The idea to take the basic ideas from the wizard of Oz & mix them up into a lengthier TV production is simple enough.
However the writers & director here have created something entirely different while still looking back to the original. Dorothy is an older & feistier character altogether with Zooey Dechanel balancing kooky with bravery well as DG and Alan Cummings straw man varient Glitch is well judged and easily the most sympathetic of the characters. They are joined by Neil Mcdonough's sheriff/tin man, seemingly heartless after his families cruel treatment, Raoul Trujillo's rather weak Raw, the lion of course and Blu Mankouma's not to be trusted Toto.
Best of all is Kathleen Robertson's unhinged older sister to DG, Azkadellia. A megalomaniacal sibling with a grudge who is destroying the Ozee, (Oz),.
There's a plot of some emerald that needs to be found, family members to meet and that wicked sister to be stopped. It isn't important as you'll pick it up as it goes along. It's well paced, has some great idea's and manages to hold everything together right up until the end.
While it resembles the original Frank L Baum ideas more than the most famous film version it maintains the movies charm and sense of wonderment. It avoids trying to be hip or some action packed CGI fest and goes for atmosphere and is all the better for it.
As for the Blu Ray, well it is a single disc affair with only scene selection as an extra. However it is a big improvement over the DVD in terms of both picture and sound. The HD transfer, 1080p, is far sharper than the DVD release and it really shines in the many outdoor scenes which have a greater sense of depth and colour. However there remains the problem with those few scenes where the CGI is dodgy. These remain a bit naff from time to time and are shown up even more in a sharper format. So too the CGI heavy scenes within the city can become a little noisy when dark.
The sound works well. Ignore the packaging's statement of stereo, this has DTS HD 5.1,. This adds a lot of detail to the rear effects and sends the sub way lower than the DVD. It's a big improvement over the DVD which I found a bit lacking. This also puts the vocals up front and centre so that every word is clear and easily followed.
This is not a reference standard disc, no extra's and although sound and vision are upped this is not up to the standard of the best blockbuster releases out there. But that's not really what this is for. If you enjoyed this charming and very re-watchable four and a half hours of fantasy then the small cost of upgrading to blu ray is a worthwhile investment that will be repaid by an even more immersive experience as the whole atmosphere pulls you even further into the story.
If you've not seen this before then this costs peanuts and is an enjoyable fable well told that see's the Blu Ray conceding extra's but beating the DVD hands down in both picture and audio.