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Super Mario Brothers

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While most big-screen videogame adaptations act as a reminder of why game play doesn't necessarily equal great times at the movies, not many begin to touch the jumbled mess that is Super Mario Bros. Look no further than a quick comparison of the game versus the film to truly grasp at how confounding this production really is. While the Mario games are beaming rays of color-filled fun times, the movie is the exact opposite. With a design scheme reflecting other early '90s grim futuristic tales (Tank Girl, Judge Dredd), the production is everything that the game wasn't. So what audience was this man-made wreck created for, anyway? Good question. Years later, people are still looking for an answer. What is known is that Bob Hoskins was born to play Mario, though it's sad that his acrobatics -- wondrously displayed in Who Framed Roger Rabbit -- go unused here. Even worse, he's paired with the very un-Italian John Leguizamo, who isn't quite as obnoxious as his days as The Pest, but doesn't bring anything to the role besides a backwards baseball cap and a genuine New York accent. Of course, one can't forget about Dennis Hopper, but even he is upstaged by the Goombas, a mutated human/reptile hybrid whose hilarious grin and deft puppetry is probably the best thing in the flick. Despite its failure to encapsulate the game's tone, the picture's production values are still impressive, thanks to its large budget and equally huge sets. Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide

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