Monday, March 11, 2013

Movie Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

Where to begin?  I neither loved nor hated Oz the Great and Powerful.  It was fun and entertaining, and James Franco was definitely the best-looking wizard of Oz I've ever seen.  But for the most part, the movie was just cheesy, from some terrible CGI and 3-D gimmicks to over-the-top acting.

That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the movie, because I did.  There were plenty of funny moments that had us all laughing, as well as a couple of secondary characters that provided both humor and cuteness.  Oz's adorable flying monkey bellhop-turned-sidekick was probably my favorite character during the whole movie.

The coolest part of the movie was the Land of Oz.  This film's very bright and colorful depiction was reminiscent of the original movie, while adding some fun new elements and incorporating other parts of Oz that we didn't get to see in the original.

Now for the stuff that kept me from considering this a fantastic movie.  First, not all of the actors in this movie can... well, act.  Others can act, but the script made it hard for me to take them seriously.  Then there were the moments when it became super-obvious that characters had changed from actors to CGI as they were running through the landscape.  But I can forgive all that because none of it bothered me as much as the stupid 3-D gimmicks.  I really hate the 3-D craze in Hollywood right now.  It doesn't impress me; it just gives me headaches.  And the biggest reason I hate it is because of the gimmicks the filmmakers throw in, gimmicks that don't translate to the 2-D version.  Things popping out at you and the "roller coaster effect" that's supposed to make you feel like you're moving too - none of those work in 2-D, which is the version I always watch.  It's the version most people will watch when they buy the DVD.  So throwing in all those "special effects" that only work in 3-D just ruins a movie for me, because it looks cheap in 2-D.

So, Hollywood, make as many 3-D movies as you want, but please remember to consider the people who will only be watching the 2-D version.  It would have made Oz the Great and Powerful a much better movie, in my opinion, if you'd simply avoided the gimmicks.  B

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