Gone in 60 Seconds Recap

Jamie

Memphis Raines was out of the game until he’s pulled back in for one last heist in order to save his little bro from a ruthless criminal. Faced with the seemingly impossible task of stealing 50 cars in one night Raines is undaunted because he’s just that good. Can he overcome the curse of Eleanor and save his bro before it’s too late? Find out in… Gone in Sixty Seconds.

How?! In a wholly original concept we are introduced to Memphis Raines, the best car thief history who is out of the game after watching too many of his friends go to jail or get killed. Unfortunately he’s about to be pulled right back into the game when he learns that his little bro is on the hook for a botched job and will be killed by ruthless furniture maker Raymond Calitri… he makes furniture… and boy is he angry about it. Anyway, Memphis gets the gang back together, including some young hotshot additions thanks to his bro, and start to scope out all fifty (!) of the cars he’ll have to steal in one night. Unfortunately Memphis is also super well known to the cops given that he’s the best car thief in history and they are also tagging along ready to nab him when he takes a wrong step. But this is Memphis Raines, best car thief in history, he don’t take wrong steps. On the night of the heist, things are going swimmingly: they are stealing cars and looking dope doing it. But when they attempt to steal a few “unstealable” cars tagged by the police Memphis’ Memphis-sense gets a-tinglin’ and he’s like “No way,” and basically they go and totally steal the cars from the police impound instead (take that, 5-0!). By the end of the night they start to hit some bumps in the road and one of his little bros’ best buds gets shot, so it’s all up to Memphis, the best car thief in history, to grab the last car dubbed Eleanor. He goes out and totes steals it, but the fuzz are all over him. He leads them on a giant chase and is basically the man and only survives by the skin of his teeth by jumping a million feet over an accident on a bridge. He arrives mere minutes late so Calitri, being ruthless, is ready to kill him, but his little bro comes to the rescue. In a climactic fight set in Calitri’s furniture warehouse/factory/office, Memphis and the police join forces to kill Calitri and then laugh about it. THE END.

Why?! Family, duh. Ever heard of it? Memphis was out of the game, man. He was the best, but he was out of the game. He wasn’t gonna come back, but gets pulled back in to save his little bro. As for the bad guy, he seems to have so little motivation it’s comical. He just kills willy-nilly and cares mostly for the beauty of wood and the craftsmanship of solid furniture.

Who?! Master P went uncredited as Johnnie B. in the film, the gangster angry that Memphis has returned to his turf. Interesting that he ended up uncredited in the role given that he has a number of lines and I mean, I wouldn’t think he would be embarrassed by the film or anything. Maybe his part was supposed to be bigger and he got mad about it? Or maybe it was always supposed to be an unbilled cameo. Hard to say with these things.

What?! For some reason in my head it’s way more common for a film to have the main characters quenching their thirst with the unequaled refreshment of a delicious Coca-Cola. But here our main characters are apparently a bunch of bozos as they can’t get enough Pepsi… gross.

Where?! Nic Cage is the king of Long Beach and he ain’t afraid to remind you. It’s LA all day, bro. But don’t worry about our boy Nic showing up in his old stomping ground, Det. Delroy Lindo, he just came in to catch a Lakers game *electric guitar*.

When?! I believe in my heart of hearts that you can get an exact date on this film. It’s just that my DVD copy I got was of such low quality that it actually hindered my efforts. My gut is telling me that it’s August. It feels like August… in the citaaay. F

I’m going to have to be honest here and it’s painful to say: this film is terrible. I really thought it was super dumb and bad and had so many characters and things going on that it all became a jumbled mess. There are only two good things about this film: 1. The music is actually really banging and sounds like Nic Cage is saving the Earth from an asteroid when he’s just stealing a bunch of cars. 2. Nic Cage. That’s it. It’s actually amusing that Angelina Jolie is so prominently featured in the advertising of the film because her part is miniscule and really poorly developed. But still better developed than almost everyone else. One problem for me I think is that I watched the original before this one and while that film is super low budget, poorly acted, and poorly written, the final 40-minute chase is way way better than any of the car action in this film. So that certainly didn’t help. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Gonna get them cars bro! And we’re going to look sweaty and dirty and gross while doing it. It’s about the fambly, bro. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This is Nic Cage all day every day. I’ve seen the film before, it is just ludicrous from top to bottom. But it is vintage Cage, so any revisit is well worth the price of admission. I remember … mostly just that they have fake fingerprints at one point. And they have to hack some ultra-sophisticated anti-theft device. Otherwise, I’ll go in as a clean slate (kind of, since I’ve seen the film at least three times). My expectations for the film: I needed one of two things to happen, either Nic Cage needed to be acting b-b-b-b-bonkers, or the film needed to have wall-to-wall absurd car “hacking” nonsense. I just didn’t want to be exhausted with the premise 30 minutes into the film.

The Good – The film is actually very well paced. It quickly gets into the action, Nic Cage assembles an interesting team, and we get to stealing some cars. This film is The Fast and the Furious before The Fast and the Furious. Legit, the second film would have seen Patton get killed during a job and Nic Cage seeks revenge, the third they get recruited by the detective to perform a sting, and from the fourth onward they are international spies. We’ll forget about Gone in 62 Seconds: Bangkok Hijinx. Nic Cage is right on the correct side of insane for me, I thought he was great in this film.

The Bad – The crew is so big. It is maybe four people too large. It is unclear what the point of several of them are, and you don’t really see most of them actually stealing cars. Speaking of which there really is too little in the way of interesting car stealing. Where’s the hacking and other magic nonsense they could have invented? There is a really dumb superfluous story about a rival gang, they don’t give Jolie or Duvall enough to do, and the detective story hinges on the police being genuinely dumb. The movie is not good … so why do I like it so much?

The BMT – Hmmmmm. I like the film. I think if someone wants to watch a really really dumb film starring Nic Cage, this is a pretty good choice. It isn’t a good movie like National Treasure, The Rock, and Con Air, but this is pretty close if you don’t mind it being aggressively dumb. So would I recommend it as a bad movie? No, but I would watch it again in a heartbeat. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, but just barely. Nic Cage was just b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers enough to get me to where I needed to be.

Roast-radamus – You know, this film could have really used a Planchet. It did have a great Product Placement (What?) with Patton in particular grabbing an ice cold Pepsi when talking with Nic Cage. You can definitely say this is a Setting as a Character (Where?) for California and Long Beach in particular. Is Elanor, the Shelby Mustang, a MacGuffin? … I don’t think so, it isn’t the thing they are going after, they are stealing 50 cars to save Kip’s life. And I could believe this gets a nod for Good in the end, just because that category is usually pretty sparse.

StreetCreditReport.com – Nice, we finally got one that actually made a top ten Worst Of list, this time for Rolling Stone. Also it made a more specific worst car films ever list. And in general the film has a multitude of fun articles online, from people arguing about how they actually like the film, to more specific takedowns involving minutiae of the film. A truly divisive film. BTW, the first thing there, “why steal Elanor in broad daylight?”, was my number one pet peeve in the film. The car is incredibly conspicuous and the police are spotting it from miles away whenever Cage made an escape.

