“Oz: The Great and Powerful” (2013) Guest Movie Review
As a girl who grew up loving the original “The Wizard of Oz”, I had high hopes for Disney and their new twist on a classic film, though it is actually a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” My expectations quickly fell flat, just likes the wizard’s hot air balloon in his big escape. The movie had some high points, but many more low ones as well along the way. I enjoyed myself and the reliving of my youth, but to say it was a masterpiece would be an erroneous statement.
Where to begin? Let’s begin with the movie’s rating. It is rated PG, which I guess is okay, considering there is no nudity, violent language or very violent action scenes, however, there were no storylines that were meant for children, as the PG rating might suggest. At a matinée showing the day it was released, there were numerous parents who brought young children – I’m talking kindergarteners to maybe 10 year-olds. Let’s just say I don’t think they really enjoyed it as much as the average Disney movie they watch. There were many plot lines that dealt with the moral of the somewhat “sleazy” wizard, how he was a cheat, a user, but how Oz and his tangle of lies lead him to become a better man, a good man. Also, plot lines such as deceitful, lying sisters and not believing in the people of Oz because they lacked brute strength and weapons. Many of these plot lines I don’t believe can be comprehended by young minds.
Now to dive into the movie itself. I want to give great praise to the animators, CG artists or anyone involved in the visual graphics. I loved the images of Oz and the various cities. The flowers were so vibrant and fun, the imagery just blew me away. I want to go live in Oz and visit the Emerald City and China Town, though maybe not the Dark Forest. I loved the yellow brick road and the castles and small details that made Oz, and its animated characters, truly come to life in the movie.
Though I loved the animation, set scenes and graphics to make Oz, Emerald City and the surrounding towns truly come to life, I was not impressed with make-up and wardrobe. The people of Oz seemed somewhat quirky, but nothing too unique that impressed me. Also, the wardrobes of the witches is where the costumes really could have shined, but like many other aspects of the movie, fell flat. Beads, sequins, feathers, and high slits, does not a memorable dress make. Not only did I wish they changed dresses more often, but I also wished they would have been more creative with the colors, styles, lines and fabrics of them. They went very literal in meaning with the pure white of Glenda the Good’s dress and the Black and Green of evil Evanora’s. Also, Theodora’s gowns are so plain and boring throughout her entire role in the film. I was especially disappointed in her transformation (I would get more specific, but I don’t want to give any spoilers away). Let’s just say I look worse than her on a bad hair day! You’ll know what I mean!
With the average costumes and make-up, the acting was along the same lines. Rachel Weisz did a decent job as Evanora, same with Michelle Williams as Glinda, though it doesn’t hurt when her face and features are so light and pure, and thus the perfect good witch. However, Mila Kunis is another story. I’m sorry, but her character just lacked all the emotions and passion it should have. She just seemed to be half-trying throughout the entire movie. But with such an important role, the movie couldn’t afford to have one of its witches half-act. I would have also preferred a different wizard. He played a crook and unethical magician pretty well, but ever since he landed in Oz, I don’t think he played up to the full potential of the wizard, especially as the main character. It was imperative that he excel is his role for it to be a successful movie in my eyes.
Other than that there weren’t many other mentionable aspects. Soundtrack was unmemorable, visuals were wonderful, characters lacked, storyline was enjoyable and meant for adults (at least teenagers) and overall was a decent film. With the Oscars just passing, I don’t think this will make the cut for anything important next year. However, who knows, since the Oscars never really make sense to me and represent what my choices would be! Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but will stick with the classic next time I need an “Oz” fix. Check this movie out for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments. Warning: Don’t take the young ones, this isn’t your average Disney movie. Thanks and enjoy!
Final Score: 6.3/10