Daily archives "March 11, 2013"

Oz The Great And Powerful ****




Run Time: 130 mins         Cert: PG


Synopsis: Directed by Sam Raimi and starring James Franco as the Wizard, the prequel to the 1939 film “The Wizard Of Oz” combines classic Disney with elemnents of horror.


Much like the original, “Oz The Great and Powerful” begins in a 4:3 format and in black and white. We are introduced to Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a Kansas magician with ambitions. When the weather turns, Oscar finds himself in a colourful land in which he meets attractive witches Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz) who send him on a mission to destroy their rival.


The movie looks magnificent when viewed in 3D IMAX. While the effects used are gimmicky they give the viewer a thrilling experience and there are times when the audience will feel like objects are literally about to hit them. Although there were some copyright issues surrounding the level of resemblance the film could have to the original, the prequel manages to stay true to “The Wizard of Oz” by including familiar landmarks and characters such as the Wizard, Glinda and the Munchkins.


The movie could easily have been predictable but the writers have put their own spin on the classic story. There are a number of twists that will keep the audience entertained and aside from a slow period in the middle, the 130 minutes pass quickly with the excitement and effects. There are scenes that will have the entire audience jumping from their seats.


In terms of performances, Mila Kunis is the highlight. Her character starts off very naive but throughout the movie develops as she learns more about herself and the world around her. Kunis portrays Theodora’s journey of discovery perfectly and is a joy to watch. This is closely followed by Michelle Williams’ portrayal of white witch Glinda. James Franco is entertaining as the Wizard and works well alongside Williams and Kunis. Oscar Diggs is a balanced mixture of good and bad characteristics which make him seem human.  At first glance he seems too young for the role, but it works because the prequel is set 35 years prior to the original. Of all the actors, Rachel Weisz gives the weakest performance. She appears rather wooden and her character is two-dimensional.


Whether you’re a fan of the original, a Disney lover or just want entertainment, “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a must see for the whole family.


Reviewed by Lesley Logan