Cinematic Releases: OZ The Great and Powerful

kunis-franco-williams-weisz-To say that OZ: The Great and Powerful is an achievement in modern cinema would be a vast understatement. The brilliant Sam Raimi returns and delivers a stunning film that most directors could never even dream of making. It is a visual spectacle that captures the spirit of the original Wizard of Oz and expands on it with a heartfelt story that movie fans of any age could enjoy. Raimi spins a masterful web of effects, character, and classic storytelling in to one of the best fantasy films I've ever seen.

I wasn't sure about anyone turning one of the classics in to a franchise type prequel. It seemed blasphemous. To my surprise, I was thoroughly entertained and completely misguided in my initial feelings towards this movie. OZ: The Great and Powerful is exactly what a great prequel should be.

As with any film, there are minor flaws. With this latest OZ feature, they are very minute. When the story seems to veer off in to melodramatic territory, you are slapped in the face with the realization that this is an OZ movie. It's supposed to be this way. After all, we are in a land of witches, munchkins, and talking monkeys. The only other complaint I had was the lack of musical numbers. I know that sounds weird. But, The Wizard of Oz is lined with routine after routine, which might make watching them back to back a little strange.

The film is a pitch perfect modernization of a classic tale that mixes elements of The Wizard of Oz and Wicked all in to one seamless prequel that builds a solid foundation for what's to come. The film matches the tone of the original with a story about one man's journey to find himself in the mysterious land of OZ. Much like Dorothy, the main character Oscar is puzzled by this miraculous land of magic and emerald palaces, but finds himself in an epic battle between good and evil.

If you see this movie and don't like it, you don't have a heart. Actually, you're probably cowardly and don't have a brain either. See it.