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"The Wiz" on Blu-ray


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   GMpasqua

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Posted November 05 2010 - 06:51 AM

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 of 11 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted November 05 2010 - 10:04 AM

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 of 11 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted November 05 2010 - 01:08 PM



Originally Posted by Brian W. 

 It's a very late '70s, pop-psychology version of "The Wizard of Oz."


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.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted November 06 2010 - 02:24 PM

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 of 11 OFFLINE   Erik_H

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Posted November 07 2010 - 01:03 AM

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 of 11 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted November 08 2010 - 07:36 AM

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).


"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   jerauf

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Posted November 08 2010 - 08:23 AM

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 of 11 OFFLINE   GMpasqua

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Posted November 08 2010 - 08:25 AM

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



#9 of 11 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted November 08 2010 - 10:10 AM

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!Posted Image



#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted November 09 2010 - 06:45 AM



Originally Posted by Erik_H 

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.



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



#11 of 11 OFFLINE   RCinOttawa

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Posted December 03 2010 - 05:44 AM

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?