Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

Get out your illusions, we're reviewing Oz the great and powerful!
The Wicked Witch is still hot. Anyone else turned on by that green skin?
Oscar Diggs(James Franco) is a small-time magician with dreams of making it big. When a tornado whisks him away to a mystical land of strange creatures, he finds himself thrust into a conflict between the good people of Oz and the Wicked Witch. In order to become king of Oz, he must help Theodora(Mila Kunis) and Evenora(Rachel Weisz) kill this evil witch.

Oz the Great and Powerful is a great and powerful movie. I don't see what people are saying. This is the first time in years I have been visually entranced by a film.  And to people saying that Johnny Depp should have played Oz instead of James Franco: Really? You need Depp in another role? I mean I love me some Johnny Depp as much as the next guy, but there is such a thing as Depp over-saturation(or there will be after the Lone Ranger movie). Needless to say, I loved the movie.

Mila Kunis in tight black pants
and a big red hat. Yes pelase.
I am taken aback by just how much I loved the movie. When I look at the visuals and the storytelling, and the characters, and how well Raimi took just enough to connect it with the original but not too much that it leaches off of it, I realize that this is the movie I wanted Alice in Wonderland to be. Sam Raimi is the version of Tim Burton that isn't so in love with his own style that he sacrifices a good movie.

The visuals are stunning and it's worth seeing it just for that. Oz is the new movie by which brand spankin' new high def TVs will test out their resolutions in stores. And yes, the 3D is EXTREMELY worth it. The cgi for everything looks realistic while still having that cartoony wonder. I can't do enough justice in writing to the gorgeous emerald plants or the realistic tornado or especially the incredibly real looking china girl(played wonderfully by Joey King). Oz is the kind of movie that is a visual expierience. It's the kind of movie that is best seen in theaters, and the kind of movie you want to buy a 3D TV for. Also, the opening credits. Man are they fun! They're made to look like old-school puppet shows, and it's a joy for anyone who loves animated opening credits.

The cast is amazing. Everyone is perfect in their roles and Raimi knows exactly how to utilize everyone. People are complaing about Franco, but he is perfect for the role of Oz. He is a guy doing any number of amazing things, pulling himself in all directions, and people can't tell if it's real or an act. He is perfect for the role of a grand trickster, completly out of his depth and wishing he could be amazing. It fits is what I'm saying. I'm sure Depp could have done an OK job, but I am more than happy with Franco. Kunis, Reisz and Michelle Williams(as Glinda) all do fantastic as the witches, and one in particular nails it as the wicked witch. And I try not to swoon over ladies in reviews, but Mila Kunis, damn.  Raimi knows how to make someone alluring without bending her over into a boobs and but pose.  Zach Braff is hilarious as the flying monkey, and Joey King's China Girl will easily be everyone's favorite character. Also, this is a movie with Bruce Campbell, so it's kind of a rule you have to see it, right?

Sorry James, couldn't get your
face exactly how I wanted it.
I really love the cinemtography of this. As in the previews, it starts in black and white 4:5 standard definition, but then goes to full color with wide-screen. That is a fantastic idea by itself, but it's amazing how well Raimi shoots in both formats, taking into acount the best composition for both. It really cements him as a great filmaker and outstanding visual storyteller. And on the matter of the story, it's a wonderful tale about a flawed man battling with himself over being good vs. being great. I love Oz's arc, how he messes up, how those messes come back to haunt him, and how he uses what he thinks are the worst parts of himself to his greatest advantage. It has some wonderful parallels, and it's just a great moral fairy tale. Though it's funny that it coms down to a Batman joke. He's not the Wizard you deserve, but the Wizard you need.

I love how they pull everything together in the end, and especially how they establish how the wizard gets to be who he is. The story is equal parts funny, scary and charming.  It drags a little in the middle when they're getting ready for battle, but other than that, it's entetaining throughout. Also, the score by Danny Elfman is outstanding. I'm glad Raimi and Elfman are back together.

They could not have made a better Oz film. The visuals are stunning, the story is moving, it's funny and fun, and it does a great service to the original without latching on too much. I would definitly reccomend seeing this in theaters before it goes out!

THE GOOD: Amazing visuals, great acting, great cinemetography, great score, love the characters, great story, parallels, and moral, the witch is fantastic, cgi is great, just a fin movie, Mila Kunis, Bruce Campbell.

THE BAD: Um, drags a little in the middle?

THE VERDICT: $$$$$ Definitly see it while it's still in theaters! It's a fun film and you'll probably want to watch it again for the visuals and again again for the fun story.

MOVIES LIKE IT: The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Avatar, Rango

ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: He saves the flying monkey from a lion with a bit of smoke trickery. He's not the wizard people were expecting, but he still knows how to get the job done. Then right afterwards, astounded it actually worked, he shouts his usual "ZIM ZALLA ZOOM!" to put on a big show.

No comments:

Post a Comment