The yellow brick road. The Emerald City. Flying monkeys. Poppy fields. Munchkins. And of course, witches. All our favorite parts of the marvelous land of Oz come to life again in the new movie Oz, The Great and Powerful. But can it live up to the classic books by L. Frank Baum and the beloved 1939 film?
Obviously, we had to investigate. So we bravely made our way through the crowds to see Oz on opening night — seriously, there were more excited movie-goers fighting for seats than warts on a witch’s chin. And were we rewarded for our efforts?
Read on, for our review of Oz, The Great and Powerful:
KAREN: I was pleasantly surprised! Before we watched the movie, I knew it didn’t get very good reviews, so I went in with low expectations.
KAREN: I thought it was going to try to be an awesome epic action adventure, and it would fail. But I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t trying to be that at all; instead, it wanted to be a funny fantastical family film! So once I realized that in the first few scenes, I was all like:
KAREN: And now that I think about it, I kind of got that feeling right from the beginning because I LOVED LOVED LURVED the opening sequence with all the old-fashioned paper art. It was so light-hearted and whimsical and I was like:
NANCY: I agree with most of what you said — but one thing really distracted me during the movie, and that, unfortunately, was the actor who played Oscar (the Wizard): James Franco. I found him to be so goofy and distracting! Every time he overacted, I would wince, like this:
NANCY: So since he was the main character and on the screen all the time, this is how I felt for most of the movie:
KAREN: I’m not a big James Franco fan either. Originally, Robert Downey Jr. was going to play Oscar, and I was super excited about that. When I heard he was replaced with James Franco, I was definitely like:
KAREN: I think James Franco is kind of fakey and slimy — but actually, that was perfect for this role! So when I realized he was just going to act like a kind of silly, slick salesman through the whole thing, I was like:
NANCY: Agree to disagree… But on a positive note: As usual, I’m a sucker for visuals — I thought the film was beautiful! The scenes showing the gorgeous and magic scenery of Oz were kind of long, but I didn’t mind so much because I was like:
KAREN: Disagree again! I really didn’t love all the computer-generated settings, like the gigantic flowers and the green crystals that some of the characters floated over. It looked too obviously computer-generated to me, compared to how realistic Pixar makes nature look in their movies.
NANCY: Okay, well, maybe we can agree on this: You know what character I especially liked? The flying monkey servant, Finley. He was adorable! And so funny.
KAREN: YES! I loved Finley too. And also the little China Girl who is Oscar’s other main companion in the movie. And guess what — she’s voiced by Joey King, who played Ramona in the movie Ramona and Beezus! I recognized her name in the opening credits, and I was all like:
NANCY: Overall, I’m definitely on the fence about this movie. On one hand, I liked almost everything in the movie… EXCEPT the main character! I feel so conflicted:
So… should you see this movie? Neither of us would say, “This is the best movie ever! Run out and see it right now!” If we said that, you’d definitely end up like this:
But if you’re a fan of the books and/or you just want to see the world of Oz on the big screen in stunning technicolor, then we say, “Go for it. But for heaven’s sake, keep your expectations low!” As long as you do that, you’ll probably be like:
We can’t take credit for making any of these images — all taken from the Interwebs!