"Oz the Great and Powerful" - March 10, 2013
I am happy to commence my page on movie reviews because the first movie is a great example of the "artist's" world. And by artist, I mean writer, painter, sculpture, or anyone that creates for a living.
The beginning of "Oz the Great and Powerful" takes place in real life, much like the original movie with Judy Garland. Then there's the tornado that takes Oz/Dorothy away from their lives to a magical world, where familiar people in their lives appear in a different form and take them on a magical journey.
Writing, for me, is much like that. I tend to use real people and places to make up the fantasy world I write about. Most of the time I use actors and actresses I would cast in the movie version of my book, and places I have been to as the environment. It's easy to get lost in the tornado of writing much like getting lost in the land where Oz finds himself.
As a reviewer, I don't want to give too much away. Frankly, everyone and their brother can give you the blow by blow of what happens in the movie. Also, I have been known to get really excited about a movie, only to have people question what the hell was I thinking...but I like a lot of weird movies (see below). I would hate to raise your expectations only for you to be disappointed. Not that this movie is disappointing. At all. In fact, I loved it. It brought me back to my childhood and the original movie. It's touching and beautiful in 3D (which I hate, and yes I did leave nauseous with a headache but still, loved it). James Franco, in all his eccentric glory, comes off a bit goofy but he pulls it off. Mila Kunis is stunning as is Rachel Weisz. But the surprise performance, especially for me because I am not her biggest fan, comes from Michelle Williams.
Okay, I have to admit, the entire time I'm watching her, all I can think of is Heath Ledger. I've seen Brokeback Mountain and Shutter Island, but I've never watched Dawson's Creek. Maybe I've been turned off by her because she reminds me of what Renee Zellweger would look like if Renee actually opened her eyes and didn't always look like she sucked on a lemon. Regardless, she ended up impressing me. Which is funny, she has played some of the most real women in other movies, yet it's the Good Witch that nails it.
I enjoyed getting away from reality for a while, much like I do when I write. I definitely wanted to know what happened after the credits rolled and how it all gets to Dorothy's story. Maybe we'll luck out with a sequel.
Other movies I endorse that may make you scratch your head:
Running Scared with Paul Walker and Chazz Palminteri
Go with Sarah Polley, Timothy Olyphant (as the good drug dealer), and Jay Mohr
Tron: Legacy with Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde