'The Witches of Oz' [Blu-ray]
(Paulie Rojas, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, Ethan Embry, Mia Sara, et al / Blu Ray / NR / 2012 / IMAGE Entertainment)
Overview: Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas) is a simple girl in rural Kansas who writes children's books based on the land of Oz created by her grandfather. Her mundane life is turned upside down when she receives an offer from a big New York agency to represent her books. In New York, Dorothy soon realizes her books, and her grandfather's stories, are based in reality.
Blu Ray Verdict: In 'The Witches of Oz' Dorothy writes books based on her suppressed memories. The whole plot centers around a magic book that contains a magic word that can only be opened by a magic key which Dorothy stole and hid but can't remember. The bad witches want it back. This we get in the opening of the film which tells a long drawn out story of good vs. evil similar to Lord of the Rings background. The character of Dorothy was a bit sickening as was the dorky Allen (Ari Zagaris) who appears to have been a poorly developed scarecrow.
The best characters were gnomes played by Sean Astin and Ethan Embry. The spoke in limericks. Christopher Lloyd attempted to bring life to the role of the Wizard with his Madhatter garb, but couldn't do so for the lack of decent lines. There is also a good amount of violence and some killing in this kid's film too. I am not sure who the target audience is supposed to be.
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 ... save for the violence factors, course! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.