Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Wizard

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!



The Wizards – 3 out of 5


I’m sure when this script was written it involved a lot of cocaine and a board room full of Nintendo corporate suits figuring out how to move their Nintendo products including the magazine Nintendo Power, their video game helpline (get your parents’ credit cards before calling kids!) and their embarrassingly non-functioning Power Glove. Once they figured out a movie was the way the go and a way to unveil Super Mario Bros. 3 to the American audiences, they created The Wizard!

And did I mention the movie's sex appeal?


Jimmy is a young boy with a mental handicap (it’s never actually said what he suffers from but it’s suggested he’s autistic) along with the fact that Jimmy can’t move on after his twin sister passed away. Jimmy constantly runs away and barely communicates with the exception of saying “California” a lot. Jimmy’s mother and step-father decides to put him in a home, much to the displeasure of his half-brother and lucky bastard who got to kiss Winnie Cooper; Corey (Fred Savage).

This movie was made in the 80s, so they were legally required to have Sam McMurray
in it.


How good is he at video games?  He can actually beat
Ninja Gaiden.
Corey ditches his brother Nick (Christian Slater) and his dad Sam (Beau Bridges) and helps his half-brother get to California. Along the way, they find out that Jimmy is a wiz (get it?) on video games and they, along with a young girl Haley (Jenny Lewis) decides they are going to hit the Video Armageddon video game contest and go against a kid who REALLY loves his Power Glove and a man who is paid by Jimmy’s parent to get the boys back named Putnam (Will Seltzer). Basically, that man is a professional kidnapper and has the same amount of charm as a guy who owns a windowless van.

Back when video games weren't considered a threat to all humanity.


There’s an undeniable charm to this movie to the point it’s become a cult-classic to gamers—especially those who’s first system was the classic NES. However, the charm about this movie is the fact it is a blatant commercial for Nintendo’s products—a commercial that lies to you about how “awesome” the Power Glove was (Spoiler Alert: the thing wasn’t awesome and barely worked). It’s in the film’s humorous attempt at selling everything that was Nintendo that makes this a movie I have to pull out every few years or so. I’m sure the filmmakers and Nintendo thought they were pulling a fast one over the audiences but the hard sell they throw throughout this movie is just one step away from Fred Savage saying, “Boy, I sure do like the NES and I think we should buy one now. For example, if you’re watching a movie of some kind, you should pause it and go out right now to your local retail store and buy one” before he looks at the camera and winks.

I think that kid discovered masturbation with the help of his Power Glove.


Even more amusing than the fact that this film has the same appeal as the Tums ad you have to sit through before watching a YouTube video of a guy getting kicked in the nuts is the fact that the people in the fictional world where this movie takes place are mindless drones who obey all commands from the film’s central characters.

Also, apparently, Reno hires child labor for their arcades.


For example…our villain Putnam wants to slow down Corey’s brother and father from finding them first (because Putnam explains that if a concern parent finds the missing child first, he doesn’t get paid and fuck a child’s safety when money’s on the line) so he sabotages them by slipping fifty bucks to a tow truck operator to tow their vehicle. The man does so without cause for any possible legal ramifications and then the truck is taking to an impound lot where the workers, a group of people who make carnies looks intelligent and thoughtful, immediately begin stripping the truck. Fuck you if you park in a tow away zone in this neighborhood because there’s no fine to pay off, you’ll just get your car totaled for no reason other than it passed through the dump’s gates.

Pictured:  Christian Slater's highest point of his career, lying in a bed next to Beau Bridges.

Putnam's rebuttal to the accusation, "she doesn't even have
breasts."  His character is pretty much a pedophile.
Then you have the scene where Putnam finally gets his claws on Jimmy in an arcade. In a moment of quick thinking, Haley loudly proclaims that Putnam grabbed her breasts. Suddenly, the time police apparently emerging out of their wormholes they projected and grab Putnam and arrest him. Why is this an example? Because theses officers were just off of shot and did nothing while Putnam forcefully grabbed Jimmy and tried to haul him out of the arcade kicking and screaming.

A threat of breast grabbing on a minor shouldn't be the call to arms for law enforcement
officials for this man...he pretty much should be arrested on sight at all times.


And then you have the fact that Haley has a friend who is a trucker (with the unfortunate name of Spankey). At her command, the almighty forces of the semi-drivers of the Southwest rise up and thwart one of Putnam’s many attempts at abducting Jimmy. And in doing so, depriving an arm wrestling contest of at least a half a dozen contestants.

The one guy is read to go...Over the Top!

Cheer up, Savage...remember:  Winnie Cooper.
You can’t take The Wizard seriously. It’s not a serious movie. It’s a shameless attempt at moving Power Gloves (something the 6th film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series did far better at) and Nintendo Entertainment Systems. I don’t watch The Wizard because of its amazing cast or the acting seen. I don’t watch it for a compelling story or intricate plot. I watch it because it’s silly. It’s silly because the lip service the actors are forced to spew about Nintendo (I did mention the kid who REALLY REALLY likes his Power Glove, right?) and the soundtrack filled with The New Kids on the Block. Not to mention how amusing it is to watch Beau Bridges awkwardly play a video game.

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