There are movies and then there are events. Oz The Great and Powerful is a movie event that you do not want to miss! The hype is underdone, in my opinion. And I am no movie reviewer, but this tale of wizardry, witches and the journey to self discovery is probably one of the best movies I have ever seen.
As I sat in the El Capitan Theater last month, surrounded by the other very lucky attendees to the World Premier of Oz The Great and Powerful, I literally said as the ending credits rolled, ‘Can they start it again, please?’
It was exciting, captivating, colorful, fun and hysterical. I fell in love with all of the characters and am now obsessed with all things OZ.
Paying great care to the original classic, The Wizard of Oz, director Sam Raimi completed the impossible feat of telling the prequel without damaging the legacy. His creative eye and ability to let the actors flourish in their roles comes across in every scene.
Perfectly cast as the arrogant Wizard who goes on a journey to discover that being ordinary is unique if you use the strengths you have to help others, James Franco is devilishly handsome with a smile that can lead to mayhem or amusement. His portrayal of the Wizard is perfection and his interaction with the other characters is so fun to watch, you forget that these are characters and not real people.
The trusty sidekicks, Finley – the flying monkey played by the larger than life, Zach Braff – and China Girl – played by the incredibly charming and talented, Joey King, make the Wizard’s trip down the Yellow Brick Road entertaining, full of laughs and endearing all at the same time.
As we enter Oz, we meet Theodora- played by the beautiful and enchanting, Mila Kunis - and her evil sister, Evanora, – played by the statuesque and delicate, Rachel Weisz. They live in Oz that is a mere shell of it’s former glory, thanks to the Wicked Witch.
These women were meant to play these roles. The perfect balance of sometimes good and sometimes evil plays out in a dynamic relationship that will captivate Oz lovers everywhere. And when the Good Witch, Glinda – played by the captivating Michelle Williams – enters the scene, you can’t help but wish that all three were in every single scene. Their dynamics are just so amazing to watch.
You can not talk about Oz The Great and Powerful and not give proper homage to the intricate, film making sets and special effects. To my surprise, they build most of the sets from the ground up instead of having the actors play to a scale. And I personally think that it makes a huge difference in giving the film depth and a more realistic setting. And though the special effects are seriously amazing, they do not engulf the film causing it to lose the story in all of the computerized action.
This movie will be for the record books. I could literally talk about it all day, type about it all night and sell this thing up and down the block. But the truth is, it will sell itself.
I do feel like this is a family film and am seriously considering taking all of my girls. I originally though it for ages 8 and up but, really, it is a parental call. I think my 6 year old will genuinely enjoy it and my 5 year old my spook at certain scenes, but will be so entranced by the fun characters, that she might truly love it too. Now, my 3 year old is a challenge. She is IN LOVE with Finley the Monkey – literally carries him everywhere, even to school – and sees the previews and clips and wants to go see the movie so badly. I have explained that, yes, because of the 3D, some things that could be considered very scary to young children pop out of the screen and that there is a very, very bad witch. But she looks at me with those big brown eyes and says, “I won’t be scared!’. So, I am on the fence. 90% of the movie is perfectly acceptable for all audiences. It’s the possibility that kids won’t understand that it is all fantasy that gives it the PG rating,in my opinion. This might be one you go see first and then take your young kids to when you see it again if you see it fit for your child.
I’ll let you know what I decide!
Oz The Great and Powerful is a family classic with a modern flair. A movie that deserves the fanfare. A film that you will want to see time and time again just to see if you can get every little detail that is planted inside the story. Like the Ruby Red Slippers. Tell me if you see them because I missed them totally the first time!
Opening Friday, March 8 in Disney 3D everywhere, grab your kids, grab your friends, grab your honey for date night and get to this movie! And then come back and tell me what you think! If you don’t love it and want to see it again immediately, like I did, I will be truly surprised!
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**I will receive an all expense paid trip in exchange for honest reviews and discussions regarding these events. No monetary compensation will be received. Please see my Disclosure Statement for more information.**