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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dorothy and the Witches of Oz
Disclaimer: This is a review of the director's cut entitled "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz," which isn't available for purchase yet on Amazon. It was just out in select theaters. I received a screener for review.

The story follows Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas), a children's author continuing the Oz series. After her uncles death back in Kansas, Dorothy discovers...
Published on April 19, 2012 by SciFiChick

versus
46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All the witches (spoilers)
I had high hopes for this miniseries, After all, "Tin Man" is one of my favorite miniseries ever, and this one stars Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, Jeffrey Combs and Christopher Lloyd.

Sadly, "The Witches of Oz" is a massive misfire right from the beginning -- it tries to be both an epic, intense adventure story and a kid-friendly all-you-need-is-love fairy tale at...
Published on February 24, 2012 by E. A Solinas


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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All the witches (spoilers), February 24, 2012
This review is from: The Witches of Oz (DVD)
I had high hopes for this miniseries, After all, "Tin Man" is one of my favorite miniseries ever, and this one stars Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, Jeffrey Combs and Christopher Lloyd.

Sadly, "The Witches of Oz" is a massive misfire right from the beginning -- it tries to be both an epic, intense adventure story and a kid-friendly all-you-need-is-love fairy tale at the same time. Lloyd, Boyd and a handful of other actors do what little they can to salvage the story, but the hammy acting, bad CGI and slapworthy ending make it impossible.

Budding writer Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas) is stunned when prominent agent Billie Westbrook (Eliza Swenson) develops an interest in the Oz books she's been writing with her friend Allen (Ari Zagaris). Dorothy and Allen move to New York City, unaware that the Wicked Witch of the West and her head-swapping minion Princess Langwidere (Mia Sara) are plotting against her.

Specifically, they want a key to a magic book which Dorothy had when she returned from Oz many years ago. But Dorothy has forgotten about her time in Oz, so she can't remember where she put the key. Along with Allen, her new buddy Bryan (Barry J. Ratcliffe) and love interest Nick (Boyd), she must find the key before the Witch has a chance to take over all worlds.

"The Witches of Oz" is a schizophrenic mess of a story. It wants to be a big, dark save-the-world story, but it also wants to be a kiddie-friendly family film. Even worse, it seems to have been made up as it went -- foreshadowing comes to naught (Nick's identity), important items go unmentioned until they're needed, and random characters pop out of the woodwork without warning.

It also feels like the budget was somebody allowance -- the costumes are silly (Glinda looks like a cut-rate Valkyrie) and the special effects are simply embarrassing. I will admit that there are some really moving moments, such as Jeffrey Combs as a grieving father whose child has been swept away to Oz.

But the rest of the movie is just so cheesy and campy, and riddled with gaping plot holes that you could fly a taxi through. It all climaxes in a truly horrendous battle through a magically-ravaged NYC, where the Evil Minions of the Evil Witch... lightly annoy the New York residents. Apparently flying monkeys, dragons and evil gnomes don't kill people -- they just sort of whack them with sticks.

Oh, and the ending? It completely negates everything that has gone on before it, by revealing that everything both the heroes and villains did was TOTALLY POINTLESS. And its "all you need is love/friendship" message is completely negated by what happens at the climax.

Some of the actors are really, really good. Boyd is charming, low-key and resolutely normal, Combs is heartbreakingly good, Astin and Ethan Embry are fun, and Christopher Walken is slyly clever in his brief role. Sadly, Rojas seems to be stuck in "wide-eyed ingenue" mode, and that's how she plays every emotion that Dorothy is supposed to experience.

And the actors playing the villains are just awful, especially since they're all played for bad comic relief. None of them are even slightly scary! Swenson is particularly tragic -- she gives a very good performance when she looks human, but transforms into a hissing growling parody of Margaret Hamilton buried under bad green makeup as the Witch. She's less frightening than the Kardashians.

"The Witches of Oz" tries to be too many things, and ends up as nothing -- a whimsically candy-sweet mess that makes absolutely no sense by the end. Just watch "Tin Man."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, April 19, 2012
This review is from: The Witches of Oz (DVD)
Disclaimer: This is a review of the director's cut entitled "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz," which isn't available for purchase yet on Amazon. It was just out in select theaters. I received a screener for review.

The story follows Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas), a children's author continuing the Oz series. After her uncles death back in Kansas, Dorothy discovers that her stories were not from her imagination but from her own experiences in Oz. Now, the evil witches are in New York and looking for a key that Dorothy hid as a child. Only Dorothy and her friends can stop the Wicked Witch of the West from destroying both Oz and this reality.

Based on L. Frank Baum's books not the popular film starring Judy Garland, fans will notice the additional characters right away. And Dorothy's slippers are silver not Garland's ruby red. Christopher Lloyd as the Wizard was my biggest reason for seeing the film. He was fantastic. But I was happy to see other known faces as well such as Sean Astin and Ethan Embry as the cute, funny, and miniature Frick and Frack. And Jeffrey Combs has a brief but memorable performance as Dorothy's heartbroken father. Paulie Rojas as Dorothy is a bit wooden, but her sweetness and innocence is believable. And Eliza Swenson as Billie Westbrook was pure fun to watch in her complex role.

At first I was confused about the target audience. The mood seemed darker and suddenly violent, until I realized all of the action and fight scenes were stylized. Some of the monstrous creatures might be a bit scary for young children, but it's still only rated PG and is certainly a family movie. The (director's cut) special effects are clever and most of the evil creatures look like something out of a campy 70's or 80's film, which I think adds to the charming storybook feel. At times the movie reminded me of a favorite show ABC's Once Upon a Time - with the campy feel meets the real world. Yet Dorothy and the Witches of Oz is much more family friendly and light-hearted. Full of adventure, magic, mystery, and colorful characters - this film was unexpectedly heartwarming and a bright homage to the classic Oz books.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Witches of Oz, March 4, 2012
This review is from: The Witches of Oz [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This movie isn't perfect, but it has a lot going for it. It is nearly three hours long, but that's because it's an edited version of a two-part mini-series that aired in the United Kingdom. So, the editing causes the story to be a little hard to follow in the middle.

Acting: 7/10
Special Effects: 6/10
Story: 8/10
Costumes/Make-up: 7/10
Editing: 6/10

TOTAL: 34/50 (68% D)

There is a theatrical cut of the movie (re-named "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz") that's being released in select U.S. theaters as well, and it's a big improvement on this version. The theatrical cut is an hour shorter, has improved visual effects, and fifteen minutes of added footage. The editing and sound is much better in that version, too. So, if you weren't satisfied with this version, I can assure you that the theatrical is much better and easier to sit through.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Waste of your Time and your Money!, April 21, 2012
This review is from: The Witches of Oz (DVD)
This movie had potential, until you watch it. The story line has too many holes, the acting is B rated at best, all of the large named actors have small parts. There are terrible action sequences, and the make up or special effects are not great. The Wicked Witch of course had the best make up, and the Tin Man was the best special effect, but that left a lot to be desired on the rest of this film. It seemed like a hodge podge of a production. Do yourself a favor and walk away before you spend your money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Marginally entertaining, July 13, 2012
This review is from: The Witches of Oz (DVD)
My twelve year old daughter and I watched this one rainy afternoon. Yes, I agree with many reviews; it was a giant campy, cheese-fest. Often I couldn't understand the dialogue due to the blaring soundtrack "Muzak", but it was watchable if you aren't expecting a primo multimillion dollar blockbuster. I would describe it as mixture of ABC's Once Upon a Time and Disney Channels Wizards of Waverly Place. A little bit of dark drama with a bit of whimsy and a very low budget.
The story twists about how Dorothy ended up in present day were intriguing and I appreciated the effort to include characters from several of the Oz books. My daughter & I have our own theory as to the true identity of Nick Chopper. Which many viewers were led to believe that he was Dorothy's tin man but were confused when it seemed that he wasn't. We believe that Nick is Dorothy's tin man, but he still doesn't have a memory of it or how and why he is there, The tin man that fought the Gnome King was probably Captain Fyter, a second tin man introduced in a later book in L. Frank Baum's Oz series. Nick Chopper is the human name of The original tin man in the first book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. So of course this is left as a mystery In The Witches of Oz, to be explained in a sequel. Yes, there is probably a sequel planned to answer all of those pesky unanswered plot holes & twists that everyone has been talking about. Although it's not the greatest miniseries ever, I will probably watch the sequel because I'm a sucker for anything OZ.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Ideas, but the Low Budget Held It Back, May 22, 2012
This review is from: The Witches of Oz (DVD)
I caught a few minutes of the second part of The Witches of Oz on an Encore channel the other day, where I saw a taxi floating in the air inside of a bubble while the wicked witch and her monkeys are causing chaos in the streets of New York. The scene caught my interest, but I had to leave at the time and the movie wasn't going to be on again. Luckily, I happened to stumble upon it for under ten dollars and of course I had to buy it. Little did I know that the movie was 164 minutes! After a little googling, I found out it was original intended as a mini-series, but ended up being cut down to 100 minutes with 15 minutes of new special effects added and released to a limited (very limited) run in theaters earlier this year. Why in the world would they send the longer version to DVD and to Encore?

