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.
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. Realizing
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 wizard
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.
capture and return home to Utah Jimmy, Corey, and Haley outwit their parents
and that kooky "bounty hunter" arrive to Universal
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 the
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.
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
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