Friday, March 8, 2013

Movie Review - "Oz the Great and Powerful"

Does Oz stand up as a new take on the classic tale?

Spoilers Ahead!

Oz  is an okay film, but nothing really blew me away.

The story: Oscar Diggs, a sideshow magician and con man goes to the magical land of Oz, where he is proclaimed to be the wizard of prophecy and will save the land from the Wicked Witch.

I thought the story was good but cliche. I enjoyed the parts with Oz and his friends going on their journey but the sub-plot with the witches felt the most cliche and forced. It also has many clever nods to the original Oz series, which I appreciated.

The designs of Oz is utterly breathtaking, however if you see this film in 3D, you won't be impressed. In fact, I believe the film would have been better without 3D because it's distracting in some scenes and makes the screen kinda blurry in others. There are some shots that look good but you should see the film in 2D. You can also tell in many shots that they're using green screens, but the backgrounds do look good.

The special effects are good, except for the final fight scene, which is easily the fakest looking scene in the film.

James Franco as The Wizard was really good. As anyone who is a fan of the Oz books and movies knows, Oz was a lying cheat (or a "humbug" as many like to call him), but he is a good man at heart and James Franco portrays him as such.

The villains are the Wicked Witches of the East and the West. Evanora, the Witch of the East is the real main villain of the movie and you can tell she's evil the minute you get a good look at her. Her character isn't fleshed out as anything but the evil villain and since she is a Wicked Witch, that forgivable I suppose.

Mila Kunis as Theodora , the Wicked Witch of the West wasn't all too interesting in my opinion. She's basically the Darth Vader to Evanora's Palpatine. Her motives are cliche, not fleshed out and kinda of petty. When she turns wicked, she does look like a younger version of the 1939 Wicked Witch of the West, however her voice is really distracting because she doesn't sound particularly evil. This is best on display when she laughs and the cackle is dubbed to sound like the old 1939 Wicked Witch, so that it doesn't even sound like anything like her speaking voice.

All in all, Oz the Great and Powerful is an okay film and most of the visuals are passable, but if you see it, see it in 2D.

7.0 out of 10

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