, and it was a great read. I'm fairly sure it didn't get into all the nooks and crannies of all the drama that went on, but I would love to read a book about it. Even if it might be short.

Normally, I'm all for movies that are in the 'it's so bad it's awesome' territory, but this one just didn't do it for me. Not that it didn't have some good scenes, but as a whole I was too annoyed by it. Ah well, but I am glad some people like it. :p
 

Endocrom

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I don't hate it, I'm not going to champion it. It's good for what it is.

I would like a goomba head prop though.

EDIT: on second thought [http://www.yourprops.com/Toad-Goomba-from-Super-Mario-original-movie-prop-Super-Mario-Bros-1993-YP68853.html] (WARNING, IT HASEN'T AGED WELL)
 

Jimothy Sterling

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WoW Jim, when I challenged you to defend the Super mario Bros. Movie I didn't think you'd actually do it. Well done. I actually considered that movie to be alright . Sur it wasn't faithful to the source material but lets look at the source material... it's one of the games that defined the term 'video game logic'. I mean Lewis Caroll himself would probably look at it and say WTF, and this this was the guy who seriously wrong 'T'was Brillig and slithy toads'.

It was a good fun movie...not great but certainly fun. It's the equivalent of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
 

Nazulu

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Yeah, I remember enjoying this as a kid, though I have no idea if I'd like it now. Thanks for reminding me of it's existence, I'm gonna check it out. I know a lot of people hate it, but I feel it's going to be unfairly judged like the 90's Godzilla. I can see the problems with it, however there are 10 times worse problems in movies now.

Can you do one for Tank Girl Jim, I feel that one deserves some defending.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I agree that this movie had very little to work from from the original source material. Maybe the original source material was too dark to work with? I don't know, I don't know what the original story behind the Mario games was besides raid castles A though E only to find out Peach was in F all along. Maybe the movie nailed the story on the nose. *shrugs*
 

chriswolvie

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You finally really did it. You maniac!! You blew up the misconception over this film!!! OH, DAMN YOU! G**DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!

(On an unrelated note, think you can defend the 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes"? SERIOUSLY doubt it...)
 

Shjade

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When asked if he regretted any of the nearly 150 films he's been involved with, Hopper responded with this anecdote about his son Henry:
"I made a picture called Super Mario Bros., and my six-year-old son at the time -- he's now 18 -- he said, 'Dad, I think you're probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.?' and I said, 'Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes,' and he said, 'Dad, I don't need shoes that badly.'"
What more needs to be said, really?

I'm sorry, Jim. I've given you the benefit of the doubt on some of these MDF's, but no. No pass on this one.

It's dreck.
 

Richfeet

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Guy's, the only flaw in this move was that Luigi had no moustache. Had Leguizamo grown that moustache, it would have been the perfect film.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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I'm going to say something controversial here I think.

The film is accurate.

This is because weirdly it hangs in an obscure bit of Super Mario Bros lore.

you see the princess isn't Peach (Princess Toadstool). It's Daisy, you know that other princess often seen in the yellow dress in all multi character sport Mario games and Mario party.

The setting isn't the mushroom kingdom.


Once someone has told you that, suddenly the whole movie is taken to a whole new level.
This isn't a video game movie that's meant to pay homage to the game, this is a prequel to the games.

Bowser being a lizard monster happens at the end and as such it would be easy to see how it leads into the games and why bowser would actually dislike Mario from the start of the games.

That's right Nintendo has managed to subtly make the Mario Bros movie cannon.
 

Therumancer

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Hmmm, well Jim I have to give you credit, this is probably the movie most "in need of defense" I've seen on "Movie Defense Force" so far... although I tend to disagree with you and your noble effort to defend it, I think it's just really, really, bad and not even the best conceived and most well articulated defense can save it. :)

That said I would point out in a general sense that the 1990s was one of the best eras for pop culture, but as "Generation X" is the lost generation, skipped in economic and social relevancy for reasons we knew were coming beforehand, the pop culture of it's youth didn't have much lasting relevancy. I think a big part of the problem is that people, especially those whose youthful pop culture came after the millennium just really don't get it, nor do many people in the 90s who didn't have the same kind of bleak outlook that defined it (due to better opportunities, or being sheltered, or whatever). It wasn't entirely about things being "extreme", except in bad cash ins from those who themselves didn't get it, it was about pretty much falling between the cracks and knowing no matter what you did either personally or as a generation it wasn't going to matter, it wasn't your fault that you were screwed at birth, but it was still the case. I don't think the pop culture of the 1990s will be properly understood again until the next time a generation is skipped at which point they will look back on the works from the last time it happened and "get it".

