Oz the Great and Powerful
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Mitchell Kapner, David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis
Plot: The story of how Sam Raimi will kill a small part of your childhood with a terrible movie.
So what did you think?
Adam – Choppy seas ahead friends. This was a very uneven watch. While I really enjoyed some scenes in the film, in particular the opening sequence. There were many other times where this film was so bad that I had difficulty caring what was happening on screen. I am going to try and temper my criticism in regards to this film by trying to remember that this is a film for children.
Scotty - The film started out well but by the end I was tired of it and wanted to go home. Visually there were some great moments and I thought Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz were great in their roles. Could have been a bit shorter but overall it was okay.
Griff – I hated everything about this movie. It was soul sucking disgrace of a film. It relied way to heavily on CGI and it results in a flat ineffective film that retains none of the magic of the Wizard of Oz and is utterly forgettable. The CGI was so overdone that the movie took on the appearance of the New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from back in The Banana Splits days (for you youngsters… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9axfQIGHC4I). The plot is contrived and ridiculous (and somewhat insulting to women), and the acting is atrocious. I never walk out on a movie but if it wasn’t for the fact that we were doing a review I would have been gone. I was checking my watch the entire time.
Any thoughts before you saw the movie?
Adam – I liked the cast they they had assembled for this film. Similarly the premise and trailers both seemed very interesting. I was intrigued to see how they would actually manage to pull this off. Also was very excited to be back in a theater watching a film. It had been a few months and this seemed like the first film that perhaps could be worth paying to see.
Scotty – I was not hearing good things so I tried to get those thoughts out of my head and give it a shot, I also was glad I got to go out with my wife and see this one or else I would have been in the doghouse.
Griff – How bad could it be? (Answer: Very, very bad)
Did you think this movie was fresh and/or innovative?
Adam – I actually found the setup of the film pretty fresh. I had read how they could only use elements of the Baum book but not things that were only in the Wizard of Oz, thus no ruby slippers. I was very pleased that the film opened in black and white as an homage to the original. Things sort of went down hill from there.
Scotty - I thought the film had some crisp use of todays’ technology but it is a prequel to one of the most beloved films in the history of film and the story was quite familiar. Anti-hero turns into hero and the world is saved.
Griff – Contrived boring and predictable is more like it. This movie will be erased from your memory faster than a stick of Fruit Stripe gum loses flavor.
Did you think the script was well written?
Adam – As mentioned previously I found the script very patchy in tone. I could have done without that whole china doll subplot and the constant introductions of every character. It was almost as if they were reluctant to let the character development take place organically.
Scotty – I thought they did alright with the script but I think there could have been more tie in to the original. No striped socks, no tin man and no scarecrow. They did however have an awkward scene with the cowardly lion where they threw in some line about courage.
Griff - The plot is ridiculous the writing is ponderous at best. Why was this movie even made? It has nothing to say. This was a pure money grab.
Was there a performance you really liked or really hated?
Adam – I enjoyed what little I saw of Bruce Campbell and Tony Cox always cracks me up.
Scotty – I really liked Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch, I thought she portrayed her quite well and obviously studied the original character more so than her co-stars.
Griff - My least hated favorite actor in this one was Rachel Weisz. Although I wasn’t impressed with her, at least she wasn’t as bad as Franco. This was the single worst performance I have seen from him. He was horribly miscast. Mila Kunis (who I love) was also terrible. Her performance was more wooden than the broom handle she flies around on.
Do you remember a song from the film?
Adam – I found the score utterly forgettable.
Scotty - Not really, this was another area that they avoided in this film whereas the original has plenty of musical numbers. I did however think the score was pretty well done even though there is not that “Lollipop Guild” moment.
Griff - Since I was caught in the grasp staggering ennui and internal rage, I was unable to remember any music of note in this film.
What was your favorite line?
Adam – “sourpuss”
Scotty – “Did those crows just say we’re gonna die?”
Griff – Glinda – “The shield allow a good-hearted person to pass.”
Oz – “Im going to die!”
What would have made this a better movie?
Adam - The nice thing about a lot of Disney films is that they manage to make films for children that parents are able to also find enjoyable. For some reason they decide to depart from that winning formula with this film.
Scotty – Could have been a bit shorter and a little less hokey I guess, I thought Franco lacked recognizable qualities from the original Wizard.
Griff - Not making this film in the first place. Seriously, it was so bad it made me angry. I would rather watch someone hand sew a quilt than sit through this ever again.
Is it worth seeing in the theater? Or could you have waited for the DVD/Stream?
Adam - If you have young children and you can stomach it why not see this at a matinee. To be honest it seemed like most of the children in the audience were enjoying themselves. Barring that situation stay home and wait to catch this when it is streaming.
Scotty – If you’re going to go see this or see this at all, go out to the theater and check it out. I imagine it is better on the big screen than at home.
Griff – Don’t do it to yourself. Stay home, get a nice bottle of wine, and settle down on the couch with 1939 Classic. Then just pretend this movie was never made. You will thank me for it later.
What other movies would you recommend if someone enjoyed this film?
Adam – You wouid be much better served staying home and watching the original Wizard of Oz.
Scotty – Alice in Wonderland and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory come to mind and although I have yet to see it I bet it is a lot like Snow White and the Huntsman.
Griff - If you enjoyed this one, then you are glutton for punishment…How about some Uwe Boll films or checking out the amazing work of his american equivalent, Michael Bay?
Any final thoughts on this movie?
Adam – After reading all my criticisms of this film I am wondering if I was not too generous with my three guys score. I realize this film made a ton of cash and drew some decent sizes crowds. However, this has more to do with the dearth of half-way decent films at the theater than it has to do with the quality of this film filled with razzie worthy performances.
Scotty – Oz the Great and Powerful is certainly not a terrible movie, there are parts of the film that feel magical and perfect, the problem is that those parts are few and far between and this weighs down what could have been a gem. Visually it is worth a view and there are some solid performances, Michelle Williams being the best of the bunch. I thought Franco was a little off and because he is the movie this also weighs on the film. This film will certainly be enjoyed most by children over 5 and children under 15 but as adults revisiting a classic it just falls short. Whenever I find myself waiting to leave and not wanting more I know that the movie was struggling to keep my attention and that is exactly how I felt watching this film.
Griff - If I could spin the earth backwards like Superman, my one mission would be to make sure this film never gets made so it can’t waste two hours of my life. This is the worst film I have seen so far this year.