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Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros
Actors: Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Samantha Mathis, Fisher Stevens
Directors: Annabel Jankel, Dean Semler, Rocky Morton, Roland Joffé
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
PG     2003     1hr 44min

Buckle up and hang on tight -- the discovery of a parallel universe launches you into the adventure of a lifetime! Mario and Luigi, two wacky plumbers, undertake a daring quest to save a princess in "Dinohattan" -- a hidde...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Samantha Mathis, Fisher Stevens
Directors: Annabel Jankel, Dean Semler, Rocky Morton, Roland Joffé
Creators: Brad Weston, Ed Solomon, Parker Bennett, Terry Runte
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Family Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2003
Original Release Date: 05/28/1993
Theatrical Release Date: 05/28/1993
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Amber M. from MORROW, GA
Reviewed on 11/5/2013...
I have loved this movie for most of my life, and will continue to love it. It is based off of the world of the Mario Brothers, but it is a stand-alone story. The viewer does not have to know anything about the video games to watch this film, which is what I did for several years, and I still enjoyed it! Of course once I started playing the games I got excited when references came up, and some things did make a tiny bit more sense. But just watch the movie and enjoy it for what it is! It's a fun flick that goes with the craziness. It was never meant to be Oscar-worthy material. It's all in fun! The actors played their parts very well and the plot mostly made sense; also, the special effects were pretty good for the early 90s. Have fun with it!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rachel L. from SEATTLE, WA
Reviewed on 7/30/2010...
A childhood cult classic for the generation that played the Super Nintendo's Super Mario Brothers!
Give it a chance. But whatever happened to the sequel they were lining up at the film's end?
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Larry W. (Blackettle) from NAMPA, ID
Reviewed on 8/11/2009...
I watch this movie several times a year. I had to order it from China as I could never find one in the states. It's just such a cute movie the good guys are as loveable as the bad guys. I don't know who to root for! So pop the corn and settle in, your entire family is going to enjoy this film.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Watch it objectively and it's an ok, imaginative movie.
prim | 03/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Like a lot of kids of my generation, I grew up anticipating every new Super Mario Bros. game. And like a few other people in the country, I went to see the movie when it came out in theaters. I was almost 15 at the time, but I actually liked the movie.

Nowadays, it doesn't stand up. It bombed at the box office, is the source of constant scorn, and is often blamed for starting the "movies based off of video games always suck" phenomenon.

But to be quite honest, this isn't a terrible film. If you were to watch it objectively, you'll probably find something in it to appreciate. Sure, to begin with, the casting is off. Though I think John Leguizamo is capable of just about anything (he's played a fat, demonic clown, a character in Romeo and Juliet, a midget, a charismatic boxer, and a sneaky gangster (Benny Blanco from the Bronx!!). His roles have been met with mixed reviews, but say what you will, the guy has range. But here he is playing the taller, mustached Italian brother of the most famous plumber around, yet he's shorter, no mustache, and not at all Italian. Bob Hoskins being british doesn't do great for Mario either.

Someone else mentioned that the dinosaur adversary of the game, King Koopa, is played here as a sleazy, suited businessman. Yes, this is strange as well. Come to think of it, a lot of this stuff is just plain bizarre. But therein lies the problem.

Super Mario Bros, when taken at its most serious, is a game about a plumber who travels through pipes, beats up turtles with fireballs that he gets from a flower, and hits invisible blocks in the sky all while romping around in the mushroom kingdom while attempting to save a woman named Princess Toadstool. So, how would you film a plot such as this?

The filmmakers tried. They really did. And in my opinion, they came up with quite an intruiging world. Somewhere in between Blade Runner and Twin Peaks, the world in this film is flashy, colorful, populated with lots of strange creatures, and almost always with something unique or interesting to look at. That it's packaged inside this strange film is disappointing.

But that, again, is almost impossible to avoid. Some may argue that this film should've just played it straight, such as Mortal Kombat- meaning that the things in this film just are. You accept them, their rules and parameters, or you don't. Partly where SMB fails is in trying to make the completely absurd world of the videogame into something acceptable. See, this mushroom kingdom is just an alternate reality, where time flows differently and where prehistoric creatures roam about. Wouldn't you know it, two hapless plumbers stumble in, and boom- now we have a reason to accept the premise of the game.

Sure there's lots to complain about. This movie is very silly. But at the same time, I can respect what they tried to do. Dennis Hopper as Koopa is an inspired choice, since he's such a (expletive) all the time anyway. To see him run around, firing guns at everything while screaming "PLUMBERS!!!!!" is a hoot, akin to his freakout at the end of the (more) bizarre Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

That's the thing. You have to just accept this movie for what it is- tongue in cheek, self-aware goofiness. The movie doesn't try to be accepted as a serious entry into the medium of high art, it's just a silly trip into this land populated by characters who are in a video game that was, at the time, 8 years old. And in my opinion, there's lots for fans of the game to look for. Many references are there, from obvious things such as the dinosaur character Yoshi (who is played straight, strangely enough) to much more obscure references such as the character "Big Bertha", who was a fish in SMB3 but here a large african american woman who holds a key central to the plot. Yes, it's strange. But I mean come on, the game's far out to begin with. This movie may very well have been better served as a direct play on the game, such as the successful cartoon series. But instead, we're left with a sort of "alternate take", a slightly more adult and realistic one, on the Super mario landscape. Many view it as a complete failure, and I can easily see why. But for myself, I think it's no worse than any number of video game movies (and better in some cases, such as the film rape of the Resident Evil games).

