I saw Oz the Great and Powerful last night, and found it quite fun. Now technically, for legal reasons, this movie is based on the books and has nothing to do with the Wizard of Oz movie, but I feel like it fits in quite well with the original Wizard of Oz movie, and the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory movies in terms of the general fantastic feel and imaginative set work, even if I have some quibbles with it. Considering the number of times Hollywood ends up trying to do these reinvisionings that end up horrible (Tin Man comes to mind…), I found Oz the Great and Powerful to be a pleasant surprise.
There’s a lot of movies that put so much into special effects and eye candy that they forget that things like characterization and storyline are still important in creating a memorable movie experience. Oz the Great and Powerful avoided this trap. I had always wondered how the Wizard of Oz had come to such an exalted place in Emerald City, when his power was illusion and trickery. How did all the munchkins come to speak of The Wizard of Oz with such reference? It actually feels like the Wizard of Oz makes more sense after seeing the backstory of the wizard brought to life. James Franco was pretty awesome as Oz, and conveyed a lot through facial expressions.
Okay, the rest of the review is a bit more spoilerific, so click here for the review with Spoilers….