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  1. #1

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    Question Help Me Watch Oz Great & Powerful Please?

    I have finally gotten the DVD copy of the movie from the local library and have managed to watch about fifty minutes and I'm real confused...

    I am such a serious OZ fan I have a tattoo from my grandmother's "Land of Oz" book, which I read back in '62. Sam Raimi, as proof that one can have insane creativity on no budget with "Evil Dead," is a personal hero. I own the definitive DVD of the MGM Oz (I am a Luddite...I'm starting to think about Blu-Ray...)

    Why the nasty man? The swarthy con man, whom I hate? The female ninny? The monkey with the human voice and a character that makes me cringe? Is this what Sam Raimi brought to the story?

    I don't like these people. All my Oz lore tells me that the Wizard, when he met Dorothy years later, thought of himself as a good man and a humbug wizard. Am I being forced into a character arc? A bad man becomes a good man, albeit still a humbug wizard?

    That wouldn't explain the monkey. Am I supposed to know this character from another media, as the MGM audience knew Bert Lahr from radio? I want to smack him!

    If there are any Oz fans or Raimi fans out there who can help me understand, I appreciate your opinions and critiques. Don't worry about spoilers: I've got the movie for THREE WEEKS for FREE and can submerge myself as deeply as I want. The CGI is magical!
    "Ignore the Chihuahua behind the curtain."

  2. #2

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    Re: Help Me Watch Oz Great & Powerful Please?

    I like the movie. The best advice I can give you is that it's not based on any one of Baum's Oz books. Baum gave very little information about what happened before Dorothy's arrival. Instead, it's an original story that the screenwriter(s) created as a prequel. If you are familiar with the book/musical Wicked!, you'll note quite a different backstory on the witches.

    Even the MGM movie does not follow the original story all that closely.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Help Me Watch Oz Great & Powerful Please?

    I forgot to mention that I have the movie in Blu-ray 3D and have watched it several times.

    Since you are not worried about spoilers, check out the Wikipedia link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oz_the_Great_and_Powerful
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
    2014 so far: 7846 miles, 451,000 feet


  4. #4

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    Re: Help Me Watch Oz Great & Powerful Please?

    I notice that you wear a Star Trek uniform so hope I can use metaphors if need be...

    Fortunately I am not familiar with Wicked, because that would just layer more confusion onto this. I am willing to accept that a director may auteur his take on canon.

    Is there anything in your package, like interviews with Raimi, from which I would benefit?

    I did finish watching the movie. In a way it reminds me of John Carter -- I'm not bonding with the lead (or the monkey). He is so very unpleasant for so long that by the time he has a glimmer of interest in China Girl's well-being, I don't care about him.

    The next time I watch it I am thinking to start it while he is actually inside the tornado, so that I can judge him by his ongoing behavior without so much of a build-up. It seemed to go on forever...like the first Star Trek movie.
    "Ignore the Chihuahua behind the curtain."

  5. #5

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    Re: Help Me Watch Oz Great & Powerful Please?

    My package included only the 3D Blu-ray and a redemption code for the digital 2D version.

    Oz is comes off as a cad at the beginning of the story, but there are glimmers of his better personality even at the beginning. A fleeting reference is made to his full name: Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. His initials spell out OZPINHEAD. From that I'm guessing Baum didn't intend for him to be a saint.

    The monkey is the incarnation of his assistant back in Kansas, much as Glinda is the girl he left behind there. Yet another device taken from the 1939 movie.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
    2014 so far: 7846 miles, 451,000 feet


  6. #6

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    Re: Help Me Watch Oz Great & Powerful Please?

    You're not alone - I nearly walked out of watching OTGAP and this was in my living room.

    Franco was a major turnoff - unpleasant and then smirky/smarmy, cycle and repeat. At this point, a few months removed from the viewing, the impression left is one or two actors in front of greenscreens and not much else - and nothing I'd go back for a second time. Tonally (and in it's disregard for the spirit and content of the original storyline) it reminded me of the recent Depp "Alice" movie. Couldn't stand that one either.
    Woo! Spring is coming!

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