Saturday, March 9, 2013

I have a feeling we are NOT in Kansas anymore! - Oz The Great and Powerful Movie Review! #ozthegreatandpowerful

On Wednesday, March 6th I got the chance to attend the New York City Screening of Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful. I'm glad mother nature held up and the NorEaster Snow Storm we were expecting didn't hit!

I have to start by warning you this is NOT your mama's Wizard of Oz!

What you won't see:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Dorothy
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Tinman
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Scarecrow
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Cowardly Lion
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Ruby Red Slippers

What you won't hear:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Characters spontaneously bursting into song, there's no 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' song or 'We're off to see the Wizard'.


When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.

My Take:

I do want to remind everyone that this is NOT a remake, it's a 'pre-quel', we learn how The Wizard gets to Oz, and get more back story on all the witches. I think it's important for folks to keep this in mind before going to see it. You need to evaluate this one it's own strengths and weaknesses and stop trying to compare it to a movie that they are NOT actually trying to re-make. They do pay homage, but are not trying to re-create the iconic classic we all know and love, that being said, here are MY perceived strengths and weaknesses:


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - BUTTERFLIES! - Thankfully someone at Disney seems to share my fascination with Butterflies. All of their movies have a butterfly sighting, this one had not just butterfly sightings throughout but an entire butterfly tree! In one scene you see a tree with unusual leaves and suddenly the leaves fly off the tree and you realize they are not leaves at all but a flock of beautiful butterflies!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 3D and CGI - The special effects are truly magical on the big screen. The 3D in some spots not only comes at you, but during some moments comes from behind you forward!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Disney Lessons - The power of good versus evil and the little man (no pun intended munchkins) conquering obstacles to succeed and triumph in the end.


James Franco as Oscar Diggs aka 'Oz' in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - James Franco - That perpetual smirk he always has on his face is super annoying, thankfully here Oscar aka 'Oz' for short is a bit of a snake oil salesman and con artist, so that annoying smirk of his is actually put to good use here. (I pray the movie Gods keep him busy and he never returns to General Hospital ever, ever, ever again, but I digress...) I hear Robert Downey Jr dropped out and Johnny Depp turned it down. I would have loved to see Johnny Depp take this on for sure! Johnny Depp might have made you root for Oz for a bit more than you end up doing with James Franco in the lead role.

Left: Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Right: Mila Kunis as Theodora in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - I'm definitely a fan but am sorry to report that Rachel Weisz just didn't cut it as Evanora, her performance fell short for me and my feelings on Mila's performance were a bit mixed, I think as naive Theodora she was strong, but when Theodora goes 'Wicked' (while I get the why), I don't think she pulls off the Wicked Theodora in the way the original actress Margaret Hamilton did.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Making this a more modern tale also makes it a bit darker and in my opinion not the movie you want to take a little one to see, this isn't your typical Disney fluffy, light, family-fare, it's dark, it's intense and it's long, making it a movie you want to take a tween or older to see.

Standout Characters:

Zach Braff as Finley in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Zach Braff as Frank the bumbling assistant back in Kansas and as Finley the sweet hearted flying monkey in Oz gives a strong performance!

Joey King as 'China Girl' in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Joey King as the girl in the wheelchair and the 'China Girl' in Oz also brings heart to the performance as both characters!

Joey King and Zach Braff are definite scene stealers. They both deliver a consistent performance that adds warmth to the movie.


This is my place to share thoughts inspired by the movie, that have nothing to do with my final or overall opinion of it!

Mila Kunis as Theodora in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - While other critics panned the costumes as making the time frame less believable, from a Fashionista's standpoint, Theodora (played by Mila Kunis) wears a super fab opening outfit, her cranberry colored peplum jacket, black leather pants, and red lip (you know how much I love a red lip that is my signature daily lip color (well I custom blend mine but it's red!) was kick butt cool, and definitely me from a long time ago, I need to revisit that me! While it seemed to bother other people, I wanted to know where she got that outfit, it was FIERCE!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - I have no qualms about admitting just how much I love my gaming/gambling trips, I love slots and spent much of the time in the movie thinking I was in a bonus screen for the Wizard of Oz slot machine. This movie is going to make a fun addition to the already popular slot machine, I wonder if WMS is already working on the new machine? (It's bad enough that it's hard to get on the original one, I just can't imagine how much harder it will be when the new one comes out!) I think I am LONG overdue for a vacation! Vegas Anyone?

On the whole I'd say 'Ticket', but don't bring the little ones. Take the older children to this one, it's darker, and it's running time is a bit longer than a very young child may feel comfortable sitting still.

Have you seen Oz The Great and Powerful yet butterflies? What did you think, ticket or skip it?

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FTC Disclosure: I attended a screening of Oz The Great and Powerful, this did not influence my opinion of the film, all opinions are 100% my own. This is NOT a sponsored post. No monetary compensation has been received to share our movie review.


  1. I agree Oz is a darker movie,and tho i'm not a fan of James Franco he was good n the part of the wizard.My favorite was the china doll.I could have done without milka kunis and her cackling but that jacket was FAB.!!

    1. @Big Happy Buddha - It's definitely darker, I'm glad you dug James as Oz, and I agree with you on China Doll completely, she was a scene stealer! Total LOL on the cackling! :-)

      That outfit was totally FAB! I'd totally rock that!

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  2. If you pay close attention, I do believe you WILL find the cowardly lion, pre-coward, is in the film ;) Also, a hint to the scarecrow's origins.

    1. Certain characters are alluded to, the villagers called 'The Tinkers' who mention they could build a scarecrow, and other references are made to many of the characters, except Dorothy, as I said, this is NOT your mama's Wizard of Oz! :)

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