With the recent passing of Bob Hoskins this week, most of the obits about the actor’s life drop two movie titles; Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Super Mario Bros. The former is an incredibly audacious movie which is not for kids while the latter is a sad, terrible film that even Hoskins himself has admitted was a major disappointment.
In fact, there should probably be a rule that no obituary should title-drop something so awful. The man was great as Nikita Khrushchev in Enemy at the Gates, and no one mentioned that flick.
Though Super Mario Bros would end up being a total flop there was no way we could have predicted this back in 1993. What the hell was the internet back then? If you wanted to see a movie trailer you had to go to a damn movie theater.
Movies today aren’t like that. As technology marches onward there seems to be much more transparency — set photos are almost always readily available, or you have directors and actors releasing stuff to create buzz…
Super Mario Bros. was made. It was bad. The concept got thrashed somewhere from first pitch to final product, which says something considering the simplicity of the story.
Though the original story of the Mario Brothers, according to the Nintendo manual that came with the game, is rather dark:
Which translates into…
Writers Parker Bennett, Terry Runte, and Ed Solomon tried to make something more then it needed to be. Like a carriage horse, they wore blinders, and had no outlets to ask the important questions.
Look, I’m not going to tell anyone how to do their job, but despite The Internet being a vast desert of repugnancy, there is such a thing as crowd-sourcing, and though you can’t please everyone, at least you can use the internet to ensure that your concept is headed in the right direction. At least this way you’re making something that even the lowest common denominator viewer won’t scoff at.
Paul has already touched upon how Hollywood can really dick around with movies. Lately this has been clogging up my feed:
Or rather, complaints about this.
I don’t want to join the 30-something year olds who are complaining about how Hollywood murdered their childhood, like it did to Paul’s favorite childhood cartoon, but I remember this show as a kid, and I remember those movies as a kid, and though I’m not heavily invested in the nostalgia I do feel some pang of discomfort in the fact that someone’s first foray into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle World won’t be the same as mine — that somehow it will be cheapened.
It will also be directed by the same guy who took the childhood cartoon of the Transformers and…well…
And considering that most of the people who grew up with the show are now mostly internet-capable why not crowd source when it comes to concept art or story ideas? What the fuck? It’s the internet, and it is capable of creating better things than Hollywood. And, if it works for video games that we love, it could easily transcend into movies in the early pre-pro stages.
I spotted a thread titled Back to the Future 4 while retrieving that link. I probably won’t watch it. Not sober anyway.
On another website some guy did this with the Ninja Turtles stuff from above:
…And I understand that hindsight is 20/20, and you can only improve upon something once the foundation has been laid, but come on, that looks miles better than what you see here:
The internet is full of aficionados and appreciators for pretty much everything. Just steer clear of the Rule 34 stuff. That’s how I play it, and blissful ignorance is clearly the best way to approach stuff on the internet.
If you’re going to make a movie based off of a pre-existing property why not play with the internet like you would with focus groups? Though — caveat — know that whatever you put out there will live out there forever. Sacrifice notwithstanding you’ll cast the biggest net, and catch the most diverse, perverse, and adverse Opinion Fish, from fans to freaks.
Fans can keep you grounded, and will let you know when you’re straying from the source material. Though they may drive you insane, they know a hell of a lot better than some Hollywood execs.
In the end it is better to have a decent, worthwhile product that began on good footing, rather than have some instantly-forgettable wreck.
Would you believe I took all of those horse pictures today, just for this post? I did.