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The Wiz is probably the grandest take on L. Frank Baum's classic tale The Wizard of Oz. The production team created sets with a sense of urban magic and spectacle: a New York subway station literally comes to life, and the massive plaza between the World Trade Center towers is transformed into the Emerald City, featuring nearly 400 dancers with three costume changes. Like all good musicals, the Quincy Jones arrangements are highly hummable long after viewing (especially the funky "Ease On Down the Road" and the inspirational "Brand New Day"). In an era before MTV, the camera stays nearly stationary as Ross and Lena Horne vocally soar through their numbers. Their stage-like performances successfully make the leap to film, making The Wiz a testament to their singing talents and star presence. The then-thirtysomething Ross raised some eyebrows playing the traditionally teenaged Dorothy, but she and her supporting cast (including Richard Pryor as the Wiz) carry the tunes with an infectious verve that will appeal to folks of all ages. --Shannon Gee
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
I recently decided to give it another chance to win me over. I purchased the DVD version, and I must admit this new, crisp, complete film with its remastered soundtrack, is a much more watchable and entertaining experience.
We all know the story, Dorothy goes to Oz via whirling snowstorm, meets up with band of misfits who through their harrowing experiences together learn they can all be better than they had ever imagined. And that life can be good no matter where you live.
In the past, the cropped version diminished the entire focus of the story, and made it feel dark, and claustrofobic but now
the Widescreen format greatly enhances the scope of the movie, giving it a more important feel. The color is so much brighter than before that I couldn't believe all the details I had missed that are now clearly visable. The scene where the Munchkins come alive off the Grafitti wall, is really very cool.
There are entire scenes I had forgotten about that are now included, like the one where Dorothy and others are in the OZ motel room talking about having to kill Evilene. I had not seen that one since 1978, and had forgotten it entirely.
I still have problems with some of the performances, and I still believe that it was poorly edited, but all in all I was very impressed with the brand new feel of this movie and if you have not seen it in the DVD format, do so, you will be suprised at the difference. I am now looking forward to seeing it again and again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie. All time favorite on blu-ray makes it even better!!!!Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
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