So, as explained yesterday, we went to see the movie "Oz the Great and Powerful".
I'm going to now post a semi lengthy review for your reading pleasure!
****SPOILER ALERT AHEAD****
The movie begins with a fantastic opening sequence. Black and white as the traditional Wizard of Oz was started. Danny Elfman was the main music man so I DEFINITELY have no issues with his compositions. To me, the man is a musical genius. Tim Burton movies just wouldn't be the same without his music. Anyway, back on point. It starts with a small square of the screen occupied in the middle, to reflect old movie reel type size. I loved this decision as it was very reflective of the time. Oscar, or Oz as he's more commonly known. Is a wizard. Well, a wizard of SORTS. He's a magician who wishes to become as big as Harry Houdini himself, as inventive as Thomas Edison and more than that, he wants GREATNESS! Now, in my personal opinion, James Franco is a okay/good actor. I loved him in Spiderman and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. However, he was a bit off base in this movie. His acting was over the top and at times becomes very "hammy". Although I understand he is playing a magician who must put on a "show"... I have seen many other actors do this without looking as if they're acting it out. His more serious scenes in the movie, brought out the actor that he is and I loved those moments. In the movie he plays quite the player. Tricking innocent young beauties to believe he has eyes for only them. Sadly, breaking a chain of hearts along the way. As the infamous tornado we all remember, whisks him away, we see yet again little bits of the original come through. Familiar objects flying around him in the eye of the storm and suddenly, it's COLORIZED!
The visual effects were incredible and the colors so vivid it blew my mind. I can only imagine how it would have been in a 3D setting. After making his crash landing in Oz, he then finds Theodora the good. Who immediately labels him as the champion of Oz because of a prophecy fitting his exact situation. We see him recognize Theodora's beauty and to no surprise try and pull his charms. She falls for him and wishes only to be his queen. He is escorted into the Emerald City where he meets Evanora (secretly the wicked witch of the east) who tells him he will be king, with untold riches if the wicked witch is defeated. He's not exactly jumping at the chance to kill someone, but the gold has him thinking otherwise so he sets off on his journey, along with his newly found friend Finley, the flying monkey, who has sworn a life debt to Oz for his help earlier in the film. He is told her wand lies in the dark forest, and he must take it and destroy it to defeat the witch. On the way there he meets up with the little porcelain girl who has lost her family due to the tyranny of the wicked witch. Now the three of them proceed into the dark forest. There they see a cloaked figure who they believe to be the witch herself. The figure sets down her wand and Oz goes to grab it. It turns out the cloaked figure is none other than Glinda the good witch... who strangely resembles a woman he truly loves in the real world. She explains how the real witch is Evanora, she poisoned their father and Theodora had no idea. An innocent. Over the course of the movie you see Glinda and Oz becoming closer and closer which causes Theodora, to get hurt. Her tears causing each tear falling to harm her. Not only physically, but mentally. She becomes hardened and Evanora takes advantage of this by giving her an apple which makes the transition. Theodora now becomes the wicked witch of the west. Green warts and all.
Oz and Glinda decide that since he is not TRULY a wizard, he should do what he does best. Cheat, outsmart and conjure. He using illusions and tricks to defeat and take back the Emerald City. While Glinda is busy fighting Evanora, Oz takes on Theodora, telling her that if she ever decides to become good again, she is welcome back anytime. She declines with a strong "NEVER!"and flys away on her broom. Banished from the city. Glinda breaks the enchantment on Evanora which allowed her to be beautiful and you see the witch turn from good to evil as Theodora did before her.
We all know this movie can only banish the two of them, as Dorothy finishes the job in the previous Wizard of Oz *sequel*. At the end the wizard stays and falls in love with Glinda. Realizing his selfish ways weren't the right path and friendship and love mean more than gold and greatness.
This movie had a lot of flaws, but also, a lot of good points. I think it would have been a solid five stars without James Franco as lead. Don't attack me, it's just an opinion! Perhaps Chris Hemsworth?
I could imagine him playing the player and the hero without a hitch. In my dreams, every movie would star Johnny Depp, but I think this role definitely needed a younger actor.
I think Michelle Williams is a fantastic actress and her portrayal of Glinda was spot on. Evanora, played by Rachel Weisz is fantastic. Then again, what do you expect from yet another brilliant actress?
Mila Kunis... ehhh... I had a few problems. I think her portrayal as Theodora was great and she certainly is believable. However, I couldn't really buy her wicked witch. To me it was just too forced. She seemed like a good girl trying to be a bad witch. It didn't work.
Then again... I might be trying to compare her a little too much to the ever fantastic original Margaret Hamilton.
Is it just me or is the newer witch just WAY TOO MUCH CGI?! Whatever happened to simple original makeup? Let the actor shine, not the digital effects.
Although, Mila Kunis did get the laugh pretty spot on. I'll give her that one.
In the end, I give it a good three stars. ***
You be the judge.
If you've seen the movie feel free to tell me what your take on it was. Remember! No fighting just opinions!
Remember guys! April 1st is the cover reveal... GET READY!