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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex

July 20th, 2013

The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex - Buy from Amazon

The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex is the first review in our Selena Gomez double-shot. The second film is Spring Breakers. There's not a lot of crossover appeal between those two films. The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex is a TV movie from The Wizards of Waverly Place and it earned excellent ratings when it first aired. But is it as good as its ratings? Or did it unduly benefit from the long-running show?

The Show

The film begins with Alex Russo inside the Crystal Cavern of Justice where the Crystals of Justice are accused of trying to destroy the mortal realm. So far it makes total sense. Alex is trying to argue that she is not guilty, because while a lot of bad things happened, and she caused them to happen, she didn't mean it. She asks the Crystals to go back and look how it started and they will see she's innocent, or at the least not guilty.

When we get back to the present, we see Alex doing what she does best, using her magic for selfish reasons. As her father explains, now that she's the family wizard, she has to use her magic more maturely. She decides against that idea. She almost immediately uses her magic to set up the party for Justin, who can't even make it to his own party. Later, she uses her magic to create a doorway to Italy for her family; her boyfriend, Mason; and her best friend, Harper (Jennifer Stone), to use to go to the Russo family reunion. Of course, her father wanted to go the traditional route, and when Alex can't undo the spell, he gets even more annoyed with her.

Alex does have a supporter, Dominic, Justin's assistant at Wizard Tech. He encourages her to use her magic saying she has the potential to become the most powerful wizard of this generation. He suggests maybe using her magic to "smooth out the edges" and change some of the little things about her that people don't like. This turns out to be a really bad idea. She gets rid of all her bad parts, which becomes an evil twin. That's bad. It becomes much worse when this evil twin conspires with another wizard to take over the mortal realm.

The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex is a Disney Channel Original Movie and should be compared to other similar movies. In such a comparison, it does rather well. It helps that these are established characters and the actors are comfortable in their roles. The movie feels right within The Wizards of Waverly Place series, without feeling like a special two-part episode stitched together and padded out. There is a lot more action than you would typically see on an average episode. On the other hand, with a running time of less than 60 minutes, it's not really a full movie. Additionally, some of the elements that made The Wizards of Waverly Place a little annoying, like Max, who is cartoonishly dumb, are still there. If you liked the TV series, then The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex is worth checking out.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD is the double-length series finale, Who Will Be the Family Wizard? I don't think the series has been released on DVD yet, so this is a nice bonus. However, I think most fans would agree full-season sets would be better.

The Verdict

The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex is one of the better Disney Channel Original Movies with a strong cast, good action, and the standard moral lesson thrown in. It is too short to be a full-length movie, but with the series finale, there's enough entertainment on the DVD that fans will want to pick it up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Spring Breakers, Jake T. Austin, Gregg Sulkin, Selena Gomez, David DeLuise, Beau Mirchoff