Posted on 3/12/13 01:30 PM
I wanted to like the new Oz and the title sequence was stunning, but then the wheels fell off the wagon. The film has so many hackneyed moments, so here's my appropriate commentary...
The film lacked brains. I've seen much better performances by all the actors involved. Aside from personal taste, there is no lack of talent. Rachael Weisz is the only appropriately-cast actor. I felt so bad for her that I actually wanted her evil witch to conquer Oz and make it a more interesting place! The story is also a rather dull and predictable cut and paste. Oz is supposed to be a place where anything can happen, not a place where you know exactly what's coming next.
Except for the China Girl, the movie lacked the heart of actual character development. I didn't really care what happened to anybody in the film except for the endearing porcelain girl. Don't get me started on the monkey!
This film lacks Raimi's courage to make his mark. There are a lot of goodies planted in the film for Baum fans, but it fails to cultivate any real darkness, sense of wonder or legitimate feeling of character growth that modern audiences can relate to. It's certainly better than Tim Burton's boring Alice in Wonderland, but not by much.
I appreciated the sly nods, to the MGM classic and a lot of the CG wizardry. It just doesn't work without enough practical effects to fill things out. This is not a terrible film. It's just not the wonderful place advertised on the brochure and I won't be back to visit any time soon.
Now I'm going to track down Walter Murch's "Return to Oz" and satisfy my Oz fix.