Beyond that point, I will say that one cool things about the 1990s was that it was the era of direct to video movies and rentals. You saw a lot of highly experimental stuff going on, with comparative amateurs cutting loose with crazy ideas. On some levels I can see why "Mario Brothers" wound up the way it did, especially when you understand that this was done by the same team that created "Max Headroom" which while something of a critical success, was more or less murdered by the networks. You look at the dystopian world of the Mario Brother's movie, and at their other major work, and you can sort of see the mentality behind it, and really given that Max Headroom was being pimped as both a dark future societal satire, and a mascot for pushing beverages to a younger audience, it seems to me that anyone with half a brain should have realized that their idea of "fun and whimsical" and "for the kids" was not a good match with the
Mario IP and vibe. They pretty much did what you'd expect them to with the property given their only major body of work before it (to my knowledge, I believe I'm remembering the director/writers correctly here). I think the awfulness of the Mario movie is a testament to hiring the wrong people for the wrong job. Think of it in terms of Max Headroom and put the elements together (weird sci-fi cyberpunk stuff, corrupt politician/businessmen and their stylized muscle, something close to an everyman hero caught up in all of it who periodically has to rescue or be rescued by the "damsel" who is perhaps more qualified to survive than he is.... all we needed was for Mario to start calling himself Edison and team up with/be rescued by some aging dude with a Mohawk who runs a pirate TV station out of his van).
 

Therumancer

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Mr. Q said:
I will give you partial points for this review, Jim. If you're able to ignore the total desecration of the Super Mario Bros cannon and get yourself into the right chemically enhanced state of mind, you could enjoy this one.

Having said that, Super Mario Bros truly deserves a much better movie adaptation than what it got in the 90s. With movies like The Avengers and The Lego Movie, there is no fucking excuse for inferior film making in terms of popular properties. There are talented and dedicated people who would give vital parts of their anatomy to make a faithful version of Super Mario Bros a reality. We're tired of the soulless cash grabs being made by people who are just there for a paycheck. That is a practice that needs to die like yesterday.
Well, to be honest I think that's one of Jim's problems with Movie Defense Force in general, when you look back at things like say "Alien 3" and other films he's defended he seems to entirely overlook the decimation of the canon and source material, or how superior versions of something were out there and had been ignored or rendered non-canon by the creation of the movie. For example with "Alien" in particular "Dark Horse" comics did a genius job of keeping the franchise alive and rounding things out after the second movie. "Alien 3" blew chips largely because anyone who was a big time Alien fan (it's core audience) was already following the comics and such, and while nobody expected them to follow the comics exactly, releasing a vastly inferior product like that, which furthermore "officially" killed off two beloved characters (Hicks and Newt, who were heavily used in the comics). It seems that in response to a LOT of his reviews I wind up bringing up the reasons why the movie was bad and deserved the beating it's gotten when it's a matter of what they did with the franchise/IP itself rather than the movie.

To elaborate on my last rambling post which I got sidetracked on, in the 1990s you had a lot of experimental "direct to video" movies being put out. You had things like "Full Moon Entertainment" and "Troma" thriving pretty well in this environment. Cheezy FX, bad acting, over the top concepts and scripts, and yet wildly entertaining, some properties born of the 90s "Direct To Video" movement (which seemed to lose it's soul when censors started paying more attention and things went "Direct To Digital) still have pretty solid followings today. The thing is that when you compare something like "Mario Brothers" to say a Full Moon property like "Puppet Master" (or even weirder things) "Mario Brothers" doesn't actually wind up *looking* all that bad. On the other hand it winds up getting universally panned while something like "Puppet Master" goes on to spawn something like 8 movies, comic series, fringe toy/figure lines, and everything else, largely because "Puppet Master" was doing it's own thing as opposed to trying to be an existing franchise (like the Mario movies) and what's more the people doing those movies new exactly what they were setting out to do, personally I think the guys doing "Mario Brothers" really wanted to be doing more "Max Headroom". Not to mention that they blew like 40 million on the FX for Mario Brothers and to be honest some of it looks every bit as horrible as something churned out by "Full Moon" or "Troma" except without it being part of the intentional charm. Something like most of the Puppet Master movies are "entertaining horrible movies" where I think Mario Brothers is just plain out terrible, lacking even the self-aware quality that can make you go "how did anyone get away with filming this professionally to begin with, never mind make 8 bloody movies out of this... and yet here I am still watching these horribly animated puppets stumble around in increasingly dumber plots with a goofy grin on my face... they obviously got my money and I can't even say why I'm not regretting it...". :)
 

