May 23 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Oz the Great and Powerful stars James Franco as a small time magician who arrives in the enchanted land of Oz and is forced to decide whether he will become a good man or a great one.
Now Oz the Great and Powerful is a movie that I have been anticipating for quite some time. Of course like many people I am a fan of the original 1939 classic, so for me to go and see this film was a no-brainer as I have always wondered about the origin of the Wicked Witch, and of course the origin of the Wonderful Wizard, and thankfully this movie is not only fantastic entertainment, I can happily say my questions were answered.
Directed by one of my favourite directors Sam Raimi, this prequel truly is a great film. I went into it with reasonably high expectations and as you can probably expect, due to my overall enthusiasm they were most certainly matched.
Not only does the film come from Sam Raimi but also on board are the producers of Alice in Wonderland, and the overall marketing ploy has been very similar to Alice and understandably so, because when a film grosses one billion dollars at the box-office I do think the success would want to be repeated, and as much as I enjoyed Alice back in the day, I feel Oz is superior in comparison.
The film begins in a 4x3 ratio and is presented in black and white, and I would just like to say if your local cinema offers 3D or IMAX I highly recommend seeing this film in either one of those formats, particularly the latter as the visuals are just stunning. In terms of visual effects this could be one of the most beautiful and enchanting films I have seen in a very long time. Upon entering the land of Oz, the colour scheme and design is utterly breath-taking and watching the film maximise the size of the screen after spending ten or fifteen minutes in 4x3 has to be one of the most rewarding cinema experiences I’ve had in a very long time.
In terms of acting, I have heard numerous complaints regarding the appointments of both James Franco and Mila Kunis, personally I am a big fan of both actors and to see them both headlining a film as large as this is great, as I feel it was a nice change from seeing the typical A-list actors we have all become accustom to in recent years. Admittedly you could argue that the acting is a bit over the top at times, but I feel it works with the overall tone of the movie, as it was just a nice change to watch some good old fashioned family entertainment and to see the actors having as much fun as the audience is a bit of a rarity these days.
Now I have to admit the character of Oz isn’t what i really had in mind when watching the original classic. I mean come on; would you expect Oz to be a lying, manipulative womanizer? Probably not (unless you’ve read the books), but I really did love Franco’s character in this. I thought he had an interesting morale story attached to him, and to see this story unfold was as a stated very interesting. For me say what you will about the last Spider-Man film, but whenever Franco and Raimi come together they never disappoint.
Now the three witches are played by Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz and I feel all three done a superb job. Taking into consideration this is a family film, there is as I said a lot of overacting but it really does work with the tone of the movie, and if that statement does make you sceptical, don’t worry because upon watching the film, I would find it hard to imagine that anyone could not be entertained.
The CGI characters are all voiced well and the animation is unprecedented. The thing I liked most about the characters in this movie was that I cared for them from an audience perspective, and one character in particular I actually felt sorry for despite seeing her progress into something entirely different. I would also like to disagree with what people are saying, as I felt that specific actress done a great job as the Wicked Witch.
The score is provided by Danny Elfman and of course as we all know this man rarely disappoints and here he makes no exception as his score is one of the strongest I’ve heard all year. As you’re most probably aware there is no music whatsoever in the same vein as the 1939 original, but as I said Elfman is on top form with his score, hence why I would label him as my favourite composer.
Surprisingly there are quite a few references to the 1939 movie, and the reason I say surprisingly is simply because as we all know Warner Brothers own the rights to the 1939 film, so in a way that does kind of limit the film in regards to what it can reference, nevertheless there is still plenty to please hard-core Oz fans, and I feel the subtle nods make it all that much more rewarding.
Overall I really did love this film. It made me feel like a young kid again, and normally at my age I like to think I’m getting a bit too old for films like this, but when there of this standard, they can be hard to resist.
As the gates to the Royal Hospital Gardens at Chelsea opened to the world’s media yesterday, with a frenzy of activity as photographers and camera crews vied for the best vantage points, there was also a very palpable sense of relief among the hundreds of nurserymen and women who have come to exhibit their prize horticultural specimens that their stands were complete and looking their very best.