Oz is an enjoyable summer movie. Here are some of my thoughts:
The opening black and white scenes were nice to tie it to what will ALWAYS be known as the 1939 original. However, this set up did tend to drag on a little, with too much set up.
Overall, several nods to 1939's Oz, and set up that blends well into that movie. I particularly thought the Wizards introduction to the Munchkins was rather humorous, in cutting their musical number short. The story did a good job of showing the wizard in his younger years, with several things that match his character from the 1939 movie. However, I do think the 1939 movie gave us a Jollier Wizard than what we see in this one
Not fond of the "piranha fairies", in the previews or in the movie itself - in fact the previews of these things just about turned me away from seeing this movie, altogether. Fortunately, they only appear in one scene, and then they are done. Really, they should have just been cut from the movie.
Character development for the Wicked Witch of the West would have benefited from one more additional scene in building and creating that rift, between her and the Wizard. And I really didn't think they did that great of a job with the critical transformation scene - Maybe it would have been better as a slower transformation? Anyway, to me that was the weakest part of the movie.
I did enjoy this movie MUCH more than the Alice movie. The colors and sets looked great.
Most of the recent movies I've seen in 3D, after the first 10 Minutes, I usually end up wondering WHY they bothered making it available in 3D. THAT was not true for OZ. I am very happy that I did see it on the big screen in 3D!
amazing and colorful movie.loved the monkey and the doll. i was wowed by witch of west. anyways, i liked it so much i saw it twice.
As a friend remarked: More "Narnia" than "Harry Potter."
I saw this movie in IMAX last night and I was blown away. I usually don't like to see movies in IMAX or 3d just because of the cost, but I thought this movie really did a great job with utilizing the screen and the 3D. As for the story, I loved it! I thought, like others, the relationship between OZ and the Wicked Witch and her transformation could have used some more screen time, as I thought Mila was the best part of the movie!
Well, I'm not one to say I told you so, but, if opening weekend is any indication whatsoever, and, of course, it most certainly is, it looks like OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is headed for true box office glory. And well it should...this movie is and will be a timeless classic, beloved by generations and generations to come.
Now, I understand how some individuals, when surrounded by true enchantment, are inclined to look desperately for something to be cynical about. It's the nature of critics actually.
But, this is a fine example of how their opinion should really be doubted...for the four previously mentioned reasons. A negative opinion about this film is allowed, of course, but it truly puts the person sharing such an opinion about this film into the land of true unbelievability.
They say one thing and most of the folks who see it have seen something else entirely...they've seen a wonderous land of enchantment, a delightful new adventure, a breathtaking escape into the world of imagination...
Some, I believe, are so loyal to the original classic OZ that they think of this new thing as being somehow in competition with it. And they sincerely go to the defense of a thing they have truly loved all of their lives. Love is a powerful thing, don't you know?
What they fail to see...what they fail to understand... is that the makers of this film are just as loyal to the original... Indeed, there are so many wonderful things about the 2013 adventure that tie directly and clearly into the 1939 one, that, are kinda like a monument to it really. Let's face it. we all, all of us, know and love that 1939 film...we cherish it...because it has become so much a part of our lives... Great stories, classic books and films are like that I suppose.
Time will prove the Greatness and the Powerfulness of this new film...and, in time, those who don't understand it's wonder, beauty, enchantment...will come to understand...I believe.
Some go to a magic show looking for the wires that make a young lady float into mid-air...others go prepared to simply believe and savor the wonder of it all. Well, as you may recall, the Wizard of OZ cut away those wires...and the lady still floated. That is, until she vanished into thin air! Take a lesson from the wide eyed little girl in the front row...who truly believed.
We all want to...the truth is...we all need to. Believe that is. Things may not always turn out as we wish, but, that don't mean we should stop believing...
