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Monday, March 11, 2013

Mini-Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

If you loved Oz the Great and Powerful, you'll probably be calling me names and spitting on my shoes after you read this review. 

In a word: Meh.

It had none of the charm of the Wizard of Oz. And it gave only timid nods to its predecessor. 

But the kids in the audience seemed to like it so maybe it was more for their demographic. Still, considering it was Disney, I expected better graphics and CGI.

The CGI was flat and they seemed to overcompensate with color rather than depth. The acting was so-so. But Mila Kunis (Theodora) was the wrong actress for this. All I could hear was her character from That 70s Show. 

Poor Rachel Weiss wasn't given any meat in her role so she was wasted. James Franco (Oz) was acceptable in the title role but I couldn't help thinking this was better suited to someone else. He tried, but he lacked the charisma of Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, or even Adrian Brody.

Perhaps the best characters in the movie were the China Girl and Finley (a flying monkey). At least my interest returned whenever they were on screen. The rest of the time I felt on the verge of nodding off.

Speaking of flying monkeys, this time the bad guys were flying baboons. Considering how much the flying monkeys of the original gave me nightmares, the baboons barely rated a cringe. I don't expect any nightmares from these imaginings.

The base story was sound and that should've been enough to make me care about what happened next. Instead, I was chomping at the bit for the movie to hurry up and finish.

The Wizard of Oz is a family favorite here. But this 'prequel' offers none of the charm or originality of its granddaddy. I hate to be so harsh, but I had so looked forward to this movie--and it disappointed me.

If you have little kids, they'll probably enjoy it. But if you're looking for some of the depth and emotion of the original, rent The Wizard of Oz instead. They don't make them like they used to.

Have you seen this movie? Did you like it? 

I wanted to see Hansel and Gretel but it's already left our area so we'll have to wait for the dvd. If anyone has seen that one, I'd love to know what you thought of it.


20 comments:

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I had no desire to see it though my kids are going later this week. I heard so-so reviews of Hansel and Gretel.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I heard some of the kids in the audience say they liked it but not a peep from the adults. Maybe it's a generational thing.

dtmmr.com said...

The movie looks nice, the acting is good, and I liked the adventure and the characters. It didn’t always work, but it kept me entertained for the most part. Nice review Maria.

Mike Keyton said...

Maria, I googled some reviews over here. (yup, a slow day writing but that's another story : )

The first three rougly follow your line. It took me some time to find positive one ie the last link.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/9917620/Oz-the-Great-and-Powerful.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/9915285/Oz-the-Great-and-Powerful-review.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/mar/10/oz-great-powerful-review-film?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/mar/09/oz-the-great-and-the-powerful-sam-raimi?INTCMP=SRCH

Rula Sinara said...

Haven't seen it yet, and I've been hesitant. My youngest likes the Wizard of Oz book better than the movie (original) so I'm not sure what he'll think of this.

Maria Zannini said...

dtmmr: I think I was just expecting something else. I'm sure there'll be a lot of people who disagree with me.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: If it had had a stronger tie-in to the Wizard of Oz, it might've worked. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the same way though. I was afraid I'd be in the minority.

Maria Zannini said...

Rula: For kids, it's fine. They'll be distracted by the color and movement.

If yours liked the book he might not be as wowed by this movie.

Stacy McKitrick said...

The movie's trailer had intrigued me a bit, but the reviews haven't been all that great, so I doubt I'll go out and see it in the theatre. Might see it if one of my kids buys the DVD someday down the road (then I'll borrow it - seen a lot of movies that way!).

Maria Zannini said...

I generally prefer to read personal reviews and not the ones from the paid talking heads.

Ironically, we never bothered checking anyone's review on this one because we were sure it would be good.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

After hearing all the bad press, I'll likely stay away from this. Good to know it sucked.

Angela Brown said...

My kiddo hasn't exactly been mentioning an interest in this story like she did in going to see Wreck-it Ralph when it came out.

So this movie is more or less on the radar but not a must see for us.

Appreciate the review.

LD Masterson said...

My daughter-in-law enjoyed it but she loves all thing Oz. I think my reaction would be closer to yours. Probably won't waste the time or money.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Wish I had known before I went. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: It's hard for me to gauge kids. The theater I was in was packed and you can sense the excitement in the kids, but maybe they had nothing to compare it to that got them giddy. I don't know.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: It wasn't a bad movie at all. It just wasn't what I expected or hoped for.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I figured i'd probably wait to see this on DVD. I wasn't really taken by the Alice in Wonderland remake, so i thought this one would be pretty similar

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: Alice in Wonderland wasn't good either? Hollywood is really losing its touch.

raelynbarclay said...

Your review is right up there with my general feeling from just watching the previews. I may try to catch it once it hits Netflix but I'm not in a rush.

What's with all the remakes and prequel/sequels recently? I realize "there are no new stories" but really. Even my kids have noticed.

I haven't seen Hansel and Gretel, it's another I'll have to wait until it hits Netflix :)

Cate Masters said...

I've heard similar things about this movie. Maybe they should have spinned it from China Girl and Finley's POVs, lol.

Hansel and Gretel didn't even tempt me, hate to say.