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Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz Poster

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.

 

 

Rate It:

 

Adam:

1andHalfGuys

 

Scotty:

1andHalfGuys

 

Griff:

nullset

 

 

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)

Oz Still 1

 

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.

Oz Still 2

 

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.

Oz Still 3

 

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?

Oz Still 4

 

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.

ScottyOz 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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chris March 19, 2013, 9:32 pm

    Yeah, wasn’t a fan of this movie myself, though I didn’t hate it nearly as much as Griff, lol. I’d say that the movie has its moments, but as mentioned, they’re too few and too far between, while everything else was really just an underwhelming experience. Good review, guys. :)

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 8:48 am

      Thanks Chris, the major redeeming quality for me was that my son seemed to be enjoying himself. Otherwise, this film lacked that disney magic.

    • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 9:24 am

      I do not think anyone will hate the film as much as Griff did.

      • Adam March 20, 2013, 11:02 am

        Is that our first zero score ever?

  • The Focused Filmographer March 19, 2013, 11:34 pm

    I love this format of reviews. The 3-headed dragon spues forth its split opinion and the verdict is exactly what I agree with! Love it.

    Best line of this review: Griff- “…Mila Kunis (who I love) was also terrible. Her performance was more wooden than the broom handle she flies around on.”

    haha. Nice work everyone. I wish this had been better myself.

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 8:50 am

      The one thing I liked about Kunis was her leather pants. I would not be surprised to see her get nominated for a razzie for this performance.

    • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 9:25 am

      I liked the Uwe Boll comment more but both were humorous.

  • Adam March 19, 2013, 11:50 pm

    Damn, Mark a Zero, I should have guessed when you leaned over and said this movie is fucking terrible when we were at the theater.

  • Erik - Movie140 March 20, 2013, 1:09 am

    Good review! It is indeed a disappointment. Shame on the script writers. :)

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 8:52 am

      Erik, it’s surprising that with all the technological advances that the 1939 film is far superior. They forgot that the most important thing is to have a compelling story to tell and to tell it in a way that endearing to people.

      • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 9:47 am

        How the writers mess this film up is beyond me.

  • Greer March 20, 2013, 3:13 am

    I liked the 3D a lot and enjoyed the china doll and the monkey. I didn’t hate Franco the way you guys did. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the movie, but I still thought it has a lot of visual charm.

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 8:54 am

      Hey Greer, thanks for stopping by and checking us out. I realized you would have a different interpretation after I read your more positive review. Thats what makes film reviews fun, different strokes for different folks. ;-)

      • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 9:51 am

        Gimmicks and technology can only get you so far and I too enjoyed some of them but as a whole this film lacks a lot of what makes films enjoyable; story, good casting, and connections to its’ characters. I thought that Franco was forcing it a bit and he lacked passion to make his character likeable.

  • JavaGirl Life March 20, 2013, 5:51 am

    Haha, what a great way of reviewing films! I love it! Congrats on being runner up and wait…is that a zombie lamb I see over on the right? Hysterical! Was it Adam who stopped by my page to leave a comment? I’m looking at the three guys pictures and I notice there is one with an orange beard-goatee thing going on. I have not seen the movie and I’m not sure if I ever will. I’m a purist and I love the original movie. Even my 11 year old son didn’t want to see this movie (due to the dumb trailer), but opted to watch Argon with me instead. There is hope for the future in future movie reviewers as he plans to make a blog/podcast made just for kids and by kids. I’m helping him with that. :) Thanks for stopping by and I subscribed.

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 8:59 am

      Yeah that was me that stopped by last night. Say that is a great idea getting your boy involved with podcasts and reviews early. I don’t think you will be missing much by giving this one a pass.

      I will be sure to head back over to your site and give a listen to that podcast.

      Click on that LAMB and it will take you to the Large Association of Movie Bloggers a good group to join and a good resource if you are doing film reviews.

  • Nediunedited March 20, 2013, 7:39 am

    Truth. I, too was disappointed. I am finishing up my review–but I had the same problems with it. It is solely a kids movie –nothing for an adult to grab on to. I am a fan of Sam Raimi but Everything and everyone felt one dimensional–sad, but true.

    Now–we will have to endure sequels!! NOOOO!!
    Because in Hollywood–bad can equal commercial success (Twilight anyone?)

    Great write up! Later guys!

