Well folks, here it is. The long-ish awaited review of recent; my review on Oz. I saw this movie two weeks ago, maybe three. I watched it because i saw the trailer, and well… just watch it yourself:
So anyway, that trailer didn’t give away much except for an outstanding use of graphics, a clever start and a really wicked looking, Wicked witch. I thought that justified a look at another “oldy-but-goldy” pulled from the cupboard, dressed in a fancy frock and told to dance again.
Now this review is not going to be spoiler free. I have excluded as many details as possible for those out there who haven’t watched this yet and intend to do so but i still say to them, read on at your own risk!
*** SPOILER ALERT***
Now we’ve got that out of the way, the movie. It began slowly but deliberately, weaving the back-story to the wizard of OZ…. A circus magician. A con man and a womanizer, a fake and a fraud but not proud of it. I already like his character. He is kind, caring and ambitious at heart but willing to accept to do what he can to scratch a living.
James Franco played the part of Oscar Diggs, aka: Oz, very well. He put across the emotions of the character very well and the commit he put into the performance allowed me to connect to the character. Only, as the performance went on, i found him less and less likable for stringing everyone along in one big lie, only to leave me loving the character at the end. Especially when you compare him to the Wicked witch.
The movie starts in black and white…. oh yeah that wasn’t just for the trailer! The movie starts in monotone and with a shrunken, square screen. I wonder how many people will try to readjust there T.V.’s when this comes out on DVD and Blue Ray. Anyway, it starts as such and when Oz enters the magical land of OZ, the camera angle pans out to full screen as color is blended into the scene. It was beautifully done and mastered the transportation of the viewers mind from earth to OZ. A great effect and totally original!
But what i loved most about this movie was the plot twist. There was only one… BUT IT WAS A BIG ONE! Unless you’ve seen the original in which case, as long as you have a memory for names and characters, you saw it coming. I’m not giving this bit away! It’s too good.
What i didn’t like though was the gags. Many of them felt immature and unprofessional. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up too much to appreciate that level of humor; yet saying that i still laugh and cry at the Lion King so….
All so, the whole world of OZ seemed too animated. I mean yes, the destroyed China Town and the fly through emerald gorge was immense CG I and very entertaining and involving. Only, i still got a sense of fake, and with today’s mastery of CG I animation and techniques, even in a children’s movie (majority of which are animated), i don’t want to sense that. I don’t want to even think about looking for that. I don’t expect Avatar level in every animated i see now, but it did kinda set the bar…. and set it high.
The movie is very self explanatory and easy to understand. Even the plot twist and ending are all done at a child’s pace, as it should be. The movie stayed true as a prequel to it’s origins and all is very well explained at the end anyway, just in case you missed anything or needed a prequel question answering.
It was a fun movie; not as funny as i had wanted it to be but the Wicked witch was absolutely wicked and the plot was clever, had a amazing twist and explained itself! Couldn’t have asked for more…. except better jokes.
This is a movie, like magic, that needs to be seen to be believed – Very good.
That Other Guy