Super Mario Bros the Movie manages several well-known things - firstly it's the first ever mainstream Video Game Movie adaption, and secondly star Bob Hoskins has stated it as the worst film he's ever made.
So how can I review this film so highly, despite the main star's objections to the quality of it?
The truth of the matter is that this film isn't actually as terrible as the hype states it is. Being the first Hollywood adaption of a video game series, and being extremely different from it's source material, there wasn't really anything to compare it to. If you were hoping for a genuine conversion of the game's storyline into a movie, then you are going to be highly disappointed - but then you've made a rather rash assumption that the basic story of the game series would work as a film to begin with. Movies need to be like epic events, a major moment of the character's lives catalogued within an hour and a half (minimum). The game's theme of 'Bowser has the Princess, run into castle and have toad say "Your Princess is in another castle" 7 or 8 times before the end' doesn't make for a good film.
Excuses aside, the film does succeed in the way it intends to. It is extremely fun. Unlike other films with it's reputation, the Super Mario Bros Movie is genuinely enjoyable and even more so thanks to the few downfalls in it's script. Bob Hoskins cracks me up as Mario "Get Your Belt on Kid! We're goin' in!", and Dennis Hopper is clearly the inspiration for Doctor Evil from Austin Powers "See you later, Alligator". The movie manages to do something few films manage - it improves with age. I'm not going to state that it's as superb as Blade Runner (As stated on the box), because they're from two very different worlds. Blade Runner is a classic in terms of being a thought-provoking high-calibre sci-fi drama, Super Mario is a classic in terms of being a cheesy fun-fueled thrill-ride. The only reason these two were compared in the first place was the similarity of a run-down ugly futuristic city, both of which were furnished with surprisingly high quality set design and standards. I would love to see a full Blu-Ray restoration of this movie because there is so much intricate work done on the backgrounds and in the details that the additional quality Blu-Ray affords would allow us even more joy. There are some good jokes in here, the pace is good and never slacks, and while there are some bad script-writing problems the enjoyment should allow most people to gloss over those issues without much problem (Look at Star Trek 2009, horrific script, plotholes and some truly terrible Hollywood writing but because it was so fun and full of action, it is hailed as a great film). This makes it more closely related to being the Star Trek 09 movie of its day, with special effects that were (at the time) really impressive and a mixture of family humour and more adult action (Bob Hoskins sticking his face in a black woman's chest - golden).
I would love to see a restored Blu-Ray of this movie, as it is a great fun movie. It is more fun than a lot of more recent video game based movies (The Resident Evil series is stale, the Degeneration movie was missable, the Final Fantasy films were badly directed, the Japanese even got it wrong with Yakuza: Like A Dragon...), which are mostly bland (Something nobody could say about Super Mario Bros, whether they like it or not) or outright horrific, especially if made by Uwe Boll.
Super Mario Bros is not the best movie ever made by a long margin, but it never intended to be. It was not supposed to be a movie epic like Blade Runner or 2001: A Space Odyssey, nor was it supposed to be a direct translation of the game, which in itself would have been far worse and less enjoyable. It was intended to stand on its own two feet as a fun, family-oriented action movie with darker sci-fi undertones and while it never accomplishes them to perfection, it certainly succeeded well enough to continuously provide a fun and entertaining movie experience.
Some ideas are quite cool, others are a little childish, but that tends to come with the territory with family-friendly Hollywood movies. Again, now more than ever, Nintendo are family-oriented and their Wii console is centred around allowed the kids in as much as the teens and adults - another sign of this film being more accurate now than it was even at the time of its release.
As for possible Blu-Ray extras, I would adore an audio commentary by Bob Hoskins with him just hating on the film and getting irate. You can imagine that would be a funny commentary. Such things have been done before, the Raw Deal Blu-Ray has an HD extra of a movie critic slagging off the movie. He-man DVDs have fan-commentaries ragging on the quality of the episodes while still speaking fondly of the series they adore. If the extras on these don't harm the sales, then the same thing for Super Mario Bros would only raise the sales of this film as people would be keen to hear what he has to say since his outbursts on the movie in the media. Other extras can include original script outlines and differences, several deleted scenes (Which have been spotted in promotional media and found in shooting scripts and screen tests) and the possibility of a re-cut to lose elements which lost this film it's deserved acclaim - such as the bad animated sequence at the start which can be replaced with the original footage of Koopa chasing Daisy into Brooklyn.
Hope to see a decent Blu-Ray release of this movie soon. They've got Blu-Ray releases of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and other video game movies of the era, Super Mario deserves at least the same.