Monday, March 11, 2013

Toto Review - Oz, Great And Powerful

So Dorothy and I went to see Oz, Great And Powerful this weekend.  We have a system, you know.  Dorothy smuggles me into the movie theater in her basket, and I sit in her lap, so I don’t take up a seat.  I behave myself like a good dog, or else I don’t get popcorn, and I LURVE me some popcorn, I do, I do.   

Oz, Great and Powerful, is billed as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, and it’s about how Oscar “Oz” Diggs, (played by James San Francisco) got to Oz and met up with three witches Evanora (Rachel Weitz) , and Theodora (Mila Kunis), who think he might be a wizard who fulfills a prophecy to kill the witch (by destroying her wand) who killed their father.

They trick James San Diego into thinking the wicked witch is Glinda (Michelle Williams), but it’s really Evanora, who also tricks Theodora by having her eat Snow White’s poisoned apple.  Theodora then turns into the green Wicked Witch right as James San Bernadino figures out that Glinda is not bad, but good, and along with a flying monkey and a china doll, and the help of Munchkins, Tinkers, and Farmers, rally to battle the witches and free Emerald City,

Are you confused yet?  I SURE AM.

Dorothy says I have to start with the positives, so okay.  I will.

I liked some of the CGI.  The tree made of butterflies, the detailing on the costumes, the score by Danny Elfman.  I liked how James Sacramento used his magic tricks and illusions to create an army that tricked the witches Yes, I liked all of that.

But PEOPLE!  Does Disney understand that L. Frank Baum wrote 13 books AFTER The Wizard Of Oz  that details a whole SLEW of adventures about Oz?  I’m in a bunch of them! The Road To Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Tik-Tok of Oz (I talk in that one), The Scarecrow of Oz, and The Lost Princess of Oz (I talk a LOT in that one) just to name ones that L. Frank Baum wrote (there’s other books that other people wrote that I’m also in)

All of those L. Frank Baum books are in the public domain and it would’ve cost NOTHING to adapt any of them into a great movie that would have been faithful to the Oz universe.

But instead, we get this mess of an overstuffed CGI baked potato movie just because some Disney executive thinks a fairy tale movie should have a male protagonist.  Like there aren’t enough women and Oz enthusiasts to guarantee a boffo box office.  Are we seriously still having a debate about whether there’s a significant female audience that can propel movies into hits?  IN THE AGE OF BRIDESMAIDS!?!?

Okay, Dorothy says I have to calm down.  Fine, fine, fine.

At the end of this film, James Luis Obispo tells the Wicked Witch that she can come back whenever she wants.  But if this is supposed to be a true prequel, why would the Wizard send me and Dorothy and the gang to kill her in The Wizard of Oz, huh?  HUH!? 

Who in the world are these Tinker people?  You already have four tribes of Oz, clearly spells out in the fourteen books – Munchkins, Quadlings, Gillikins and Winkies!  Why are you trying so hard to make up your own story and not even try to have it match up with the Oz mythology that’s already there?  Because your think your story can do better?  IT CAN’T!  IT DOESN’T!

It’s totally a film for the video game generation, for people who like 3D.  I hate 3D, the glasses don’t stay on my nose and the visuals make my head hurt.

But the movie made me sad.  It’s like watching a movie about your high school class and they conveniently forgot to mention that you were there, too.  But knowing there’s a whole world of Oz books out there just waiting for someone to make fantastic movies from them.  And instead we get this mess.  And I haven’t mentioned the scariest part of the movie – James Santa Barbara’s teeth.  THAT scared me way more than the Wicked Witch or the flying baboons.

A definite WOOF of a movie.  See at your own risk, and be sad. 

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