MONKEY!! The Super Mario Bros Movie Review

A long long time ago the earth was ruled by dinosaurs. They were big so not a lot of people went around hassling them. Actually no people went around hassling them because there weren’t any people yet just the first tiny mammals. Basically life was good. Then something happened. A giant meteorite struck the earth. Goodbye Dinosaurs! But what if the Dinosaurs weren’t all destroyed? What if the impact of that meteorite created a parallel dimension where the dinosaurs continued and evolved into intelligent vicious aggressive beings….just like us? And hey what if they found a way back?!

If you haven’t checked my blog title you might wonder. If you haven’t seen this movie or been oblivious to it you might still surprise you that these are the first words uttered in the movie that is called Super Mario Bros. This movie is something I owned on VHS back when I was just a tiny Pinkie.  For those who do not know what VHS is.. back in the pre-internet age movies did not stream on network but were pressed onto disk or even earlier trapped into a cassette with small versions of movie reels contained inside them! It was magical!  Even back then I was surprised. I personally would have never imagined to set a Mario movie in a sci-fi  cyberpunk dystopian alternate dimension ruled by Fungi and Dinosaurs. Director Rocky Morton, his former wife Annabel Jankel and their writing staff  clearly had a bigger imagination than me.. and you know me I am a weirdo!

This is how Mario Starts!

Now I called Dragonball Evolution  one of the most unfaithful movies ever but this one takes the crown. Yet where I really suffered through DBE this one has long since became a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I would have placed it in my Pinkie’s Guilty Movie pleasures list, but I decided to review video game movies for the next few Mondays to come and let’s while plenty of them go under that category , I doubt I can say I had pleasure when I get to the Uwe Boll movies. In fact I should spread those around a bit because otherwise I will suffer too much in a row. Anyway after that note to myself, i’ll have to admit I kind of had fun watching the Super Mario Bros movie again. Somewhere in the same vein as I would find it fun to see aliens land on earth or look at Honey Boo Boo or some weird Dutch Bed and Breakfast owner talking about wines. I don’t want to watch it all the times but sometimes it can be fun!

1/10 Moustache Curves the wrong way

So for those who do not know the plot of the super Mario film, here you go. A dinosaur queen traveling dimensions places a capsules in front of a monastery. In this capsule are an egg and a meteorite shard. From this egg hatches Daisy, who twenty years later has become an archaeologist. A mean construction mogul named Scapelli tries to sabotage her dig-site and unknowingly opens the breach between the dinosaur dimensions and ours again. King Koopa has usurped the other dimension by turning their former king into Fungus and their world has falling into disarray, lacking enough resources to continue on. If he can insert the Meteorite piece into his worlds side of the meteor.. both the worlds can merge together and dinosaur can feast and rule over mankind. Daisy being of the true royal line is the only one who can actually insert the meteor without being killed so he needs her as well. So he sends cousin Iggy and Spike capture her as she holds the meteor as well. Daisy and Luigi started to date in the real world.. and when the plumbers use their skill to save daisies dig-site.. she gets captured and Mario and Luigi have to venture into the world of the dinosaurs to save Luigi’s date.

Whose that Archaeologist?

Now you might notice there already are a few differences between this and the source material. First of all it’s Daisy who is front and center in this adventure and not Peach.. who in fact is never mentioned in the movie at all.  Princess Daisy is actually the ruler of Sarasaland not the Mushroom Kingdom.. while the name is not officially coined for the Dinosaur World.. King Koopa (back before he was Bowser)  teasingly refers to it as such. Mario is Luigi’s guardian, while he is clearly of a fatherly age he decided to call Luigi his brother. Luigi is actually the main hero in this one and he actually gets  more than a cake at the end.. though not by much.  Koopa normally isn’t really a dinosaur nor is the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom… but hey!  It’s kind of a fun story, it’s just weird Mario and Luigi are in it.

Is it wrong of me to wonder how Dennis Hopper Bowsette would look like?!

