REVIEW: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
SYNOPSIS: Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. 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 the 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
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