October 23rd, 2011: The Wizard (1989)

Cast and Crew:  Todd Holland (Director); Fred Savage, Luke Edwards, Jenny Lewis, Christian Slater, and Beau Bridges

What It’s About:  Jimmy “The Wizard” Woods (Luke Edwards, Jeepers Creepers 2) is essentially a video game version of Tommy from The Who’s rock opera, but substituting autism for sensory deprivation. His half-brother (Fred Savage, The Princess Bride) breaks him out of an institution and the pair head to California. Along the way they meet a girl named Haley (Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley), who observes Jimmy’s skills and convinces the gang to head to a video game tournament.

Why Watch it Today?: Super Mario Bros. 3 was released on this date in Japan back in 1988. The game wouldn’t be released in the United States until 1990, but The Wizard ultimately served as a 100 minute infomercial promoting one of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s biggest sellers.

Where to Get It:  Netflix (rental and streaming), Libraries, or Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, and Android Market

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