John Leguizamo Reveals Horrors of Playing Luigi in the movie Super Mario Bros

The Super Mario Bros. movie is not one of the better flicks based off a video game. It's certainly not the worst, but is odd in so many ways that it is probably worth watching at least once.

In his recent autobiography Pimps, Hos, Playas, And the Rest of my Hollywood Friends, John Leguizamo (the actor who played Luigi in the movie) devotes an entire chapter to the horrors of making is usually considered to be the first video game movie.

Here are some highlights:

"It's eight-year-olds who play the game and that's where the movie needed to be aimed. But [the directors] kept trying to insert new material. They shot scenes with strippers and with other sexually-explicit content, which all got edited out anyway."

"The shoot seemed to take forever. But at least there was Samantha [referring to Samantha Mathis, the actress who plays the romantic interest in the film whom John Leguizamo was dating off the set]. And Bob [Bob Hoskins, who played Mario]. And Bob's scotch."

"Oh man that movie sucks. And I suck in it."

The book is brief and humorous and more than a little gossipy, revealing lots of actors who Leguizamo has argued with on the course of various movie shoots throughout his career. What struck me the most was how he does movies while writing and performing autobiographical one-man shows for Broadway at the same time.

It's a fun little book and worth the read if you manage to run across a copy.

Anyone have fond memories of The Super Mario Bros. movie? ;)

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Michael McCourt
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Mat Tschirgi wrote: Anyone
Mat Tschirgi wrote:

Anyone have fond memories of The Super Mario Bros. movie? ;)

I've yet to see it, but my wife and I happened to be on our honeymoon in Disney World back in May of 1993 where either the movie was premiering or some other event associated with the movie was occuring. At the time, I'd only played the original pack-in game on the Nintendo, but hadn't played any of the sequels (hmm, still haven't!)

Anyway, my wife and I were eating at one of the World Showcase restaurants in Morocco and two tables over from us was Bob Hoskins and what I presumed was his family (lovely wife, two children). They were, just like my wife and I, having a family night out in Disney World.

I'm not an autograph collector, nor do I jump at a chance to meet a celebrity (except Lord British. I was very happy to meet him.) but it was cool just seeing this guy whom I thought was a good actor (Really thought he was great in "Mona Lisa") having dinner in Disney World like a regular person would.

I guess I'll rent Super Mario Bros. just for giggles. How painful could it be?

Bill Loguidice
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I can't say I've bothered to

I can't say I've bothered to see it either. I've seen enough scenes though to know that it was entirely too dark. I mean, heck, if you have Dennis Hopper as the bad guy, you know it's going to be rather twisted. I'm no Nintendo or Mario devotee by any stretch of the imagination, but even I would have known how to make the movie properly back then. Of course the movie was made before a CG-heavy movie was really possible, so it probably would have been more of a challenge to get a lighter, more fun atmosphere with the effects and setting, but heck, did it really need to be LIVE action? Of course not. What WOULD be nice is a videogame movie with a Disney-like animation budget, CG or otherwise, rather than trying to go live action (save for something along the lines of a Halo or other "adult/gritty" videogame)...

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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Matt Barton
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I seem to remember seeing

I seem to remember seeing Super Mario Bros back on VHS or cable at some point. It's been a long time, but I do remember thinking just how odd and wacky it turned out. I've been reading up on it at Wikipedia and am impressed by how far they departed from the movie. Still, you'd think at some point somebody would have had enough sense to pull the plug on this project. A movie about an NES game that isn't appropriate for children? I'm really shocked that Nintendo allowed anything like this to fly.

On the other hand, I honestly can't imagine anyone, no matter how talented, being able to do much with Super Mario. The only option seems to go trippy, zany, and/or camp. I just don't see any real narrative potential in a game like SMB.

I also had the misfortune of seeing parts of Double Dragon the movie, and shiver now just thinking about it. Yikes.

The only videogame movie I've actually somewhat, grudgingly admitted were decent was Mortal Kombat, and that's only because they had enough sense to stick to what made the game somewhat entertaining to watch.

The best of the lot by far is Tron, though of course that's really based more on computers and videogames in general rather than any particular game. I also like The Last Starfighter, which is very loosely based on shooter games like Galaga.

Has anyone seen Doom, Tomb Raider, or the Resident Evil movies? I've missed all of them.

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Bill Loguidice
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Matt Barton wrote:Has anyone
Matt Barton wrote:

Has anyone seen Doom, Tomb Raider, or the Resident Evil movies? I've missed all of them.

I've luckily been able to avoid watching most videogame films, save for "Street Fighter" (liked the women), "Mortal Kombat" (the first one was actually good and probably the best videogame film to date that I've seen) and "Tomb Raider". I was subjected to Tomb Raider, which was an awful, awful film. Luckily, I've been able to avoid the sequel.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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yakumo9275
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I thought cloak & dagger was

I thought cloak & dagger was the first movie based on a video game (1984)... anyone remember C&D??

-- Stu --

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Matt Barton
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yakumo9275 wrote:I thought
yakumo9275 wrote:

I thought cloak & dagger was the first movie based on a video game (1984)... anyone remember C&D??

-- Stu --

Good call, Stu! I do remember C&D, though barely. Tron came out in 1982, and Cloak & Dagger 1984. The SMB movie didn't come out until 1993, quite a spate afterwards.

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adamantyr
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Matt Barton wrote:yakumo9275
Matt Barton wrote:
yakumo9275 wrote:

I thought cloak & dagger was the first movie based on a video game (1984)... anyone remember C&D??

-- Stu --

Good call, Stu! I do remember C&D, though barely. Tron came out in 1982, and Cloak & Dagger 1984. The SMB movie didn't come out until 1993, quite a spate afterwards.

I remember Cloak & Dagger as well... that one was rather dark, though, with a lot of scenes that were a little disturbing for a kid, like when he shoots and kills the one spy who's describing, very graphically, how he's going to kill him.

Tron wasn't based on any video games. I have the special edition on DVD, and they talk about how they made it, which was post-production optical effects to create the "glow" effect. Imperfections in the process were covered by putting in little "ping" sound effects when they occurred.

The reason Disney released it was that they were the only one who had the amount of equipment necessary to do the job. As for CGI, there's only 20-25 minutes of it in the entire movie, and they had to farm out to every available super-computer in southern California at the time to get it done. The light cycles, for example, were animated by entering pre-mapped six-value 3D positions (x,y,z, angle trajectories in all three) into the computer, waiting a half-hour for the image to render, taking a snapshot, then doing it again.

Bill Loguidice
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I don't think Cloak and

I don't think Cloak and Dagger was based on the arcade game, but I'm not 100% sure. I think the arcade game was created to tie-in with the movie, though was probably out first. By the way, they "played" the game on Atari 5200, but it really was just the arcade game being patched in to a TV. The 5200 couldn't achieve that quality and in fact the conversion was never finished (the Great Videogame Crash took care of that)...

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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Mat Tschirgi (not verified)
And here is a site that

And here is a site that claims the movie is a masterpiece!

Double Dragon is the worst video-game movie I've seen.

As for the Resident Evil movies, the second one was better than the first, though neither was great. The Silent Hill movie was better than either of the RE movies for capturing the mood of the game.

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=- Mat Tschirgi =- Armchair Arcade Editor

canon.docre (not verified)
enjoyed Marior Bros. movie

I will back the Mario Bros. movie. It was messed up; I saw it when I was probably too young and it was just demented. Certainly beats the shit out of a lot of modern video game movies!

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