You Just Got Schooled – And guess what? This is a remake. The original is something of a cult classic. The 1974 film was directed, written, financed, starred, stunt coordinated, etc. etc. by  H.B. “Toby” Halicki whose own cars (including both cars used as all four Eleanors seen in the film) were also used in the film. Notable for its 40 minute chase finale, the film itself is actually a lot more fun that you’d think, and it makes a lot of sense that it is a cult hit among car aficionados. Cheap looking, poorly acted, and poorly written, Halicki would eventually aim to remake the film himself in 1984 with more money, but he sadly died during a stunt before the film could get finished. The premise of the original is actually a lot more solid than the remake, but I can see why the destructive and truly criminal nature of Halicki’s character was thrown out in favor of a redemption story. Still, fun to see what a true independent film of the 70s looked like. Kind of amazing what he was able to do it totally out of the studio system at the time. D remake, the new one just didn’t have the same heart or love of cars to serve as a proper remake of the original.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Gone in 60 Seconds Quiz

Hmmmm, I remember tearing around town in this stolen car, but after a big bridge jump I knocked m’head about a bit and can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Gone in 60 Seconds?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Kip done done it now! He blew the job and the boss ain’t happy. Not only that, but they left tons of evidence behind in the warehouse they were working in. What three key pieces of evidence were left behind?

2) Well Kip is in some hot water and they need to call big bro Memphis up to patch things up (as usual). What does Memphis do now?

3) Why do they nickname all of the cars with women’s names?

4) Can you name the crew? Even just getting the numbers would be pretty impressive.

5) Why are they stealing all 50 cars in one night, and why is Eleanor saved until last?

Answers

Gone in 60 Seconds Preview

Just as it seems like Rich will succumb to his wounds his door busts in revealing Poe. “Bye Bye… man” Rich stammers. “Not on my watch, partner. RoboPD 3000, get in here,” with that a small flying robot zooms into the room, quickly assesses Rich’s wounds and goes to work with her advanced robot technologies. When he’s healed enough to enjoy a refreshing Coca-Cola, Rich recounts the horrific events of the previous evening. A group of thugs busted in on Christmas Eve, beat him within an inch of his life, and kidnapped Jade and their child, Junior. Tears glisten in his eyes as Poe suddenly looks away… Rich realizes something, “Poe, how… how did you know to come here?” Slowly Poe looks up, “I’m sorry…” “How!?” Rich screams, grabbing Poe by the collar. “RoboPD 3000 got a holofax last night. We thought it was a prank. Gruber was dead, I karate chopped him in the neck myself, remember… but… but there was something about it. Something that didn’t sit right. So we came here… and found you.” Rich is stricken, “show me.” With that a holofax of Gruber appears from RoboPD 3000, “Hello, Rich. I have your beloved. I have your child. Don’t worry, they are safe… for now. I have a task for you. Get a computer virus that’s been developed by some punks at Seattle Technical High School. I’d go myself, but… I’m an international fugitive thanks to you. So now you will help me or you and your family will be dead. Have fun.” With that the image flips off. Enraged, Rich grabs his gun and turns to Poe, “Will you help me,” to which Poe nods, “so how fast can we blow this joint?” and Poe can’t help but smile, “We’ll be gone in sixty seconds.” That’s right! We’re watching Gone in Sixty Seconds starring the incomparable Nic Cage and Hackers alum Angelina Jolie. There are a few films that leapt instantly to mind when we decided to do this cycle and this was one of them (I think you also might be able to guess the Jesse Bradford vehicle we may have chosen). There is something beautiful about a bad film with big stars and a big release. Can’t pass it up. Let’s go!

Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) – BMeTric: 19.4 

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Gonein60SecondsIMDb_RV

(A rating of 6.5 is patently absurd! How is it so high? I vaguely remember the film being entertaining … but I also remember it mostly being very silly. Is Gone in Sixty Seconds an Armageddon type thing where people of a certain age love it or something?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Relentlessly stupid remake of the 1974 drive-in hit about a reformed car thief who – to save his kid brother – agrees to marshal a mass theft in 48 hours’ time, while cop Lindo is hot on his trail. Even for a no-brainer this is pretty poor, with low-octane action and a preposterous finale. Jolie is barely in it; Duvall and Lindo are wasted.

(Jolie is barely in it? I … don’t remember that somehow. Isn’t she Nic Cage’s right hand man? Everything else in that sounds excellent though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxCE9gDm1vo/

(Wow that is a truly truly awful trailer. Completely stunning just how bad the beginning of it is along with the graphics that appear all over the screen throughout.)

Directors – Dominic Sena – (Known For: Kalifornia; Future BMT: Whiteout; BMT: Season of the Witch; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Swordfish; Notes: A major music video director in the 2000s and co-founder of Propaganda Films.)

Writers – H.B. Halicki (1974 motion picture) – (Known For: Gone in 60 Seconds; BMT: Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: Used all of his own cars in the original film which basically didn’t have a script. Planned a remake in 1982 with a more polished production, but died in an on-set accident during filming.)

Scott Rosenberg (screenplay) – (Known For: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Con Air; High Fidelity; Beautiful Girls; Future BMT: Disturbing Behavior; Impostor; Venom; Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead; BMT: Kangaroo Jack; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: Notably was arrested alongside Vince Vaughn for their involvement in the 2001 bar brawl where Steve Buscemi was stabbed.)

Actors – Nicolas Cage – (Known For: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Mandy; Kick-Ass; The Rock; The Frozen Ground; National Treasure; Leaving Las Vegas; Raising Arizona; Face/Off; Teen Titans Go! To the Movies; Con Air; Snowden; Moonstruck; Grindhouse; Lord of War; Wild at Heart; Joe; The Croods; Future BMT: G-Force; Tokarev; Dying of the Light; Outcast; Pay the Ghost; 211; Stolen; Wings of the Apache; Southern Fury; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; The Humanity Bureau; The Runner; Looking Glass; Between Worlds; Inconceivable; Army of One; Zandalee; Deadfall; Amos & Andrew; Windtalkers; Trapped in Paradise; Knowing; Next; Sonny; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; 8MM; Christmas Carol: The Movie; BMT: The Wicker Man; Left Behind; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Ghost Rider; Drive Angry; Trespass; Season of the Witch; Bangkok Dangerous; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Justice; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Wicker Man; in 2008 for Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Next; in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; in 2013 for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Seeking Justice; and in 2015 for Left Behind; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Snowden in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2007 for The Wicker Man; and in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; Notes: Ya’ll know Nic Cage. Apparently his new movie Jiu Jitsu is the first film to take advantage of Cyprus’ new tax credit scheme by filming entirely within the country.)

Angelina Jolie – (Known For: Wanted; Girl, Interrupted; Maleficent; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; The Good Shepherd; Kung Fu Panda; Changeling; Salt; Beowulf; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Playing by Heart; Pushing Tin; A Mighty Heart; Hell’s Kitchen; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Alexander; By the Sea; Life or Something Like It; The Tourist; Shark Tale; Playing God; Original Sin; Taking Lives; Hackers; Foxfire; Beyond Borders; The Bone Collector; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2002 for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Original Sin; in 2003 for Life or Something Like It; in 2004 for Beyond Borders, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; and in 2005 for Alexander, and Taking Lives; Notes: Ya’ll know Angelina Jolie. Apparently she’s going to be a Contributing Editor for Time starting this year.)

