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Oz The Great and Powerful came home on Blu-Ray and DVD June 11th. I had a chance to watch the movie the night before the release date and I’m happy to share some thoughts with you about this visual stunner.

Film Synopsis:

When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot. Fame and fortune are his for the taking. That is until he meets three witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting.  Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late.  Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity and even a bit of wizardry, Oscar transforms himself not only into a great wizard but into a better man as well.

Review of Oz The Great And Powerful

First, if you haven’t watched the movie yet prepare for some spoilers.  If you have….well, you can choose to agree or disagree with some of my thoughts in the comments (I’d love to hear what you think!).

My first impression of the movie was one of hope. The opening scene where Oscar Diggs (Franco) is shown as the wily magician wooing all the girls with his fantastical tricks and suave demeanor lent itself to deliver a promising story and intriguing dialogue. It started to go downhill from there. Diggs is a magician/con man, and to be honest, it was hard for me to like the character throughout the entire movie….even when he was supposed to be helping the people of OZ.

The scenes where Diggs was blown away and landed in OZ started to give me hope again. The brilliant scenery and the wonderful imagery of those first few moments in OZ were quite breathtaking, but once the dialogue resumed I found everything to be lackluster. Theodora (Kunis), was in my opinion, a whiny witch and got on my nerves. Even her transformation to the wicked witch of the west was really just– uninspiring (although the behind the scenes footage is fun to watch).

Oz balloon Oz Emerald City

The one character that did shine, in my opinion, was Evanora (Weisz). Kunis isn’t 100% convincing as the wicked witch but Weiz is strong enough to carry them both through. I never did understand the whole point of the wizard being there though. I mean sure, it was prophesied, but Glinda (Williams) seemed to have enough magical power of her own to sufficiently deal with her sisters, why the need for a magician pretending to be a wizard?  The story line just never really held for me, which is perhaps why I didn’t find the characters themselves believable enough….or maybe it was that the characters weren’t believable so the story didn’t hold for me?  Either way, something was off throughout this movie that just didn’t make it realistic.

Oz witches

Final Thoughts on Oz The Great And Powerful

So by now you are probably thinking I am giving this movie a horrible review and did not enjoy it one bit. Actually, that is not quite true. Even though I thought the acting felt mediocre and just not believable or not developed enough at times, Oz the Great and Powerful does still make for a good time while even managing to maintain plenty of ties to the original movie. The visuals are as expected– dazzling and vibrant.  Despite many plot holes that persisted, the sweetness and charm of the overall story still prevails, and the ending satisfies. It certainly is a mixed bag, but Oz the Great and Powerful is still colorful, imaginative and constructed well enough to justify doing a prequel to a legendary pioneer of film so many years later.  If I had to give it a rating, I would say 3 of 5 stars.  Not spectacular, but not utterly horrible either.

Want more Oz?  Check out these bonus clips!

Bonus Clip: Wicked Witch Time Lapse

Bonus Clip: Designing China Girl

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 So tell us…..

If you have seen the movie, what are your thoughts?  If you haven’t, do you plan on watching it?