' ' Cinema Romantico: I Got Nothin’

Monday, September 27, 2021

I Got Nothin’

Even as a 15-year-old, when I read in my 1993 summer movie preview issue of Rolling Stone how the Nintendo game Super Mario Bros had been made into a movie, I remember scoffing. Maybe that’s because even though I sometimes think I loved every movie when I was younger, I know that I really didn’t, as evinced by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, which I went and saw with a friend and spent the whole time thinking “Why am I watching this?” Indeed, 1993’s ostensible adventure comedy, or something, “Super Mario Bros.” proved a spectacular failure, recounted by Karina Longworth for Grantland in 2013. One would think such epic lack of success would cure anyone of wanting to make a “Super Mario Bros.” movie ever again but here, in The Future, where Intellectual Property has superseded Idea Men, nope, we’ve got another “Super Mario Bros.” go picture, Lauren Bacall help us, with Nintendo, Illumination, and Universal teaming up to provide an animated version next year. 

I honestly had no idea this movie was even happening until I logged into Twitter (big mistake!) the other day and discovered the news that two Wonder Bread Americans (Chris Pratt & Charlie Day) would be giving voice to, ahem, Mario & Luigi had unleashed a torrent of memes with myriad trap doors opening to various social media ethics debates. I confess, I like the Day voice casting, simply because the only people who should be making a “Super Mario Bros.” movie is the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” gang. I mean, the movie itself will be whatever it will be but it was hard not to think the movie itself was beside the point in the way putting a decent product on the basketball court has become immaterial to so many NBA owners so long as they turn a profit. The 1993 “Super Mario Bros.” failed because it wasn’t a good movie; the 2022 “Super Mario Bros.” was seeking to set itself up to succeed even it isn’t a good movie.  

Anyway, in scrolling through all this madness, every seventh Tweet or so, a promoted Tweet from the Hulu show “Nine Perfect Strangers” kept popping back up. I have not watched that show, have no idea what it’s about, but it seems like it might have something to do with a cult? Because there was Nicole Kidman, her eminence, stirring up some magenta-ish smoothie, holding it out to me with a look less inviting than eerily intoxicating, and saying “Try it.” In that moment, I thought about accepting her offer. I really, really did.

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