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 9:01 am

      Hey Nedi, I must admit I was a bit shocked when I first heard that they had already given the sequel a green light. I know at this point I shouldn’t be shocked that box office far out weighs any criticism that the film receives. A bit of marketing genius releasing this film when they did IMO.

      • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 9:52 am

        Hopefully we do not have to go see the sequel.

  • Dan O. March 20, 2013, 8:54 am

    Good review. I can see why some would be pissed about this, but seriously: it’s all fun and games in the end. Also, I think the hate on Franco isn’t deserved. The guy does a nice job with what he’s given and isn’t perfect, but is fine for what he does. At least those are my thoughts I guess.

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 9:03 am

      Hey Dan, well we didn’t all hate it as much as Mark did. ;-) For me this was an ok kids film but just lacked the magic the usually makes Disney films specials. The Franco performance I am really looking forward to is this weekend when we check out Spring Breakers!

      • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 9:55 am

        Dan,
        I would say Franco was the worst part of the film, I also thought he was not representative of the original character. Franco was too “smooth” in my opinion whereas the original Wizard was a bumbling fool. Unless he suffers a stroke or a major head injury in the sequel there is no explanation of how this character gets to that character.

  • Fogs' Movie Reviews March 20, 2013, 10:04 am

    Wow. This may be the harshest review I’ve seen yet! I didn’t know you guys could give the “0 Guys” rating! LOL 8O

  • Lights Camera Reaction March 20, 2013, 10:07 am

    Nice review. I think I’ll give this one a miss haha – or wait until it comes out on DVD.
    It’s a shame though, I’m such a huge fan of the original.

    • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 10:13 am

      Yeah, no need to see this one although if you are going to watch it, the cinema is the place. Special effects were good at some points and really the only thing that made this semi-watchable.

  • sati March 20, 2013, 11:17 am

    Well…I thought the film was average but it would appear I liked it moe than you did :) Williams was great, I agree, she played a good witch without coming off bland or boring.

    • scottydynamite March 20, 2013, 11:39 am

      Even though the film was meh, I thought Williams held her own.

  • Table9Mutant March 20, 2013, 12:14 pm

    Great reviews! Oz The Great And Powerful pissed me off. I keep trying to write a review for it but keep losing interest… Such a big disappointment!

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 1:39 pm

      Hey thanks for stopping by Table9Mutant! I recall stopping by your blog last night when I couldn’t sleep.
      You should just get angry at the film for stealing your money and use that for motivation. I think that is what Mark did for his portion of our review ;-)

  • Griff March 20, 2013, 1:49 pm

    So I took a little bit of heat over on Reddit by some guy claiming that my review was over the top and full of hyperbole. Did I have a bit of fun with my review? Sure. I know some people out there really thought this one was ok. A rating in 60% area will tend to get a lot of people on one extreme or the other. That’s what makes doing this so much fun. It did make me think that maybe I should take a minute and explain myself a little bit more clearly. Let’s start with the original Wizard of Oz from back in 1939. At its most basic level this is really a coming of age tale of a bright, outgoing, strong willed young woman. She takes three men under her wing and helps one find courage, another a heart, and the last one some much needed brains. Along the way she gains an appreciation for her friends and family and how much she loves them all. It’s a great story… Now lets jump ahead to the prequel…In Oz the Great and Powerful we have three young women who are in positions of power but none of them can get anything done until a man comes along. Not just any man, but a misogynistic, womanizing, asshole. He seduces one of them and she becomes so devastated by it that it turns her into a fireball shooting raging bitch. Then he attaches himself to another one of the woman who likes him because she thinks she is going to be able to “change” him and can see the good in him. In the end he saves the day by using deceit and trickery to fool two of the women into running away. I can only assume the next movie will feature domestic abuse in glorious 3D. I just found it repulsive that we have moved forward over 70 years and somehow managed to find a way to take a step backwards. Anyway, thats my 2 cents.

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Damn now I want to give it a Zero ;-)

  • Jen W March 20, 2013, 3:10 pm

    I loves reading this review. Had no interest in the film because I have a massive crush on Gregory Maguire’s Wicked books, but Griff’s rage spiral was supremely entertaining.

    • Adam March 20, 2013, 3:50 pm

      Hey thanks for visiting Jen, glad you enjoyed Mark’s rage.

  • Mark March 21, 2013, 5:49 am

    If you go in not expecting much, I think you’ll be entertained by the visuals. Based on the incredible business this is doing, audiences seem to be really enjoying this. It’s not even close to the original, but what is? I suppose comparisons are kind of unfair.

