Mar 292020

The Wizard may have its charms, which is probably why this has a strong cult following which led way to this Collector’s Edition Shout Factory release.



The Wizard
— Collector’s Edition | Shout Select —

Genre(s): Comedy, Adventure
Shout Factory | PG – 100 min. – $22.97 | March 24, 2020

Date Published: 03/29/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Todd Holland
Writer(s): David Chrisholm (written by)
Cast: Fred Savage, Luke Edwards, Jenny Lewis, Beau Bridges, Christian Slater

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 39.36 GB
Total Bitrate: 39.83 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.75/5

Plot Synopsis: Haunted by a family tragedy, and desperate to get to California for some unknown reason, young Jimmy Woods (LUKE EDWARDS) flees with his conniving brother, Corey (FRED SAVAGE). Along the way, they encounter Haley (JENNY LEWIS), a street-smart teen on her way to Reno. Together, they make their way to California, pursued by a sinister bounty hunter, as well as the boys’ father (BEAU BRIDGES) and brother (CHRISTIAN SLATER). Meanwhile, their ticket to California just might be found in Jimmy’s hidden talent: video games.

Quick Hit Review: If anyone didn’t already know, I don’t generally get a sense of nostalgia with few exceptions (toys for The Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), so with a movie like The Wizard, one I actually had never seen prior. I hold no special memories for this one though completely acknowledge it has a certain cult following, particularly probably of late with the resurgence of the 1980s, and especially the rise of NES and SNES video games, so the movie probably hits a sweet spot for many now in their late 30s and early 40s.

The Wizard, directed by Todd Holland (remember Krippendorf’s Tribe?) and written by David Chrisholm (writer of one of those Smokey and the Bandit TV movies), does have some charm but it’s hard to ignore the blatant product placement, Nintendo especially. That said, it’s still a watchable enough family-adventure-comedy.



This two-disc release comes with a nice, 16-bit inspired artwork, slip cover. The interior cover is reversible with the film’s original poster artwork.

Disc One:
Audio Commentary — Director Todd Holland sits down for a new commentary track, breaking down his memories of the production with filming locations, the cast and the film’s fanbase.

Deleted Scenes (37:54) — There are an amazing 27 scenes here that were cut or trimmed from the final cut, some for good reason although there were more about the family life. However, you also get more product placement as well.

Theatrical Trailer (2:02)

Disc Two:
The Road to Cali-forn-ia (40:45) — This lengthy retrospective featurette includes new interviews with Director Tom Holland, Actors Fred Savage (voice only) and Luke Edwards amongst many others. This is a great look back at this quirky adventure-comedy that delves into how the production came to be and looking back on the work with the young actors and the cult following the film has.

How Can I Help You?: Confessions of a Game Play Counselor (5:52) — A look at a, at one time, counselor. Honestly, don’t remember this being an actual occupation. Pretty interesting featurette, actually.

A Clinical Analysis of The Wizard (12:48) takes a more psychosomatic look at the movie from the perspective of a clinical psychologist.

Let’s Play Gaming Expo 2019 Panel (57:10) — Actor Luke Edwards, Writer David Chrisholm and Producer Ken Toplsky discuss the 30th anniversary of the film.

Post Screening Q&A (24:09) at the Alamo Drafthouse, part of the “Let’s Play Gaming Expo”.

Photo Gallery (10:37)


VIDEO – 4.25/5

Shout Factory releases The Wizard onto Blu-ray presented in the film’s original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and apparently received a 1080p transfer, taken from a 4K scan, though the back cover doesn’t exactly state this is new, so not entirely sure if this is the same picture as the first Blu-ray from Universal. In any case, this is still a really good looking transfer, detail is decent enough but not wholly sharp, yet the original film grain is still there and colors are bright and vibrant throughout.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The movie comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track, nothing amazing but the film is mostly dialogue with some minimal depth for a few scenes, such as during the “epic” Super Mario Bros. 3 battle or the chase sequence around the Universal theme park. Otherwise, this is pretty standard and probably the same one on the previously mentioned older Blu-ray release.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

The Wizard may have its charms, which is probably why this has a strong cult following which led way to this Collector’s Edition Shout Factory release, but for myself who did play some games, including the NES, back in the day, don’t hold a whole lot of nostalgia for me.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>