REVIEW: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
OVERVIEW: Disney’s “Oz The Great and Powerful” will once again provide audiences with a magical entertainment experience when it debuts for in-home release on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD, Digital and On-Demand, June 11, 2013.
A must-own for any home entertainment collection, the Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) of “Oz The Great and Powerful” brings the epic adventure to life with its vibrantly colorful picture and sound, and boasts a sensational variety of never-before-seen bonus materials including: “The Magic of ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ Second Screen Feature” that provides viewers with an immersive opportunity to journey into the fantastical lands of Oz; James Franco’s personal story of his journey to the land of Oz that is produced and directed by the Oscar® nominated star himself; Golden Globe® nominee Mila Kunis’ makeup metamorphosis which is hosted by Academy Award®-winning makeup artist Howard Berger; A back-stage journey through each of the visual effects process that brought China Girl to life including an interview with Joey King; and much more. Additionally, all Blu-ray and DVD products include a digital copy of the film allowing consumers to watch “Oz The Great and Powerful” at home, in their car, and/or anywhere they go.
SYNOPSIS: When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot. Fame and fortune are his for the taking. That is until he meets three witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity and even a bit of wizardry, Oscar transforms himself not only into a great wizard but into a better man as well.
Oz: Am I dreaming?
Theodora: You're in Oz.
That’s kind of how I felt myself when we arrived at Oz and maybe that’s why I was blinded. There are some not so favorable opinions floating around about this film and I just don’t agree. Sure this film is far from perfect in script, story, and maybe even performance but let’s put this in perspective. First of all, it’s an extremely tough act to follow, or in this case precede. Secondly, the film seems to be made in such a way to attract an adult audience and at the same time be simple enough for kids to enjoy. I do believe the film to be kid friendly as well as adult friendly in an attempt to harvest a new crop of Oz fans. When I was a kid I had nightmares starring the Wicked Witch but I still loved the movie. I think this movie can bring more generations to the wonderful world of the Wizard; after all it has been quite a while since we’ve gotten a glimpse. This is a well made prequel with an interesting and cute story that will charm you. Undoubtedly the best aspect of this film is the visual feast we are treated to. (See it in 3D). It is more than mesmerizing, it is hypnotizing. (See it in 3D). This movie is a special effects masterpiece and did I mention you should really consider watching it in 3D? Not only does it have the 3D effect of pulling you into the Land of Oz to make it seem like you are there, it also uses the “fun” 3D which is what I call the throw-things-at-you-just-because-it’s-in-3D 3D. So see, the kids will have fun too. As for the adults, well okay, the guys, we get three incredibly stunning leading ladies, Mila
Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz. That is a great casting job for sure as they truly enhance the beauty of Oz by looking gorgeous. Heck, even the Wicked Witch in green looks amazing . . . scary but amazing. Then there is the most adorable and one of cutest characters in film ever, the China Girl. Wait till you see her. I have discussed the topic of cutest animated characters of recent cinematic history with my family and have reached the conclusion of Boo from Monsters, Inc. and the similar looking little girl from Despicable Me. Well, the China Girl gives them a run for their money. She can melt a heart or two.
From the get go your ride begins. Starting with the Disney castle intro, which is appropriately themed for the movie, and the opening credits, we are transported first to a taste of the circus life and the unsatisfying life of Oz played by James Franco. A master of illusions, his focus is on illusions of grandeur but at little or no cost. Thrust into the Land of Oz, he will be tested. And that’s when the color begins. Have I mentioned how beautiful the Land of Oz is? Well add to that the eye-popping costumes and makeup. But one thing that is missing, or at least compared to the everlasting classic, is the catchy tunes. Music in this picture is barely noticeable and yet was so big in the original. Another good thing though is that there is plenty of room to expand as far as sequels and such. I for one would not mind seeing a quality Wizard of Oz remake . . . if it gets to that point. If nothing else you’ve got to commend Director Sam Raimi for accepting the challenge of directing anything remotely related to the Wizard of Oz. It might not be his best work, but he did good work nonetheless. So follow your yellow brick road down to the theater and treat yourself to a visually stunning and entertaining motion picture. Oh yeah, before I forget, I do recommend you see it in 3D.
By Cine Marcos
The film is
presented in widescreen in a 2.39:1 aspect ration preserving its
theatrical format. The picture is just flawless. Not only the
picture looks great in this release, also the sound it is good,
a 7.1 Dolby Digital in English that provides a good complement
to the picture. It also includes English
and Spanish subtitles.
Widescreen (2.39:1) 16x9
English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 DTS-HDHR, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles - English Spanish
The Magic of “Oz The Great and Powerful” (Second Screen Experience)
- An immersive Second Screen experience that details all things Oz. From an interactive map full of secrets and surprises, to an inside look at the spectacular world of Oz. All fans need to do is download the special “The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful: Second Screen” App (which is free and currently available for immediate download at the iTunes Store for iPads) which provides fans with infinite opportunities to remain connected to their favorite film, its cast of characters and to dive deeper into the magical world of Oz. This App provides exclusive access to invigorating and exclusive content including:
The Enchanting Characters and Creatures of Oz - From Munchkins and Tinkers to good witches, bad witches, and flying baboons, this piece follows each character and creature of the Land of Oz from inspiration to final outcome.
The Sounds of Magical Oz - What adds fragility to the sounds of China Girl's footsteps; ferocity to the tornado; or weight to the flutter of Finley's flapping wings?
Sleight of Hand: Zach Braff Puppet Theater - Actor, and voice of Finley, Zach Braff introduces viewers to the Finley mockup.
Mariah Carey Music Video
My Journey in Oz by James Franco - A personal story produced and directed by James Franco.
Mr. Elfman’s Musical Concoctions - An interview with composer Danny Elfman unveils his inspiration in scoring “Oz The Great And Powerful.”
China Girl and the Suspension of Disbelief - This feature uncloaks the several forms of movie magic employed to bring China Girl to life, from the initial artwork and character design, to the on-set puppeteering during filmmaking, and finally, through each stage of the visual-effects process; and includes an interview with Joey King, the voice of China Girl.
Before Your Very Eyes: From Kansas to Oz - Production designer Robert Stromberg takes viewers through the set design of the Land of Oz, from sketching his original ideas on a napkin, through to the final set pieces and the accompanying visual effects.
Mila’s Metamorphosis - Lead makeup artist Howard Berger expands on one of the oldest, most tried-and-true forms of movie magic: makeup design and effects.
Walt Disney and the Road to Oz - It is well known that Walt Disney had a fascination with the Land of Oz since he was a child. See how that fascination grew into inspiration as he began planning for his own adaptation of the stories in the classic Baum books.