Giovanni Ribisi – (Known For: Avatar; Saving Private Ryan; The Bad Batch; Lost in Translation; Lost Highway; Ted; The Virgin Suicides; The Gift; Public Enemies; Ted 2; That Thing You Do!; Cold Mountain; Selma; Contraband; Boiler Room; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Heaven; The Dead Girl; Meadowland; SubUrbia; Future BMT: The Mod Squad; Perfect Stranger; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Masked and Anonymous; Flight of the Phoenix; I Love Your Work; Basic; The Big White; All the Rage; Middle Men; Gangster Squad; The Other Sister; 10th & Wolf; BMT: The Postman; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: An active Scientologist. I knew him originally for his role as Phoebe’s brother on Friends.)

Budget/Gross – $90 million / Domestic: $101,648,571 (Worldwide: $237,202,299)

(Actually not bad with the international gross. Strong argument it wasn’t a loss at least, and considering there would be a number of product placement opportunities with the cars, it probably was a pretty safe bet from the start.)

#3 for the Action Remake genre

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(Remake graphs are the best. You can see the two peaks where they seem to just run out of original properties and start recycling things temporarily. The cyclic nature of taste. Shocking that we’ve only seen four others: Red Dawn (2012), Death Wish (2018), Rollerball, and Get Carter. Not even halfway through the qualified films.)

#13 for the Heist / Caper genre

gonein60seconds_caper

(Right at the peak of terrible caper films. It’s beautiful. We’ve seen six of them now and this is the most profitable qualifying films. There are 26 qualifying films in total … where have we been!?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (34/137): Even though Oscar-bearers Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, and Robert Duval came aboard for this project, the quality of Gone in 60 Seconds is disappointingly low. The plot line is nonsensical, and even the promised car-chase scenes are boring.

(Yeah the consensus seems to be that they really dropped the ball on the car chases. Reviewer Highlight: Where the original had too many car chases and not enough plot or characterisation, this has too much plot, too many characters and not enough metal crunching, tyre squealing action. – Time Out)

Poster – Gonna Get ‘Dem Cars Bro (B+)

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(I’m gonna shock the world and say that I kinda like this poster. Good color and nice unique font. I don’t really understand what’s happening with Nic Cage’s face being partially obscured, but overall I think the effect is good. It is a little odd that Angelina Jolie is featured on the poster when her role is fairly minor, but I think she just won an Oscar so makes sense.)

Tagline(s) – Ice Cold, Hot Wired. (B)

(The poster doesn’t have a tagline, so I chose the one from imdb that I liked the best. I’m not sure where they used this one but it tickles me. Nic Cage is Ice Cold and those cars are Hot Wired. It’s actually a pretty perfect tagline given my criteria. It’s short and sweet, hints at the plot, and uses Hot and Cold to nice affect. Unfortunate it’s not on the poster.)

Keyword(s) – auto theft; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.5 Material Girls (2006); 74.0 Kangaroo Jack (2003); 68.2 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006); 44.6 National Security (2003); 37.3 xXx (2002); 33.5 Captive (II) (2015); 32.1 The Rookie (1990); 28.8 Let’s Go to Prison (2006); 28.3 The Hunted (2003); 27.4 Next (2007);

(Really good list I think. You can tell it is applied to the films properly, but doesn’t include every film ever made. And the Gone in 60 Seconds type film really seems to be a blind spot for BMT, just looking at the genres and this keyword.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 8) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Nicolas Cage is No. 1 billed in Gone in Sixty Seconds and No. 1 billed in The Wicker Man, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 8. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Seven Eleanor replicas were made for use in this movie. Five of them were totaled during stunt sequences. Nicolas Cage and Jerry Bruckheimer kept the remaining two. Cage regularly takes his out for joy rides, while Bruckheimer is afraid of driving his. (That sounds just like Cage)

Nicolas Cage did most of his own stunt driving for the film. He attended the Bondurant Driving School in Phoenix, Arizona, Willow Springs (another car driving school), and the Bobby Ore Stunt Driving School in preparation for the film. He liked the race car driving school so much, that he continued to pursue it as a hobby after shooting was completed. (A lot of actors seem to do this)

When Mirror Man (T.J. Cross) is talking to the clerk at the police impound yard, a sign can be seen in the background that reads “If you leave your car unlocked, it will be gone in 60 seconds.” This same sign was used in Gone in 60 Seconds (1974). (The exact same sign?! Cool)

[NOTE: There is an entire list of the type of cars and their nicknames here, it is cool, but enormous, so go to IMDb itself to see that]

Christopher Eccleston spoke with his natural Lancashire accent in the film, because he noted that in American films, the English accents are always either posh or Cockney.

While only basic plot elements are shared with the original Gone in 60 Seconds (1974), one is the location of the final car. Eleanor, a classic Mustang (a 1973 model in the original, a 1967 in this movie), was parked at the International Towers in Long Beach. (Little fan service)

After some disagreements with director Dominic Sena about the rewriting, Scott Rosenberg left the project. Writers Jonathan Hensleigh and J.J. Abrams came in and did an uncredited rewrite of the script. (J.J. was all over the place back in the day)

The motorcycle that Sway (Angelina Jolie) rides in the movie is a 1999 MV Agusta Serie ORO (Gold Series). It’s one of only 300 produced worldwide, with a 750cc, in-line four-cylinder engine, which produces 125 horsepower, and a top speed of over 175 miles (281 kilometers) per hour. (Jesus, the excesses of Hollywood)

Right after the film’s release, Eleanor replicas based on the 1967 Mustang skyrocketed. Executive producer Denice Shakarian Halicki had to file a copyright for Eleanor’s likeness, and she won a court case against Carroll Shelby in 2008. His company, Carroll Shelby Enterprises, had a licensing agreement with Unique Performance in Farmers Branch, Texas, where his continuation series of Shelby Mustangs were produced until the company was closed in 2008 due to vehicle identification number irregularities and failure to deliver cars to customers. As of 2014, Classic Recreations of Tulsa, Oklahoma is the licensed manufacturer of the Eleanor replica used in the film, using 1967 Mustang fastback bodyshells supplied by Dynacorn Restoration Bodies.

The ultra-rare McLaren F1 was originally supposed to be in the movie, but after the producers couldn’t get their hands on one, it was replaced with another supercar, the Jaguar XJ220. (Wow, they couldn’t get one? They would just kind of fabricate them these days)

Christopher Eccleston did not have his driver’s license during the shoot. He did not choose to take the drivers test until several years after the film was released. (Ha!)

Delroy Lindo accidentally totalled the BMW he drives in the movie.

In 2012, a group called the “Gone in Sixty Seconds Gang” was arrested for stealing 39 cars in the U.K.

The bridge stunt was filmed at the Vincent Thomas Bridge which crosses Los Angeles Harbor. It was shut for a full day to film the car jump, the only time in the history of the bridge that this has happened. It was also featured in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), City of Angels (1998), and Charlie’s Angels (2000).

