Welcome back to the Geekdom, I’ll be your Guide. I have a bit of a problem. I’m a talker during movies. I simply have way too many opinions about what is being shown on screen and as such I have a tendency to talk the ear off of the person next to me. There are 2 films especially you should never watch with me if you want to have some peace during your viewing process. The first film is Star Wars, which is my favorite movie of all time, but the second one is The Wizard of Oz. I cannot for the life of me stay silent during this film. I am a big fan of the Land of Oz so I was more than a little excited to see this film. Did it end up disappointing me? Let’s review Oz the Great and Powerful.
The Wicked Witch was a little disappointing. I’m not saying the acting was poor, Mila Kunis was top notch in the role; the problem was actually the make-up that was caked on her. The Wicked Witch is one of the most iconic looking villains in cinema and I believe that the make-up had a great deal to do with that. It was unfortunate to see that the make-up for the Wicked Witch in this movie just looked so fake. It appeared as if massive pieces of green plastic had been glued to her face.
During the latter half of the film, when everyone is preparing for the final confrontation, is when the film really started to lag for me. The film had a very steady pace up until that point and returned to said steady pace during the final confrontation but it’s at this point that the film just dies. All we get is scene after scene of them just sitting around in conference rooms plotting their next move or montage scenes of them building something. It was the most boring section I had to get through in a normally well paced film.
When I first went to go see a film in 3D, this was the experience I was expecting. The first film I ever saw in 3D was Despicable Me, which for the most part only had the main characters’ nose poke out of the screen. The effect the 3D brought to the film was amazing. Every single moment of the film the 3D was doing something, be it just some light snowflakes coming through or the wicked witch’s fireball bursting toward the audience. The opening credits sequence was a marvel in their own right, the whole sequence being filled with optical illusions.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints directed towards James Franco for giving a very stiff performance, but I personally enjoyed him in this movie. I thought Franco really pulled off the swindling scumbag that is Oscar Diggs as well as his slow but steady transformation into the mighty wizard of Oz. Oz makes a lot of mistakes over the course of the film, his biggest problem being living up to the great standards that he boasted about and consequently what people expect of him. Franco turns out a magnificent performance of a man who believes himself to be lower than dirt and then spends the rest of the film trying to redeem his own actions.
The pacing in the film was amazing. I mentioned before how the film dies out a little just before the final confrontation, but that is the only part that slows down at all. The plot is constantly moving forward, sometimes at breakneck speeds. Sam Raimi is well known for inventive camera shots that are constantly moving. Sam Raimi brings this style to full use by having almost the entire film feel like one big roller coaster ride, combined with the 3D effects were simply amazing. This film truly made me feel like I was taking a journey through the Land of Oz.
I enjoyed this film, for the most part. Despite a few technique hiccups, this was a very enjoyable return to the Land of Oz. I haven’t actually read the Oz books, but I feel like this film recaptured some of the magic and fantasy of the 1939 film. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Sam Raimi’s take on Oz, because this film just has me wanting more. 4 out of 5.