Oz The Great And Powerful [2013] ★★★

ozgreatandpowerful-thirdposter-fullHow you react to this film will have a lot to do with your expectations. I didn’t expect a work of genius. In fact, I approached it with caution, worried that Sam Raimi’s touch layered on top of L. Frank Baum’s surreal material would create a kind of overkill. I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. First things first: with no disrespect to Raimi and his crew, I don’t think any movie can replace 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland. But Taken on its own terms, this version of “Oz” has much to recommend it: clever ideas, superior vocal performances by Zach Braff as a flying monkey and Joey King as a porcelain china doll, impressive visual treatment, and an appealing cast. The movie even pays tribute to the 1939 production by opening in black and white. It assumes that the audience knows the story told in “The Wizard of Oz” so it doesn’t take long before the magician Oscar (James Franco) arrives in the faraway land of Oz. Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams portray the witches he meets along the way as he pretends to be the wizard the citizens of Oz were waiting for. Ok you’ll get no more spoilers from me. But you should know that against all odds, Franco does a good job here. And the amazing, eye popping special effects are something to admire. I know how hard it is to attract an audience with something fresh and original these days. But Raimi and his crew gave it their best shot and it paid off. Overall, I enjoyed the film. Do I think it will take the place of the beloved Judy Garland movie? No. It all comes back to expectations. But it was certainly delightful.

Rating: 3/4

4 replies »

  1. Came back from seeing it today. It was literally beautiful to watch, especially the opening credits sequence. Still, I despise Franco and thought someone else might have done a better job.

  2. Yeah, I read Johnny Depp and RDJ were considered for this, but they’re getting too old. Franco was good, but I’m just saying the Oz character could’ve been better. Besides that, I really enjoyed, it was visually stunning.

  3. I love Sam Raimi and admire James Franco. Besides, the Wizard of Oz is my favorite childhood movie! I can’t wait to see it (and critique it of course :P)!!

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