March 17, 2013

Oz: The Great and Powerful - Movie Review

One of the first movies that introduced 3D effects to a wider audience was in the prequel Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton. Now the people involved in that one are back again with another take on an old fairy tale, only without Tim Burton. This time Sam Raimi (known for the Spiderman trilogy) gets the chance to show us a beautiful world of wonders and magic and American flags. (Just kidding, there aren’t any flags…) Oz: The Great and Powerful shows us the journey of Oscar, a cheap trickster and how he became the most powerful wizard in Oz.

The movie begins in black and white, with a 4:3 aspect ratio, just like in the old times. It feels like the time stood still as an introduction of the carnival setting. Oscar the main character is the wizard of the road show, between the strongest man and other typical actors. He lives a low life with cheap and torn clothes, but strives for so much more. He wants to be a great man that brings the wonders of magic to the world in which he is quite talented. He is so good at them that people actually believe him to make everything impossible possible. This includes a little girl who wants nothing more than to be able to walk again, something impossible for him to grant. The people lose their believe and want their money back. He runs away from not only this but many other problems that occur to him, just to find himself in a hot air balloon within an hurricane. Like in the original Oz is that the way to get into the fairy tale world and his journey begins. The color blazes through the picture and it widens to the normal wide screen, introducing us into the world of Oz.

The world of Oz is filled with original flowers, landscapes and animals, mostly known of the original story. We get to see the munchkins, the winged monkeys and the scared lion, just to name a few. The scenery is lovely and feels like a picture, is enriched with so many details to gaze upon. A world that will amaze you, especially in 3D as you can see in the pictures here. Don’t they look lovely? Yes, but only if there is no motion. Whenever the camera spins around there is only left a blurry mess of pixels, which ruins the picture. The beginning had several scenes like that and camera rides that make you dizzy. Bare with them, because this fault lasts mostly a few seconds and is only at the beginning. There are some later scenes but they weren’t as intense as the ones in the beginning. That is also the only stigma in the visual presentation, which is otherwise great. We see many different places like big cities, dark forests or flower beets. The design of the characters is just as good and lively. If it is the little china girl or the winged monkey companion, who is voiced by one of my favorite actors Zac Braff. He gets all the laughs, which somehow annoyed some critics. I can say that I liked them and was surprised by the amount of good laughs. The other actors were quite splendid as well, like Mina Kunis or James Franco, who played a lot of parts in Raimis movies. Only one of them fell flat and that was the good witch played by Michelle Williams. Somehow she didn’t manage to show emotion, kinda like Kristen Stewart.

The story was a bit dragged on and seemed to lose focus around the middle. In the beginning the world of Oz looks like a parallel world to the real one, with people who have the same problems. A girl who can’t walk anymore and so on. I thought it was a great way that Oz couldn’t run away anymore and finishes what he left off, but as I stated that take part only till the middle. Then everything is about the bad witches, which revelation didn’t surprise as the makers hoped for. We get a bit of drama and misunderstanding, that are typically between man and women. It results in a big fight, which doesn’t feel big or difficult to win. The solution was a bit disappointing, because a single wrong step and it wouldn’t work. Most of it has to do with the effect of believing, which Oz mastered. It’s not a plot hole, but beyond normal behavior. The story goes well with its original source and gives logical explanation, why the world of Oz become this way after Dorothea gets there, which was well executed.

To sum things up: Oz the Great and Powerful is a hilarious movie with beautiful pictures, that explains well how the world of Oz becomes the way it is. It shows the journey of a normal man behind Oz mask and why the witches want him dead. The only bad things are the few blurred camera rides in the beginning, which could strain some peoples eyes and the drama of the story, which never feels epic, like the Lord of the Rings did with its big battles. The movie is for everyone who wants to see a nice fantasy film, without shedding blood. It’s the definition of a family movie, which will be enjoyed by parents and kids at the same time.

3 Kommentare:

  1. The film is a visual marvel, i felt like i was in heaven while watching the breathtaking scenes . it takes your imagination to unexplored depths. Brilliant use of technology.

    1. yes and thats explain in a short way what this movies does well, because none of your words praised the story or the acting. it's just a beautiful tech-demo what is currently possible, just for some hundred million :)