In Super Mario Brothers, there's a lot to make you groan or wish better upon the participants. But if you just accept that the premise of the game is so thin to begin with, and then just accept the movie as a genuine attempt to breathe life and character into this game world, I think at the very least you can gain a new respect for what the movie is."
A completely misunderstood movie. Here's why it is good.
bulm0r | England | 06/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Most people tend to hate this film. I think, though, that they hate it because they're looking at it the wrong way. It's one of those movies that has a point, and if you miss that, you don't get any of it.Their mistake is to watch this expecting a Mario movie. I know, it sounds like the right thing to expect, but hear me out. Fans of the game know what Mario is all about - powerups, angry mushrooms, winged turtles and flying blocks. If you watch this movie expecting that, you'll be disappointed, as you'll find NONE of it. But that's not to say it isn't worth watching.Picture the scene: a couple of directors are asked to make a Mario movie by Nintendo, and they want it to be live action. That was the flavour at the time - take cartoon characters and make them real. Now, these directors know about Mario. They say "No way can that be done. Mario is all about being a cartoon. Jumping on little angry animals, everyone's a mushroom... It's a great game, and it'd make a good cartoon, but a live action version would just be moronic." "Oh, don't worry about that," says Nintendo, "just so long as you get the main elements in, do it how you want."The directors go away, rubbing their chins, trying to think of a way to do that but still do justice to the games. And then they have a fascinating idea.What if they don't do a Mario film, exactly. What if they do a sci-fi film, but fill it to the brim with Mario references, for the keen-eyed game fans?That's what this movie is. If you watch it with that in mind, you will enjoy it. I've tested this theory out already on a friend who thought the film was a bit stupid when he saw it as a kid, but watched it yesterday with my little thesis in mind and he loved it.What you get here is a quite serious (despite the light-hearted script) sci-fi flick about the nightmarish world ours may soon become: crowded, filthy, choked with pollution and overrun with a hate-filled populace who will fight you, yell at you, even try to shoot you if you pass too close. Run by a demonic well-dressed dictator politician (played to amazing effect by Dennis Hopper) who has let this world become the dark horror it is through neglect: there is no water any more, only sludge, and a slimy infestation of fungus has grown over everything, draped in great loops like one gigantic, chaotic spider web. Into this world come Mario and Luigi, similar to their game counterparts but more human, a pair of plumber brothers from Brooklyn who grew up together as orphans. They are trying to save a girl, who has been kidnapped and dragged here, and along the way they get wrapped up in something really horrifying: the president and his people are human, but human descended from dinosaurs instead of apes. He's found a way to revert his citizens back to their prehistoric roots, and with his army of lizard lackeys he's going to bridge the split between worlds (that formed when the meteorite that "killed" the dinosaurs hit) and take over our own.And through all this we find references of the sort that Mario's biggest fans will drool over, so long as they are watching this in the way I suggest. These prove that the film has been put together not by someone ignorant of the games, but by someone very well versed in their lore. A large woman called Big Bertha, dressed all in red, is named in reference to a large red fish enemy from Mario 3. She wears mechanical boots named "Thwomp-Stompers", after the classic ice block enemies, and they are powered by capsules that look exactly like Bullet Bills, from Super Mario Bros 1. Shops are apparently owned by people with the same names as characters from the games (Hammer Bros and Bullet Bill), a protest singer is named after Toad, the happy little mushroom from the games, but his hair is shaved into the pattern on the shell of Lakitu, a fan favourite since day one. These references go on throughout the film and shape its world - the fungus, which turns out to be a conscious entity, helps the brothers in every way it can; they are saved on more than one occasion by mushrooms, in what has become a literal mushroom kingdom.It's all in here if you keep your eyes peeled. Go in ready to watch not a Mario film, but a film that references Mario, and you will love it. It doesn't "change" anything from the games, because it is not any kind of filmed version of them, but it nods to them constantly.Viewed in this light, it is a treat to watch, and a rare treat, because no other film has ever crammed in so many references to videogaming before. Simply put, a live action Mario film could never be made, and the directors asked to make one did a brilliant job at trying something new and original. Well worth the ten dollars for the DVD."
A classic
Keith A. Jones | Philadelphia PA | 01/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some people say they loved this movie when they were a kid but they hate it the older they get and why is that? it's because this movie is for kids. When this film came out I was 5 and I saw it over 30 times when I was that age, now I'm 17 and in the past few years I've seen it 0 times. It's like some sort of peter pan thing because it's something about adults that blocks their imagination and makes them say classic KIDS movies like Super Mario Brothers is a horrible movie. There are things that you laugh at and love in this movie but you see them funnier as a child. Bottom line is this is a classic and I agree with the last reviewer your kids don't deserve to miss out on this amazing action adventure."