Super Mario Bros. Recap

Jamie

Mario and Luigi are just a couple of plumbers trying to make ends meet in Brooklyn. When Luigi meets the love of his life, Daisy, only to have her taken through an interdimensional portal to Dinohattan the bros follow after her. Can they stop King Koopa from merging the dinosaur and human worlds (and find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Super Mario Bros.

How?! In the midst of a string of kidnappings of women, two Brooklyn plumbers, Mario and Luigi, are just trying to get by. When a beautiful researcher, Daisy, who is excavating some strange fossils in a local construction site catches Luigi’s eye things seem like they are looking up. That is until she is becomes the next victim of the kidnappers. Even weirder is that Mario and Luigi witness Daisy getting dragged through what looks like a solid rock wall, but in actuality is a portal to another dimension (oooooooo). Luckily they grab Daisy’s necklace before she is dragged through because it turns out to be the key to everything (more on that later). Refusing to lose his chance at totally smooching this pretty lady, Luigi jumps in right after and Mario is not far behind. They find themselves in Dinohattan, an alternate dimension where the dinosaurs never went extinct, but instead evolved into intelligent humanoids themselves. This realm is ruled by the eeevil King Koopa, who needs Daisy’s necklace in order to make complete the meteorite that split the dimensions millions of years ago. By completing the meteorite he will merge the two dimensions and he can use his advanced deevolution technology to take over the world (bwawawawa). Hearing that the plumbers have the necklace, Koopa puts out an APB. Before they can be arrested, though, they are mugged and the necklace is taken. Once arrested, they are told the entire intricate MacGuffin-centric plan but totes escape before Koopa can do anything about it. Ending up in the wasteland they are helped by some of Koopa’s toadies (and now defectors) to get back into the city and locate the necklace. Almost immediately after getting it back, though, Koopa’s lady love Lena gets the necklace and decides that actually she wants to rule the world and goes off to use it on the meteorite. Mario and Luigi decide it’s time to rescue Daisy (and all the other kidnapped girls) and infiltrate Koopa’s building and take everyone out like the Super Mario Bros that they are. Once outside Mario confronts Koopa, while Luigi and Daisy confront Lena, who immediately is killed when she attempts to merge the dimensions. While the dimensions are briefly merged Koopa deevolves Mario’s biggest rival into a chimpanzee before Luigi and Daisy remove the necklace and Koopa is dispatched. Dinohattan rejoices, Daisy’s dad is reevolved from a fungus into a humanoid by unknown means, and Luigi and Mario return to their own dimension. Luigi is real bummed because he doesn’t get to smooch Daisy, but is surprised when she returns to let them know about their next great adventure in the sequel. THE END… or is it? (it is). Believe it or not this is me being brief… the plot is a disaster.

Why?! Major MacGuffin Alert over here. In fact, I’m going to call it right now. This is the best MacGuffin in the history of BMT. I’d have to go back through all our films to confirm it, but the Meteorite Necklace is kind of a perfect level of stupidity. You see, King Koopa really wants this Meteorite Necklace that Princess Daisy has. Why? Because it’s part of the meteorite that sent the dinosaurs into an alternate dimension. By putting the meteorite back together he’ll be able to merge dimensions because… why not. Obviously that would be the case. But that’s not all. Even if he had the piece of the meteorite he wouldn’t be able to merge the dimensions. Why? Because only Princess Daisy would be able to do that and survive the power surge (?). Again… why? I literally have no idea. Because it was laid down in an ancient scroll probably. Or maybe… like Princess Daisy’s mom was actually human and so she’s the offspring of both dimensions and thus can bridge the gap… I just made that up, but good enough for me. Everyone else is motivated by love (awwwww).

Who?! Weird musician-turned-actor in this as Toad was played by a guy by the name of Mojo Nixon, a psychobilly musician who’s heyday was in the early 90’s. He appeared a few films around this time… in fact this isn’t the first film we’ve seen him in. He was also in Car 54, Where Are You? I should also mention that Lance Henriksen has a very brief cameo as the Mushroom King after he is reevolved back into a… mushroom human, I guess. Never a real explanation why he even reevolves either. It just kinda happens at the end.

What?! Again, one of the greatest product placements in BMT history. So good that I remember being puzzled by it even when I watched this film as a child. In the climactic scene where the Super Mario Bros take out Koopa with a Bob-omb we get a very clear shot of the bottom of the bomb’s feet… which for no explainable reason are emblazoned with the Reebok logo. Magnifique.

Where?! Brooklyn, baby. In both dimensions Brooklyn/NYC exists and plays a prominent role in the action. The best part is that they actually give some pretty clear details of Dinohattan and the world that it exists in. Apparently it’s a small inhabitable city surrounded on all sides by a wasteland that covers the rest of the planet… which is exactly how Patrick and I describe the Z-Universe in our ongoing Bad Movie Twins saga. Great minds. A-.

When?! My guess is that this is actually identifiable given that there are a number of prop newspapers with news stories regarding the missing Brooklyn girls. I just couldn’t catch a clear glimpse of a date on them, but they exist. I just need to scour the dark web for some of those sweet sweet props. F.

There are moments in my life where I know I’m watching a first ballot HoF film. This was one of them. It is truly the crowning BMT achievement in multiple categories close to our BMT hearts. The MacGuffin is a masterpiece, the product placement is inexplicable, and the stories behind the production may very well be a case study in how arrogance and ego mixed with cynicism and disillusionment mixed with greed comes together into a perfect BMT film. They weren’t trying to make a BMT film, they were trying their damndest to make a hit, and yet they produced something that is so odd and weird and nonsensical that it became beautiful. A beautiful piece of trash. The only good thing about it was how invested it seemed that Bob Hoskins was in an obviously terrible role… and then I learned he was drunk the whole time and didn’t give a shit. Give the man an Oscar. I could not tell. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! For about two years now we’ve allowed ourselves to rewatch movies for BMT. Now, I thought Batman & Robin was going to be the quintessential example of why this is a good thing. Apparently I forgot about Super Mario Bros. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Everything I remember about the film and everything I heard about it subsequently kind of focuses on the set design of Dinohattan. All of the cast hated the two directors, and part of why the two directors were being insufferable was because they were being limited in their vision of a surreal alternate dimension Mushroom Kingdom. I noted during the Double Dragon recap that these two movies are kind of the same: let’s adapt this video game, but since we are a bit light on story … uh, it is also post-apocalyptic. I was intrigued and very very excited due to all three prospects.

The Good – In an alternate dimension this film is fantastic and ushers in a wave of bizarre metaphorical adaptations of video games. There is something just so bold and brash in the vision. The leads are solid I think, at least as good as you would hope given the material. Dinohattan in all of its misguided glory is kind of amazing, and tells you a lot about how films were being made in that sweet spot of the late 80s / early 90s. Finally, Yoshi is a very very impressive puppet, right before Jurassic Park killed the need for cinematic puppets once and for all.

The Bad – The story makes no sense. The fan service is off the chain. It is completely operating on the level of “well we have this script that is just a sci-fi post-apocalyptic film … how much Super Mario shit do we need to add to it to make it a Super Mario film again?”. Hopper is awful, just awful in the King Koopa role. It is clear the directors were out of their depth, the script was re-written daily, and Nintendo was offering no guidance. It is awful … even if it is incredibly fun to watch.