If you haven't gone to see the movie yet...go. Those who can...go again! The more wonder, joy, and enchantment we can put in our modern little hearts, the better. And, as the box office grows bigger and bigger around the world, remember, there is an even more wonderous magic going on here... Something we can all believe in...something that has absolutely nothing to do with the box office.
I understand, by the way, that the folks at Disney are already thinking and planning well ahead of us Citizens of OZ...more incredible journeys into the world of OZ are ahead of us. And, I believe, as Martha would say...that is a good thing.
Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.
Wild Ol' Dan
wow good words there
I just got home from watching Oz, the Great and Powerful. I was extremely delighted with this film. While it may not have been the "best" film ever, it was creative, exciting and even inspiring, and two + hours of pure fun. My son and I had a wonderful time, then enjoyed the car ride home discussing it.
This may come as a bit of a surprise, then, when I say that as wonderful as it was, I would rather NOT see an OZ built in Disneyland. By that, I mean a complete new land. One attraction, if done correctly, could be just fine.
Why? I don't think ANYONE could create an OZ that would fulfill my own imagination's version of what I see there. The sets were stunning, the characters amazing, but it struck me so strongly that I think any attempt to recreate it would come up lacking.
That said, if they do build it (and I really don't think they will), I will have the highest hopes for a successful addition to the original Magic Kingdom.
I managed to catch OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL @ my local Regal Theatre here in Las Vegas / Henderson (please join the Regal Club & you'll get discounts for IMAX 3D admission as well as discounts for concessions) & was impressed .... The soundtrack by Danny Elfman is award worthy (a soundtrack so good I can't wait to hear what he's done for the animated film EPIC!) ... I <3 the award worthy Costumes (by Gary Jones) & award worthy Make Up (a huge team under Georgia Allen). I plan on seeing it again, because there is a LOT which occurs that requires a repeat viewing (ie such as the brief appearance by Bruce "the chin" Campbell). I've already said you can see this film in 2D & it wouldn't make a difference - you will enjoy this film if you accept it as a prequel to 1939's THE WIZARD OF OZ (which didn't follow the Book "to a t") that also borrows from the OZ Books ...
The News reports as of today (March 10, 2013) OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL has grossed $80 million in North America, along with $70 million overseas (a world-wide gross of $150 million). I would consider this Walt Disney Picture's 1st official Blockbuster for 2013 (as for sequels? Well L. Frank Baum did write 13 OZ Books during his lifetime, - along with 1 OZ Book released after he passed away - so there is plenty of source material for Screenwriters to use) and I can't wait to see what gets edited back into the film (will there be bonus footage?) along with all the extras one would expect on the Blu-ray release. I just think Walt Disney Pictures can do a better marketing job (using their theme parks, along with a balloon traveling around North America, wasn't enough) ...
Congrats to Sam Raimi for delivering one of the BIGGEST films (the cast alone is huge) of his career (I will not give away any plot details, nor spoilers, please go see this film before you form an opinion & decide for yourselves if your kids can handle this film without being too scared - I'd personally say 3rd Grade and Older is fine) ....
As for an OZ Theme Park? Well, one already exist (I'm brain f a r t i n g & can't remember if there's a 2nd one) -
Aberdeen South Dakota (where L. Frank Baum lived for a while) has WYLIE PARK / STORY BOOK LAND maintained by the City of Aberdeen; which includes Buildings from Mother Goose as well as The Wizard of Oz (including The Three Little Pigs House, Peter Pumpkin Eater's Pumpkin House, The Old Lady In The Shoe's Shoe-House, along with a Yellow Brick Road that leads into an entire section devoted to the Land Of Oz) ....
I know this isn't a Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Universal, Walt Disney Theme Park with a deluxe OZ LAND ... but it is a piece of genuine Roadside Americana which all ages can enjoy (not to mention there are plenty of kodak moments) and it is within a Park with attractions / rides ...
Aberdeen, SD - Official Website - Wylie Park/Storybook Land Attractions
Not trying to be a heavy handed “movie critic” here … Just want to share my thoughts and observations what I found good ….. and what I found missing.
