Monday, June 25, 2012
'After the Wizard' Movie Review
After the Wizard is pretty unusual, even for an Oz movie. The movie follows an orphan, Elizabeth Haskens, who constantly refers to herself as Dorothy and talks about Oz. Everyone at the orphanage is worried about her and they fear that she is losing touch with reality. Suddenly, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman show up while Dorothy is reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the library, and it's a happy reunion...
The rest of the movie is kind of told out of order. We find out how the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman got to Kansas and why. Since the Wizard left Oz, everyone there has stopped caring and are basically greedy... which is similar to what's going on in our world apparently. The Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion all decide upon seeking out Dorothy's help. But, there's just one problem. They have no idea where she is! The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman take a hot air balloon ride to the United States, and travel to Kansas so they can find Dorothy at last.
There are some pacing problems and bits of poorly-written dialogue. The acting was impressive for an independent film; the standouts being Helen Richman as Mrs. Murphy, Loren Lester as Dr. Edwards, and Peter Mark Richman as Charles Samuel Williams.
The movie has a couple of visual effects-heavy sequences that weren't executed all that well, but considering the budget, these can easily be forgiven. My main problem with the movie was the ending. I don't want to get into too much detail or spoil anything, but I don't feel like the ending resolved some of the problems that were presented in the beginning.
Jordan Van Vranken does an excellent job in her role as Elizabeth, and I'm looking forward to seeing her continue to improve in her career. Orien Richman as the Tin Woodman and Jermel Nakia as the Scarecrow were definitely fun to watch on screen, and I like their innocent portrayals of the characters.
Overall, After the Wizard is an unusual yet often charming movie that does a nice job of making Oz relevant to today's world.
You can pre-order “After the Wizard” on DVD from Amazon here.