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Oz: The Great and Powerful Blu-Ray Review

I typically jump at the chance to see a Sam Rami movie. Director of Evil Dead and the Spider-Man trilogy, Rami, has been one of my favorite directors. I got excited when I heard that he was going to direct the Wizard of Oz prequel. Then I saw the trailer filled with special effects, and very stiff acting. I instantly could tell that something was off.

The Story
Oz the Great and Powerful follows Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician who is down on his luck. Fleeing an angry boyfriend of his last “helper”, Diggs gets hurled away to the Land of Oz by a tornado. Apparently that is the only way to get there.

When he arrives he meets up the three witches (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams), all proclaiming that one of them is the evil wicked witch. None of them are sure if he is really the great wizard that was foretold. Oz sets out to prove that he is the great wizard, as he attempts to stay clear of the “real” wicked witch.

Special Features
The Blu-ray comes loaded with bonus material that really takes you into how they made the film. Features include a blooper reel that is more entertaining than the actual film. Franco’s Journey which is produced and directed by the actor, features behind the scenes interviews and footage by Franco. The Magic of China Girl shows how they brought the CGI doll to life, while we also get how they turned Mia Kunis into the Wicked Witch.

Overall

Seeing the film in the theater, my gut instinct was right. Oz the Great and Powerful looks wonderful, but lacks any kind of magic that is needed to make the film work.

I really tried to give this film a chance. With practical effects a thing of the past, I forgave the all CGI look and feel. However, you need a strong story to take it beyond. With all the talent in this film you would think it would work, but with the exception of Michelle Williams as Glinda, everybody was miscast.

Franco as the wizard was just awkward, and lacked any sense of real emotion. Sadly, I think he really should stick to stoner roles. Mila Kunis however was not the right choice for the Wicked Witch. Her transformation from innocent Theodora to witch was at times comical.

I really wanted to like this movie, but in the end I had a hard time coming up with anything I really liked. With the exception of the magical special effects, this film just failed to deliver.

You can grab Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) from Amazon.com

Enjoy some behind the scenes clips!


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