A prequel? To the all time classic, much loved Wizard of Oz, 74 years later? Surely this has got to be some purely dangerous territory! Done wrong and the dreams and memories built upon generations could be absolutely crushed; yet director Sam Raimi has taken the risk and instead creates a visually rhapsodic fantasy full of nostalgic bliss.

Oz The Great and Powerful is the story of how L. Frank Baum’s cherished wizard character came to be. Oscar Diggs (James Franco) a small-time circus magician and smooth talking con man is whirled away in a tornado from Kansas to the wonderful, vibrant Land of Oz.

Here he encounters Theodora (Mila Kunis) a temperamental witch who assumes him to be the ‘Wizard’ prophesised to fall from the sky, defeat a wicked witch and ascend to the throne. Theodora takes Oscar to the Emerald City to meet her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz), a powerful witch who reveals that he cannot become the rightful ruler of Oz until he’s accomplished his mission.

Tempted by the promise of wealth and power, Oscar agrees and he and his new flying-monkey companion Finley (voice of Zach Braff) prepare to face their fearsome enemy. They are joined by the fragile but fearless China Girl (voiced by Joey King) and kindly witch Glinda the Good (Michelle Williams), who help them prepare for the gruelling battle ahead. Together with the brave people of Oz, Oscar draws up a plan through the use of illusion to rid the land of evil once and for all, and become the great and powerful king who will rule from his throne in the Emerald City.

AAAimagesI’ll be honest, entering the cinema I did not have high hopes for the movie, it almost seemed doomed for failure and the initial Kansas sequence filled with overly dramatic and corny acting from the actors surprisingly including that of the leading man James Franco seemed to fit in with these expectations.

Nevertheless, as Oscar Diggs descended into Oz, the box screen expanded and the monochromatic tones were replaced with ever so bright ones; hope for the film was restored. The graphics of Oz were simply astounding, perhaps even more so than those of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Every last inch of the frame filled with stunning visual details in the most vibrant of hues truly encapsulating the enchantment of the beloved Land of Oz. As the film progressed, Franco’s acting did get better and I really began to believe him in the role of the Wizard. The witches’ performances were quite good, particularly those of Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Michelle Williams as Glinda who truly seemed to be having fun with their roles. However, Finley the adorable flying monkey voiced by Scrubs’ Zach Braff stole the show for me; responsible for not only some of the most humorous lines within the film, but also some of the most heart felt.

Despite being unable to use some of the most iconic elements of the 1939 Wizard of Oz due to legal reasons (including the ruby slippers, the shade of green of the wicked witch’s skin, the witch’s chin mole and the swirl of the yellow brick road); the film did a good job at incorporating intertextual references so reminiscent of the great classic.

Despite my initial assumptions, I was won over by the sensational graphics, enchantment; plot twists and the sense of nostalgia I was left with. It is the kind of movie that is easy to watch and by its end will have brought a smile to your face (several times!). The only thing I would have loved to see was some more musical numbers. Warning: Oz The Great and Powerful is not a musical. Nevertheless, it earns a solid 5.5 stars, an enchanting film fitting for any age group.


Did they really have it coming?

“Being a movie villain is not easy. Nobody respects your work, everyone loves your sworn enemy, and cheers if he straight up murders your ass”

 Cezary Jan Strusiewicz

An interesting article that I stumbled upon through my RSS feeds was an article on entitled  9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along. Villains, right? Surely they deserve everything they get! After all they are the bad guys. But as mind blowing as it seems,  when you take a step back and have an objective view, in many of these films its the villain who cops the raw end of the deal…

 Edward Rooney- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Mr. Rooney was the  incredibly mean  Dean of Students who spends the entire movie trying to catch Ferris skipping school while pretending to be sick. What’s his deal anyway? I mean why does he care if one student take the day off?

Think about it, really think about it…..

  • Hmmm, maybe for starters because its his job?
  • He is a teacher who takes his job seriously and actually gives a damn about his students, something teachers within the public system are always criticised for not doing enough!
  • (Whether or not he is an asshole besides the point) – he is paid to make sure kids aren’t behaving the way Ferris did

And you know what? He was right all along!

  • Ferris was skipping school
  • He lied, stole and cause millions in property damage when he destroyed Cameron’s dad’s car

And who loses in the end? Rooney of course! Not only is Ferris never exposed, but he also loses his wallet and is attacked by a Rottweiler. Oh the price of caring!

The Wicked Witch of The West- The Wizard of Oz

 Her name says it all doesn’t it? She’s not just any witch of the west, she is the “wicked” witch of the west! And she does enough to earn this title doesn’t she? She kidnaps Dorothy, threatens to drown her dog and attempts to set The Scarecrow on fire; just to get a Dorothy’s ruby slippers. That is some serious evil right there!

But think about it, really think about it…..

  • The Witch sisters are hanging around Oz, minding their own business when some random teenager  casually arrives and crushes the wicked witch of the east to death with a house, killing her instantly. And if that wasn’t enough this  the teenager then goes ahead corpse-loots the victim’s shoes
  • The Wicked Witch of the West was never after world domination or even Dorothy, all she wanted was the damn ruby slippers!

And you know what? She was right all along!

  • According to any inheritance law in the world, those slippers should go to the deceased’s remaining family, in this case the Wicked Witch of the West; making them rightfully hers all along!

All the Wicked Witch of the West ever wanted was her slippers back, she never tries to actually murder Dorothy; but of course this gets her no where and she too is murdered at the hands of the teenager!

Sauron- The Lord of the Rings

Sauron, surely he is your classic evil overlord! Look at him: he has a flaming eye-ball and a helmet of spikes; and don’t forget the armies of monsters he has. Not to mention all that uhh stuff he did?

Think about it, really think about it…..

  • What did he do? The entire 2000-hour trilogy never mentioning this! Sure he was building an army to advance on middle earth, but who were they and what were they fighting for?
  • Orcs thats who! And this was a world where Orcs were used as target practice among elvish communities, the minorities in each kingdom
  • Sauron could have just been trying to earn a slice of middle earth for him and his followers, petitioning for freedom for the minorities!

And you know what? He was right all along

  • Does everyone not deserve freedom?
  • Sure his methods were excessively violent, but that is the case in any revolution!

Of course Sauron being the ‘villain’ did not win the battle, the Orcs remaining unable to live freely among the elves of Middle Earth.

Mind blown? Well to check out more Villains who were right all along, check out the original post and  read more click here: 9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along |