The whole rescue the princess stick is in the movie and that is the main thing a Mario game is about and at least it wasn’t all just a dream, just a stage play nor had little mushroom men been transformed into blocks that Mario then murders to get some coins. It doesn’t make a LOT more sense than the NES Mario games but at least it somewhat follows a classical three act structure. We get two people growing closer, one of those being kidnapped and them two brothers trying to save one guys gal… and discovering the other guys gal is also here. Did you know Mario is into WWF?! Well now you do! It’s like a Mario fever dream. You keep wanting to watch to see what else they turned into what. How this world is so not like Mario and puts mario names on thinks that are clearly NOT that same thing.  Did you know what if you paint your SNES Super Scope Grey it can evolve people! Heh! Monkey! Did you know that Goombas are actually 2,5 meter tall muscled dinosaurs with a super tiny head. I always imagined they were like big heads on just feet! Did you know Toad actually was a Goomba?! Who would have imagined.. they look so differently in 8 bit. 

Goomba.. the Jojo’s Version

It’s kind of like looking at a five year old (or younger) make a drawing for Santa than having you explain what they drew. See this is Mario.. and this is a goomba.. and this is King Koopa and if I give this to santa he knows I’ll want the Mario game. They are about equally recognisable and it totally mesmerised me. It’s like making a Final Fantasy VII movie and recast Red as a Kitsune girl.. and giving Cloud a dagger instead of a sword.. but it can grow to any size he wants. Materia would be food that the evil demon Sephiroth would need to eat to summon an ancient demon to earth trapped in a meteor. It would not be right but it would be fascinating in it’s own right! Still that would be only fun once, at least it should yet this movie I’ve seen a handful of times now and I still find it fun. While they do deviate so massively from the source material, unlike Dragonball Evolution , everything so packed full of character that it kinda works. Yamcha in the western movie for example is just a chad with a drill, while Toad here.. is a once rebellious man that sang songs putting Koopa in a bad daylight, that got devolved into a music loving good guy who just likes to smile and make people happy. Who even plays his harmonica when he is set on fire.

I’m sorry Mario! The faithful costume designer is in another castle!

Koopa has now become a weird sort of germaphobe that loves Pizza and is fascinated yet disgusted by the fact that humans evolved from Monkies. He in fact is so obsessed with evolution that he weaponised it and used it as a key to his rule. He stems from the king of dinosaurs so he feels like he is destined to rule as well.  Nothing of it is like the Koopa/Bowser we know but yet again .. there is still a lot of character there. Even Big Bertha .. who is just a fish that eats a lot , in the games here has been given a character. I’m pretty sure that Miyamoto never imagined her as some Sassy Big Boned Sugar Mamma with a though exterior but big heart.. but thats in this movie.  All characters do at least get loads and loads of flavor. It’s a bunch of cliches mashed up yet at the same time it’s something we do not get nowadays anymore.  Characters Alla 2020 veer away from stereo types, they all get some depth and some realism, yet at the same time that also means they become much more interchangeable. Here every character is so extreme and tacky that said personality on another character in the movie would barely work. It doesn’t become a better movie for it but it certainly becomes more watchable for it and re-watchable even. There are so many visual gags , tiny nods and extreme oddities in the world building that even on my fifth romp I notice new things. Like how Bullet Bill’s are now Pneumatic cartridges for power boots?!

Apparently dinosaurs evolved from fish as well..or fish evolved in dinosaur city I mean.. uhnm… this thing is a mess!

Not just from a writing perspective the movie has its flaws, the acting is also odd. The direction is odd. For example at one point King Koopa goes to the real world with his army of Goombas.. an army of 2,5 meter monsters with guns and flamethrowers.. that actually throw fireballs. Yet he also has devolution guns on his person which he  tries to use on Mario to turn him into a monkey. He then hits the construction Mogul instead. You’d think people would be terrified that a guy with a monster army just killed a man and changed him into a monkey .. but no everyone laughs. Not only the humans whose world is being invaded by their very own eyes but the bad guys as well. They stop their actions to laugh at the monkey and the camera painfully lingers on this.. like it’s some sort of briljant gag. Why ? How?

Holy Macaroni! I wore the wrong colour!

