Sunday, March 10, 2013

Not in Kansas Anymore

Before a scary tornado dropped Dorothy Gale onto a Wicked Witch, a similar thing happened to a fellow named Oscar Diggs. Oz the Great and Powerful follows the adventures of this small-time circus magician/con man who gets hurled away from Kansas to the colorful Land of Oz back in the late 1800s. At first, Oscar thinks he’s got it made in this new location because his magic tricks have made the inhabitants think of him as the Great Wizard they’ve been expecting. But he soon meets three witches who aren’t so sure about this. As Oscar learns more regarding Oz, he realizes he needs to find out who’s good and who’s evil -- and perhaps how to be a better man himself.

Based on a 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum, this film fantasy stars James Franco as Oscar and three very lovely actresses as the witches. Because Michelle Williams plays Glinda, we already know she’s a good witch. But what about Theodora and Evanora -- who are portrayed by Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, respectively? Which witch will turn out to be the horrible green creature who later frightened Dorothy so much? Trying to figure that out is one of this new film’s many pleasures. Also highly pleasing are the glorious, colorful visuals filling the big screen after an initial black and white opening sequence, which serves as a homage to 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. Fascinating 3D special effects also enhance the film’s fantasy quality.

Read the rest of my review at ReelTalk Movie Reviews.

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