Lets talk about the “good” first.
And also … I’m sure at this point these are considered SPOILER posts … as I do want to get into some specifics…….
* My favorite aspect, is that they worked hard to emulate the look of the 1939 MGM classic. When the horse carriage picked up Oscar, along with the guards … I looked at the details between their customs and the horse carriage – I was stoked! I wanted to see so much more …. As I saw they captured some of the best visual elements of the MGM version.
* Some of the wide shots of the land were breathtaking. The mountains, rivers, waterfalls … all beautiful. And rich in what looked like 3-strip Technicolor …. Just like the 1939 classic.
* While I would have preferred Robert Downey Jr for the role of the wizard … I did think James Franco gave it his all, and by the end of the film …. I got comfortable enough, with him as Oscar/the wizard.
* I loved the fact it (nearly) started like the 1939 film – In the “Academy Frame” 1.33:1 … and didn’t go into widescreen and color … till he landed in OZ. I do wonder … why Black and White, and not Sepia Tone?!
There is plenty of other elements I found good or excellent …. But without this dragging on too long……..
Now the “not so good”:
* Why introduce the citizens (of what is the capitol city for all of OZ - “Emerald City”) late in the movie, and as an angry mob? When he first arrives at the doorstep of the Emerald City …. It goes immediately to scenes with the 2 witches. Not one citizen in sight. It’s as though … you had this huge empty city … and only guards and the lead characters – two witches, living in it. And when the director finally does introduce the city’s people … It’s night. They are all ready in “attack” form.
What was wrong with just one “establishing” sequence of the city’s people in the daylight – And show this capital city in action – with it’s people? Since they are doing a sequel, they need to show off the CITY, as they didn’t here. It’s not a quaint village for 5, with just the lead characters!
In the Judy Garland version …. Her first introduction into the green city …. Was seeing the citizens going on about their day. It’s a lively, thriving city … and as a bonus .. everyone was singing. Not that this film had to be a musical. Remember …. There was this build up of “the prophecy” of a wizard coming ……. So, why wouldn’t James Franco’s character get the build-up … with the excitement of the city’s people … with a big welcome for their new wizard????
* While most of the CGI scenes were done decently enough. I did think the walk through the field of daisies with Theodora was just a little too fake. A bright sunny day .. and the lighting cast on James Franco, and Mia … a little dark.
* And … I did think the acting and script for all 3 witches was bland and mediocre. Theodora/Mia right from the start – mediocre delivery. Evenora/Rachel – showed a little more conviction in her lines. And then of course when things heat up – and they are speaking loudly … do they express some decent “conviction” in their respective roles.
Sadly, I have to say ... the one who came off way too bland and mediocre was Michelle Williams. I know she is a very accomplished actress (“Brokeback Mountain” – the much acclaimed “My Week With Marilyn”) … But it’s as though Raimi told her … “Now, I want you to speak your lines, and have the emotional conviction … like you are sleep walking. Okay?” Michelle: “Done!” I would have liked the ghost of Billie Burke (Glinda in the 1939 film / The accomplished stage actress who knew how to PROJECT … to have told Michelle – “If you are suppose to be me, darling, in “my younger years” – please remember, you are performing in front of millions of people in darkened theaters. You are not at a nice quiet camp fire, speaking softly to just a small group of friends. I’m not saying she had to act out like she was on a stage – but her soft monotone delivery did little to make her character come alive.
* And I thought Mia / Theodora’s diction sucked in a few scenes, early in the film – With no less than 3 lines I didn’t quite hear. Where’s Momma Rose – “SING OUT LOUISE!!” Or in this case – “Speak out Mia …. we didn’t hear what you said!”
