Oz The Great And Powerful: Review - Neither Great Nor Powerful?

Too bad - I was kind of looking forward to this film, but at least the Hollywood Reporter has not exactly given it a glowing review.

Will have to see what others say - and I am sure there will be decent box office (if not better) on opening weekend, simply to see what they have done with this film. However costing $200 million to make, this film would need to rake in a lot of coin to break even, let alone make a profit.

Rotten Tomatoes currently has it at a healthy 70%, but most of the reviews to date have been from lesser-known reviewers and there aren’t even all that many reviews in yet. I am a firm believer that reviewers can, and often do, get it wrong - so maybe it really isn’t all that horrible? Maybe it was just the Hollywood Reporter having a bad day?

Correct me if I am wrong, but another problem is trying to fiddle with a classic - regardless of the pre-quel concept, they are still treading on Wizard of Oz territory. I think it is safe to say that most people consider the film Wizard of Oz a cherished part of their childhood memories. To say there are high expectations would be an understatement. Perhaps this project was doomed from the start? Perhaps there is/was no way that someone can go in and create this kind of film without a huge backlash?

With “Wicked” being a huge (series) book and Broadway play I don’t see that people are as wedded to the Judy Garland “Oz” as the only interpretation allowed.

The trailers looked like crap - not a single line spoken didn’t make me groan. Why should the movie be any better?

Plus, James Franco has been miscast in every part he’s played.

That’s because casting James Franco is, in and of itself, miscasting him.

Apparently Jack the Giant Slayer is really bad too. They’re the two biggest fantasy films of the year not including Hobbit 2 and all the Superhero movies, and seem to each be 95% greenscreen. I am a huge proponent of CG and VFX normally, but these movies just look too artificial to connect with. We should be way better at this approach to filmmaking by now.

I’m just tired of “fantasy” automatically meaning “kid’s stuff.” Fairy tales and children’s stories are not fantasy.

Or rather, they are, but they’re not all of fantasy.

The SJ Merc gave Jack a very favorable review-- 3 of 4 stars.

The one thing about Oz that spelled stinker to me in the trailer was that CGI pixie with the pointy teeth. WTF is that supposed to be? But, I’m still hopeful…

That was James Franco?

'Cos he totally looked like Tony Stark…

you guys are talking about the same james franco that’s gotten an oscar nod for best actor, right? obviously he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s not without talent.

anyways, i’m really hopeful for this movie to turn out well. i like sam raimi, i like the main actors, and i love oz. i like the look of the movie from the trailers. i don’t agree that it’s doomed to failure because of people’s connections to the 1939 film, personally. i, like many people, have strong emotional ties to that movie, but i recognize that this is not meant to replace it, it’s simply an expansion of the story we know and love. it’s not a remake, it’s a different story altogether. if it fails, it won’t be because of that. (as Telemark pointed out, Wicked has been quite successful.)

I never read anything from the book series, but as I understand there is a whole lot of material to draw from.

Is there any word on whether this is just a completely newly written story based only on Oz info that people know from the 1939 film? Or if they actually went back to the source material for adaptation?

I think (though I’m not sure) that they’re mainly going on bookverse Oz, with a few nods to 1939 movieverse (the film beginning in black and white, a character in Kansas having a counterpart in Oz). I believe that Raimi and Company have said as much, and there is the glimpse of that living china doll in the trailer. (The book had Dorothy and friends coming across a country made entirely of porcelain china.)

Funny you should mention that, since Robert Downey Jr. was originally up for the role…

Those are all children’s movies. They’re not supposed to stand up to adult scrutiny.

And Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters - still a children’s movie?

I’m not planning to see the new Oz movie although I’ll add that I actually liked the 1985 Return to Oz film, which kept a lot of the utter weirdness of the Baum books. This new one looks like an action-filled hash.

… and that’s how crappy children’s movies are made.

I love Oz: the original Baum books, the '39 movie of course, and the Wicked books (haven’t seen the musical). I have really high hopes for the movie and I’ll be disappointed if it’s not very good. But I’m very glad that at least they didn’t try to re-tell the Dorothy story and went with a different Oz-based story.

Also, according to this week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story, they had to be careful to not make the movie or the depiction of Oz too close to the 1939 movie. Although the Baum books are in public domain, the Judy Garland movie is not, so they had to be careful to make things like the architecture of Oz and the color of the wicked witch different enough from the movie to satisfy the lawyers.

C.S. Lewis once said “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

why not, may i ask? why shouldn’t children’s movies be well made and of high quality? i find this attitude completely baffling. it’s rare you hear parents echo this sentiment about their kid’s education, nutrition, or safety. (“who cares, it’s just for kids!”) sorry, doesn’t compute.

I’m still giving it a shot, with appropriate expectations: My world will not be rocked, but I’ll get a few hours of entertainment that I’ll forget in a month.