Mario, Dinos, and The Flash Across The Spider-Verse

Mario, Dinos, and The Flash Across The Spider-Verse June 22, 2023

A few posts ago I pondered “Do I want to pay $26 something for a theater pass to see up to 5 movies a month in the theater so I can write about them for the blog?I have made a life changing decision that will effect my time, money and possibly some of the topics for The Catholic Bard. I have decided to forgo the $ 26 + a month for a movie pass at Showcase Cinemas and go to the theaters on $5.00 Tuesdays. And plus I’ll rent films from the library,  red box and watch stuff on streaming services like Max, Disney +, Apple + ect.

This decision is more time and cost effective and is freely made.
This is a decision that affects the course of events in which I live my life, much like the decisions made by characters in the films I have recently watched that affect the course of their lives and drive their stories along.

In this edition of movie reflections I look at..

  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie-Rented at Redbox for $2.50 instead of digital at $20.00
  • 65-Rented at RedBox
  • Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse- $5.00 Movie Night
  • The Flash-$5.00 Same Movie Night

Super Mario Bros.

58% TOMATOMETER 264 Reviews
95% AUDIENCE SCORE 10,000+ Verified Ratings
$1,329,997,538 WORLDWIDE Box Office as of 6/22/23

Super Mario Bros. the movie is the cumulation of years of Mario video games and movies that were produced by Nintendo. The company was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 89. That is 1889. 24 years after the end of the civil war. Nintendo is as old as the Eiffel Tower. In 1985, the year Marty McFly went back to 1955 in Doc Brown’s time machine, Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and it was also the premiere of  Super Mario Bros the video game. In 1993 the live action Super Mario Bros. was released in theaters becoming the first feature-length live-action film based on a video game. 30 years and many game variations later we have the #1 movie of 2023, Super Mario Bros. the animated movie, brought to you by the same folks who gave us Minions. 

Mario and his brother Luigi’s world changes forever when he makes the decision to go downtown to fix a significant water main leak as the good plumbers that they are. Being underground in the sewers lead them be being sucked into a Warp Pipe and into another world with mushroom people and anamorphic turtles, small rideable dinosaurs, gorillas and penguins. Not to mention a beautiful human princess and some super morphed type of turtle called a Koopa that wants to take over the known world in that dimension.  Their are also cubes that when you hit it the right way either gives you money or super powers. Not to mention a Mario-Kart race over a rainbow bridge.

Mario’s love for his brother is his motivation for pressing on as they are separated in their trip to this world beyond ours. His determination to not give up doing the right thing is what keeps the action and story going. The movie has some potential deep ideas just waiting below the nostalgic surface of the movie. But who has time to think about deeper things, such as where did Princess Peach come from, when you have a treasure chest of Mario memories waiting to be gawked at. And at only 90 minutes.

My wife watched this with me after stating very clearly that she didn’t want to see it, but did anyway and enjoyed it more than she thought as evidenced by the laughter coming out of her at various places during the film.

It’s a nostalgia trip for Nintendo fans, but it’s also so much more. Fr. Cory Sticha, Fr. Andrew Kinstetter, Thomas Salerno, and David Handlos discuss the hugely successful video game movie and how its faithfulness to the source material contributes to its success.
The Secrets of The Super Mario Bros Movie – The Secrets of Movies and TV Shows 


35% TOMATOMETER 120 Reviews
65% AUDIENCE SCORE 1,000+ Verified Ratings
$60,730,568 WORLDWIDE Box Office as of 6/22/23

Adam Driver (Kylo Ren from Star Wars sequels) plays a man named Mills who lives on the planet Somaris with his wife Alya and sick daughter Nevine. In order to earn enough $ to cover the costs of her illness he makes a decision to sign on to a two-year space expedition transporting a group of people somewhere across the galaxy. Some asteroids hit his ship forcing it crash on an unknown planet. The only survivor is a young girl, much like his own, named Koa. Only problem is that they don’t speak the same language. The two of them have to find a way to survive and get to a part of the ship that was blown several miles away.

