"The Wiz" on Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by GMpasqua, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    watched "The Wiz" on blu-ray last night. It actually looks pretty good, probably the best ever on home video - you could see every strand of curly hair on Michael Jackson's head.


    The film - well, not the greatest - not even close. Supposed to be the most expensive movie musical until "Annie" (1982) - but where did all the money go? certainly not into the script


    The soundtrack to the film is way better than the film itself. Probably one of the few best soundtracks of the 1970's - Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lenan Horne - not a bad voice in the bunch (still the soundtrack quickly appeared in the .99 cents bin after the film opened) sounds great on Blu-ray


    The film is far from a classic and didn't need to be that expensive. But it does look good for what it is. If you are a fan you will love it - otherwise stay clear. I'm quite sure this was released to cash in on Jackson's death and the success of his concert Blu-ray "This is It" - sales were high last year


    Ordered it from Amazon who has it as an exclusive until Nov 30th
     
  2. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Yeah, the big problem with "The Wiz" was that Sidney Lumet directed it. He had no experience or involvement with musicals before, and it shows.

    I might pick this up... doesn't seem any website has reviewed it. I do like some of the musical numbers, and the sets are magnificent. But, yeah, it's sort of a charmless movie. Michael Jackson, bless his heart, said in his autobiography "Moonwalker" that he sincerely thought "The Wiz" was a better film than the original "Wizard of Oz" because, in his words, "the message was clearer." In my opinion, that's one of the problems with the film -- you're hammered over the head with the message. It's a very late '70s, pop-psychology version of "The Wizard of Oz."
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That's not an accident: Diana Ross and screenwriter Joel Schumacher were heavy into est (Erhard Seminar Training). Perhaps this should be a double feature with "Semi-Tough," which parodied 70s pop psych movements, especially est.
     
  4. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Interesting, Matthew. I had a friend who was into EST for a while, and he was spending tons of money going to their seminars, using weird language (like calling things "sleazy"), but he wouldn't stop going because they told him he was at a delicate point in his development and to stop the seminars at that point could leave him psychologically damaged. Some other friends finally got through to him, and he stopped going.

    I remember that EST was listed as a cult by the Cult Awareness Network (think that was the name of the organization). As was Scientology. But the Church of Scientology took care of that... they simply BOUGHT the Cult Awareness Network, and, ta-da! They were no longer listed as a cult in its literature.
     
  5. Erik_H

    Erik_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Regarding Sidney Lumet as the brother-in-law of Quincy Jones as mentioned above. Lumet was, at the time of the making of "The Wiz," the son-in-law of Lena Horne (who appears in the film, of course). Although Lumet and Jones collaborated on numerous projects ("The Pawnbroker" among them), they are not related.
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Not an awful film or anything, but it sure does a bang-up job of making really joyous songs dull.


    I'd be interested in seeing a film of the original Broadway production, if one exists (I have no idea).
     
  7. jerauf

    jerauf Agent

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    There is a rumor that one does exist. It's held by one of the creative team who had it shot during one of the last performances in Philly in 74 before it moved to New York.


    As far as Sidney Lumet, I'd have preferred the road-not-taken with this film. It was supposed to be directed by John Badham starring Stephanie Mills (who had it in her contract for the stage version that the producers had the option to hire her for the movie). It supposed to be very similar to the stage version. Diana Ross wanted the role, Badham threw a fit and walked, Lumet in and good taste out.


    I think all of the money went to the sets, special effects and Ross's salary.
     
  8. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    whatever gave Diana Ross the feeling she could pull off "Dorothy" ?
     
  9. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    Diana's world class Diva's Ego...which is why you have a "star vehicle" instead of a faithful rendition of the Broadway stage production, unfortunately. I still own this blu-ray, so I believe I'm making a valid criticism of the nature of this movie being what it is!
     
  10. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the correction. Don't know how I got that mixed up.
     
  11. RCinOttawa

    RCinOttawa Agent

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    Has anybody gotten around to watching this?
    Just wondering how it looks and sounds.

    Is it another Spartacus/Out of Africa-type transfer from Universal?
     

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