The BMT – The film is somehow one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, and a cinematic achievement. I absolutely expect to watch this film many more times in my life. I will show my children this film. They will watch it with me. And guess what? When they are like 30 years old they’ll say “What was that weird Mario film we watched with dad those twelve times when we were kids? Jesus, you want to watch that again in our holo-cinema, Robo-Butler?”. This is the first film in a while that might make the Hall of Fame simply on bad movie merits alone. It will endure for BMT.

Roast-radamus – Last week we had evil Laurel & Hardy, and this week let’s go with Evil Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Who?) because this film is somehow almost definitely a rip off of Hamlet, and the two cousins of King Koopa play R and G for sure. One of the best Produce Placements (What?) we’ve had in a while with Reebok sponsoring the grand finale bom-bomb. Naturally a small Setting as a Character (Where?) for Brooklyn and alternate reality Brooklyn (Dinohattan) which is pretty great. It actually literally is a character, as the Mushroom Kingdom is covered in Princess Daisy’s father who was de-evolved into a fungus. We have a fantastic MacGuffin (Why?) in the meteorite shard which will somehow merge the two dimensions back together. And finally I think this has a good shot at both the BMT award this year, and also an eventual Hall of Fame in the future, but we’ll see. That’s five years away. Very impressive award potential though.

StreetCreditReport.com – Obviously Siskel and Ebert put this in their worst of list of this year. Normally that would be well and good as far as street cred is concerned. Rifftrax has it on their worst of the 90s list at number 3. Gamestop puts it at number 13 on their worst video games list. And variety put it maybe at number one (but it seems to be in no particular order) as a top 7 worst video game films list as well. This has the cred. Up the wazoo as they say.

You Just Got Schooled – Another video game film, another speedrun. Well, not precisely. In this case it is Mario 64 TAS (tool-assisted super-run) involving not pressing the A button (at all) in the final level. But how you might wonder, well take a look at the video:

Basically the computer is just pressing B, manipulating its environment, and pausing to eventually get all of the red stars and defeat Bowser. Obviously this can only be done via computer, but still pretty impressive. The entire game can in theory be done with a single half-A press, which I understand to be that you come into the game with A pressed down and merely release it at a single point in the game to achieve the only jump currently required in the entire game. If that video intrigued you I would suggest watching the previous video he uploaded (it is in the description), and reading that description. It explains a bunch about how the B jump works. Other videos explain the pausing mechanisms, and other junk. And Games Done Quick (summer event is June 23rd to 30th) does a few TAS breakdowns as well which is the only reason I know anything about this. And there you have it, you’ve been schooled on deeeeeeep Mario 64 super-run knowledge.

And that’s it. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Super Mario Bros. Quiz

I had this very strange dream. I entered the world of Super Mario, but … like it was just a generic post-apocalyptic thing instead of being anything like the video game. I can’t remember anything else. Can you help me out?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film we are introduced to Mario Mario, Luigi Mario, and Princess Daisy who all, for whatever reason, live in real world Brooklyn. Daisy is tangled up with an eeeeeeeevil real estate developer over a construction site in Brooklyn. Why?

2) And how do the Mario Bros. get all mixed up in Daisy’s mess?

3) Dinohattan looks a lot like New York City … but filled with human dinosaurs, really dangerous, and covered in fungus. Wait … why is it covered in fungus?

4) Describe the path of the MacGuffin Meteorite shard from the instant we see it in the film.

5) What is King Koopa’s plan with the MacGuffin Meteorite?

Answers

Super Mario Bros. Preview

“Stop!” Shouts Poe, “or my grandma will shoot.” The mailman freezes as he spots Granny toting a comically large pistol. He backs away and speeds away in his car. Poe smirks at Granny, “what am I gonna do with you, you foul-mouthed old bat?” Granny smirks back, “you’ll finish your goddamn supper and we’ll watch Murder She Wrote.” Poe shrugs, “I guess this is what I get for retiring from the force early and moving to New Orleans to help you out. But sometimes… I just want another piece of the action.” Just as he closes the door a knock rings out. Granny is pissed and raises the pistol. “No wait,” Poe says softly, “I know that knock…” Just as he suspected Rich is there leaning against the porch. “You ready for another piece of the action, partner?” Poe is already shaking his head. He’s not a police officer anymore, he gave that up. It’s against the rules. Rich laughs, “Rulez? You really did retire. That’s too bad. Too bad you and Granny will end up dead.” He turns, knowing Poe can’t leave it at that. “Oh you haven’t heard,” Rich says snidely, “Helmut Gruber escaped and he’s out for revenge.” Poe stares in disbelief. Gruber? But he’s dead… isn’t he? Apparently not. With gritted teeth Poe asks quietly, “where is he?” Rich smiles. “He’s holed up in an arcade downtown.” Poe grabs his jacket but Rich stop him, “Woah partner, we’ll be too conspicuous heading down like this.” Poe grins and soon they are dressed like a couple of dope tweens ready to infiltrate the arcade and show Gruber what’s what. “Oh and Rich?” Rich says with a sly smile, “Better bring your Granny. These tweens need adult supervision.” And with that he cocks his gun. That’s right! We are finally watching an all-timer in Super Mario Bros. This was the first major motion picture based on a video game and oh what a start it was. Not only was it adapted as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film, but it looked real dumb to boot. It’s also appropriate timing for us to watch as it looks like Pokemon Detective Pikachu officially broke the 26 year long streak of video game adaptations being rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. It stands at 63%. Baby steps. Let’s go!

Super Mario Bros. (1993) – BMeTric: 84.7

SuperMarioBrosIMDb_BMeT

SuperMarioBrosIMDb_RV

(Ah, I actually don’t think this shows a regression. What is happening here is that the rating is basically 3.9 for the last 7 years. That jump in 2014 happens right on January 1st. And that jump is really consistent across movies (but you only notice it in really bad films I think … I can’t remember). Look back at Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. That’s a regression. This … this is sitting right at 3.9ish for like a decade. That is what I’m talking about when I say a truly bad film won’t regress to the mean.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Super, indeed! This overblown, effects-laden turkey chronicles the convoluted story of the title boys from Brooklyn (Hoskins, Leguizamo), plumber-siblings who go up against the villainous King Koopa (Hopper), a semi-human dinosaur who instigates the kidnapping of Daisy (Mathis), a princess who possesses a magical meteorite fragment. This listless film has far less appeal than the video game that inspired it.

(First, my god the hyphens! I love you Leonard. There are three hyphens in this review. Second, the review is just a description of the film and then a little “not interesting” at the end. And third … 1.5 stars? Where does the 0.5 come from. Classic Leonard. Classic.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtMZKYnLg5c/

(Oh shit the music!!!!! Is this real? They literally showed a major bit of the end of the film in that trailer? The theory surrounding trailers for films really was wild back then. It was just “anything goes as long as it generates interest”. One of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen. Bar none.)

Directors – Annabel Jankel – (Known For: Tell It to the Bees; D.O.A.; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Both Jankel and Morton were known for their music video work and for create Max Headroom. This film basically ruined their directing careers. Tell It to the Bees was Jankel’s first big directing job since Super Mario Bros. … it was in 2018.)

Rocky Morton – (Known For: D.O.A.; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Jankel and Morton got divorced in 2005. Both won Emmys for NBC’s Friday Night Videos which was basically MTV on basic cable … which apparently was a thing in the early 80s.)

Writers – Parker Bennett (written by) – (Known For: The Thief and the Cobbler; Future BMT: Mystery Date; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Was a writer and cartoonist for Playboy at one point.)

Terry Runte (written by) – (Known For: The Thief and the Cobbler; Future BMT: Mystery Date; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Apparently he has a credit for this YouTube video … which has like 24 views? Wild wild stuff.)

Ed Solomon (written by) – (Known For: Men in Black; Now You See Me; Charlie’s Angels; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Imagine That; What Planet Are You From?; Leaving Normal; Future BMT: The In-Laws; Mom and Dad Save the World; Now You See Me 2; Levity; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Is apparently writing the new Bill and Ted as well. And was married to John Cleese’s daughter for a long while.)

Actors – Bob Hoskins – (Known For: Snow White and the Huntsman; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Brazil; Enemy at the Gates; Doomsday; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Mermaids; Paris, je t’aime; The Long Good Friday; Balto; Unleashed; The Cotton Club; Vanity Fair; Nixon; Made in Dagenham; A Christmas Carol; Inserts; Hollywoodland; Mona Lisa; Beyond the Sea; Future BMT: Son of the Mask; Maid in Manhattan; Michael; Outlaw; Live Virgin; Heart Condition; Hook; Shattered; Den of Lions; Stay; BMT: Spice World; Super Mario Bros.; Garfield 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Died due to complications with Parkinson’s in 2014. Claims to have never had an acting lesson in his life.)

John Leguizamo – (Known For: John Wick; John Wick: Chapter 2; Romeo + Juliet; Carlito’s Way; Chef; Moulin Rouge!; Ice Age; The Lincoln Lawyer; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; The Infiltrator; Titan A.E.; Die Hard 2; Land of the Dead; Sisters; American Ultra; Executive Decision; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Casualties of War; Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Nancy; Future BMT: The Honeymooners; Spawn; The Counsellor; Collateral Damage; The Pest; Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Ice Age: Collision Course; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; The Fan; The Babysitters; The Hollow Point; Miracle at St. Anna; Out for Justice; Repo Men; Empire; Revenge; Jekyll Island; Love in the Time of Cholera; Kick-Ass 2; Ice Age: Continental Drift; Whispers in the Dark; Rage; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; Spun; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; The Happening; One for the Money; Gamer; Righteous Kill; Ride Along; Notes: A noted comedian in the early 90s doing character impersonations. Has been doing mostly television recently including a role in Bloodline.)

Dennis Hopper – (Known For: Apocalypse Now; True Romance; Cool Hand Luke; Waterworld; Easy Rider; Blue Velvet; Speed; River’s Edge; Rebel Without a Cause; Hang ‘Em High; Giant; True Grit; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; The Other Side of the Wind; Land of the Dead; Rumble Fish; Black Widow; Hoosiers; The Pick-up Artist; Edtv; Future BMT: The Crow: Wicked Prayer; Big Fat Important Movie; Hell Ride; Boiling Point; Chasers; Space Truckers; Meet the Deedles; Knockaround Guys; Swing Vote; The Blackout; Memory; My Science Project; Queen of Blood; Sleepwalking; The Trip; Straight to Hell; Flashback; Search and Destroy; 10th & Wolf; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Alpha and Omega; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Waterworld in 1996; Notes: Was a child actor, and then had a very rocky film career due to substance abuse. He created, directed, and starred in Easy Rider which is credited in ushering in the anti-establishment movement in Hollywood of the 1970s.)

Budget/Gross – $48 million / Domestic: $20,915,465

(Catastrophic. I’m actually a bit surprised it didn’t do better. You’d think a good number of video game fans would have been tricked into going to the film during the opening weekend. I would have thought it would have ended at like … $40 million maybe? On the other had it was 1993.)

#27 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

supermariobros_videogameadaptation

(Our 18th video game film, driving quickly towards a 20th film (like …4% of BMT is video game films). The genre is really booming recently. And with Detective Pikachu I think there is a distinct possibility Nintendo will end up as the driving force in upping the quality overall.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (8/38): Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.

(A delightful novelty IMO. That percentage is a lot higher than I would expect for what is likely considered one of the worst films ever (although it isn’t on the wiki page interestingly enough …). Reviewer Highlight: As everyone knows, arcade-style diversions are not known for strong, original narratives or well-developed characters. In that sense, this film is worthy of its inspiration. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews)

Poster – Super Twin Time (B+)

super_mario_bros

(I almost always default to the poster featured on IMDb, but for whatever reason they chose to use some foreign poster… I suspect because it looked so stupid that they thought it was funny? Hard to say. This was the primary theatrical poster I think and it’s actually fine. I wish it wasn’t so dark and they gave it some pop with the green and the red, but it’s nicely stylized and actually makes a very not cool thing look kinda cool with some nice spacing and font.)

Tagline(s) – This Ain’t No Game! (A)

(Clever. Good one to use on the first adaptation too as I think later on I would have thought it was a little generic and vague to constitute a good tagline. Here though I think it’s working.)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.4 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.9 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.7 BloodRayne (2005); 87.1 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.2 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.7 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.5 Far Cry (2008); 70.0 Wing Commander (1999);

(I kind of forget we haven’t officially seen Street Fighter for BMT. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen the film multiple times. We just used to not do filmes we’ve seen before for BMT. Now we do that quite frequently for good reason, so it’ll eventually come up, maybe in some ill-fated decision to watch every JCVD film ever made or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Leguizamo is No. 2 billed in Super Mario Bros. and No. 3 billed in Ride Along, which also stars Ice Cube (No. 1 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – In his 2007 autobiography John Leguizamo states he and Bob Hoskins hated working on the film and would frequently get drunk to make it through the experience. Both men apparently knew the movie would turn out bad, so they simply tried to make the best of it. He also stated he felt one of the biggest reasons the movie turned out the way it did was because the directors wanted a more “adult” movie while the studio, considering the source material, was looking for a children’s film.

During a chase scene, Bob Hoskins broke his finger when the van’s door slammed on his hand. For the rest of the film, Hoskins is wearing a cast that was painted pink to look like a hand. (Having just watched it, I never noticed it)

Bob Hoskins didn’t know that the film he was making was based on a game, until his son asked him what he was working on. When Hoskins mentioned the film’s title, his son immediately recognized it and showed Hoskins the game on his own Nintendo.

An article in “Spy” magazine claimed that the script was being rewritten so many times during production that the actors stopped paying attention to these daily rewrites.

Although Bob Hoskins said that this is the worst film he ever made, his son Jack Hoskins is a fan of this film, praising his dad’s performance. He said that he was too young to understand the poor reviews and now that he’s old enough, he doesn’t care. He quoted on the film’s fan website “SMBArchive.com”: “If there’s anyone reading this, please understand that it’s no one’s intention to ruin the classics. One last thing; if you remember your past enjoyments, then it would definitely keep your childhood memories alive and safely locked in your head forever.”

