Skip to comments.'Oz the Great and Powerful' review: No magic, but close
Posted on 03/07/2013 12:39:31 PM PST by Perdogg
Were you really expecting "Oz the Great and Powerful," starring James Franco, to live up to "The Wizard of Oz," starring Judy Garland? If so, you're the one living in a fantasy land.
In reality, the best we could hope for is exactly what we got: a reasonably smart, imaginative spin on the 1939 MGM classic. By now, the world created by novelist L. Frank Baum more than a century ago feels like a myth without an origin, and "Oz the Great and Powerful" wisely avoids slavish loyalty to any canon. Instead, it tries to fashion a fresh story from old material.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
As was the more recent “Tin Man” or whatever that was called
What, you didn’t see “The Wiz” starring Micheal Jackson?
I think your link is broken.
The first Mrs. Lurkin was greatly amused by the “Boogee People” number in Emerald City. Haven’t thought about that in a long time.
Hang on...I need to take another handful of grumpy pills.
My link works
Most of the negative reviews complain that it doesn’t slavishly follow the 1939 movie. Which makes me want to see it. Although the last time I watched the original I realized it’s REALLY weird, a lot weirder than I remembered. Kind of like the first time I watched Willie Wonka as an adult and figured out just how much Wonka hates kids. Both are completely different movies when viewed through grown up eyes in front of a brain that’s largely forgotten the movie.
Ahhh...it’s working now. Must have been my server here at work glitching out.
I hate to admit it, but I saw “The Wiz” in late 70’s (whenever it was released) at the Holloman AFB, NM base theater...paid money... and I actually liked it.
Haven’t seen it since, would probably hate it now.
This new version of “Oz” has excellent special effects, but I’m not sure if the story will be as entrancing. I’m also not a fan of James Franco, I have to say.
I never found the first one entrancing, I found it mostly silly and sometimes annoying. Which is why I’d gone so long without seeing it, then saw it again last year or the year before and was struck by the shear oddity of it, still not entrancing, but a lot more interesting than I remember.
My Daughter always loved all the Oz stories. We got her a book with all of them when she was only around 10. Same about the 1939 movie. She liked some of the newer ones but not some of them too.
She told me Rachel Weisz is her favorite actress. I don’t even know who she is. They are not taking the kids to see it because it might be too violent or intense.
I have read a few of the reviews and they are generally mediocre. I will wait until it comes out in dvd which probably won’t be all that long.
I saw a trailer for this just this afternoon when I was visiting a sick church member. It seems to have a lot of visual brilliance. Maybe it’s something some of my children would like to see.
Yes, I meant that I wondered if the story of this new "Oz" would be as entrancing as its special effects. I still love "The Wizard of Oz", but I know that is partly for sentimental reasons.
Still, imho, "The Wizard of Oz" has stood the test of time. One of the reasons that I continue to watch some of the same classics over and over is because every few years or so I find something new to appreciate about them, or some new perspective in them that I never noticed previously.
Some of the best movies, imho, are much like medieval morality plays.
I saw this movie tonight and I would give it 2 stars out of 4. The story beyond the original concept was weak and clichéd, but it had some really touching moments and a strong finish. I thought the humor was too silly at times. Michelle Williams was absolutely gorgeous in this movie, Mila Kunis is beginning to look like the ‘Designing Woman’ Delta Burke, not the ‘First and Ten’ Delta Burke.
The only reason it got PG rating was if it had been given a G rating no one would have watched it. I thought the special effects made the movie look too phony, looked like they came from the John Carter movie. The flying monkeys looked fake not as scary as the original.
There is a clue in this movie as to why people voted for Obama; more of a moral rather than its intent. This movie is apolitical despite its liberal utopianism.
I thought the movie being 3-D really did not add anything to enhance the movie. Danny Elfman’s score was very good, which surprised me. This would be the perfect date movie to take a single mother and her young kids to see.
Thanks for the review. Might be something a few kids could see next weekend.
Saw it this PM, 3 out of 4 stars, felt like I was watching “Wicked”, it was really good. Loved the sepia opening traveling circus, Very Disney. Kids in the audience were loving it. MUCH better than the over hyped Hobbit!!!
You can bet they’ll do a remake of that one....with Beyonce as Dorothy.
Thanks! I have read the book of “Wicked,” but I’ve never seen the show, although Anoreth saw it in San Francisco. My neighbor, who is a very gifted “Sweet Adelines” vocalist, said it was wonderful. (Her sister took her to see it on Broadway for her 40th birthday :-).
I saw “The Hobbit” when it premiered with several of my children who had been studying the book for months, but I’m glad to have a recommendation for something that might interest the 8-12 group currently.
‘The Wizard of Oz’ is very much in the stiff MGM ‘House Style’ of the 1930s. Though it’s amazing what King Vidor was able to accomplish in the Kansas scenes though. They may be the best part of the film from a cinematic point of view.
Part of the problem with the original is that Kansas is done in a way that’s more interesting than Oz. Yeah Oz is all sharp colors and stuff but for the most part it’s pretty bland directing. That and of course it’s silly. The new one is pretty good. I’d have liked it more if they gave Raimi a freer hand to be all Raimi, but of course the box office numbers are showing they were right.
I saw it over the weekend. I liked it. Nothing earth-shattering, but a nice story that’s safe to bring the kids to.
I’m planning on taking my kids to see it next weekend. I’m expecting to be stunned by the CGI, but greatly disappointed by the story, I’ve heard that there’s a parallel between the transformation into the Wicked Witch of the West and how George Lucas portrayed Anakin Skywalkers transformation into Darth Vader: both were fairy naive, angry and emotionally damaged people who were simply tricked into becoming evil ... if that’s the case then it really undermines one of the classic villans of American storytelling.
I actually like the concept of someone becoming evil, rather than just Being evil. It makes them more complex. It is also why I liked The Phantom of the Opera.
She’s not really tricked into being evil. She’s tricked into taking the final step, but she has serious issues to start with and she’d have never taken the final step if she wasn’t on that path to start with. The big thing it really sets up is that she had the option to not be evil.
I was under the impression that she had the propensity of being evil, then moved towards it. It might have had something to do with her tight leather pants.
Oh, I agree. Its just about how its done.
In the case of Anakin/Vader we were promised a seduction. What we got was an emotional basketcase who got tricked. I was told that the same thing happens in Oz ...
Michelle Williams looks great in the trailer.
Why ever did the late Heath Ledger dump her?
They should remake the Star Wars prequels some day,
Darth Vader was raped by that horrible nonsense.
I watched Michelle Williams going back to when she was on “Dawson’s Creek.” I was never terribly enamored over her (I wasn’t big on chubby blondes), as I had a crush on Katie.
As for why she and Ledger broke up, who knows ? It’s tough enough to keep a relationship going without a 24/7 media scrutiny. Damn shame that their daughter will never get to know him, though.
Lucas’s writing and bad casting choices. Making Anakin into a sullen, whiny teenager was a BIG mistake (a lot worse than the Jamaican abomination of Jar-Jar). Padme wasn’t all that great, either. Another confusing thing is that if about 18-20 years passed between the “death” of Anakin and the birth of Luke & Leia, why were Obi-Won and Anakin/Vader old men by Ep 4 ? Vader should’ve only been in his, what, late 30s ? Obi-Won in his late 40s ? Anakin should’ve been in his 30s by the time of his conversion to the dark side for the timing to line up (nevermind Hayden Christensen didn’t look the part, but the chubby-cheeked annoying kid in Ep 1 DID at least look like a kid version of the egg-shaped fella playing Anakin at the end of Ep 6).
Saw it this weekend. Parts of it I was prepared to be disappointed about, others I really liked.
One reviewer (not here) mentioned one letdown was how Oz (Oscar Diggs) didn’t receive any sort of punishment or retribution for his amorality and using people. The Michelle Williams/Glinda character was his “reward” and he didn’t suffer for having turned another woman (Mila Kunis/Theodora) to evil ways.
I’d read a lot of the L. Frank Baum stories as a kid so wasn’t going to compare this movie to the 1939 film going in. (For others who liked the books, see the 1985 movie Return to Oz for an introduction to a few of the other Oz characters.)
Parts I really liked:
Scenes with the China Doll girl and her Kansas counterpart.
The part where Oscar/Oz decides to use his human powers as a magician to help liberate the kingdom. Good references to early 20th century technology, a hat tip to the Wizard of Menlo Park, nice stuff for steampunk fans.
“There is a clue in this movie as to why people voted for Obama; more of a moral rather than its intent.”
Interesting. Care to expand on that? Thanks.
So hilarious that he met her while playing a guy who would rather have butt secks with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Her comments since his death indicate she is still in love with him.
It’s pretty clear that Lucas made it all up as he went along. Plot holes are abundant in both the originals and prequels, for example it wouldn’t have mattered if Luke had turned to the Dark side cause Lando still would destroyed the Death Star, presumably with Luke still on it. Excuse I read, The Emperor was using his powers to make his men fight better and after he died they couldn’t hack it on their own.
And Leia claims to have remembered her mother, who died right after birthing her, no decent excuse for that one.
I guess the excuse as to why Obi-Wan looked about 20 years older than he should of is that life in the Tatooine desert is a bitch and so is getting your arms and legs cut off and almost burning to death.
With Anakin I was expecting a heroic figure, something like a Jedi version of Han Solo that was slowly corrupted by his desire for power, you know something cool like that. Not a whiny little rectal itch (evolved from a happy go lucky little kid, happier than a slave had any business being) with pompous speech patterns who only turned to the dark side cause the bad guy said he could save his wife from dying (and then killing her himself during a tempter tantrum and staying evil afterwards just for the hell of it) what a let down.
I hope Disney doesn’t further sexually assault the franchise.
I think they’re already trying to get all the movies deleted off of you tube where they’ve been available in their entirety.
Han Solo is an arrogant prick, though. Had Anakin merely been another version of him, it just would’ve been a boring rehash. They have this kid (well, he’s in his 20s, seems like a kid to me) on “Days Of Our Lives” who reminds me of the guy who played the teen Anakin. He’s an annoying and weird snot playing Sammi Brady’s son Will, and they decided (out of the blue) to make him homosexual.
Now he’s annoying, weird AND creepy (the actor, Chandler Massey, is the son of a recent GA Democrat Secretary of State). Of course, they’ve got a major storyline going as of late that is about as in-your-face as they can get... and they’re making the “villain” of the piece someone who is... gasp !... a “homophobe” (!) All because the guy probably got raped in prison and doesn’t want his new child to be raised by homosexuals. I’m rooting for the villain. ;-)
Getting back to Star Wars for a moment, when you get right down to it, it has always been an attempt to assault “Conservatism” and the “American Empire” (nevermind Lucas in a Marxist state would never have had such an opportunity to make his cartoon fantasies on the screen). One wonders if the “Dark Side” was really all that dark or evil, embodied by a strong and effective leader seeking to actually get something accomplished (the Emperor).
The corpulent “Republic” was already dying under the weight of bureaucracy and ineffective leaders. Were the “Rebels” merely looking to return it to that, enforced by a religious cult, “The Jedis” ? Ultimately, the politics of the SW universe came off as one big muddled mess. Had I written such a universe, it would’ve been a parable that such a massive political body can only be run either by a dictatorship or it’s time to split it up into manageable units instead of some nightmarish United Nationsesque-One Galaxy “Republic”/Federation.
Whether it be in the future, eons ago in a galaxy far, far away, or today... the only good government is SMALL government. Opposite to that are just different versions of tyranny. Something Lucas can’t grasp.
“Most of the negative reviews complain that it doesnt slavishly follow the 1939 movie.”
It’s the prequel to the Wizard of Oz, not a remake of the original.
I’d recommend “The Secret History of Star Wars” for the definitive look at how Lucas really made up the saga as he went along and didn’t have it all planned out, the biggie being that he obviously didn’t intend Vader to be Luke’s father until the second draft of The Empire Strikes Back, which partially explains the age inconsistencies of Anakin and Obi-Wan being older than they should in the original trilogy.