Off to See A Whole New Wizard
What score did our campus reviewer give "Oz The Great & Powerful?"
Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Updated: Saturday, March 9, 2013 21:03
The story centers on Oscar Diggs (James Franco), also known as Oz, a traveling magician who makes his money off cheap magic tricks with his sidekick Frank (Zach Braff). In a quick escape from Kansas, Oz lands himself in the magical land that shares his name.
He learns that he is the wizard to fulfill the prophecy to save the people of Oz. He meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams). However, they are not convinced he is the wizard he claims to be or the wizard they are expecting. Oz befriends Finley (also Braff), a small flying monkey (not to be confused with the scary minions of the Wicked Witch from the 1939 movie) and also China Girl (Joey King), a little girl made of china whose small town (China Town, of course) was destroyed by the Wicked Witch. The three friends journey to defeat the wicked witch (try to guess who she turns out to be) and save the land of Oz as Oz learns to become more than himself to become what he was destined to be.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" (2013) Walt Disney Pictures | Rated PG
130 minutes | This reviewers score= B-
As a huge lover of the original “Wizard of Oz”, I was incredibly excited to see this new side of the land of Oz and get a new feel for the background story. Though it was definitely an enjoyable movie, it lacked its own identity. One of the first things that was very noticeable was the scenery of Oz. It really looked more like Wonderland than Oz. The flowers rapidly bloomed before your eyes, there were river fairies in bodies of water, and in parts of the woods, all of the plants were rubies and diamonds. It seemed that the makers of the film were more focused on showing off Oz through excellent animation than focusing on what Oz really was supposed to be. Aspects of the plot also lacked identity. Theodora was given a green apple to mend her to broken heart. This was very much like Snow White. Oz even said a line that seemed very close to a line from “The Dark Knight.”
“I may not be the wizard you expected, but I may be the wizard you need.” Sound familiar?
My only other major complaint I have of this movie is Kunis’ acting. As an admirer of her acting and previous movies, I was incredibly disappointed with her performance. It seemed like she was trying much too hard. The best acting/character was by far Braff as Finley, the flying bellhop monkey.
There are many things I loved about this film. Though I wish there were more ideas and concepts from the original movie developed into this one, the things that were kept were great. We still see the yellow brick road, the flying monkeys (however, I could have done without them), the poppies, the Munchkins, and Emerald City. Perhaps the thing I loved most that the filmmakers kept was the dual roles aspect. In both the original film and this prequel, the main characters in Kansas also appear in Oz. The film also contained genuine, innocent humor that makes me still laugh when I think about it.
The technical aspects of the film were phenomenal. The transition between black and white Kansas to vibrant Oz was slow, gradual, and flawless. The animation, apart from it not fitting with the original Oz, was great. Many of the characters were computer graphic generated but looked real. The camera movement followed the action without being on the shoulder, causing audiences to get sick.
Overall, I give this movie a B-. It was an enjoyable film and I definitely did not waste my money in seeing it. If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly film to take away from the realities of your world for two hours, this is a movie for you. And if you really want to be sucked into the world of Oz, I dare you to watch it in 3D.