* And finally … I didn’t care for the way Raimi staged/”blocked” the characters for Glinda’s domain, or the Emerald City citizens. Didn’t anyone else, aside from me, feel this bit of awkwardness in the town’s people in Glinda’s home? The way they just “STOOD” there? And when it came time to put Oscar’s methods to scare the bad witches? The way the succeeding scenes went along … another feeling of awkwardness, throughout those scenes. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But .. between the town’s people at Glinda’s home .. and the Emerald City citizens …. They felt like, nearly worthless “mannequins” for the sake to show the town HAD people.
It made me appreciate the 1939 version more. Because the fact it was a musical … they showed the town’s people in motion … interacting … through song and dance. From the Munchkin’s “We represent the Loppy Pop Guild” (etc) …. to Dorothy’s arrival to the citizens of the Emerald City - “Ha, Ha, Ha, Ho, Ho, Ho, and a couple of tra-la-las – That’s how we laugh the day away in the merry old land of Oz.”
Sorry if this dragged on a bit much for some of you. Just my thoughts and observations on what I thought (to coin Oscars “I don’t want to be a good man, I want to be GREAT man”) …………………… It wasn’t a GREAT film … but it was definitely a good film. I think it’s worthy of a future Bluray in my collection.
Oh ... and my vote was "3 Emeralds - It needed a little more courage"
^i thought the same thing about the sunflower scene as well! That looked so weird to me. I'm glad I'm not the only one
btw, was anyone surprised that the ornate blue balloon that's all over advertising isn't in the movie? I found that kind of strange...
Box Office - 'Oz' Tracks 2013's Biggest Weekend Yet - Deadline.comQuote:
All after naysayers said no one could mess with a classic like The Wizard Of Oz. The $215M-costing Sam Raimi-directed fantasy was by far the biggest domestic film debut of what has been a disappointing 2013 start for Hollywood pics and opened to the third biggest March. It scored an $80.3M domestic debut – it isn’t even a holiday weekend. Overseas it made a good but not great $69.9M but that’s still a giant $150.2M worldwide.
Of course, if the box office equated to how good a film is, Walt Disney's "Fantasia" would be considered trash.Quote:
The studio ensured its TV ads for PG-rated Oz were omnipresent as part of a $100M marketing spend and mirrored the colorful chaos of those for its 2010 Alice In Wonderlandmega-hit. Oz even released the same weekend as Alice. But that Tim Burton pic offered not only worldwide star Johnny Depp but also one of the first truly rich 3D experiences and scored a $116 million domestic debut and went on to earn a superb $1 billion worldwide, making 2/3s of its money overseas. This Oz wizardry was less appealing with James Franco who struggles to open box office solo. Whether this pic earns back its hefty cost depends largely on overseas grosses - and I’ve been warning that the Land Of Oz is not the globally familiar place in literature Wonderland was and is.
ORDDU: My sisters and I managed to conjur up this film inside our crystal ball this weekend and were completely amazed by it--in a good way.
ORWEN: We agree with what Wild Ol' Dan said!
ORDDU: We didn't see any bad performances at all. James Franco seemed to be the perfect actor to play a con artist type. It actually helped that he isn't as well known as, say, Robert Downy Jr. At least, for us, because we haven't seen any of his previous work, it made him more unpredictable.
ORWEN: I thought Michelle Williams, as Glinda, was very loveable and appealing. A lot of people these days tend to misjudge the pure and innocent characters in a movie and end up thinking they're bland. But that's because it's more 'in' to root for the villains these days. They don't seem to realize how much strength of character it takes to be good in a world that's predominantly wicked. But Glinda was like a bright, shining star in this version. I loved her!!!
ORDDU: The two actresses playing the wicked witches were equally talented with their roles. Mila Kunis surprised us at how well she did.
ORWEN: Some of the critiques we've been reading against this movie don't make any sense to us. It's as if we had watched two totally different movies.
ORDDU: In our opinion, this is one of the BEST Disney movies to come along in quite a while. It deserves to be transferred into a theme park attraction.
ORWEN: And we can't wait for the sequel to come out!!!