Behind the Bandwagon: Oz the Great and Powerful

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I waited quite a while to take a look at this Disney reimagining due to mixed reviews from everyone who saw it.  I’ve finally sat down and given it a chance, though, and I must say I am at a loss to describe my feelings.  There’s some definitely good, but there is some bad and ugly, too.  Let’s start with the positives!

Michelle Williams.  This woman has more than proven herself over the years, so much so that it is difficult to believe she used to star on Dawson’s Creek!  She has truly grown into her own in Hollywood, though.  From Marilyn Monroe to a disillusioned wife in Blue Valentine, it’s clear she has more than enough acting chops to be the next Meryl Streep.  She channels the 1930s starlett with ease, and is both charming to look at and to hear. 

Finley.  Oh my GOSH I’m obsessed with that freaking monkey.  He is adorable and heart warming and funny as hell!  He stole the show in my eyes.  Can we have a sequel all about him?  Seriously?  Please?!?!

China girl.  Did we ever catch her name?  I never did.  But then I was probably too busy watching Finley.  The little doll, though, was a CGI masterpiece in my opinion.  She was beautiful and fragile and voiced to perfection.  Who knew such a delicate little girl could pack so much punch?

Speaking of CGI, the art director needs a medal.  The whole film was beautiful and new.  I was enchanted.  Although I will complain that parts were clearly made specifically to showcase some 3D wonder.  I don’t need that in a movie.  I think 3D cheapens movies in a lot of ways.  I’m here for the story, people!  Not some flashing colors.  If I want that, I’ll go to Vegas.

On to the bad.  James Franco.  It HURTS me deeply to say that he has failed at something, but he just didn’t do it for me this time.  All I saw was James Franco as a lethario.  He did not melt away into a long-ago time like Michelle, and didn’t have the spark or passion of Mila or Rachel.  He was bland.  It wouldn’t have been so bad were he a bit character, but he was the freaking lead!  Lame.  Boo, hiss, get the cane out.

And then the ugly. Mila Kunis.  WHYYYY did she have to be the super evil witch?  I just can’t buy it.  She’s too sweet.  I loved Theodora the Good, I couldn’t stand the trite rendering of Theodora the Bad.  I mean, what the heck?  Also, what were the producers trying to say with both bad witches being brunettes?  I feel like we’re back in the early 1900s when the black guy was always evil.  Have we not evolved at all?  Come on, Disney!

All in all, I do not hate myself for having watched the movie.  It went a little overlong, so there was some time lost that I can never get back, but that’s a risk one takes with even really good movies.  I’m not putting this on my to buy list, though, that’s for sure.  Once was enough.

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