Perhaps I am overly sentimental.  However the era of swapping NES cartridges at school and getting together on the playground only to huddle around a single copy of Nintendo Power while trying to figure out how to defeat that evil nemesis that stands in front of you and total domination of a fantasy world inside your TV.  Yes these wonderful times are embedded firmly in my memory and remain a large chunk of my childhood. 

Coming about during this era was Hollywood's attempt to bridge the gap between the video game industry and the big screen.  "The Wizard" was one of those movies starring Fred Savage as Corey, Luke Edwards as Jimmy, and Jenny Lewis playing Haley making up the trio of kid heroes.  Other actors such as Beau Bridges and a younger Christian Slater make up a great range of talent with a plethora of personalities. 

wizardcover.jpg (73394 bytes)The story goes (yes the Mario part of it is coming up) as Jimmy (Luke Edwards) is seen in the beginning trying to run away with his little yellow lunch box to California.  Nothing but him and a thousand plus miles of empty Utah desert road.  We later learn that Jimmy tries doing this other times as well.  Corey (Fred Savage) Jimmy's half brother finds out the awful truth that his younger brother is placed in a mental institution.  Corey with his skateboard and some milk money gets Jimmy from the hospital and embarks on a journey to California.  They later meet up with a spunky street smart red head named Haley (Jenny Lewis) at a bus stop.  It is this time that they realize how smart the non speaking Jimmy is at video games when he gets 50,000 points on double dragon and beats Haley in a bet to earn more bus money.  Rewizard12.jpg (8847 bytes)alizing such potential Haley shows an ad in a magazine for Video Armageddon, a competition among video gamers with a 50,000 dollar purse.  Now the heat is on as the trio avoid capture from a brainless "bounty hunter" hired by Jimmy's mother and step father to bring him home safely.  Also Corey and Jimmy's Biological father (Beau Bridges) and Older brother (Christian Slater) are in pursuit to stop the runaways and bring them home.  Realizing this the trio of kids NEED to get to California, win that video game tournament and prove Jimmy is normal and does not need to be in a "home".  You see Jimmy witnessed the drowning of his twin sister two years prior and was so traumatized by the event that he never speaks.  

Corey, Jimmy, and Haley when not hiking on desert stretches across Nevada are either hitch hiking or placing bets with business men or teens hanging out in bars and restaurants playing at the arcade machines.  They meet up with this kid named Lucas who is just a wiz (but not wiwizard8.jpg (22737 bytes)zard that's Jimmy) at games and realized he is the person to beat at Video Armageddon.  With a pit stop in Reno, Haley's knowledge of craps, and the help of a friendly bus driver named Spanky they manage to get a lot of quarters for the arcade in order to get Jimmy ready for the tournament.  

Missing certain capture and return home to Utah Jimmy, Corey, and Haley outwit their parents and that kooky "bounty hunter" arrive to Uwizard11.jpg (6184 bytes)niversal Studios, enter Jimmy in the tournament and wish him on as he competes against thousands of other kids while playing Ninja Gaiden.  Now here is the major Mario appearance.  Jimmy manages to get to the final round along with arch nemesis Lucas and some other chick.  The final round consisted of ten minutes playing a top secret game no one could have possibly ever played.  SUPER MARIO 3 appeared on the screen and all three players competed for thewizard6.jpg (8928 bytes) large monetary purse.  The ending well I am sure most of you have seen the movie but still I will not give it out for the ones you have not.  RENT IT!

Ok so there is the movie plot and you ask yourself why Super Mario Bros. 3 did so well?  Honestly a lot of that reason came directly from this movie.  Just imagine hearing little subtle rumors about the next Mario game and seeing it right on the big screen.  Super Mario 3 was indeed a major development and by far one of the best games ever developed.  So go to Blockbuster rent "The Wizard" watch it and see our good pal Mario make an appearance in it.  By far this is my favorite movie and a must see for Mario fanatics! 


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