Last night the wife and the Pales settled in the flat for a relaxing flick night in the humid weather that's claimed the city. So thanks to the Ottawa Public Library and my wife's luck, we watched OZ the Great and Powerful.
It's been a while since Sam Remi has been behind the camera. He's always been pushing his visual style. Evil Dead 1&2, Army of Darkness and the Spiderman Trilogy with Toby as Peter and MJ as the main squeeze.
First off the visual style of the flick is brilliant putting up kudos to the Wizard of Oz left, right and center. The homage to the black and white intro before going into colour was a nice touch even if I personally felt it disturbing, knowing it was going to change.
The origin of the land of Oz's plight, the wicked witches and such was ok and not well paced. It felt rushed sometimes, contrived in other places or down right tedious the rest of the time. Sam Remi is known for his pacing shifts to keep the audience's attention and it works well in horror stories but this flick suffered from the same directing and plot issues of Spiderman 3.
James Franco is Oz and the character is not interesting and it seems that Franco wants to push the limits but he's being held back. I've seen him be good at the whole acting gig in a few other flicks, more so when let loose to do his thing. He seems like he's wooden and busting at the seems simultaneously. His rogue is deplorable yet not so far that we hate the guy and accept the shift in character. It seemed that wanted Oz to be a Hank Moodie style character by the rating of the Disney film cut the character off at the knees.
I feel that Franco could have saved his role by being let loose with the bad guy turned good idea or by being a selfish dick on the outside with a heart of gold. It would have taken the wood out of his delivery and added some penash the wizard was lacking.
Mila Kunis seems to be the only one not phoning it in or being held back by the script and direction. She's a wonder in the film and probably the strongest facet to the whole. Williams and Weisz phoned this one in and decided to play it safe with their rolls. They didn't have much to play with mind you so I can't really blame them.
Braff as the monkey and the china doll has some of the funniest moments and saved the film from being ejected from the player and finding another flick.
This movie has a lot of potential by Rami and the limited story were not realized. A kid would like this film adult be warned you will get bored.
Oz the Great and Powerful earned a 2. It failed to pass and was underwhelming at the most.