Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Smokes, Mirrors and Music Boxes

"I don't want to be a good man. I want to be a great one."
- Oz

So we got to watch Oz the Great and Powerful last week. Initially, I had my doubts about this film, up until I saw that Sam Raimi was directing it. It's interesting that he had retained similar camerawork since Evil Dead came out three decades ago - and Oz isn't an exception.

I may also have been a bit distracted because I saw Bruce Campbell's name in the opening credits - knowing his and Raimi's working history. I was silently hoping he'd play a bigger role instead of a cameo (and it's pretty hard to realize who he played unless you were consciously looking for him), but we'll take what we can get. It's nice to know that the two are still on good terms and it gives me hope that the Evil Dead remake will kick ass.

Sorry for the rambling.

Anyway, Oz acts as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, set twenty years prior. It sort of serves as the origin story for the titular wizard - from how he ended up in the Emerald City as well as how things were set up for Dorothy's adventure.

It's pretty cool that they started the movie in the same manner as The Wizard of Oz, where the real world is portrayed in black-and-white and the movie only switches to color once Oz is transported to Oz. For some reason, the Kansas part of the film felt like something one would see in an abandoned film reel in Bioshock's Rapture.

Obviously, the film is heavy in CGI, but in a good way. It didn't feel intrusive to the story's flow and I think it would have been a treat to watch in 3D. It would have been awesome if they constructed those insane set pieces like in the old days.

I'm not sure about the critics, but I'd definitely recommend giving Oz the Great and Powerful a go. Maybe I'm just (obviously) a Raimi fan, but whatever.

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