The world of Oz is a beautiful place filled with mystery and adventure. The Wizard of Oz introduced me to a unique world, while Return to Oz just ended up scaring the shit out of me (all those screaming heads still send a shiver down my spine to this day). I haven’t ventured into other adaptations, but I would like to check out Wicked someday. When it was announced that Sam Raimi would be directing Oz The Great and Powerful, I was trilled. I thought it would be a fitting flick for the director…until I saw the bland trailers and ugly posters. It smelt too much like the Tim Burton’s lackluster Alice in Wonderland. I entered the theater with low expectations.
The opening credits to Oz The Great and Powerful is beautifully done with a German expression influence. The film begins in black and white with a 4:3 aspect ratio. This entire segment of the film looked fantastic – Oz The Great and Powerful had me hooked, but would it let go of me when we got to Oz? I thought I would be met with cluttered CGI scenes and a bland story, but instead we get introduced to charming and visually interesting characters. The CGI never takes away from the narrative at any point. Every place is a sight to behold as we dig deeper into the Oz mythology.
The casting was fitting, from James Franco’s deceiving and charming Wizard, to the highlight of the film, Mila Kunis, who explodes onto the screen with great energy.
Oz The Great and Powerful allowed Raimi to incorporate some of his horror trademarks, such as; dutch tilts, eerie sounds accompanied by frantic shots of objects, even to a deadite-like moment. The nine-year-old girl inside me screamed in satisfaction.
I saw Oz The Great and Powerful in 2D, but I was distracted as some frames were fuzzy (obviously converted into 3D) and that pissed me off. Don’t put 3D frames on screen when the damn movie is 2D. My only other complaint is the ending, without giving anything away; you’re left with unanswered questions.
I left the theater very satisfied. If you’re a fan of the world of Oz you’ll enjoy this film, but if you are a Raimi fan, I think you may have a little more fun with this.