Ratings for reviews will appear above the fold, while the review itself will appear below the fold to avoid spoilers for anyone that wants to go into it with a blank slate.
Jean-Paul’s rating: 3/5 stars
A movie based solely on nostalgia. And opportunism. Don’t forget opportunism.
If I hadn’t seen James Franco in other things, I would come to the conclusion that he is a horrible actor. Or maybe he is just a great over-actor? It’s kind of a blurry line. He plays the titular Oz, a con man and two bit magician. So over-acting is certainly called for. He just doesn’t pull off being a confidence man, though. There was really no evolution of character with him. “I’m a con man!” “No you’re not.” “No I’m not!” Mila Kunis wasn’t much better. I blame the character that she had to work with more than actor, though. A shy, naive, lovelorn waif with a really nasty temper? Talk about bipolar. Michelle Williams was also wooden throughout most of the movie. Rachel Weisz and Zack Braff did a decent job, though (although the monkey was a little creepy looking). Given the cast, I’m assume there was a liberal amount of drugs used throughout production.
Despite all the bad acting, the nostalgia really got to me. It’s very interesting to see the evolution of Oz from sideshow attraction to The Great And Powerful. The parallels to Dorothy’s adventures were fun to point out. They also did a really good job of making the land of Oz look remarkable when transitioning from black and white to color.
A bit of kudos go to director Sam Rami for producing a movie where the main characters contain more women than men. You don’t see that very often. Even if they were all witches.
This is a fun nostalgia movie with very little at its core, but I think it’s still worth seeing. It’s also a great movie to take your kids to. The theater I saw the movie in had a decent helping of children and they all seemed quite engaged throughout.