December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

April 26, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful (3D - 2013)

When it's over, the land of Oz looks great and powerful. When circus magician Oscar "Oz" Diggs (James Franco) gets caught in a tornado, he finds himself swept to an enchanted land where plants and animals talk.  He soon finds that the land of the whimsical is threatened by an evil witch, only he can destroy, according to an ancient prophecy. I liked this prequel to the classic 1939 Wizard of Oz, which has long been one of my childhood favorites. Disney has done an honorable job in capturing Oz before Dorothy's arrival. With added characters, plus intros to characters that will be prominent in Wizard, the film connected the dots creatively. The supporting cast of witches (Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis) served to be good support, but it really was Franco headlining the show. He was believable, likable, and carried a sense of mischief that made the film fun and entertaining. My only complaint about the film was the lack of a great and powerful story, where Oscar really grows into the great and powerful king of Oz. I did not think Oscar's story arc was that compelling. He learns to be selfless and responsible, but I was hoping for something greater. Perhaps overcoming a fear (ei: people, the dark) and maybe showing him fail as a result of his faults, so he can rise again to earn his place as king of Oz. Underneath all the fantastic visuals, there wasn't a human story I could completely relate to. The 3D visuals make for an entertaining journey to Oz, but the story falls short of classic.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

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