Mr. Q

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Therumancer said:
Mr. Q said:
I will give you partial points for this review, Jim. If you're able to ignore the total desecration of the Super Mario Bros cannon and get yourself into the right chemically enhanced state of mind, you could enjoy this one.

Having said that, Super Mario Bros truly deserves a much better movie adaptation than what it got in the 90s. With movies like The Avengers and The Lego Movie, there is no fucking excuse for inferior film making in terms of popular properties. There are talented and dedicated people who would give vital parts of their anatomy to make a faithful version of Super Mario Bros a reality. We're tired of the soulless cash grabs being made by people who are just there for a paycheck. That is a practice that needs to die like yesterday.
Well, to be honest I think that's one of Jim's problems with Movie Defense Force in general, when you look back at things like say "Alien 3" and other films he's defended he seems to entirely overlook the decimation of the canon and source material, or how superior versions of something were out there and had been ignored or rendered non-canon by the creation of the movie. For example with "Alien" in particular "Dark Horse" comics did a genius job of keeping the franchise alive and rounding things out after the second movie. "Alien 3" blew chips largely because anyone who was a big time Alien fan (it's core audience) was already following the comics and such, and while nobody expected them to follow the comics exactly, releasing a vastly inferior product like that, which furthermore "officially" killed off two beloved characters (Hicks and Newt, who were heavily used in the comics). It seems that in response to a LOT of his reviews I wind up bringing up the reasons why the movie was bad and deserved the beating it's gotten when it's a matter of what they did with the franchise/IP itself rather than the movie.

To elaborate on my last rambling post which I got sidetracked on, in the 1990s you had a lot of experimental "direct to video" movies being put out. You had things like "Full Moon Entertainment" and "Troma" thriving pretty well in this environment. Cheezy FX, bad acting, over the top concepts and scripts, and yet wildly entertaining, some properties born of the 90s "Direct To Video" movement (which seemed to lose it's soul when censors started paying more attention and things went "Direct To Digital) still have pretty solid followings today. The thing is that when you compare something like "Mario Brothers" to say a Full Moon property like "Puppet Master" (or even weirder things) "Mario Brothers" doesn't actually wind up *looking* all that bad. On the other hand it winds up getting universally panned while something like "Puppet Master" goes on to spawn something like 8 movies, comic series, fringe toy/figure lines, and everything else, largely because "Puppet Master" was doing it's own thing as opposed to trying to be an existing franchise (like the Mario movies) and what's more the people doing those movies new exactly what they were setting out to do, personally I think the guys doing "Mario Brothers" really wanted to be doing more "Max Headroom". Not to mention that they blew like 40 million on the FX for Mario Brothers and to be honest some of it looks every bit as horrible as something churned out by "Full Moon" or "Troma" except without it being part of the intentional charm. Something like most of the Puppet Master movies are "entertaining horrible movies" where I think Mario Brothers is just plain out terrible, lacking even the self-aware quality that can make you go "how did anyone get away with filming this professionally to begin with, never mind make 8 bloody movies out of this... and yet here I am still watching these horribly animated puppets stumble around in increasingly dumber plots with a goofy grin on my face... they obviously got my money and I can't even say why I'm not regretting it...". :)
I will give Jim some credit with his thoughts on "Ripley unable to escape the alien/force of nature" and I partly agree with him on that. However, after seeing Alien 3 again, there's no escaping the fact that the movie still sucks. Sometimes, Movie Defense Force has some hits (Street Fighter and Brainscan are good examples) and some misses (Transformers and Batman & Robin). But I'm willing to give Jim his chance to explain his case and possibly win someone over. Sadly, Super Mario Bros is one of those movies that isn't fun to watch.

