-REVIEWED BY INTERN JOHN SPATARO 3/8/13
Love it or hate it, the much controversial 3D or “Real D” revolution has brought some absolutely breath taking visuals to the big screen. And while some 3D films have been more successful than others, the one’s that DO get it right are practically must-see entertainment.
Disney, yet again, has provided us with a movie that is just too visually amazing to pass up.
Oz The Great And Powerful, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, is Disney’s take on the origin of the iconic “Wizard of Oz” from the classic L. Frank Baum story. The story is simple, yet satisfying, as it follows Oscar “Oz” Diggs (Franco), a struggling carnival magician who is swept up in a tornado while at a stop in, you guessed it, Kansas.
Oscar finally lands in, you also guessed it again, the vibrant Land of Oz where he meets the shy, but beautiful, witch Theodora (Kunis). Theodora tells Oscar that a prophecy has predicated that a grand wizard by the name of Oz would come to save the Land of Oz from the evil witch Glinda (Michelle Williams). Oscar is promised endless riches to defeat Glinda and save the Land of Oz, which he enthusiastically accepts.
There’s only one problem. Oscar is not a wizard.
Oscar sets out on a magical journey to defeat the evil witch and save Oz, with the help of a loveable, and hilarious, crew of sidekicks.
While the story is heartfelt and enjoyable, the real marvel of Oz lies in its visual effects. From the second the curtains opened, the viewers are transferred to a magical place through the help of a truly amazing opening credit sequence. With so many different attempts at 3D movies, Disney, like many times before, takes the cake.
Oz paints a visual masterpiece with jaw dropping landscapes and incredible depth throughout the scenes. Even the visually mundane dialogue scenes pop right off the screen and put you in the room with the characters. While there have been many films like Oz, none have been able to transfer you to a world this magical.
Even the wonderful performances by the too-likeable James Franco and Mila Kunis take second place to the absolutely unbelievable sights throughout the whimsical tour of the Land of Oz. The performances mixed with the fun for all ages script makes for a pleasant journey through what, at times, feels like a thrill ride at Disney World.
With all the recent 3D giants such as Avatar and Life Of Pi receiving high honors at the Academy Awards for cinematography and visual effects, I would be hard-pressed to think that Oz would not be getting the same nods had it been released a few months earlier.
Just as an added bonus, children and adults from 1-99 can enjoy relieving memories of the classic story by experiencing a world that is every bit as magical as the original. Oz The Great and Powerful is indeed both great and powerful and should not be missed in theaters for any reason.