Hooked on ‘Shrooms

Viewed from the perspective of Lumalee, a glowing, sarcastic talking star character confined in a lava-filled dungeon, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is little else other than corporate-led drudgery meant to sell toys and expand Nintendo’s character base into Hollywood.

Viewed as a nostalgic hyper-dream clearly designed to check every box for the sake of fandom, it’s a masterpiece.

Super Mario Bros. Movie treats the material properly, acknowledging or even apologizing for the utter weirdness seen in the early ‘90s adaptation

The Super Mario Bros. Movie does nothing to bring substance to the Mario Bros. They’re working class heroes, dejected by the response from their family and friends to their new plumbing business. That doesn’t matter to the story at large, much as it didn’t in the videogames either.

What matters here is the celebration of Nintendo’s own slice of (profitable) pop culture, well beyond even Mario’s world. If the plan is to expand the movie side into a Marvel-like universe, that’s all laid out here, often in the background.

Elsewhere is the typical Mario story, with Bowser (Jack Black) trying to marry Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) as Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) break up those plans. It’s simple, it’s hollow, and it’s shamelessly predictable (especially in licensed song choices that break from the wonderful orchestrated mixes of classic Mario themes). But also, it’s gorgeous, fetching, and funny, even with the sometimes wonky voice casting, e.g., Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.

Bouncing from level-to-level, enamored with the very structure of a videogame, Super Mario Bros. Movie treats the material properly, acknowledging or even apologizing for the utter weirdness seen in the early ‘90s adaptation. Super Mario Bros. Movie is what happens when a licensor has say over the finished material, lessons learned from not only Mario Bros. 1993, but also the sloppiness of Godzilla 1998 and others that trashed the source material.

It’s perfectly fair to admit The Super Mario Bros. Movie isn’t made for everyone. The generic-beyond-generic title considered, Universal/Illumination plays across the spectrum, from the earliest days of Nintendo’s American push to the more modern games like Mario 3D World. The places, characters, and designs look authentic and familiar, remaining safe, but smartly so. Amid the chaotic, rapid-fire action that doesn’t allow time to consider how thin this story is, Super Mario Bros. Movie never allows a lull to seep in. Again, like the videogames themselves, the adaptation just bounces from one encounter to the next seamlessly, and thankfully not as overcharged as say, Minions or other Illumination properties.

Video

What a wonderfully colorful, deeply saturated piece of animation this is. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, beyond the red/blue and green/blue outfits of the Mario team, the Mushroom Kingdom is flushed with primaries, dazzling pinks, intense fiery oranges, and more. The Rainbow Road chase is as visually reference as anything else on the market, both in color and contrast intensity.

Beautifully rendered, possibly at full 4K, the UHD shows dazzling definition. A slight grain filter aside (which the encode handles flawlessly), Super Mario reveals incredibly tight texture all around. From chipping paint on pipes, denim overalls, mustache details, and more, this disc handles it all with ease.

In Dolby Vision, brightness excels, especially fire and flashlights. Transported to the Mushroom Kingdom through a portal, the light show is live fireworks-caliber. There’s nothing to complain about here.

Audio

Booomy and bold, the low-end, at least when at its peak depth, produces an outstanding rumble. Bowser’s ship and fire, thunder, and more all give the low-end a workout.

Splendid Atmos effects use the heights wherever possible, and given the various flying creatures/vehicles, that’s often. Surrounds and stereos track voices, sound effects, and ambiance galore. Action scenes perform wonderfully and consistently.

Extras

The UHD and Blu-ray share the bonuses. Puff pieces on the cast and the six-part making of (27-minutes total) also includes a hunt for easter eggs. A look into the Mushroom Kingdom, a bit with Anya Taylor-Joy, and a lyric video for “Peaches” makes for a decent enough extras menu.

Full disclosure: This UHD was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

Is it superfluous corporate grandstanding on multiple levels? Sure. But does The Super Mario Bros. Movie satisfy the audience it’s aiming for? Endlessly so.

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User Review
2.5 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 49 full resolution, uncompressed 4K screen shots ripped directly from the UHD:


2 thoughts on "The Super Mario Bros. Movie 4K UHD Review"

  1. Bilal Islam says:

    You film critics are trash. You never complain about the corporate nature of woke Hollywood garbage but when a movie is actually made for the fans and respects the source material, you all have to be pretentious pricks. Go to hell and stay there.

    1. Matt Paprocki says:

      … I gave it a 4/5 and a positive review, so…

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