HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
In This Corner of the World
Dirty Pair: Project Eden
Pyewacket
Disaster Artist, The
God of Cookery, The
Zatoichi and the Chess Player
Ingrid Goes West
Boys from Fengkuei, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
   
 
  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 1576 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
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
George White
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
  Rachel Franke
   

 

Last Updated: