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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Endearing Than Any Individual Episode
Though each individual episode of the hit Disney Channel TV show "Wizards of Waverly Place" is fun and quirky in its own right, all the material (acting, plot, witty one-liners) seems to fly by so fast that the viewer isn't left with much real emotion. It's almost as if the show gets so caught up in the formula (Alex does bad but prevails, Justin does good but never gets...
Published on October 24, 2009 by Zachary Koenig

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Wizards of Waverly Place
An interesting story line but the antics of the spoiled daughter (Selena Gomez) kept irritating me. It's a perfect example of "being careful what you wish for"; you may be surprised how it turns out.
Published 3 months ago by Nicholas M. Zallas


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Endearing Than Any Individual Episode, October 24, 2009
This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
Though each individual episode of the hit Disney Channel TV show "Wizards of Waverly Place" is fun and quirky in its own right, all the material (acting, plot, witty one-liners) seems to fly by so fast that the viewer isn't left with much real emotion. It's almost as if the show gets so caught up in the formula (Alex does bad but prevails, Justin does good but never gets rewarded, etc.) that it doesn't take enough time to slow down and really examine the relationships between any of the characters. Luckily, the "Wizards of Waverly Place" movie solves that problem.

For a basic plot summary, the magical Russo family begins the film with Mom and Dad dragging the kids off on a vacation to recreate their honeymoon. The usual eye-rolling and complaints begin, but Alex (played by the always-entertaining Selena Gomez) takes things one step too far by metaphorically wishing (while holding the family's magic wand) that her parents had never even met, thus they wouldn't be on this "stupid vacation" in the first place. Of course, thanks to the wand, that wish is granted, and suddenly the Russo siblings are no longer part of a family, as Mom and Dad don't even recognize each other. The rest of the film, then, centers on the kids' quest to find the "Stone of Dreams", a magical, enchanted item that can grant any wish or reverse any spell.

With the expanded feature-length runtime, the plot and character development of the film are able to be realized much more deeply than in any previous episode. We get to learn more about both parents and why they are like they are, as well as how the Russo children (namely Justin and Alex) view each other and what can be done to better those relations. In a touching scene that just might make you start to see through some mist, both Alex and Justin come to terms with each other involving the sometimes-bitter sibling rivalry that has existed between them from the very beginning. This plot line is also a great message for younger children, promoting the values of family and working together.

As usual, the acting is also spot-on. Dad (David DeLuise) and Mom (Maria Canals-Barrera) are at their over-the-top best, while Alex (Gomez) and Justin (David Henrie) are constantly involved in a brilliant give-and-take that will have you both laughing and misting over at different occasions. Even youngest brother Max (Jake T. Austin) hits all the right buttons as the somewhat dumb-founded, yet very innocent bringer of the more physical comic relief.

So, considering this film's ability to delve deeper into the relationships between each character, I consider it to be a rousing success and look forward to great things from the show going forward. Plus, the climax of the final results in the long-awaited "Wizard Challenge", which will determine the Russo child who will come away with the magical powers into adulthood and thus set the stage for Season Three on the Disney Channel.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable family film! DVD doesn't have that many special features but does come with a wish stone!, December 17, 2009
This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
In "Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie", the Russo family have a family vacation in the Caribbean that both Jerry and Theresa are excited about. But Alex who dislikes going on family trips, has a problem with her parents because she wants to party with her friend Harper Finkle (played by Jennifer Stone) and have fun. But when she steals her brother Justin's spellbook (which was given to him by her father), she misuses it and nearly gets herself and Harper killed. Her mother has had enough with her antics and she is told that she will be going on the family vacation and a rule to all kids, no magic will be used. Unknown to Justin, Alex has hidden the spellbook with her and plans to bring it on the trip.

While arriving at the Caribbean,the Russo's meet up with a street magician named Archie who claims he is a wizard like them (after Max uses his magic in public and levitating him). Archie tells them the story about how his parrot Giselle was actually human but needs their help in trying to revert her back and need to obtain a special stone. Of course, for Justin, he enjoys the adventure and to visit wizard sites but their parents who are protective of their children, tells Justin no.

As the family is having fun on their vacation, Alex is not. In fact, she wants to start having fun with the first guy she meets in the Caribbean and is invited to go out. But her mother forbids her to and Alex becomes inconsiderate to her mother. Because of that, her mother scolds her and tells her that when they arrive back home, she is grounded. Upset with her mother, she tells her that she wishes that she and her father never had met.

Not knowing that she has activated a powerful spell from Justin's spellbook, now she has accidentally changed reality for her parents and her siblings. To make things worse, because Alex's parents now have never met, that means that they would never have children and will not exist.

So, immediately the children must fight against time and reverse the spellbook or else they will be gone from existence and lose their memories of family. This sets Justin and Alex on a trip to find the stone to reverse the spell but also trying to help out the unusual street magician at the same time. Meanwhile, Max tries his best to play matchmaker between Jerry and Theresa and making sure Jerry is not messing around with other women. But this proves a bit difficult as Jerry and Theresa's first encounter with each other was unpleasant.

Will the Russo children be able to fix the problem before they forget their memories?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" is presented in widescreen (1:78:1). The shots from Puerto Rico look absolutely beautiful. A good number of outdoor scenes, so there is a lot of sunlight to make the scenes look quite vibrant. I've read that this is the first Disney Channel Original Movie to receive a widescreen transfer and that there were 350 special effects used in the film. Some of those special effects were well-done and some CG effects looked quite campy but then again, this is a TV movie and doesn't have a tremendous high budget, but for the most part, picture quality was solid and compared to the television show, the film looked great.

Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. For the most part, the film is front and center channel driven but there are a few action scenes (such as the train sequence and the wizard challenge) that utilize the surround channels. Dialogue and music are clear and understandable. Also, included is the French and Spanish language tracks.

Subtitles are presented in English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" features the following special features:

* Wiz Pix - (10:25) Featuring the cast and crew of "Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" on location in Puerto Rico and behind-the-scenes of the making of the film. Also, the cast showcase their personal photos from the set.

"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie: Extended Edition" comes with a special color changing wishing stone. Instructions explaining the different colors are included.

JUDGMENT CALL:

"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" is an enjoyable family film. Before the film aired on television, my son was highly anticipating this film and wanted us to watch it with him. And obviously the series is enjoyed by many as it received over 11.4 million viewers for its premiere and becoming the Disney Channel's second most-watched movie after "High School Musical 2'. Also, becoming the most watched TV movie on cable this year.

Similar to "Hannah Montana: The Movie", it's not required that you watched previous episodes to understand what is happening in the film but it does help. Personally, I have logged many hours in the past year watching this show along with my son and for the most part, it's an enjoyable Disney Channel teen sitcom.

As a parent, the film is safe. There are no scary scenes or anything that parents have to worry about aside from Alex's behavior towards her mother and of course, she is punished for that. The film does get emotional near the end when Alex discovers the repercussions of making the wish but for the most part, the film is safe for children and most importantly, the film has an important message of the importance of family. I also enjoyed how the film integrated the parents along with the children, so the parents do play a major part in this film.

As for the DVD, personally I can not tell you what is the difference between what aired and what is featured on this extended version, so I'm not entirely clear of where the extra footage is in the film. I do think the addition of the mood stone was pretty cool and my son has literally had fun playing with it. But I will say that I wished that there were more special features included on the DVD. There is just the one 10-minute special feature included and of course, the usual promotion for Disney Blu-ray and Disney's Digital Copy. So, I was hoping for the usual Disney fare of music video or behind-the-scenes or even a gag reel, especially since this is a film, you would expect something more in terms of special features.

But overall, "Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" is fun, heartwarming and most of all an entertaining film for the whole family. Fans of the show will definitely want to pick this one up!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Disney Movie!, November 11, 2009
This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
Once again,Disney has captured the essence of "Disney Magic",and with another great movie with Selena Gomez.This movie is great for all ages,young and old..then again those "young at heart.Alex and her family go on a trip to Jamaica,and along the way
we see Alex,Justin and Max up to their usual wizard antics.
In the end,Alex becomes the family wizard.It's a very well
written movie,I only wish it were alittle longer.
If anyone has a bright future ahead,its none other
than Miss Selena Gomez.

