HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
Incredible Paris Incident
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Fox and His Friends
Bitter Harvest
   
 
Newest Articles
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
   
 
  Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie Let's Get WizzyBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Lev L. Spiro
Stars: Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera, David DeLuise, Steve Valentine, Xavier Torres, Jennifer Alden, Jazmin Caratini, Jonathan Dwayne, Marisé Alvarez, Bettina Mercado, Veraalba Santa, Gabriela Rosario
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure, TV Movie
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Disney's popular teen sitcom centres around young wizard Alex Russo (Selena Gomez), her goody-two shoes big brother Justin (David Henrie) and mad-as-bag-of-spanners kid brother Max (Jake T. Austin), who balance magical misadventures with everyday troubles at their family run sandwich shop in New York city. This feature-length spin-off finds teen troublemaker Alex running true to form when she steals the family wand and a forbidden book of spells. She takes a joyride on a magical subway train alongside daffy best friend Harper (Jennifer Stone), much to the consternation of her long-suffering dad Jerry (David DeLuise), who gave up his own wizard powers when he fell in love with mortal wife Theresa (Maria Canals-Barrera).

Less than enthused about the family vacation at a Caribbean resort, Alex would much rather spend time with hunky, inappropriately older concierge Javier (Xavier Torres), but mom is having none of it. In a fit of anger while holding the wand, Alex rashly wishes her mom and dad had never even met. Lo and behold, Jerry and Teresa are swiftly reincarnated as carefree, kid-hating singletons with no memory of the family they've left behind. Alex, Justin and Max have forty-eight hours to find some way to break the spell, which leads them to toothy, down-on-his luck British street magician the Amazing Archie (Steve Valentine) who claims his pet parrot is really his beautiful girlfriend under a curse. He points them towards the legendary Stone of Dreams, but finding this ancient artefact involves a perilous journey while a malevolent magical tornado is out to wipe the Russo siblings out of existence.

As a series, Wizards of Waverly Place hinges on this weird dichotomy in that Selena Gomez is one of Disney’s most talented and likeable performers, but her character Alex Russo is one of the most abrasive and dislikeable leads in any tween television show ever. Over the years, Alex has come across as self-absorbed, vindictive, sarcastic and frankly, kind of cold, but the movie ingeniously makes these failings a plot point and enriches the character to the point where we can finally understand what makes her tick. By the film's conclusion, Alex emerges genuinely heroic and downright loveable which may not seem like much to non-devotees but marks a major progression from the show.

Like The Wizard of Oz (1939) the essential theme is learning to appreciate family, but screenwriter Daniel Berendson also borrows extensively from Back to the Future (1985) what with the memory-erasing plot device and the Russo kids horrified to see their dad as a young, irresponsible party-animal and mom as a flirty single woman. In the regular series much of the comic tension between Justin and Alex arises from the fact that only one of them can grow up to be the family wizard, while the other will lose their powers. Berendson deepens their relationship and Selena Gomez in particular shines through a number of surprisingly affecting scenes that bode well for her burgeoning movie career.

Lush Puerto Rican scenery (doubling for the Caribbean) and flashier special effects make this one of the slicker Disney TV movies, while Berendson throws a welcome surprise or two to leaven some of the family-friendly predictability. While the series is usually less derivative of Harry Potter than parodic, this pulls out the stops with a full on, imaginative effects-laden wizard’s duel fans are sure to enjoy.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1532 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: