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Agent Richard07 March 9 2013 01:36 AM

Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 


Quote:

When Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda, who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well. - IMDb

darkshadow0001 March 9 2013 02:04 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
I must be the only one who've seen this so far :) I give the movie an A-. Really good special effects and and some twists in the movie, that I found unexpected. I won't say much here since it seems like not many people have seen it yet :)

Yuletide Caroler March 9 2013 02:31 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
Just got back from this. Some of the twists were obvious, one wasn't sufficiently justified but is forgivable for its impact. The only real drawback is Franco's performance. I get that much of the time he was playing a character who is a poor actor - but the result was ... distracting acting. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie - particularly China Girl and the monkey.

Agent Richard07 March 9 2013 03:08 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
I enjoyed it quite a bit too. Some parts were touching and at least one scene had me laughing out loud. I wasn't expecting that to happen. Williams and Weisz played their parts very well. They managed to capture the grace that came with the old-style performances we saw in the 1939 film. Franco didn't or couldn't shake his modernness, but I enjoyed his performance none the less. Kunis was good as Theodora, but she didn't totally pull off the Wicked Witch. Still, a valliant effort. Bits of her performance got it down well enough. It would have been nice if she could have done the "I'll get you my pretty!" voice. As for the story, it was nice and the ending was brilliant, well crafted and I like how well it plays into the 1939 movie. I feel bad for one character though. Mild spoilers ahead… Theodora. She's a real tragic character since we know what happens to her down the line. The only thing that could salvage such an end would be if she redeems herself in the sequel and then goes bad again of her own free will, and I suspect that that'll happen.

Agent Richard07 March 9 2013 03:15 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
Oh, and check this outů

Best interview ever.


The Scrooge Doctor March 9 2013 03:19 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
I enjoyed this film but not quite as much as I would've liked. The special effects were very good although there were times the characters didn't blend well with them (most notably Oscar's river trip when he first arrives in Oz). That being said, the China Girl was rendered so beautifully that I thought she was real and Joey King's performance took it a step further.

The story was decent if not entirely obvious. I figured Theodora and Evanora would turn out to be actual wicked witches (even I had the two reversed), especially since I thought Michelle Williams would be a perfect casting choice for Glinda. There were some cheesy moments throughout and, unfortunately, Mila Kunis' performance as the newly transformed role as the Wicked Witch of the West was one of them (and the make-up/CGI didn't help any). However, I did love her performance before the transformation as well as Rachel Weisz's and Williams' performances, but I do agree Franco's performance was a bit flat.

There were many wonderful moments throughout the film, often involving the China Girl or callbacks to the 1939 film and Baum's original novel (I counted at least a dozen of such references and I'm sure I missed a few). I also loved the opening sequence in black and white full screen, complete with '30's film motifs.

Having seen this makes me want to go read the novel Wicked.

Gaith March 9 2013 07:36 PM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
Was thinking of seeing this for the 3D Weisz, but the reviews have been pretty disheartening. And no PG-13, even? Think I'll have to pass... 130 minutes is just too much Franco in a leading-man fantasy adventure role. Had it been RDJ, that could've been a different story.

The Scrooge Doctor March 9 2013 11:56 PM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
Quote:

Agent Richard07 wrote: (Post 7778512)
Oh, and check this outů

Best interview ever.

I wish I could watch this but my ship blocks streaming while we're underway. Is there a transcript somewhere?

Agent Richard07 March 10 2013 12:36 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
^ I don't think so, but you can read about it here. It's something you have to see to appreciate. Check it out when you can.

DarthPipes March 10 2013 01:44 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure at first as I thought the film hit a patch where things were moving too slowly. But it more than came through and was a visual treat to see.

I thought Franco was good as the Wizard, less stoned out as he appears elsewhere. But each witch was better. Michelle Williams, then Rachel Weisz, and then Mila Kunis. The latter two especially were great. You can make her look like the Wicked Witch but Kunis still looks good. Although when she screams/cries, I can't help but think Meg Griffin. ;)

China Girl was a wonderfully done character and Zack Braff is better as a monkey.

Yuletide Caroler March 10 2013 02:14 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
Quote:

Gaith wrote: (Post 7780561)
Was thinking of seeing this for the 3D Weisz, but the reviews have been pretty disheartening. And no PG-13, even? Think I'll have to pass... 130 minutes is just too much Franco in a leading-man fantasy adventure role. Had it been RDJ, that could've been a different story.

