HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Burning
Hitchhikers, The
For All Mankind
Glass Key, The
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
   
 
  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 1854 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 star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: