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The Wiz

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 24-10-2010

5

Product Description
Ease on down the yellow-brick road with The Wiz, starring superstars Diana Ross and Michael Jackson! Relive all of the magic of this beloved musical when Dorothy is whisked away to the enchanting wonderland of Oz, where she encounters the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion. The Wiz features spectacular musical numbers from legendary producer Quincy Jones and an all-star cast, including Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross. It’s an experience of t… More >>

The Wiz

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Michael Jackson Wiz

Comments (5)

This, the 30th Anniversary release of THE WIZ, is a far improved print from the earlier DVD release. The colors of each scene are bright and crisp, and the graininess has been cleaned a great deal. Included with this edition is a soundtrack CD featuring SOME of the songs from the film. Those expecting the entire soundtrack may be disappointed to see that they only get a small percentage of the original songs.
Rating: 5 / 5

I know I’ve already reviewed the old DVD, but I would like to have a good read for the Anniversary (even though I’m late for it).

If you’ve read my old review, you’ll notice that I like this movie, even though I agree there could have been some improvements.

“The Wiz” movie was released into cinemas on October 24 1978, so now the film IS over 30 years old.

This New DVD, with a great new cover AND SHINY Slipcase – better than the one I designed in a letter to Universal mentioned in the old review – is both a great gift, and a slight disappointment:

GREAT: As said before the Picture and Sound have been Restored, so that you can see the shots and hear soundtrack more clearly – until now I never even noticed Dorothy/Diana removing her ear-rings upon deciding to kill Evilene! – and the colours certainly do appear CLEANER. You’d be surprised at how much better this new picture is compared to before!

DISAPPOINTMENT: I was hoping to see a slightly wider and longer version of the picture, but close comparison and attention have shown that the image is slightly zoomed in – look at the edges (sides and top/bottom) in the wide shot of Dorothy in her Emerald City Motel room for example, and you’ll notice a bit missing. And when we see Dorothy and Toto being transported across the screen from New York to Oz, that is the one time it looks more-or-less the same as the old DVD (despite better detail and cleaner picture).

And as Diana finishes singing “I wish I was . . . ” in ‘Soon As I Get Home’, I noticed how her lips mouth ‘home’; Unfortunately, it seems she didn’t say ‘home’ and that moment remains unspoken even in restoration.

Again the Chapter List stays the same: 20 scenes for the opening title, each song and end credits – but here they are presented by 4 screenshots instead of 3 like before.

The Menus, though quiet and simple, do have a bit of animation and Much more Colour to them. MAIN reuses the front cover characters (but rearranged, words appearing in afterwards), while SPECIAL and SET-UP use the back cover movie moments. Again, great English specific subtitles, audio selections are English 5.1 in Dolby and dts, with French 2.0 and subtitles.

When “PLAY” activated, there is a (unavoidable to skip or speed-up) new classification screen and the Universal Logo. When you do see the movie’s (old) Universal opening with the Wiz music, you’ll be surprised at how well the restoration shows! Unlike last time, there is no ‘Universal on DVD’ video-promo, and the menu comes up before the movie allowing you to choose what to do first.

Special Features are once again the Trailer and Making-of “Wiz on Down the Road”, and unfortunately that’s it. Still, they are fun to watch and hear.

Another disk with MORE Special Features (Galleries, music videos, trivia-facts using the old DVD notes, interviews, LOTS of things on the Original Broadway, etc.) would definitely have been welcome and made this DVD a better winner, but . . .

The only other bonus is an 8-track ’30th Anniversary Edition Music CD’ (inside DVD-case, unattached to anything with own slip-cover) with movie songs “He’s the Wiz” by Thelma Carpenter, “You Can’t Win” Michael Jackson, “Ease on Down the Road” Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, “Slide Some Oil to Me” Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross’ “Mean Ole Lion”, Emerald City, the Winkies’ “Brand New Day” and “Home” with Diana Ross – some of which are fun and great to listen to.

The front cover of the characters (except Diana, of course) are from/can be seen in “the Wiz Scrapbook”, and the Back cover of the DVD and slipcase are the same, except for the area with the barcode and an oval-like shape above the ‘Special Features’.

Picture and Sound have been Restored Superbly (despite slight zoom in), and although the Special Features are a downgraded repeat (and slight overstatement) these are still fun videos to watch.

Once again, a very enjoyable DVD for a could-have-been-better movie, a “bad” movie which is still FAR BETTER than that of the 1976 Australian horrified modern-day “OZ (A Rock ‘N’ Roll Road Movie)” version, terribly unsuitable for children and families!!

Checking out this 30th Anniversary DVD is worth it, for the quality picture and sound, and simply good menus.

Look and . . . See a . . . Brand New Film!
Rating: 4 / 5

If you are a fan of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Disco Music and Broadway Musicals, then this is a must-see film.

Based on the 1975 Broadway show and filmed entirely on location in New York City back in 1977, the film was released in 1978 to mixed reviews. Even though it was not a box-office smash, this film has become somewhat of a cult-classic over the years to millions.

The Quincy Jones-produced score still sounds as fresh today as it did 30 years ago, and the visual effects were way ahead of their time when this film was made.

The film’s “Emerald City Sequence” musical number, which featured most of the main cast and hundreds of dancers, was shot in the plaza between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Like so many films that were shot over the years on or near the now “Ground Zero” site in Lower Manhattan, prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, this film may bring back memories of that fateful day. But at the same time it should also be a reminder of how much more at peace the world seemed to be all those years ago.

I have always enjoyed watching this film over the years, but like so many films that we have come to love, that were filmed on that site prior to 9/11, it is sad that even our culture in movies has been tarnished by the events of 9/11 as well.
Rating: 4 / 5

In the classic story based on the smash Broadway musical, Dorothy is a shy 24-year-old Harlem kindergarten teacher who is brought by a snowstorm to the mysterious Land of Oz, a sprawling, decaying, nightmarish, and dangerous megalopolis that resembles the physical characteristics of New York City. The re-telling of the tale includes various urban settings, extreme sadness and melancholy, and features themes of rising above one’s background and the expectations of others. “The Wiz” is a fun movie to watch, and it contains a number of known (Motown) celebrities. This movie is a sheer delight.

Rating: 5 / 5

The Wiz may not have been the best musical ever, but it still is fun to watch a great story of finding what you’re looking for in your own back yard

(New York City or anywhere else) Very energetic musical and dance numbers and the scenery of New York is worth it alone. Especially the scenes filmed at the World Trade Center which are now only a memory to never be forgotten. This movie deserves its place in Musical Movie History!
Rating: 5 / 5

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