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Andrew Sheivachman

By Andrew SheivachmanThe Daily Northwestern

Hollywood and video games have a strange love affair.

The passion first bloomed in the summer of 1989, when The Wizard was released to brainwash American children into buying Super Mario Brothers 3. While flicks like The Last Starfighter and Wargames tapped the popular video game motif of empowered children being embroiled in an epic struggle, The Wizard treated video games as a social and cultural vernacular. Normal American kids didn’t long to play Little League or Tag; they wanted a Power Glove and a Nintendo Entertainment System instead. Drama, struggle and success would supply themselves in the living room.

All video game-based films following The Wizard, though, have been universally terrible. This trend began with Super Mario Brothers in 1993, a complete waste of celluloid. American filmmakers tried to adapt a fun, colorful game about an Italian plumber jumping on things into a film about a rebellion against a fungi-infested, totalitarian regime. The writing, direction, production and acting were abysmal, but the Mario license was so valuable that filmmakers didn’t need to spend much time on production to make their money. Younger Mario fans found it too gloomy, and older Mario fans thought it too inane.

Movies based on fighting games would follow Super Mario Brothers.

1993’s Street Fighter, a below-par B-movie, immediately faded to obscurity without its license. It was rumored that Ra