driected by Todd Holland
Todd Holland has been a TV guy most of his directorial life, and this is not a bad thing or an insult. It simply illustrates his experience with the medium in a way that served him well in The Wizard, a brilliant 1980s feature length commercial for all things Nintendo. BTW, check out GIFAZINE.com for a primo throwback GIF. Back to the matter at hand: Fred Savage is Corey Woods, general wiseass kid who aids his younger brother Jimmy (Luke Edwards) in a west coast bound runaway odyssey that may help Jimmy exorcise some demons (California!). As the pair pick up sassy scam artist Haley (Jenny Lewis), Corey discovers that his little bro is some kind of Nintendo wizard. I mean, he got 50,000 on Double Dragon, for shit’s sake! After that, Corey and Haley decide that Jimmy may have a shot at winning Video Armageddon, a massive gaming competition in which the finalist have to face off against each other while playing a never before seen game. Can you guess which game it is? I’ll never tell- okay, it’s Super Mario Brothers 3! As they hustle poor kids out of their allowance money, the posse is tracked by a sleazy private eye and Corey’s dad (Beau Bridges) and older brother (Christian Slater). Ah, there it is. No 80s money maker worth its salt was complete without a Corey (either would do, but the pair was like gold), a Savage or a Slater, and Christian rasps his way through another excellent performance. If there was a cult actor family tree or hierarchy, Slater would definitely belong in the upper echelons, alongside Stephen Dorf and Brad Douriff. I love The Wizard. It’s so bad.
P.S. Peep the uncredited Tobey Maguire at Video Armageddon, flexing his trademark vacant expression in kid-sized form as a member of the legendary Lucas entourage. Look closely.