The family and I just finished watch Oz the Great and Powerful. It was fine entertainment for the whole family. Yet online movie critics can't find enough to bash about this movie. So going into it, I didn't expect to see a classic, but I kept an open mind. Glenda is not played by the same bubbly-voiced actress, and in fact one of her lines states simply, "I don't need 'em." That's your best comeback, Glenda the Good Witch of the North? She did have some powerful lines to deliver, but the acting was standard Hollywood of today's caliber, which is far from that of yesteryear. It's as if no modern actor or actress wants to be better than any other, or to stand out from the mob for fear of being the tallest poppy destined to be chopped down by the mindless, greedy mass media.
But if I keep focusing on these kinds of details, the bashing will never end.
The haunted forest scene was duly spooky and perhaps not long enough. The plot had some interesting twists and turns that were lacking in the more straightforward 1939 classic. The ending was very reminiscent ofIn fact, the similarity between the two endings is obvious, but it pleased me nonetheless.
James Franco, who played the wizard, was almost unanimously criticized for his eternally shit-eating grin in the movie. However, that's the kind of person he portrays in the film, and so I found his grinning to be appropriate, although sometimes a bit toothy and scary looking.
The plot consisted of a standard heroic adventure, although Franco played a bit of an anti-hero at first. The hero is introduced to the plot conflict, and then he falls on his face - only to rise up, defeat the forces of evil, and save the day. That's not a spoiler, that's common fodder for these kinds of movies. And it still works, even in the cynical era we now live in. If you don't think it's a cynical era, simply read the reviews.
Oh, and if you plan on going to see this movie, watch the 3D version. The standard version is blurry wherever there is motion on the screen.