The interesting thing about this unknown planet is that it is earth. But instead of having to deal with the army, or country bumpkin folks they have to deal with dinosaurs as they land on our planet as it was 65 million years ago. Thus the clever title of the film. The film doesn’t say they traveled back in time, but that their world of space travel existed in a galaxy far away as earth’s history was starting. 65 has the potential for interesting world building and other stories set in that universe. But it does settle for the bare minimum which is Adam Driver and a little girl running away from dinosaurs.

There are times when Mills wants to give up and die and Koa wants to hide behind a rock curled up in a ball. But Mills love and memory of his daughter spur him on which causes him to spur Koa on. That and there are dinosaurs who want to eat them. Plus the asteroid that killed all of them is hurtling towards earth. Despite what others may say, it’s a pretty entertaining film with potential for more. Again at only 90 minutes.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
96% TOMATOMETER 337 Reviews
95% AUDIENCE SCORE 10,000+ Verified Ratings
$499,548,764 WORLDWIDE Box Office as of 6/22/23
You would think that based on the number of multiverses that have Spider-Man as the main superhero in that universe that there must be some sort of divine mandate that makes it so. It could have been a Wolverine-verse or Captain America-verse. But no. It’s a Spider-Verse. Many tweaked versions of a person bitten by a radioactive spider giving that individual advanced spider-like powers.
This sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), features Spider-Person Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy making decisions to engage family and friends that lead to revelations about their lives, secrets about the very fabric of existence, and very dream like world that explodes on the screen with various colors and personalities. In this roller ride of a film you will experience…
  • A scene that made my stomach drop as I looked at the height some of these characters climbed and the distance between them and the ground.
  • More Spider-people on the screen then I could count or get a good look at.
  • The importance of relationships between offspring and their parents.
  • The lesson that holding babies is theopoetic and soothing to the soul.
  • Dr. Who fixed points of time involving the death of certain characters.

It also features more content storywise then the last couple of films I talked about. Too much content then I have the brain power to ponder after one viewing. That is why I’m glad that those who put in that thought have gladly uploaded it to YouTube. And those who have written about it.

What I can tell you at this point about Across the Spider-Verse is that I want to see it about ten more times. I can tell you that it’s full of the joy of discovery and the emotional generosity that is the soul of Into the Spider-Verse. It’s inventive, thrilling, funny, ridiculous, heartwarming, frenetic, and sad. It pushes the groundbreaking visual style of the original to uncharted territory.

At a time when Hollywood animation is generally in a Disney/Pixar plasticine rut, Lord and Miller assemble and empower artists to deliver one revelation after another.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an incomplete triumph – Decent Films

The Flash

66% TOMATOMETER 318 Reviews
84 AUDIENCE SCORE 2,500+ Verified Ratings
$140,972,861 WORLDWIDE Box Office as of 6/22/23

Summer 2023 is not content to have just one multiverse film. It has to have 2. One from each comic book dynasty. And I think I actually enjoyed The Flash more. This big screen version comes out not too long after the series finale of the CW’s The Flash. It might have been good to have the two Barrys interact with one another in such a big multiverse film, but alas. There is however several versions of Batman including Michael Keaton reprising his role from the 89 and 92 Tim Burton films. This film also has…

  • a very angry Supergirl,
  • various cameos of DC’s past,
  • several cute babies being saved by Barry,
  • the return of Zod from Man of Steel,
  • a speech by Batman about how timelines and the multiverse works using pasta as an example,
  • three different Barrys that drive the plot along.

The story picks up speed when Barry decides to run fast enough to go back in time so that he can save his mom from dying. Each and every film that I have talked about in these quick reviews showcases the very good and healthy relationships between parents and their children. Each and every character makes decisions based on their love for a family member. It also brings us to other worlds in time and space. The care and craft woven into each film raises them beyond just mere entertainment but to a spectacle of wonder.

One last thing The Flash does is give credit to the fact that Back to the Future is the best time travel movie ever made and makes reference to the original actor, Eric Stoltz.

As Time goes on, so will more movie reflections.

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