Letís get this out of the way first: Itís a Sam Raimi Movie. You either ďget himĒ or you donít. Now that thatís out of the way, letís move on.
It copies the format of the original (sequel?) in that it follows the originalís cinema graphic tricks to set the tone and endear itself to the fans of the original. In doing so, it establishes the character of the wizard as a rapscallion, a character that suits James Franco quite well. He plays a carney magician who seems to live his raggedy life narrowly escaping one predicament before falling into another.
Then, he winds up in Oz in a fairly familiar fashion and the tone is set. His appearance there seems to fulfill a prediction made years earlier and meets some new, and some familiar characters. There are a few plot twists, some great cinematography, lots of colors, and all of the familiar characters (and some new ones) make their appearance.
All three witches are called into play and work well, except I donít think Mila Kunis (who I love) was quite right for this part. The origin wicked witch of the west is fairly well explained and actually casts her in a sympathetic light.
The ending was superb. As is to expected, the scalawag turns out to be a good guy after all and his means of defeating evil is really quite ingenious and does lend itself well into the story (sequel) we are all familiar with.
And, yes, Bruce Campbell does make a cameo. After all, it is a Sam Raimi movie.
We enjoyed it. To try to analyze it as one would a documentary is like trying to justify cotton candy in nutritional terms. Just go, suspend disbelief, and enjoy the ride. We did do the 3D ďminiĒ IMAX and it was OK, but there really was only a very few times the 3D made any difference. IOW, it doesnít really add that much. The big screen does, though. WE love those ďminiĒ IMAX screens.
Weíll buy the Blu-Ray.
"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad" - Anonymous
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I was going to write a couple of paragraphs, but you pretty much hit my points. I don't think Disney did any damage to the story, but considering how much money they spent on it, I might have expected more. I agree about Kunis, who I also like, but I don't think she really was right for the role and didn't bring anything special.
The waterfall in 3D made me okay with the price of admission. I love that every so often I forget that I'm in stadium seating wearing glasses on my glasses. Audio wise I never get to hear stuff that low and loud so I thought it was a blast. The balloon down the waterfall sequence really reminded me of going on a roller coaster this past summer.
Harry New Year !!! "Never wrestle with a turd. Win or lose, you still end up with sh!t all over you." -Swerd
"any speaker system in your budget will be an excruciating experience" ~ TLS