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The Wizard, The Power Glove, and Children in Peril

The Wizard was a 1989 movie that was entirely made of product placement, mainly for Ninento's Power Glove. I have never heard of this film that was catnip for kids (it's about video games!), but it sounds like the most bizarre mishmash ever. It involves a road trip across the country for three runaways, one who has escaped from a mental institution, in which no police are involved and the people they meet don't find anything odd about unaccompanied minors.
The trek to California is accomplished primarily by gambling — a series of double-your-money hustles instigated by the queerly parentless Haley. We actually get to see Haley’s trailer home at one point, though her father (a trucker) is on the road. In addition to video game-related hustles, the trio end up at one point in an actual casino, wherein Haley’s skill at craps allows an adult (“Spankey,” a mentally challenged “trucker friend” of her father’s, played by Frank McRae) to win hundreds. It’s later revealed that Haley’s deceased mother had a gambling problem, which apparently led to Haley’s hustling skills. Corey’s mother is also dead. And Jimmy’s sister/Corey’s half-sister? She’s dead, too. What?! Never mind that now. We have to get to California.

The climax involves a video game tournament, so you can guess the ending. It doesn't make any sense, either. Read more about how a favorite movie from a writer's childhood becomes completely nonsensical when he watches it again as an adult. Link

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This was a favorite growing up and of course had to be purchased when it was released on DVD. It's not a great movie, but it's so much fun. Keep an eye out at the gaming expo for a very young tobey Maguire.

Also, if you haven't heard of them, you need to check out little monsters and the monster squad. Two other awfully good 80s movies.
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My husband and I rewatched this not too long ago. Yeah, it's pretty damn awful watching it as a grown up. I remember loving it when I was a kid though.
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This movie was definitely an extended Nintendo commercial, but I don't remember the Power Glove playing an important role. All the hype was for the big tournament at the end where they unveiled Super Mario Bros 3 as the championship game. I still remember the announcer declaring that Jimmy had found the warp zone, which gave him an insurmountable lead in the competition.

Then the family reunites and reconciles and solves all their problems. It was sort of like Rainman, but with kids and video games
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Yes, it's a mess, but it actually holds together better than you'd expect largely because Fred Savage and a child Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley fame!) are decent actors. Plus, Beau Bridges is in it, so it can't be all bad.

There's a heavy nostalgia factor for my age group with this for sure, but that's how big Super Mario Brothers was in our lives: It didn't even come CLOSE to seeming weird that a movie would climax with the revelation of Super Mario Brothers 3.
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