If you decide not to see this based on the reviews of critics, well, then, you sir are ... missing out on the opportunity for the 3D Weisz.

And while the film won't win any awards, it's still very true to the spirit of both the best-known Oz film, as well as the books. And given how visual the film is, missing out on a big-screen (and a 3D one if you're into it) would be a shame.

Or put another way: Franco's acting isn't going to change on a home theater system; Weisz' .... assets will.

stj March 10 2013 04:29 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
The reluctant hero is a pretty tired premise, but this movie doesn't emo it up too much. Some of the dialogue is kind of lame. That's the bad stuff.

As for the good, the production design is gorgeous. The 3D is actually a benefit instead of a surcharge. Elfman's score is great. Rachel Weisz is the best of the witches, but the weakest link, Kunis, is still good. Kunis nailed the cackle. The plot is very cunning in the way it dovetails the musical. The foreshadowing is also very smoothly done. Ozma and the silver/ruby slippers were neatly excised. Franco's performance as reluctant hero more or less successfully hid the staleness of the idea. He usually seemed to at least be alive, if not charismatic.

And yes, the china girl was amazing.

Overall, I'd rate it B+. Nearly as good as Return to Oz.

Mr. Adventure March 10 2013 11:06 PM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
Quote:

Agent Richard07 wrote: (Post 7781509)
^ I don't think so, but you can read about it here. It's something you have to see to appreciate. Check it out when you can.

I was not expecting that to go as it did, LOL.

DarKush March 11 2013 01:38 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
I liked it. I only watched it in 2D, but I thought it looked great. Regarding characters/actors, I thought Franco did fine as the Wizard. He didn't take himself too seriously, yet he didn't mock or sneer at the role either. My only quibble with his character was that he took coming to Oz all a bit too much in stride.

I liked all the witches. Someone should hire Rachel Weisz for the next Star Wars film because no one has thrown lighting better since Palpatine. She would make a great Sith Lord. I liked Mila Kunis though the makeup didn't quite work for me, and her role as the Wicked Witch was iffy at times. However, someone already pointed out that she nailed the cackle and when she bit into the role she did a good job. I don't think the film did a good enough job of setting up her up as the green Wicked Witch or explaining why she turned green. I'm assuming it was green with envy. But that led me to another question, after seeing Rachel's transformation, if the monstrous versions of both witches were their true forms. But if that was so, why would Weisz have been shocked by Kunis's green appearance? I did like how the movie added a sense of tragedy to Kunis's transformation. Growing up as a kid and watching Wizard of Oz I never would've imagined that I could sympathize with the Wicked Witch, but this film made me do that a little.

Michelle Williams did fine as Glinda. The highlights for characters were China Doll and the monkey, particularly the monkey. Zach Braff nailed the sidekick, comic relief part. I didn't care much for the other Oz characters. Nuck was annoying, Bruce Campbell's makeup too distracting, and Bill Cobb's hair and beard didn't look right. I think that went for most of the mustaches and hairpieces for the Oz denizens. The flying baboons were well done and came across as far more lethal than the ones in the old film. It makes me wonder where were those guys later on.

Yuletide Caroler March 11 2013 02:21 AM

Re: Oz the Great and Powerful - Grading & Discussion
 
Quote:

DarKush wrote: (Post 7785109)
It makes me wonder where were those guys later on.

Cloning, you know. Stormtroopers weren't nearly as lethal as the original Clonetroopers.

:p

Seriously, though, I agree with "I don't think the film did a good enough job of setting up her up as the green Wicked Witch." To continue the Star Wars comparison, it was a bit like Anakin's rushed turn to the Dark Side. Kunis' character didn't actually decide to be evil ... she was tricked and misled at every point of the movie. She accepted the apple without fully understanding what it was, or what it represented. Thus, her subsequent embrace of being "evil" didn't feel as sincere.

I wish there had been an interaction between her character and Oz before the transformation, but I think something as simple as seeing Oz give Glenda a music box would have solved the problem - rather than have Weisz' character manufacture the jealousy and heartbreak. At least then she would have made her decision based on something she saw with her own eyes - rather than on an illusion. That, too, would have made her final rejection of Oz's overture of peace more meaningful.


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