Friday, August 9, 2013

Movie Review: "Oz the Great and Powerful" (2013)

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Movie: "Oz the Great and Powerful"
Director: Sam Raimi
Year: 2013
Rating: PG
Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

A prequel to the 1930's classic "The Wizard of Oz," this movie stars James Franco as Oz, a carnival magician and con-man from Kansas. After being chased by The Strong Man for having a fling with his wife, Oz is whisked away by a tornado and thrown into the Land of Oz, a brilliantly vibrant world with witches, fairies, munchkins, flying monkeys, and all kinds of interesting characters. The first person he meets in Oz is Theodora (Mila Kunis), a witch who falls in love with him after he uses a cheesy pick up line featuring his music box. She informs him that she believes he is the wizard who will fulfill 'the prophecy' and bring peace to the Land of Oz. Evanora (Rachel Weisz), Theodora's sister, is currently the ruler of the Emerald City. She sends Oz on a task to destroy the evil witch's wand; it turns out the evil witch is actually Glinda the Good Witch (Michelle Williams), who lives as an outcast in the Dark Forest. Glinda bears a striking resemblance to Oz's true love from back in Kansas. Oz is forced to find out who is good and who is evil, while dealing with his own moral dilemma of whether to save the Land of Oz or take the money and run back to Kansas.

This movie doesn't fail where its story is concerned, it fails with the actors.
James Franco is NOT, we repeat, NOT Oz.
Rachel Weisz is usually always a dependable actress, but in this, there's something about her performance that's annoying, but not nearly as annoying as Mila Kunis'. UGH. Could she scream any more in this movie? It's fine to scream and yell, that's sort of the idea with a witch character, but it is possible to scream and yell without being grating, shrill, and displeasing to the ear.

Visually, this is a very pretty movie with bright and lively colors throughout. That being said, the organic items in the Land of Oz, such as flowers, the monkeys, etc, look extremely digital and cartoonish, while the inorganic items, such as China Girl, and the Emerald City, look very realistic.

We are disappointed in this film as avid fans of both Sam Raimi and "The Wizard of Oz." We're not sure what we expected, but this wasn't it.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 59%
Do we recommend the film: Meh.

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