The Witches of Oz is set in our time and involves twenty-something Dorothy Gale getting a publishing contract for her OZ children stories; therefore she leaves her family farm and heads to New York. As strange situations occur, Dorothy's memory slowly returns and so do the evil Wicked Witch and her followers (Princess Langwidere, Nome King, an army of Winked Monkeys and a powerful dragon.). Soon Dorothy's friends from Oz return too, including Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Frick & Frack, the good witches, and Oz himself, as they try to help her defeat the wicked witch once and for all.

The plot sounds interesting and with such talented actors as Billy Boyd, Jeffery Combs, Sean Austin, Ethan Embry, Mia Sara, Lance Henriksen and Christopher Lloyd, one would think this movie had a chance of being good. But after watching nearly three hours I was left with mixed feelings and some confusion. At times the movie would go dark more toward an adult theme, and then suddenly, with horrible dialogue, it would change into a campy kid's movie. The actors tried to do their best with a confusing script, all except Dorothy played by Paulie Rojas who couldn't act and was widely miscasted. The special effects were your typical low-budget, but I could see the director Leigh Scott tried to do his best with what little he had to work with.

Younger kids will probably enjoy watching this new take, and somewhat of a sequel, to The Wizard of Oz, but most adults might find it painful to watch. The movie is not completely awful, there are moments, here and there, that are intriguing. In my opinion the Wicked Witch was the best part, and I liked the makeup that they used on her, I even liked the eye patch. The Witches of Oz is not a great movie, as I have seen far worse like the Syfy's Tin Man that aired a few years ago. It's a forgettable fluff, with cheesy 80's special effects, dreadful dialogue, but with a few scenes of imagination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie for Kids and Adults!, May 15, 2012
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Blue Jay (Orange, ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Witches of Oz (DVD)
I picked this movie up at the store not knowing what it was, and was really surprised. I was glued to the set the entire time.....I'm not sure why it received such bad reviews. Some of the acting was slightly cheesy, but it is a children's story, so what do people expect? Though it was a tv mini series, I found a lot of the special effects pretty intense and I'm glad to see characters in costume rather than CGI (reminded me of the original Star Wars...very refreshing). I think the director and actors did a GREAT JOB with the 5 million budget they had. Can't wait to see the sequel! WELL DONE!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie for occasional watch, May 12, 2012
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My wife and I liked this movie. Not something we would watch all the time, but a good way to spend the afternoon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected!, April 16, 2013
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Denise (South Houston, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
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Couldn't finish watching, my 11 yr old picked it. He started watching then got distracted with something else. After a few hours, he started watching it again and finally finished it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For a made for TV movie - A must watch, April 15, 2013
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This review is from: The Witches of Oz [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I originally saw this movie on Pay-Per-View. I instantly liked it. Any Wizard of Oz Fan would definitly like this movie. Its a great story line of when Dorothy grows up and some of the OZ characters are in the "real" world. With the new OZ movie out, it really gives a "whole picture" of OZ. About the only thing that I didn't care for was some of the "cheap" effects. But this is not a Hollywood production, so I'm sure the budget was not extreme. But there were many big stars in the movie and that was pretty neat.
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The Witches of Oz [Blu-ray]
The Witches of Oz [Blu-ray] by Leigh Scott (Blu-ray - 2012)
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