Somewhere in the middle of the movie we suddenly see Dennis Hopper/ Koopa order a Pizza.. out of the blue.. there is a chase scene going on.. big set up.. and we get a 30 second scene where he calls for pizza. It was never established he is hungry or that he thinks so lowly of his opponents that he can coast it.. no at their most dangerous.. he just orders a pizza. The way it is acted is almost as if a stand up comedian is making a joke.. with the punchline being weird pizza toppings people would add in a dinosaur world. It isn’t funny yet there is room in the delivery as if they are waiting for people to clap and laugh at the joke.. it’s so weird.

The comedic duo Iggy and Spike! I loved them together in the games!
Oh! Somehow their expressions matched up quite nice!

Then there is a scene where Luigi played by John Leguizamo , while desperately trying to save the princess, decides to prank Mario, saying he can make some sort of impossible jump but actually he is connected to some sort of hook and crane, which at first seem impossible. Egging Mario on to jump as well.. which leads to Mario jumping to his death.  Only when Mario begins jumping he yells.. no no  it’s a joke but of course by then it’s to late. Why would anyone do that?! I mean of course it’s a joke about the brothers amazing jumping ability but they use power boots for that already. so even from a homage stand this made zero sense. He tricks his brother to jump to his death with a smile on his face and Immediately is snapped out of his trauma of seeing his brother fall to his death when Princess Daisy’s father becomes a membrane trampoline that saves Mario… grabbing him in split seconds.  These characters are so incohesive and the acting also reflects that.. this is a sloppily written and acted out garbled mass of events to enter some comedy or drama at random times.

Is it weird that I really wanted to see Bob Hoskins ride Yoshi?!

Yet in a way that is also the saving grace of this movie. You never know exactly what’s going to happen because it’s all so stupid and random. A bomb-omb suddenly obtains the power to break physics, characters suddenly fade out of existence, rules of the world do not always work the same. Throughout the entire movie.. even four or five views in I still have that “what the f is going on” vibe going..Which would be a good tagline for this movie?! Super Mario Bros. The movie  “What the F is going on?” Like a caleidoscope it feels random but it keeps me fascinated even if there isn’t that much to it. Empty and broken yet at the same time colourful and trippy.

10/10 Best Actor in the Movie!

Dennis Hopper doesn’t portray a great Koopa, but he certainly plays a memorable one! Monkey! Is still one of the things he will be remembered for. Bob Hoskins is an odd Mario ..who lacks that Santa Claus vibe, the original Mario has.. and replaces it with Brooklyn brash. Yet when we hear the name we do remember him as Mario still. John Leguizamo , mostly in his early years like this, main trait in acting is… “well I guess they chose him for this part.. how odd” and i’ll probably forget he was Luigi again..but that means I can watch this movie in the future and be right “that’s right.. that guy was Luigi! Such an odd choice” From costume design to actors, to story to screen structure and even in music.. this flick makes almost zero logical choices considering the material.. For example let me put the music choice that is present through most of the movie! The music theme they choose to represent the Mario Bros and use trough most chase scenes! Which is most of the movie… you expect some iconic movie.. you get :

We get one of the weirdest , most 90’s action comedies based on a great IP that is to this day still a mystery to me. Not a single element is great.. most of them aren’t even good.  Yet when combined they do give me a great time when watching it. It might not be for the right reasons it might not last long but a movie length of giggling face palms and me ooh’s and huh’s are definitely not the worst way I spend my time. In that way I do think this movie is kind of underrated. Yes if you break it down this movie offers next to nothing.. only a good time if you can turn of your brain for a bit .. or just let it race….. and isn’t that the most important thing a movie should offer us?! A fun runtime?! Would I watch it again?! Give me a few months  and I would say Let’sa Go!


Next week we will probably end up with a more faithful movie adaptation! A simple Zombie Shooting Game, should be easy enough to adapt to the big screen right?! Join me next week as I watch Uwe Boll’s House of the Dead! That seems like an easy job to make cool right?!

