Oh CANADA!!!!....Canada is one majestically, mystically, epically beautiful Country, there is no doubt about that, yet one simply cannot use these same adjectives for their cinematic efforts. Needless to say "the Mystical Adventures of Billy Owens" is neither epic, nor magical, or mystical in any way shape or form. In fact, it is the worst Canadian family film well....since the last Canadian family film, whatever that was. The prosaic narration from Billy's young female friend and counterpart is pretty typically "Canadian". (again, no offense CANADA..your forests, lakes, critters and parks are enchanting) Before feasting mine own eyes on this piece of Canadian history (could not help myself to rent this after seeing the "Potter" clone cover box on the video store shelf) I had read a review saying it was very different from "Harry Potter"...but of course that review came from some Toronto based local community newsletter. The fact is...it is a complete and utter "Potter" rip-off! (save for the good acting, decent script, awesome musical score, amazing special effects and about a thousand more factors that Potter offered us)...although I must concede that the special effects (or should I say THE special effect...as there really is only one) are amazing....amazingly amateurish that is! There is basically only ONE special effect throughout the whole of this masterpiece...golden sparkles that emanate out of a of a wand that was easily done by someone's Dell home PC......oh, and there is this "dragon" creature which I really cannot even call a special effect as it looks more like a cartoon...I have seen more realistic dragons in a 1975 Atari video game. Now, to the acting....ah.....acting!!....there is a lot of "acting" going on here...overacting, underacting, terrible acting, acting like their acting, and acting just plain stupid (the Library Security Guard for example) Let's start with overacting. Our most famous (actually only semi-famous) personality here is that of Roddy Piper ("your soul was lost in the rivaaaaaa!"), a former professional wrestler who had a brief stint of success on American WWF back in the 80's. This guy MUST be THE wikepedia definition of overacting but needless to say, he is the best of the cast (or should I say, least awful actor in the movie) Another overactor is the villain, some Canadian dude who can't act his way out of a box but can over act his way out of anything. As for the bad acting..it is rampant..like a stage 4 cancer actually. Ironically, the WORST acting comes from our young protagonist..the kid who plays Billy Owens himself...but do we really need good actors with a script like this? Finally, I will say that the ONE saving grace of this straight to DVD Harry Potter clone is the camera work...THIS is the one thing that the Canadians seem to get right! There are many nice shots of the incandescent Canada and "Spirit River".... wherever the hell that is. Lastly I will say that this DVD will actually have a sequel soon! Something like "Billy Owens and secret of runes!?" ..this should be good! Although it looks like Roddy Piper won't be joining us for this grand and epic adventure (maybe he was refused the 3 thousand dollars his agent demanded) perhaps it will feature another unemployed wrestler who hails from the great white North! Regardless, I will of course watch it but perhaps wait to purchase until the third installment is released and there is a deluxe edition Billy Owens trilogy DVD set with the works!!!!!