Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) - Review

It's pretty well-known by now that I'm a huge Sam Raimi fanboy.  Get out of here with your Amazing Spider-Man BS, I'll take the classic Tobey trilogy ANY day of the week.  And I don't think there's a single person in the world that hasn't seen the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz.  It's one of the greatest movies of all time.

But how does the prequel hold up?

Honestly, it's pretty entertaining.  I'd hesitate to call it good, because it has way too many flaws to even try to match the original.  First of all, Oz looks terrible; the visuals are straight out of Burton's awful Alice in Wonderland.  Secondly, the characters are all over the place and some of the acting is a bit too... Disney?  I'm looking at you, Tony Cox.  Seriously, does anyone like that guy?

There are some things to love though.  The opening twenty minutes in black and white that take place in Kansas are nigh perfect.  James Franco is fantastically hammy as the smug womanizer lead, and like every great Raimi movie, Bruce Campbell is in it (although NOT as much as he should be).  Lastly, Raimi's directorial style shines through in some places with even a couple nods to Evil Dead's cinematography, which is never a bad thing.

I haven't rewatched this movie since seeing it in the theaters, and I don't really have any desire to.  Does that make it a bad movie?  I don't really think so; I just find it to be a one and done kind of movie.  I'd still recommend a rental, as it is good fun while you're watching it.  Just don't expect a classic like the original.

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