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‘Neighbors’ And ‘Legend Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return’ Movie Review From Willie Waffle

Universal Pictures/Clarius Entertainment
Willie Waffle, our Movie Review Expert, takes a look at this week’s new releases, “Neighbors” and “Legend Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” opening in theaters.

Using his patented Waffle rating system, Willie Waffle lets you know about what he thinks of the movie, so you don’t waste your hard-earned money on movie nonsense.

Check out his movie review below.


Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is a horrible rip off of the original Wizard Of Oz. Maybe kids won’t notice, but many of the adults around me fell into two categories – those who were aghast at what was on the screen and those who fell asleep (I envy the guy who got a few more minutes of precious sleep on a Saturday morning).

Maybe they were limited by the original children’s novel or maybe they had too many restrictions placed upon them by the rest of the creative and production team, but writers Adam Balsam and Randi Barnes deliver a painful script.

Scarecrow can’t stop talking about how he now has a brain.

Lion can’t stop talking about how he now has courage.

Tin Man can’t stop talking about how he now has a heart.

All of this is repeated so many times, the audience is almost challenged to stand up and yell back at the screen about how these characters need to shut up because we got the point already.

Then, we are subject to the attack of the puns. In the land of candy, the main hero is Marshal Mallow. The judge is Judge Jawbreaker. We have a jury of your Peeps. I actually heard an audible groan from a viewer several rows behind me after one of those.

Worst of all, Balsam, Barnes and directors Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre follow a very familiar structure as Dorothy makes new friends along her path back to Emerald City, but every one of these new characters falls far short of being as awesome as the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion. This is the B-team in every way, shape and form with forced goofiness for some that will only appeal to the youngest of kids.

Seeing the chance to make some extra money on soundtrack sales and kill some time, we are presented several songs. Trust me when I tell you we do not have a Let It Go anywhere in the bunch.

Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is rated PG because we get some weird stuff like making a boat out of a talking tree, which logistically scares me (wouldn’t the talking tree start screaming when they hollow it out?), and one major character who dies, which could be a bit disconcerting for kids

In the end, the entire enterprise makes me wonder why someone wanted to do this for anything but the money.


Neighbors has some funny moments, but it’s not a great movie. Sure, it’s a good premise, but the film doesn’t come together narratively as well as it needs to, nor do the characters develop in a positive way that serves the story these writers want to tell.

Writers Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien make it hard to sympathize with any character, which wouldn’t be a problem if they kept the movie as outrageous as it gets at times. We wouldn’t have to worry about liking anyone if this was a total, no holds barred farce, but it’s not.

Cohen, O’Brien and director Nicholas Stoll want to play the sympathy card, but make it hard to like anyone. Mac and Kelly are the worst parents ever captured on film as they act as idiotically as the college kids, and show a great disregard for their own baby’s well being. Yet, the audience is supposed to assume they have matured when it matters to the plot, even though we have seen no sign of growth or maturity.

Then, Cohen and O’Brien should have kept the plot centered on unending vindictiveness. Two or three times during Neighbors, it seems like the war between the Frat and the adults has been resolved, but director Stoller looked at his watch and realized they still have to fill another hour in the movie, so we have to restart the war again for no good reason other than lengthening the movie. It leaves Neighbors to be more a series of gags instead of well told story.

You will laugh at many of the antics in Neighbors, but telling the story should be just as important.

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