Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Review of Oz the Great and Powerful

I am a big fan of the original 1939 film, "The Wizard of Oz", so when I found out they were making a prequel to that film I was a little skeptical. But slowly I became more confident that it would be good because I trust Sam Raimi (Director of the old Spider-Man Trilogy). I ended up being right, because I thought "Oz the Great and Powerful" was a great movie.

This prequel is the back story to the wizard character from L. Frank Baum's books. The movie follows Oscar Diggs/Oz (James Franco), a small-time circus magician, who is hurled away from Kansas in a tornado to the magical Land of Oz. When he arrives, he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyones been expecting. He is then drawn into the problems facing Oz and must find out who is good and who is evil, and of course, he meets some awesome friends along the way!

"Oz the Great and Powerful" starts in black and white, with a smaller aspect ratio (paying homage to "The Wizard of Oz"), and then the screen eventually widens and the movie goes from black and white to full color, all this happens when Oscar reaches the Land of Oz. I think this was a REALLY nice touch to the movie. It just added something to the beginning of the movie. A very clever choice made by Sam Raimi. I must also add that in the very beginning of the movie, there was a credits introduction that was in black and white and I thought it was really cool.

I thought the story of "Oz the Great and Powerful" was good, I was honestly never bored throughout the whole movie. It was just a fun and entertaining movie. I would, however, say the movie is maybe a couple minutes to long, and sometimes the dialogue was a bit bland. But those are my only nitpicks with the whole movie.

The performances in the movie were quite good. I think James Franco and all the witches played there roles well. However, I think Michelle Willams as Glinda gave the best performance. I also really enjoyed Zach Braff, who voiced the monkey in this movie. You might be surprised to know that even Bruce Campbell makes a very small appearance in the film, playing a guard. Overall, I really don't have any nitpicks with any of the cast members and I honestly liked all the characters.

The Visual Effects/CGI are absolutely beautiful in "Oz the Great and Powerful". It really brings the Land of Oz to life. The Visual Effects made me love the film even more. Combine that with Danny Elfman's great score, awesome makeup/hairstyling/costume design (the movie might have an Oscar coming it's way in those categories) and you get a very good movie.

I should also note, if you are familiar with Sam Raimi and his films, you will probably notice that this movie has a very similar direction like a lot of his movies.

Lastly, I want to say...see "Oz the Great and Powerful" in 3D. The 3D adds so much to the film. The movie's 3D is equivalent to "Avatar's" 3D. It was just great and it made you feel like you were in the Land of Oz. It definitely added an effect to the movie and I think it even made the movie better.

Overall, "Oz the Great and Powerful" is a great time at the movies. Although I have a few nitpicks, it's still a fun, entertaining, charming, and visually stunning movie. I would say take the whole family to see it in theaters (depending on age), because its a wonderful family adventure, and remember if you can stand 3D, DEFINITELY SEE IT IN 3D.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5

I would be actually REALLY happy if there was another "Oz" movie (It's no wonder there already planning a sequel, because "Oz the Great and Powerful" is going to make a lot of money at the Box Office). I know Sam Raimi says he won't make another "Oz" movie, but I still hope he does, because he made "Oz the Great and Powerful" greatly!

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