The Wizard (film)/YMMV

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.


    • Alternate Character Interpretation: Or rather, the exact same characters seen through mature eyes. The protagonists aren't heroes; they're complete and utter sociopaths. They're not doing it for Jimmy's benefit; video games don't make him happy, in any heartwarming Hallmark-channel sense of the word, he's just really good at them. They run away from home, accuse a man of sexually abusing a child, and exploit a little boy with severe mental disabilities, just to win the cash prize in a video game tournament.
      • Except that Jimmy's brother doesn't learn about Jimmy's ability at video games or the contest until they're well on the road, after he's trying to indulge Jimmy's desire to go to California, and in the hopes that if Jimmy wins the tournament he won't be stuck in a miserable mental hospital run by a complete Jerkass. Sounds more like someone's adult eyes developed Ron the Death Eater goggles.
    • Critical Research Failure: When the tournament announcer says one level, and the game screen says another (earlier) level, something is wrong.
      • Even Roger Ebert in his television review could tell the scoring was mismatched with the action in the game. Let's reiterate: Roger Ebert, who is no fan of video games, noticed the screwup.
    • Crowning Moment of Awesome: The separating doors at the beginning of Video Armageddon.... Dear god, the doors.
    • Crowning Moment of Funny: Bumbling may also be a good term, the boys older brother and father, played by Christian Slater and Beau Bridges, are shown to be very well intentioned, if clumsy in their relationship with both each other and their search for the boys. The scene where Beau Bridges experiments with Nintendo games may be a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Say what you will about the rest of the movie, but when Jimmy says that "Corey, I don't want to quit", it shows that Jimmy is still dedicated to doing what he has decided to do. It Makes Sense in Context.
    • Designated Villain: Putnam is a Jerkass, but the movie (particularly the boys' father) treats him much worse than he actually is.
    • Dude, Not Funny: Accusing someone who just does his job of child molestation? Not funny.
    • Ensemble Darkhorse / Rooting for the Empire: Lucas Barton, of course. A picture of him wearing the Power Glove used to be the image for this page, and in his written review of the film, the Spoony One believes that Jimmy robbed Lucas of his victory at the end.
    • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Aside from the relentless Adults Are Useless. According to this movie, it's okie-dokie to exploit your little autistic brother into winning money for you.
      • Wasn't this plot point inverted in a more successful movie for adults?
        • And it's also okay for minors to walk and hitchhike from Utah to California Cawwwifffohneeeyaaaa, by themselves.
          • Or to accuse a guy, who is just trying to do his job, of child molestation. Even if he is kind of a douche.
          • Also, it's okay to cheat, as long as it's using the Nintendo Hot Line for video games.
    • Fridge Logic: Just how did Jimmy figure out where the warp zone was?
    • Funny Aneurysm Moment: "He touched my breast!" is now this since the actor who played Lucas is now a sex offender for molesting little kids.
    • Ho Yay: The relationship between the father and his oldest son seemed far more sensual than what was likely appropriate. They practically spooned each other while discussing how much they love each other and then slept together wearing only their underwear. No subtext needed here.
    • Just Here for Godzilla: Back when this movie was new the main reason to see it was the preview of Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Power Glove really was bad, however Lucas is using slang so he meant "cool".
    • Memetic Badass: Lucas
      • They say He's less than a God but more than a man.
    • Memetic Mutation: "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad."
      • "Cawwwifffohneeeyaaaa."
    • Moral Event Horizon: Putnam is a consistent Jerkass, but he crosses the line when he slashes Sam's tires - thus impeding the father of the missing boys from finding them himself, all so he can collect a payment.
    • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The sneak preview of Super Mario Bros. 3 actually was kind of a big deal back in the day. Of course now a few generations of kids have grown up getting a new Mario game practically every other year and it's difficult to see what all the fuss was about.
    • So Bad It's Awesome: The movie is awful in all the right ways.
    • Straw Man Has a Point: Why is the man hired to recover lost children portrayed as evil incarnate? Because he's mildly rude?
      • Try because he's borderline abusive, doesn't actually care about the children, and is more than mildly rude, basically initiating the hostilities with the kid's troper-vilified father by issuing vague threats against him if he gets in the way of collecting a paycheck?
        • And then acts on his threats when he finds said father (and his other son) walking away from their vehicle, by stabbing two tires out with a knife. And then threatening Sam with said knife when he tries to seek retribution for the act. Should be noted that, while Sam most likely had nothing but contempt for Putnam before this time, it's only then that he reacts beyond a silent glare whenever he sees the latter from that point.
    • Video Game Movies Suck: One of the originators, and it's not even directly based on any one game.