Okay, I didn’t really mean to watch Oz since I was just finishing a lot of anime in my pull list (thank the gods that Oregairu, Hataraku, and Valvrave just finished). Anyway, I wanted to take a break and what better way to do it than to watch something that’s been sitting in my computer for weeks.
Oz the Great and Powerful is basically some sort of prequel to the Wizard of Oz. I don’t know if this is canon and it has been years since I’ve read or watch anything concerning the world of Oz. So basically, I’m watching this show half-blind (I will definetely miss a lot of homage scenes or some particular nods to the Wizard of Oz).
The main character is Oz, played by James Franco. Let me just say that ever since watching Pineapple Express, I always see James Franco with a stoned face. Seriously, when I was watching the movie I can’t help but feel that Oz was just high as fuck and the whole movie was his trippy imagination. But I like his depiction in the movie. He was this suave playboy who doesn’t take things seriously and has his ambitions as his topmost priority. It also seems to show some depth in his character–you see him as this jolly guy, but he has all the maturity hidden up in his sleeves. I can forgive the lack of seriousness for most parts, since this is made by Disney and is supposed to be family-friendly. So, no room for whining in that. Sigh.
The other characters…well, they are bland. Entertaining, but there was nothing noteworthy about them. Mila Kunis’ character, Theodora, didn’t get a badly needed character development. Her character was the tragic figure of the movie, her descent from being lovely and naive, to madness had no impact whatsoever. Which was a big letdown since all she wanted was the safety of the kingdom and the mere fact that she wanted to be loved and appreciated. There was no tragedy in her cause, it was all flat and empty. I lamented at the lost opportunity to have a character worth sympathizing for. The movie could have at least spent more time developing her character and making the audience actually care for her. That way, when she does eventually have her heart-broken, and transform to the Wicked Witch of the West, we get to actually have a reason to cheer for this poor victim of naivety.
The two other witches, on the other hand were stereotypical and lacks actual depth or interesting characterization. Rachel Weisz is seriously gorgeous in her role as this sultry wicked witch, but she’s the typical Disney villain. All evil, no motivation. The Good Witch, played by Michelle Williams, was just a damsel in distress bait. Seriously, she was supposed to be powerful and such but she ends up as another helpless lady in need of saving? What’s up with that, Disney. Also, I don’t like how Williams acted at all, which felt forced and robotic.
Surprisingly, the monkey didn’t annoy me that much, despite my absolute disdain for any talking animals. China Girl, on the other hand, was super adorable. Her character was spirited and wise-cracking, and she stole the show for me. The rest of the characters are hardly worth noticing, so never mind about that.
The plot was really mediocre. It’s typical and it’s a rehash of almost all Disney fairy tale stories. I usually say that simplicity can be a drawing point, but this one was not. It’s good for the family-viewing crowd, especially for kids, but for someone like me it got boring and dragging at some point.
The setting is beautiful, gorgeously rendered computer graphics. It’s scenery porn in most parts, but I also can’t help feel it being a little fake and cartoonish. I think it may have something to do with the style of the movie itself, so I’ll let it go. The production is great though, the costumes are nice, and the castles are nice, too.
Unfortunately, I’m too lazy to screencap the nice scenery so just trust me when I say that it has a nice setting overall.
Well that’s that for the review. I wasn’t really particular in watching this movie, and I felt really sleepy on some parts. Sometimes, Disney can churn out really good titles, case in point Pirates of the Carribean. I felt this one had a lot of potential, considering it has a solid cast. But it stuck to convention and never developed the interesting plot points it had.
*Recommendation: A mediocre film and not really worth watching. Good to watch with the kids, though.