Crafting Bliss: Yoshi’s Crafted World

Sometimes a game looks so adorable and appealing we lose all sense of reason. Even with mediocre reviews across the board I opted to start playing Yoshi’s crafted world. Through the help of my Ko-Fi supports MikeKelly666 , LaughingReaper and whom I believe to be Iridium Eye..  we got to be able to purchase the game and finally play it. Was it worth it?

Scotch Tape

This question is not as simple to answer as it may seem. For after playing through the biggest part of this game I found all the negative aspects to be very true. This game forces you to go through each stage three to four times. More if you are unlucky and that all has to do with the format that it has chosen that I will admit is fairly poor. Like in most Yoshi games it’s all about collecting Daisy flowers. These work as an unlocking currency and as a completion criteria.  If you want to complete a stage, you are making several passes through that same stage and I will admit, the stages aren’t THAT interesting to justify that. The pacing feels impractical.. like as if you are walking across scotch tape .. your feet sticking making advancing way more difficult than it needs to be.

Ironically the low difficulty of this game kind of amplifies this flaw. There is not a lot of challenge in these stages. One of the main unlockables is a costume that can tank 2 to 4 hits for you depending on its rarity. While I all wore them for their cuteness I rarely broke the 2 hit costumes and I mostly damaged them from pits. If your costume breaks you still have about a 5 hit life bar left. So it is not hard to feel like this game is rather unengaging. It is to easy and 80% of the gameplay is set in replaying levels you have done and seen before. On my first encounter with the game.. I got fed up with this soon enough and burned out on it.. now I realise I have been playing this game wrong.

The Arts of Crafts

One can’t deny the visual appeal of this title. Just by looking at this game you cannot help but smile and feel cheered up even if things seem super dark. This game is so sweet, adorable and cutesy it might as well just be honey or maple syrup that was in the box. Or a hand full of sugar for that matter. This game is not meant to challenge you, nor to send you off on some epic journey… no this game was made to make you go SQUEEEE. It will reveal the weeaboos in the room as we all go Kawaii when the pink Yoshi decides to wear a coffee milk cup as armor or if the yellow yoshi puts  a coloured paper ribbon snail on his side. This game is not meant to be played like Super Mario Odyssey or Shovel Knight. This game is meant to help you relax and lose the frustration of those. It is a relaxy game… much  like the same role Animal Crossing has in gaming.. yet more casual and finite.

Eager as I was I started completing stages on my very first pass of them, acing all the rankings replaying them several times because a lot of collectables are missable.  I had so much money by the time I entered the fourth world I could instantly buy all their cute costumes. It only got worse… while I love how happy the world looks when you complete it.. this is not a game to bite into harshly.. no this is a game you play a stage or two for whenever you feel a bit blue. See the wholesome happy Yoshi world unfold in front of your very eyes.  Which is reflected in the way stages are designed. Everything is so detailed. Everything is craftable. With the write items you could make these stages yourself in real life.. minus the enemies and the sentient felt-like yoshi’s themselves of course.. but you can build their world. Which is amazing, everything more or less feels like it actually works, from the way some pathways unroll to hiding secrets behind background elements because they COULD be knocked down.. this game is all about atmosphere.

Compare it to a warm bath with some etherical oils sprinkled inside… sure it’s kinda boring to sit in the tub.. but after you come out of it you feel all tingly and buzzing, aglow with happiness. That is almost EXACTLY what a bathtime worth of Yoshi’s crafted world can do for you. Also equal to a bath.. that warm fuzzy feeling doesn’t linger infinitely.. that bath will cool. Soak to long and you notice that since your fingers went wrinkly not a lot changed after that. The wholesomeness is finite. For me the ideal pace is like 2 or 3 stages each time I feel a bit tense. Just put it on and let the world these dinosaurs live in wash away your grievances of the moment. In pokémon terms.. a normal video game is an ether, it restores power points… a mana potion for just about everyone else.  Yoshi’s Crafted World.. is like A Full Heal.. it restores any bad conditions, a Esuna or status removing potion. It is carefully constructed .. yet somewhat awkwardly formatted.

