Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

Went to see Oz the Great and Powerful in IMAX 3D at the Kanata Empire Theatres.  A very nice theater,  they've apparently redone the whole place and it is pretty nice.  Actually this week I went on Wednesday to see Django Unchained with my Brother in Law, and then again tonight (Sunday) to see the Oz movie with the kids.  Both times I was impressed by how polished and clean the theater was and how well comported the staff was.  Also by how few people were in there which is a shame.  I hope don't go out of business because it's worlds nicer experience than going to the mall cineplexes, especially the South Keys one which is dreadful.

Anyway Rami/Disney's Oz is a amazing looking film and the 3D was really good.  Less popping out and lots of depth, which in my experience seems to be what works the best.  The first part of the movie looks really nice in old style aspect ratio and in black and white 3D with little flourishes here and there.  It looks very nice.  When the movie expands out into colour and full screen however everything looks amazing and there are some really nice design touches in all the environments.  There's even a nod to the IMAX experience via a cinematic trip over a waterfall that makes your stomach rise up into your throat.  Very pretty.

The acting is ok, not amazing but it is fine.  The kids didn't mind at all, and James Franco has enough charm to pull off the lead role.  My only complaint is that it was a bit draggy, this movie could have afforded to drop some 10-15 minutes and quickened the pacing on some of the characterization and plot points.  The china doll and the flying monkey butler were decent companions, Glinda was good (hehe) and the other characters were passable but they could have dropped one or two secondary characters and focused more on the ones they had. Plot wise, well movies today do tend to telegraph waaay too much, and they could have done a bit less of it, but it was a kids movie so I can forgive.  There is a nice little reversal that plays well, but after that some of the character elements and exposition could have been tightened up considerably.  Also there was too much time spent pointing out munchkins and emerald cities and comparing sets with the original OZ movie, which was also probably inevitable I guess.  I did enjoy pointing out Bruce Campbell to my kids though and was glad to see his cameo.   He got hit in the face a bit which was fun although they are too young to have seen the Evil Dead movies for that to make much sense to them.

I recommend going to see this in the IMAX 3D just for the eyeball candy, otherwise I'd just wait for the video to come out and watch it at home where you can pause for a pee break.  My two enjoyed the movie and now want to load up the original Wizard of OZ so they can see the 'next part', which is a lot more than I expected from the movie going into it.

Oh and Django was good in case you were wondering.  I liked it fine, and it was a very good movie, but I found it wasn't as quite as interesting as Inglorious Basterds.  Like most Tarantino films, I'm probably not fit to analyse all that is going on in there but this was as well crafted as you might expect.  I found the whole thing very enjoyable and the acting was exceptional.   I thought that the tone wasn't as consistent as Inglorious Basterds and I didn't find it as nuanced or on as grand a scale.  It seemed like a smaller movie, but it was a western, so that might have been the intent.  It was certainly worth a watch.

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