The “De-evolution” guns seen at the end of the film are simply repainted versions of the Super Nintendo light gun accessory, the “Super Scope.” (Awesome. I’m serious … that’s awesome)

After the film bombed at the box office, Nintendo never produced any more live-action theatrical films based on their video game franchises. A “Metroid” film was put into development, but never went past pre-production. (They still haven’t. They have at least one film in production, another Super Mario film, but it is CGI I believe … which will probably work out better)

Dennis Hopper explained why he did the film – “I made a picture called Super Mario Bros., and my six-year-old son at the time – he’s now 18 – he said, ‘Dad, I think you’re probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.?’ and I said, ‘Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes,’ and he said, ‘Dad, I don’t need shoes that badly.'” (Sick burn)

The Yoshi puppet was capable of making 64 separate movements due to 200 feet of cable crammed inside its 3 foot tall structure. In all, no less than 9 puppeteers were used to operate the Yoshi puppet. (Yes, it was possibly the last great puppet animatronic since the film came out the same year as Jurassic Park. The CGI afterwards likely killed the industry. There might be other good examples, the Lost World or something, but 1993 marks the point where puppets weren’t the first thought in a directors mind on how to create a lifelike fictional animal.)

An early draft of the script shows that Bowser only disguises himself as a human in his first two scenes, the Princess character is named Hildy and Bowser wants to marry her in attempt to obtain the Crown of Invincibility with which to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. Actual game enemies such as Piranha Plants and Thwomps make appearances, Toad accompanies the Mario Bros. throughout their journey as a main character, a baby dinosaur named Junior thinks Mario is his mother, Luigi gets Raccoon Power at one point, one of Bowser’s lackeys (a possible prototype for Kamek) tells Mario “Your Princess Is in Another Castle”, Mario and Luigi sing a song for Bowser, Bowser ends up falling into a pit of lava… In other words, this draft is much more faithful to the games. (Yeah … that sounds like it would be absolutely terrible though)

Dennis Hopper described the film’s production – “It was a nightmare, very honestly, that movie. It was a husband and wife directing team who were both control freaks and wouldn’t talk before they made decisions. Anyway, I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for 17. It was so over budget.”

In a 2011 interview with The Guardian, Bob Hoskins described the film’s production – “It was a f*ckin’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F*ckin’ nightmare. F*ckin’ idiots.” (These two notes are eerily consistent)

Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, stated, “[In] the end, it was a very fun project that they put a lot of effort into,” but also said, “The one thing that I still have some regrets about is that the movie may have tried to get a little too close to what the Mario Bros. video games were. And in that sense, it became a movie that was about a video game, rather than being an entertaining movie in and of itself.” (… what? It is nothing like the games.)

Rocky Morton reflected on the movie in 2016 as a “harrowing” experience. He explained that he and Annabel Jankel, along with the rest of the cast, agreed to make the movie based on the script originally written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, which focused on Mario and Luigi’s complicated but loving family dynamic that they had developed in the absence of their parents. However, just a few weeks before shooting was to begin, the studio financing the film demanded significant rewrites to make the film more childlike and comedic. The final result, according to Morton, was a script that was not at all like the script that he, Jenkel, and the cast had signed on to film, and that the tone of the new script was not at all compatible with the sets, which had already been built. Morton also reflected that he felt very uneasy being put in the position of having to defend the new script. In addition, working with Dennis Hopper was “really, really hard. Really hard. I don’t think [Dennis Hopper] had a clue what was going on.” Despite describing the overall experience as humiliating, Morton is proud of the film considering the chaos created as a result of the late and unexpected script rewrites. (Hmmmmmmmmmmmm)

Allegedly due to drinking on set, John Leguizamo was hit by a car, breaking his leg. You can even see the cast in some shots of the movie. (Jesus!)

This was the first Hollywood film directly based on a specific video game property. (And it went swimmingly)

John Leguizamo was annoyed that he wasn’t allowed to ad-lib in the film.

Parker Bennett and Terry Runte submitted a script represents the early transition from the original fantasy-oriented take to the more grounded sci-fi take of the final film. They felt that the story was never funny, scary or outlandish enough, so to make it more compelling they sought to focus more on Mario and Luigi’s relationship, to develop Daisy into a more proactive character and to expand Koopa’s plot so that it would also endanger Earth. However, the pitch still contains various fantastical elements, including Mario and Luigi being icons of a “prophecy,” a magical talking book that aids them on their quest and a mushroom-infested world complete with a castle. The sci-fi concept of a parallel world inhabited by humanoid dinosaurs is essentially only retrofitted onto the fantasy story already written. (What the hell? That was the “brilliant” story everyone was gutted to see changed?)

Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel were hired to direct the film, based on their work on Max Headroom (1987).

Lead creatures designer and supervisor Patrick Tatopoulos was aware of the concurrent Jurassic Park (1993) production, so consciously designed the dinosaurs more cute and cartoony with inspiration from Beetlejuice (1988).

Producers from Jurassic Park (1993) visited the set and were so impressed with the Yoshi puppet they briefly considered hiring its engineers for a second Jurassic Park creatures shop. (Yeah this is the thing I had heard, that they were still kind of figuring out whether they wanted to go animatronic for the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, but the CGI eventually won out)

Despite its box office failure and troubled production, Roland Joffé remains proud: “It’s not that I defend the movie, it’s just that, in its own extraordinary way, it was an interesting and rich artefact and has earned its place. It has strange cult status.” (This is absolutely true. It is one of the most baffling things you’ll ever watch. Just extraordinary that it exists at all)

Greg Beeman was attached to direct and development had already moved into pre-production, but the failure of Beeman’s recent Mom and Dad Save the World (1992) led to his dismissal by nervous producers. (Now that is an absolutely awful film … weirdly the carnivorous mushrooms would have been a decent idea for goombas in this film)

Godzilla (1998) Recap

Jamie

Godzilla is back, Jack! And boy is he… something. When a series of disasters are tracked to a nuclear-mutated giant lizard a military/scientific team follow it to NYC where it has gone to lay its eggs. Will they be able stop Godzilla (and perhaps get the girl (and perhaps advance their journalistic ambitions)) before it’s too late? Find out in… Godzilla.

How?! A giant lizard is on the loose, a product of nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific, and as they track it across the globe they recruit a nuclear scientist/biologist expert, Nick, to figure out what’s going on. When the lizard, called Godzilla, shows up in NYC and starts to wreak havoc, Nick figures out that it’s using the island as a nest to hide its eggs until they can hatch. Meanwhile his ex-girlfriend, Audrey, is an aspiring journalist who uses her connection to Nick to get the big Godzilla egg scoop. Unfortunately she ruins everything because this leak gets Nick kicked off the team, his theory discounted, and she doesn’t even get credit for the story. Damn… because I was really invested in this aspiring journalist storyline you spent 45 minutes on. Anyway, Nick isn’t ready to give up and teams up with some French special forces to infiltrate the city and find the eggs. Audrey also isn’t ready to give up (hmmm, seems like they have a lot in common… particularly regarding giving up and whether they are ready to do something like that) and follows Nick into the city. There they find that Godzilla has laid his eggs in none other than Madison Square Garden. Ready to blow that place to smithereens and eviscerate a species they are just a second too late and the eggs hatch into a million velocirap… I mean, baby Godzillas. Using Audrey’s journalistic skillz they broadcast from the announcing booth and alert the army to what needs to be done: blow up an NYC landmark (eeesh, how very 90’s). Managing to escape just in time, the army blows all those baby animals apart, but are surprised to find an enraged Godzilla emerge from under the city and start a rampage. Acting the hero again, Nick and his team lure Godzilla to the Brooklyn Bridge where it becomes entangled and is finally subdued. THE END… or is it? (it is).