    Nice review. I likes your different takes on it.

    • Adam March 21, 2013, 8:46 am

      Thanks for stopping by Mark, I will give Disney credit for releasing this film when they did. Folks love going to the movies and their has been very little worth watching released in the last 3 months. Thus you had a lot of movie going folk with an urge to see a film. If they put this film up against say Iron Man 3 and Monsters University I don’t think we would be seeing the same box office. They tricked us with a shiny trinket like the Wizard tricked his female conquests with a music box.

  • wordschat March 21, 2013, 6:34 am

    Good for kids, boring for adults but I did like Kunis even with her dominatrix looking leather. Ben Whishaw, Jude Law or anyone British would have been better than Franco. It needed a wide eyed but more intellectual looking sounding person.

    • Adam March 21, 2013, 8:48 am

      Mark I would have let her leave that red hat on. I would have liked to have seen Steve Buscemi as the Wizard.

      • Griff March 21, 2013, 9:03 am

        The biggest problem with Franco that role is that it required him to play two characters. First the smarmy womanizer and then the changed man who realizes the error of his ways. He did the smarmy part ok but wasn’t believable as the changed man. It made for a flat one dimensional character. I’m not sure who could have pulled it off. Sam Rockwell might have been a nice choice.

  • wordschat March 21, 2013, 9:02 am

    Excellent choice of Buscemi for Oz or Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

  • mightimo20 March 21, 2013, 9:03 am

    I have heard so much mish mosh about this movie! some people love it, but you guys dont seem to be giving it that much love at all. I was planning on seeing this film in the theaters but you guys convinced me to wait until it comes out on Netflix. I was never a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz so I was already on the fence about it. I hope ‘Evil Dead’ gets a better chance. Don’t give up on Raimi yet!

    loved the review :)

    • Adam March 21, 2013, 9:24 am

      Unless you have some kids I think you can safely wait to check this out on Netflix. Besides Spring Breakers is in general release this weekend and that looks wonderfully terrible ;-) I hope Evil Dead works out! thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  • Tim The Film Guy March 21, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Haha funny stuff. I wouldn’t watch this unless my cousins demanded it :D

    • Adam March 21, 2013, 2:48 pm

      Tim you would be better off taking your cousins out for ice cream or to a chuck-e-cheese.

      • Tim The Film Guy March 21, 2013, 2:53 pm

        Whats chuck-e-cheese? Haha :D

        • Adam March 21, 2013, 3:02 pm

          Do they not have those near you? Kids love it, parents not so much lol http://www.chuckecheese.com

          • Tim The Film Guy March 22, 2013, 4:30 am

            I think I had a nightmare that looked just like that haha and no we thankfully do not have those in the UK :D

          • Adam March 22, 2013, 8:59 am
          • Adam March 22, 2013, 9:04 am

            It’s like a kids giant germ factory but they seem to love it.

  • Joe March 21, 2013, 2:10 pm

    I agree 100% with all your assessments. This was a completely stupid film that could have been something great. Check out my review if you want over at grabbagcinema

  • Adam March 21, 2013, 2:50 pm

    Hey Joe, I will head over there and check that out. Say you should set yourself a free gravatar and link it to your blog so people can follow you easier.

    This film was certainly a disappointment.

  • Josh March 21, 2013, 5:33 pm

    Sounds like somebody hated this lol. Despite the mediocre (or horrible) reviews, I’m still interested in checking it out. Though, I will now go in with lower expectations. But definitely still wanna see it if for nothing else than the shallow entertainment of visuals and a chance to revisit Oz in a different light.

    • Adam March 21, 2013, 5:38 pm

      What with Spring Breakers having a general release this weekend? ;-)

      Let us know what you think of it.

  • Stephanie March 23, 2013, 3:22 pm

    I think I must be the only person in the blogosphere who actually liked this movie. Great review, guys! I like the multiple viewpoints. And Griff, I hope you enjoy your next film a LOT more than this one. Or you get the opportunity to watch someone hand sew a quilt. ;-)

  • Tom June 11, 2013, 12:23 am

    Hahaha!! Griff’s part is definitely the best here! I did decide to brave this new version, and was predictably let-down. The trailers didn’t seem to offer much, giving me this impression that the studios were trying to hide as much as possible, which never gives me a good feeling. I completely hated James Franco in this thing and usually I’m a Francophile. I love the guy. He was miscast, as was Mila Kunis. Damn it all…!

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