Relive the adventures of Alex,Justin and Max,as they attempt to restore
their family with the help of the stone of dreams.I think from this movie,
Alex has learned "be careful what you wish for".

I cannot wait to see what other movies lie ahead in Selena's Future.
This is definitely one for the Family DVD Library,of those who are true
diehard Disney Families,who love movies that have a heartwarming story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Movie, December 19, 2009
This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
It's not just another episode, it's filled with adventure and emotions. Selena Gomez is a great actress and she proves it. You need to buy this movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised !, February 15, 2010
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This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
I bought this movie for my granddaughter, as she is a Hannah Montana fan. However, when we watched it together, I was surprised that it was actually pretty good !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie, January 30, 2010
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This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
like the show but longer and better thus more funny. also it had a great plot and as always really talented actors
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite movie to watch., January 29, 2010
This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
first off this is one of my favorite movies to watch.i cant wait to watch it on dvd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Adaption of the TV Series!, September 1, 2012
This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
The Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie sends the Russos on a family vacation to Hawaii. After a fight with her mother, Alex makes a wish that her parents never married. Alex and her brothers can't figure out how to break the spell, sending Alex and Justin on an adventure to find the Stone of Dreams before they are erased from reality forever.

This isn't a prefect movie, but it is a great adaption of the TV series. I was disappointed that Harper didn't have a bigger part. Why couldn't they have invited her to come along?

The Disney Channel's Original Movies have been declining in quality over the last few years. I wish they would make more movies that are aimed for kids and adults! I doubt if a sequel to Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie will ever be made, but we can always hope for one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, January 28, 2011
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This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
This is an outstanding movie for fans of the show. It also has some memorable lines in it and it really provides good lessons for kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cute and watchable movie adaptation of "Wizards", April 27, 2010
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This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
After giving both «Lizzie McGuire» and «Hannah Montana» movie adaptations, the time has now come to give "Wizards of Waverly Place" a movie treatment. And why not? "Wizards" popularity has quickly increased and has become one of the most beloved shows on Disney Channel. But with "Wizards", the executives has decided to give a non-theatrical treatment. Ironically, in spite of a smaller format, this "Wizards" movie ends up as the most compelling movie adaptation of a Disney Channel show, comparing to the bland "Lizzie McGuire The Movie" and the poorly structured "Hannah Montana The Movie".

The adventurous story brings up many nods to both "Indiana Jones" and "Power Rangers". The Caribbean settings gives the film as fresh flavor and the special effects are quite impressive, considering this being a TV movie. This film is mostly carried by Selena Gomez, a extremely cute and skilled young lady, which does her best acting ever in this movie. Hopefully she'll leave Disney when she's wrapped up "Wizards" to develop her full acting potential. The rest of the cast are also decent in their parts, especially David DeLuise at the family dad Jerry.

As with "Hannah Montana The Movie", a more serious approach has been given to the "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie", which distinct it self from the more loony tone of the series. But where "Hannah Montana The Movie" eliminated almost all the comedic elements from the show, "Wizards" does maintain a few quite hilarious moments along the way.

If you'll manage to overlook a charismatic, but non-believable villain and a few pacing problems, you'll get a nice and watchable treat. This "Wizards" movie may not surpass it's series, but neither muddles with the continuity of the concept, as "Hannah Montana The Movie" did. And overall, it's a decent and cute TV movie for families to enjoy. There's already been rumored of a theatrical release for a sequel to this film, which I hope it's going to be fulfilled.

As with most of the Disney Channel DVD's, unfortunately, the disc is vague when it comes to Bonus features. The disc has just one featurette which has something to do with the "Wizards" concept, which is the making off-short "Wiz Pix" (10:25). The featurette includes interviews with the director and the cast. Although the short mixes some "making off"- clips which has already been aired on Disney Channel, it adds some new stuff as well. It's not the best making-off featurette I've seen, but neither the worst. The cast shares some funny stories and the whole crew comes off as sympathetic and likeable.
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Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition)
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