Saturday, 9 March 2013

Oz the so-so and over actor.

Oz the Great  and Powerful Review
Director; Sam Raimi
Starring; James Franco
Mila Kunis
Michelle Williams
Rachel Weisz

He is....annoying.
When I heard that  Sam Raimi was making a brand new version of the 'Wizard of  Oz' I was very much, underwhelmed. Another director  trying his hand  at breathing new life  into a classic,by re-imagining it for a modern audience. It felt  to  me like there was no originality anymore, to go that far  back and touch on a film that is so close to almost  everyone's hearts. It was another knock  to my childhood. If you've read my thoughts on Michael Bay you know that the last year has not been kind with regards to how Hollywood has treated a lot of peoples cherished childhood memories. I found out then that it  was a prequel of sorts. Giving us the origin story of 'The Wizard' himself, but more interestingly, the origin of  'The  Wicked Witch of the West'.
Zach Braff doing what he does best...I'll get to you in that one.
The Plot
It's way  back when, things are simple, uncomplicated and in black  and white. The times they are good, but that's not what "master" illusionist 'Oscar Diggs' wants however. He wants things to be great, he wants to be great. Through a series of  odd and ridiculous events involving a random woman, a music box, Zach Braff and a strong  man, Oscar  finds himself in  the magical world of....Oz. In this weird, wonderful and at times over-acted place Oscar meets witches, claims to be a wizard and saves a slightly psychopathic china doll. I'm serious about that china doll, she is...intense at times.

The Good
Mila  Kunis, without going into too much detail. She has the most interesting character journey throughout this whole film. She is  also really hot, so that's bonus points there. The little china doll, though intimidating at times, is also one of  the more humourous and interesting characters of the film. The design of Oz( the kingdom, not the guy) is pretty most of the time.  Coming off as a child's version of  'Pandora'. The final act and the films climatic battle was visually beautiful and the Wicked Witch of  West is  superb. She hasn't lost that evil streak.
This girls has some of  the best lines of dialogue.

The Bad
Right, where to begin. I suppose the irony of the "good" witch being the least interesting and most annoying of the witches assembled in this film is not lost on me. The origin of  the Wicked Witch of the West is brilliant and intriguing but honestly should have been fleshed out. You feel for her, but in the kind of, "oh honey don't worry about that man, he's not worth your time", way. If they had fleshed it out more it would have added a lot more depth to the character and would have added some more weight to a very light film experience. At times, a lot of times by the way, the acting is way  over the top, surprisingly so since the cast that has been  put together is of such high quality. James Franco for  example is a bit of a douche for  most of the film, and not in the redeeming fashion. 

The Ugly
It is a good film,  it's not  great but  there are some really nice scenes, the visuals at times are superb and the Wicked Witch of  the West has been replicated with such care you can't help but respect Sam Raimi for that. If only  the acting transitioned from black and white to technicolor as well as people from Kansas seem to. 
I know what you're thinking. What a wonderful place Oz is.

Look out for the little nods to old friends. They are both subtle and blatantly obvious.