2013 marks the twentieth anniversary of the great Bob Hoskins / Dennis Hopper cinematic tour-de-force that is Super Mario Bros. Despite just about everyone involved with creating and actually watching the movie openly admitting that it just didn't turn out as one would hope, Den Of Geek has chosen to trust the fungus and came up with ten remarkable things about the movie that everyone loves to admonish. Yes, there are silver linings in what most would consider dark clouds. For instance, it's a good thing that the film is surprisingly murky:
For the army of kids who played Super Mario Bros through the 80s and 90s, setting eyes on the movie adaptation must have been a bizarre childhood moment. The blue skies, cartoon landscape and bouncy effervescence of the game are nowhere to be seen. Instead, there are animatronic dinosaurs, long shadows and strange hints of sexual menace.
As in the game, Mario and Luigi are a pair of Italian American plumbers based in Brooklyn. They're played, respectively, by Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. Unlike The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a late-80s/early 90s attempt to turn the videogame into a sitcom, the movie makes no attempt to replicate the colours of the game or its suggestions of cartoon humour. Instead, Mario's a sullen, somewhat cynical middle-aged man, while Luigi is in his 20s, idealistic and oddly fascinated with pseudo-scientific TV shows.
I still have fond memories of seeing the movie with a small group of friends way back when I was in the sixth grade. I haven't followed up to see it again as an adult because I don't want those memories tarnished. The world tells me that it's a bad film and I believe them because I know it has some shortcomings (though it has its defenders), but I loved the movie back in the day and I want to hang on to that childlike optimism.
By the way, I promised you eleven remarkable things about Super Mario Bros. Den Of Geek delivered ten. Here's the bonus extra one: Luigi himself, John Leguizamo, is interested in attending a special anniversary screening of the movie.
Not everyone involved with the production wants to see it cast down the memory hole after all, it seems.