Super Mario Bros (1993)
|Category||Comedy||Theatrical Trailer-Theatrical Trailer|
|Year Of Production||1993|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Unknown||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Super Mario Bros begins with some absurd animation that details the "true story" of how the dinosaurs went extinct via a meteorite, but many survived in an alternative parallel universe where they evolved into human-type-thingies, built a small city-area that was coated in fungus, and were born from eggs. Take that, quantum physics! Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo) are sibling plumbers who find themselves journeying nonsensically into this universe after gorgeous Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis) is kidnapped by the henchmen of King Koopa (Dennis Hopper, having a hammy blast). What ensues is poorly written, directed and edited action sequences in which they fight the evil Koopa and his henchmen - the hysterical Goombas - assisted by the fungus, which gives them a wind-up walking bomb, and ultimately save the day with the help of an adorable animatronic dinosaur named Yoshi and boots that allow them to fly.
Funnily enough, the performances by Bob Hoskins and newcomer John Leguizamo are actually pretty good, and everyone is actually trying to sell this complete and utter nonsense. These aside, nothing really works in Super Mario Bros, a film that would be let down by the completely baffling script and inept filmmaking if it wasn't so fun to watch. There's something incredibly quaint about seeing all of these silly special effects done with minimal computer generated aide, from the animatronic Goombas and Yoshi to the lovingly ugly art design that drapes fungus and slime over the entire set, alongside a hysterical Dennis Hopper screaming every line at the top of his voice as the insane plot goes from Point A to Point Lord-Knows-Where. The downfall of any "so-bad-it's-good" film is boredom, and there wasn't many dull or draggy scenes in Super Mario Bros - in my professional opinion, it'd be hard not to have a good time with this film.
The ending sets up a sequel that never happened, probably due to the film never recouping its budget, but as it is I think this is a fun little film that isn't going to raise anyone's consciousness but isn't going to destroy your mind. Notice how I haven't written anything insipid here like "it's based on a video game, what can we expect?" - in the modern age where interactive storytelling is actually doing some incredibly remarkable stuff (see Grand Theft Auto IV, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, or my personal favourite, Bioshock) there's plenty enough uninformed idiot critics spewing bile about things they don't understand (yes, Roger Ebert, I'm looking at you) True, the phenomenal original Super Mario Bros. game had about as much plot as your average trip to the supermarket, and the film translation tries pretty hard to introduce it's ridiculous universe to our own, but the success of this is unimportant. It's a lot of fun, and one can't complain about that.
This is a very cheap transfer, with some issues with grain and slightly dulled colour, but it still looks pretty good for the majority of the running time. There's a lot of darker scenes across this film but there's few issues with low level noise - one early scene at 12:30 loses detail in the darkness, but it appears to be the exception. There are occasional issues with minor film artefacts, but the level of detail in each scene is very good - important for admiring the really strange set design.
I came across no examples of interlacing; pleasing as this is my pet hate while trying to watch a DVD nowadays. The video maintains an average 4.5mbs bitrate.
There are no subtitles.
This is a perfectly audible but no-frills audio track, unfortunately lacking the full surround I'd have preferred from this movie. The dialogue is very audible and all those wacky Nintendo sound effects that sound completely out-of-place are intact.
The musical score here is by none other than Alan Silvestri, the composer who did actually good films like Cast Away and Identity, who did a pretty decent job with what he had. For me, more notable is that the Super Mario Bros. theme actually opens the film, and we hear little tidbits from the original game throughout the film. It's completely out of place, and it's hysterical.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video and audio transfers both display very high levels of competency without offering anything spectacular.
There are nearly no extras.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Logitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||Logitech 5500 THX|
|Speakers||Logitech 5500 THX|