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Wednesday, March 29 2017 @ 05:54 PM CDT

Movie Mania #14…Oz the Great and Powerful

Movie Mania

“Great wizard from Kansas, I’ve waited for you to come and set things right.” Hello and welcome back to “Movie Mania”, exclusive to the awesome Pop Culture Network. Today I am going to be taking a look at Oz the Great and Powerful. I saw this movie last week and I have to say that is was really good and far better than I thought it would be. Join me for a look at the new movie and find out if it is something you would like to see.

Read the rest of Movie Mania #14…Oz the Great and Powerful


Oz the Great and Powerful was released on March 8, 2013 by Walt Disney Pictures. The movie, directed by Sam Raimi, is based off of L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels and is set in the same continuity as the 1939 The Wizard of Oz film. The opening scenes of the film are set in Kansas in the year 1905, years before Dorothy’s story, and are completely black and white. The screen is also set in a smaller “aspect ratio”, thus utilizing a much smaller percentage of the overall screen. The black and white is replaced with color and the screen is fully utilized once Oscar “Oz” Diggs finds himself in the Land of Oz. This is an attempt to capture the beauty of the land as well as the magic of it, much like the 1939 Wizard of Oz film does when Dorothy first enters Oz. That was during a time in which color in motion pictures was still groundbreaking and the producers wanted to make a grand spectacle of the color usage in the movie. While this is obviously not the case with this movie, it is still very cool and greatly appreciated that they included this little nod to the 1939 film. Another really cool nod to the 1939 film is the fact that a lot of the characters introduced in Kansas, the film’s beginning, wind up coming back as other characters in Oz. This is just like the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion first being introduced in the Kansas scenes of the 1939 film and then returning in Oz. I absolutely love the fact that the Kansas scenes are in black and white and that they have a smaller aspect ratio as well as the fact that there are so many connections with the 1939 film, which I have always been a big fan of.

The film follows the story of Oscar Diggs and his unexpected landing in Oz. He winds up getting himself caught in a “twister” while fleeing from harm in his hot air balloon. The hot air balloon is seen in The Wizard of Oz and is the method that the wizard uses to leave Oz at the end of the film, so I am glad that they kept the continuity strong by having him enter in a hot air balloon. It seems as though “twisters” are the best way to get to Oz, as that is also how Dorothy gets there, yet another great nod to the 1939 film. Once he is there, he finds out that he has begun to fulfill a prophecy that a great wizard will come to Oz to kill the wicked witch and assume the throne. Upon his arrival, he meets the beautiful Theodora who falls in love with him and wants to become his queen. She and the rest of Oz believe him to be a great wizard but he is in fact a mere mortal, who uses nothing but tricks to support their beliefs. When Oscar is brought before Evanora, Theodora’s sister and protector of the throne, she is skeptical of his powers and challenges him to completely fulfill the prophecy, by killing the wicked witch, before he can claim the throne. Although fearful of this challenge, due to his inability to perform anything but fictitious trickery, Oz ultimately accepts Evanora’s challenge and sets off to kill the wicked witch.

Oscar has Finley, a flying monkey, with him and the two soon meet a child made of solid China glass. The child joins their team, as the wicked witch had her glass town destroyed, and as a group they set out down the yellow brick road to kill the witch. After several plot twists and stunning revelations, Oscar is truly put to the test and manages to effectively utilize his trickery to become Oz the Great and Powerful. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but I will tell you that some other familiar characters are the Munchkins and Glinda as well as some hints at: the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Dorothy’s mother. The flying monkeys who are minions of the wicked witch also return and they are better looking than ever before.

The plot of the movie is very good and it ties in perfectly with the 1939 film. At some points it is a little childish and light but at other points it is very dark and very serious. I love that they found a way to tie everything together so well and that the end of the movie sets up the exact Land of Oz that Dorothy discovers. Oscar even uses the smoke and fire trick to make himself seem invincible and all powerful, just like he is seen using in The Wizard of Oz. The character of Oscar “Oz” Diggs, or Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs to be precise, is true to the character seen in The Wizard of Oz and I am really happy with that. This movie is not perfect but it is so much better than I thought it was going to be. There are so many great scenes and the special effects are amazing. If you are a fan of The Wizard of Oz then you will love this movie and even if you aren’t, I still strongly recommend it. Go on, follow the yellow brick road to the theatre, you are off to see the wizard!

Cast of Characters

James Franco- Oscar Diggs, Oz the Great and Powerful

Mila Kunis- Theodora

Rachel Weisz- Evanora

Michelle Williams- Glinda

Zach Braff- Finley

Joey King- China Girl

Tim Holmes- Strongman

Bill Cobbs- Master Tinker

Tony Cox- Knuck

Abigail Spencer- May

 

That will do it for this “Movie Mania” article. Please feel free to e-mail me at Nick@PopCultureNetwork.com if you have any questions or comments. Also be sure to check out our free forums at www.jointheforums.com and our store at www.shoppcn.com. Thank you for reading!

I’ll catch you guys next time!

-Nick Federico

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