Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday Movie Night: Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Anytime you take on the task to expand upon a classic you are taking a huge risk, and very rarely does it go well.  If you're a hardcore fan of The Wizard of Oz then you might not like this for some reason. It seems that people keep comparing the movie to the 1939 movie despite the fact the two are not based on the same story, and the only similarities is the fact they are both using the same location and expanding on character story. Anyways, the story is well done and I liked the special effects and directing from Sam Raimi.

Summary: Oz is a small town musician, who has the ability to create allusions. He is transported though to a land that isn't like any he has seen before after a tornado sweeps through the land one day. Upon arriving there he is greeted by Theodora who takes him to meet her queen sister, Evanora. Things are a little twisted though and it seems that even Theodora about the evil that is lurking around Evanora. Upon meeting Glinda though he discovers the power struggle going on between the three witches.

Acting: James Franco is good at Oz, but every time I see him acting I feel like he is on the verge of laughing. Like he never really embodies anything about the character in the movie he is just zany, but then again I think it works. He is a good actor in the part, it just feels someone would have been a more intriguing Oz. Michelle Williams works as Glinda. She has this very soft spoken nature that works well for the role, but it also surprises me that considered her for Evanora. Rachel Weiz is a suiting Evanora. I think she looks the part, and while she is pretty there is something she brings out that lets us know she is up to no good. Then there is Mila Kunis as Theodora. She works for the role, but at times I didn't feel it was well played. Like it could have used a little less over acting.

Filming: Most the movie is very CGI. Well almost all of it, and I will say it doesn't look very real, but it does create this fairy tale vibe that I believe works. I felt very happy just seeing how his movie was built. I don't think it particularly had anything about the way it was shot that stuck out, but Raimi has a way with stories, and not exactly making everyone black and white. Oz does have moments where it rides the gray areas with his character. He isn't someone who is the most endearing person, but he tries, and more so by the end when he learns about what it's like to really love someone.

Plot: Personally, I do like how how the plot explains how things came to be in The Wizard of Oz, then again I wasn't a hardcore fan of the 1939 movie despite the fact it is good, so I was open to the story being expanded on. I thought the part of Theodora was really tragic and sad though, and maybe more so sad for adults who understand heartache than kids. The way everything is tied together though made the earlier version more interesting to me. I just thought the plot was cute and it's a good entertaining watch.

Oz The Great and Powerful might not be for fans of the 1939 movie because it's just going to upset you that someone felt the need to do more to it. I thought it was a fun and good watch that sort of let me forget my own problems and get sucked into the land that Oz travels to. It does what a movie should do. I also found the development of the characters interesting as well.

Rating 8 of 10.

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) on IMDb

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