Original Date: March 23, 2013
Ah, yes. I remember the Wizard of Oz very fondly, as of anybody who has seen the 1939 classic film, which made the transition of being black and white for the first few minutes and color the whole presentation…up until the end but soon after, there have been many reiterations of the movie from the sequels, many parodies, allusions to the film and now in 2013, this is a prequel to the film directed by Sam Raimi (the Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogy) and yet people have somewhat doubted this being that it is from Disney and last time they weren’t pleased of that Alice in Wonderland remake directed by Tim Burton and as for me, I didn’t give a shit about that remake as I never saw it but here goes the review for Oz now.
Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune is his for the taking. That all changes, however, when 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 and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
Now I didn’t have much expectations for this movie or just didn’t really have my heart set on this movie at all but after watching it in 2D (sorry, the 3D version in my theaters were sold out), I can say that this is an OK movie. I didn’t love it like so many people did when it was first released but it has some good marks going for it.
Now I can see why people wanted me to see it in 3D as the visuals were very impressive with the high budget they brought in. They were stunning gorgeous to look and marvel at and the CGI didn’t feel clunky or out of place. It was fresh and very clear and the settings didn’t feel like a cliché to look at, although I feel that some of the character make-up and designs just feel awkward to look at, especially the Wicked Witch.
For performances, this is actually some highs and lows going for it. For highs, James Franco portrayed Oscar as this arrogant yet charming and goofy guy that is like Franco’s forte but hey, the guy is quite likable in the film. Zach Braff as the monkey sidekick gave me good laughs when he interacts between him and Franco. Hell, I wonder when the next Rise of the Apes sequel comes out, Braff should voice of the apes rising……..OK, I’m just kidding…..or AM I? Then the China Girl, played by Joey King, did play with your heartstrings as she can easily be broken just like that and then for the lows, it’s the witches played by the main three actresses as their characterization just feel underutilized, as if they really are not that important until the near end of the movie and it’s no surprise that we know their fates in the end, especially for Mila Kunis’ character….or was it Rachel Weisz’ character? Well, I’m not spoiling anything (I hope).
FINAL VERDICT: Oz really isn’t that great and powerful but it’s actually a damn good movie that actually succeeds over Alice in Wonderland in both terms of quality, quantity, and subtlety. It can be a good movie to see with your kids and something adults can enjoy, too, but you should probably see it in 3D, as I should’ve done.
So, I’m giving OZ the very appreciative grade of
High MATINEE – 8.5/10
And until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL – courtesy of DISNEY