Why?! I actually enjoyed the motivations for Godzilla. While I remember it kinda being made fun of at the time I actually think the idea that this large lizard just chilled for a while eating fish in the pacific until it was time to lay eggs at which point it found a nest in a city because the buildings allowed it to hide is kinda cool. I don’t really understand the whole “asexual reproduction” thing they came up with… seems a little Jurassic Park and unnecessary. I would have preferred for the male Godzilla to show up and be a garbage shrimpy lizard that the female Godzilla immediately eats or something… but I digress. The motivations for the human characters though are trash. Audrey is a one-dimensional, poorly written character that wants to be a journalist and that basically motivates everything she does and Nick is supposed to be a former hippy dippy nuclear activist turned scientist that then mostly just wants to destroy Godzilla off the face of the Earth. Just very strange.

Who?! Dedicated to the memory of Tomoyuki Tanaka, the long time producer of the Godzilla franchise who died from a stroke the year before this film. Additionally, while we always note Presidents and the such, I do think that city mayors are probably fairly common in their own right, particularly of NYC. This had Mayor Ebert, named after critic Roger Ebert as a dig by the director. Nice one, Roland.

What?! The product placement comes at you in this film fast and furious. Broderick is glancing at his swatch, the French secret service are holed up in their UPS van, Godzilla attacks a ship full of delicious Bumblebee tuna, etc. But my favorite is a joke where Broderick buys a Kodak disposable camera (like the type used by a stereotypical NYC tourist) to take pictures of Godzilla… right before that stereotype went out the window and completely dates the film.

Where?! This is as perfect an A as you can get. Doesn’t reach A+ because they didn’t go with the Godzilla Attacks New York title, but Manhattan is pretty much a starring character as the buildings are described as the perfect Godzilla habitat. Add on top that Godzilla uses iconic MSG as a nest and they have to blow it up (that wouldn’t fly past-2001) and you got gold.

When?! This was obscure for sure. The only thing I really saw that would potentially help with this was a poster on a wall in NYC for a concert in the beginning of March… but like those posters probably go up well before the concert and stay up for long after so not great. I bet it’s discoverable considering how much NYC shit was visible while Godzilla was rampaging about, but it would take a full reviewing of the film and that ain’t happening. F.

This movie is not good and it’s interesting that you can find articles written claiming that it’s not as bad as people remember. Sure I think the basic premise is actually pretty good but it stop at that point. The film looks bad, is about 50 minutes too long, and they spent most of the filler time between Godzilla sightings rehashing the professional motivations for the characters. Are we supposed to care that Audrey wants to be a journalist but feels like she can’t make it in a male-driven world. A Godzilla monster is attacking! Why not just make her a successful and ambitious journalist and be done with it? Seemed like a big disservice to Maria Pitillo who took a lot of heat and ended up being the only actor to get a Razzie nomination (and she won). It’s not her fault really. I think she plays the character well, it’s just that the character is trash. I think this stands as a nice part of 1997-9 trilogy with Batman & Robin and Wild Wild West. Wild Wild West is crazy and fun, this is drab and bad, and Batman & Robin is BMT. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Ah, remember simpler times. Bill Clinton is in the process of being impeached. The dot com boom is a chugging with no (discernible …) end in sight. And the US was swept by Godzilla-mania! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – When Patrick was a young child he had a terrible affliction. That affliction? Godzilla-mania. Or at least I remember when this film came out, I remember the secrecy surrounding what Godzilla looked like, and I distinctly remember thinking it looked dumb when it was finally leaked. Very specifically I didn’t really get why it didn’t look like Godzilla. This rewatch was a long time coming.

The Good – The main actors are all fine given what they are given to do. It was an interesting premise: the idea of Godzilla just being a new species (focused less on the consequences of nuclear proliferation) and very specifically an animal, and using a biologist angle to figure out how to deal with it. The CGI is not good, but it certainly was big, and that’s something. The first half hour is that of a genuinely good film, I was supremely entertained by the first half hour.

The Bad – The next one and a half hours? Woof. I feel bad for Maria Pitillo who was fine, but got a load of shit for this film because whoever wrote it seemed to just have “Audrey looks confused” written into every scene. The side romance story ropes in a strange journalist plot that makes NYC seem rather small. The entire Madison Square Garden plot down to them blowing the building up is something that could have only happened in 1998 very specifically. Oh yeah, and who could forget what genuinely might be the worst song ever created. My god, my ears! P Diddy why?!

The BMT – Yeah, of course. It might actually be the quintessential big-budget creature feature for BMT. Most creature features are terrible, but they are also mostly low-budget and get away with it (sometimes coasting on irony alone), or they are like the fifth sequel to an originally good feature. This is a pretty rare misfire right out of the gate. And for a remake of a beloved franchise no less.

Roast-radamus – Hmmmmmm, it could sneak in for Where (Setting as a Character) for sure for New York City. And there is an outside shot it will age like a fine wine and it’ll get a nod for BMT in general. Otherwise I can’t think of an in your face product placement. I would love to say How (Worst Twist) for the baby egg hatching at the end, but I don’t really think that was a twist. More of a sequel set up. And I think Godzilla laying eggs in Madison Square Garden isn’t a notable terrible twist either.

StreetCreditReport.com – It occasionally gets onto lists of worst remakes (well deserved I think). Additionally MovieFone and Siskel and Ebert put it on their worst of lists of 1998. It has serious cred for the late 90s, although a bit of it is washed out by how bad Armageddon was received that same year. That is one I find mentioned more these days, although partially out of a kind of cult love for its jingoistic cheesiness.

You Just Got Schooled – One more bad film watched, one more animated series to sample. Godzilla (1998) indeed had a sequel in the form of Godzilla: The Series. Opening exactly where the film left off our heroes (plus a few new friends) discover the egg teased at the end of the first film which promptly imprints on Nick and escapes to New York Harbor. Quickly growing in size and displaying intelligence, loyalty, and an oh-so-important sterility, Godzilla 2.0 is chased around by the military until the gang finds a new monster in Jamaica. After Godzilla battles and defeats the beast everyone realizes that Godzilla could be the only thing standing between humanity an apocalypse at the hands of other mutated monsters. Godzilla … The Series! Honestly for a late 90s cartoon it actually was pretty good I thought. They still gave Audrey nothing to do, which would have been funny if it weren’t so sad. I would say A for adaptation because I genuinely think this was the vision for the sequel. For actual cartoon maybe a B? I would give it higher, but I don’t think people will go back and be like “this is great!” like they’ve done with Gargoyles. But this is serviceable.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs