I so wanted to see OZ The Great and Powerful in theaters when it was out, but it just didn’t happen. Thankfully, I received a review copy and got to watch it before it hit retail stores on DVD and Blu-Ray today! Sal (a huge OZ fan who knows just about every line from the original movie) and I watched it this past weekend for the first time. My son had already watched it twice since we got the DVD in the mail.
The Wizard of OZ is a hard act to follow. Over the years, I’ve seen a few made-for-TV type specials with characters returning to OZ, but nothing even comes remotely as close as the beauty and wonder of OZ The Great and Powerful. From the black and white scenes at the beginning to the first stunning view of the full-color world of OZ, in my opinion it’s every bit as awesome as the movie that launched us into a world of color films.
My favorite part of the entire movie was the moment that it went from black and white to color. I loved the effect. I don’t have a big-screen TV, so I’m not sure if it’s this way for everyone, but watching the black and white part was a little maddening at first. It appeared as a smaller box in the middle of my screen, and the black all around was distracting. But the moment it turned to color, that box expanded to embrace the vibrant first look at OZ. It really made me appreciate those first ten minutes and changed my frustration into awe at the brilliance of the move.
OZ: The Great and Flawed, Yet Charming
We know from the original Wizard of Oz movie that the Wizard isn’t exactly who everyone thinks he is. He’s just a man behind a curtain, peddling away on his contraption to control his projected head. What we never really knew, though, is how he managed to trick an entire land into believing that he was a wonderful wizard. Oz: The Great and Powerful tells his story, from his days as a smarmy carny magician to the moment he realizes he’s destined for something more.
The character of Oscar (aka the Wizard) is played by James Franco, best known (to me, anyway) as his role in the Spiderman trilogy as Harry Osborn. Oscar is one of the most flawed characters in the movie, and that’s saying a lot for a movie with not one, but two wicked witches. He’s selfish, egotistical and a con man. He’s a womanizer and a liar. Yet he’s oddly charming at the same time. No wonder poor Theodora falls for him! Sadly, that’s her downfall, and it’s nearly the downfall of OZ.
The lesson behind the story, though, is that everyone has the power to become great. Change is possible, and those weaknesses can be turned into strengths. Oz redeems himself in the end quite beautifully. In the land that bears his name, he finds his true self.
A gorgeous film needs gorgeous costumes!
The costumes in OZ The Great and Powerful were one of my favorite features. I’m always in awe of how designers choose just the right look for each character. Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the costumes of OZ from conception to design.
Did you see OZ the Great and Powerful yet? If so, who was your favorite character?