Forwards and Backwards

The format that was chosen is a 2d Collectathon  and this doesn’t always work out in this games favor. First of all we have to acquire all the daisy flowers per stage, finish a stage with max health and find all the red coins to complete a stage (you can finish it without any of these things) after which a backwards mode will unlock, in which you collect three Poochy pups within a time limit to get more daisies. After that is done several treasure hunts will unlock for stages which either take place on the front side or the backside of a stage. However treasure hunting usually means revisiting both sides at least once. On it’s own this already feels a bit like an awkward idea because of the fact that it is only 2.5d there is not THAT much to explore unlike in 3d collectathons.. so to make your journey feel expansive.. they locked it in tiers.. you can’t hunt the second treasure before you found the first.  Even if they are on the same route.

It feels as if this game mixes genres and elements that should not be mixed at the cost of pacing and our gamer instincts do the rest. It is easy to get sucked up into trying to complete a stage from the get go. and get everything and as for the daisies and red coins you really should try to get these on your first attempt ..because with these flowers you can already easily advance the game, no need to break your back on the treasure hunts and not even on the backwards stages.  You can just do that the next time, when the stage seems a bit fresh again. It goes a bit against gamer instinct but if you just move forward and revisit from time to time when you feel like it you can certainly have blast even in the backward stages.

Speaking off the Backward stages, they are absolutely adorable once more. While  on your journey forward you can see the beautiful and cute world of Yoshi, on backwards mode the camera now shows the undecorated side of the crafts. That house  you needed to jump over you now see.. was a pack of cookies, that cow is now invisible.. it is a cardboard backside with a little peg. That big house in the background? Cereal box! ..  And so the crafted world unfolds before you, by breaking the magic they actual validate this world so much. I squeed and forgot all about my neck pains.  This world is so vibrant and so alive.. in a very clean way.  I loved the addition of backward stages. Yet again more in an artsy appreciative way than enjoying it for it’s gameplay. Which is a weird thing to say about a game.  So I can see how wonderful it is but also how badly it fails as a game.. at least the general perception of what a game should be.

Bathtubs and Cookies

Whether or not you will like this game will really depend on your mindset, are you a bath person? Can you just enjoy nothingness and soak up atmosphere? If yes than this game is among the most unique games I have played and I deeply appreciate it. If you want a game where you actually want to be invested in the gameplay , there are probably better choices. Crafted World is not a bad game, it’s graphical style is amazing, it’s world building sublime and the controls are quite tight. It is completely held back by the reason what we want when we play games. It doesn’t cater to completionist nor does it cater to those who want to rush through.  It caters to someone in between.  With people’s thinking going more black and white each minute that kinda means this game isn’t for anybody?!

Should I judge this game equally as other games, I’d probably rank it 5/10  but I can’t shake the feeling that this is not the purpose of this game. If I rank it like I would a hot bath I’d probably rank this a 9/10.  In reality it’s probably something in between. Something like the opposite side of tetris. Where short bursts of gameplay are so enjoyable you do not need fancy visuals. This is the oposite , nothing more and nothing less. Visual interactive entertainment where the graphics and world building.. and sometimes even the puzzles themselves are so cute you do not mind the lackluster gameplay.

It’s like one of those highly frosted cookies. When you see it you absolute want it.. and because it looked so cute you do not mind it mostly just tastes like sugar.  However you don’t go in for a second cookie, yet the next day you can not help yourself to another one of those delicious looking cookies.. it is fine yet again after one you had enough.  Eventually you will finish the pack.  Half of us would buy it again.. the other would not it all depends on your mindset. To me this game is absolutely amazing, SINCE learning to take it slowly it made me smile so much. Yet it isn’t something I can easily recommend to everyone simply because not everyone can game casually.
So no review score for this one.. instead I want you to take apart the pieces of this review that are important to you and craft your own verdict!

Thanks again to my Ko-Fi supporters for making this review possible
Thanks to:
Laughing Reaper
Donator I cant find back anymore but assume to be Iridium Eye
(Initials CB)

So we got death.. the devil, something black and something metal
… So Edgy.. but that gives me an idea! I love you all