It's funny that you brought up Full Moon Entertainment and Troma because I've seen a good number of their movies and I enjoy them immensely. It's hard for me to pin down why I like watching something like Puppet Master over Super Mario Bros. My theory, in regards to the low budget direct-to-video movies, is that you can tell they're trying to make something special. They may not have the high budget or the polished script or the talented actors working on it, but at least they're making an effort. Unlike Super Mario Bros which, according to the stories from the cast and crew, it was a painful slog that no one wanted to be in. And when you have zero passion for what you're doing, it certainly shows in the finish product.

Also, and this is me going on a bit of a tangent, while I still enjoy movies from Troma and Full Moon, I can't bring myself to completely watch anything from The Asylum. To me, their movies tend to come off as lazy and half-hearted. If they're not aping the latest blockbuster to sucker moviegoers, they're constantly going with CGI battles with giant sharks and snakes and whatnot. Again, this is going back to movies like Toxic Avenger and Subspecies where they're putting actual effort into the movie. The Asylum seems to go with what the Internet thinks it wants and caters to that market. But that's just how I feel. Personally, I'd like to see an actual low budget studio that grew up on the direct-to-video movies we both saw and carry on the tradition.
 

xPixelatedx

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Haters gonna hate. I haven't watched a Movie Defense Force in a while and it's good to see this movie finally get the defense it deserves. I also thoroughly enjoyed this movie as a kid, and I still do today. People hate on it for not being faithful to a story and setting literally made up of a paragraph of material. Of course they had to pull something out of their ass, they literally couldn't have done anything else. Even the Mario Bros. Anime made in japan does this because the original platformer games have so little source material for a fleshed-out, coherent story. What the movie did accomplish was something so bizarre and original I couldn't stop watching, and I certainly cannot forget it.

chriswolvie said:
(On an unrelated note, think you can defend the 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes"? SERIOUSLY doubt it...)
Why not? I am sure he could. I loved that movie. I loved the way the new apes actually looked more inhuman then the original ones did. In the original movies they looked like star-trek aliens and weren't very convincing at all. But it wasn't just about appearance, they also acted MUCH BETTER in the 2001 remake. It was very clearly they were a different species when seeing them interact with the humans on screen, a vibe I did not get at all from the original movies. The only thing that kind of sucks is the ending, and the fact that "the message" was lost. But you know what, it doesn't even really need it anymore. One of the things that made the message of the first movie so powerful is it was a shocking end that came out of nowhere. It wouldn't have had the same effect today, because people would have seen it coming a mile away now. It's a trope now. But the ending did suck regardless, and it didn't even make any sense. Still, it's a nice ride up till that point.
 

xPixelatedx

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The_Kodu said:
I'm going to say something controversial here I think.

The film is accurate.
To a degree, I think it is to. Yeah, it doesn't take place in the Mushroom Kingdom. What was the newest Super Mario game out at the time? Super Mario World. That took place in Dinosaur Land! (I hope people are starting to connect the dots now). They built up a plot from that idea, and the fact that Koopa was a big turtle/lizard thing already it seemed logical to make him a Dinosaur to, just for the sake of cohesion. Of course, CGI wasn't even a huge thing yet really, so they couldn't make everyone dinosaur people, for the most part. That's when things got really weird and they concocted the whole "Dinosaurs evolved into us" story. Like Star Trek, they took the cheap route, not a lazy one.

The movie also had Yoshi, the boot(s) that make you jump better, guns that acted like fireflowers, real life approximations of the iconic costumes, Big Bertha, a Koopa Keep with some familiar aesthetics on the walls, fungus everywhere, a desert area etc. The connections are there for anyone who cares enough to see them, the thing is most people are so disgusted by how weird it is, they don't even bother to look. It's much easier to say, "this has nothing to do with Mario" and dismiss it on that alone.

Granted, it wasn't exactly "Super Mario Bros.", it was more like a weird dream someone might have after binging on Super Mario world and Jurassic park all day. Sounds fun to me!
 

karkashan

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Love this film, in all of its 90's cheesy goodness. Some of the best 7 dollars I ever spent on a DVD.
 

gridsleep

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Could someone list the lyrics to the Movie Defense Force introduction song? The distortion is so bad that I can't tell what they're saying after "Movie Defense Force, so alive..." (if that's what they're saying, that is.) Thanks. Actually, I can't tell what that woman is singing in the Jimquisition song, either, so I guess it's a trend.