Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Wizard - A Oldie But A Goodie

Growing up, I was a pretty avid love of video games.  I remember (somewhat fuzzily) at about 5 years old, coming home and finding that my family had acquired a Nintendo.  I was immediately fascinated and later became quite hooked to the machine.  I enjoyed many a fun game on the system: Super Mario Brothers (1, 2, and 3), Star Tropics, Exodus Ultimate, Battletoads...ah, being able to punch out your ally had quite an appeal when your little brother was playing with you...but I digress.

One day in Blockbuster, I was looking through the movies and stumbled across one called 'The Wizard'.  Also being quite fascinated with mages and wizards, I wondered if it would be a movie about magic.  It turned out that the movie was about a wizard...of sorts. (An FYI, I watched this movie years ago, so most of the details I'm pulling from Wikipedia).

The Wizard (1989) revolves around a young boy named Jimmy.  After a tragic accident in which his twin sister dies, he suffers from a serious mental condition.   He hardly interacts with those around him, builds things out of blocks, always caries a lunch box with him, and only says the word 'California'.  After Jimmy is placed in a institution, his older brother, Corey, breaks him out.  Corey eventually discovers that Jimmy is a wizard at playing video games.  Corey and Jimmy team up with another girl to get to California, all the while trying to evade pursuit from a crazy missing child hunter.  Corey eventually enters Jimmy into a video game playing contest.  After winning the contest, Corey and Jimmy are reunited with their family and the mystery of Jimmy's obsession with 'California' is revealed.

As a child who loved video games, I loved this movie.  As an adult, I realize that it was a little cheesy and contained a lot of blatant product placement by Nintendo.  Still, I find the story to be heartwarming and an interesting tale about following your dreams.  I give the movie a B+ rating.

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