MOVIE REVIEW: "Oz The Great and Powerful" appeals to all ages

Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures James Franco as the “flawed” but self-discovering Oz in Oz the Great and Powerful.

"Oz The Great and Powerful," a prequel to the classic "The Wizard of Oz," came out on top when it premiered March 8, bringing in a total of $79.1 million in box office sales opening weekend.

After more than one week of showing, the movie continues to hold a leading spot in box office sales.

The film follows circus magician and conman Oscar Diggs ("Oz" for short), played by James Franco, on his adventure through the land of Oz to defeat an evil witch and become king.

Major characters from "The Wizard of Oz" film, including wicked witches and Glinda the Good Witch, returned to the screen, as did familiar settings such as Emerald City, which is designed to look similar to the city seen in the original "Wizard of Oz" film.

The movie was a mix of dark action, light humor and a little romance as Oz was able to steal the hearts of those around him, despite his less-than-honest ways.

A big theme throughout the film is a "change of heart," one for the better and one for the worse, which leads Oz to his "biggest trick yet" and leaves the audience hanging on to their seats, psyched to see how it all turns out.

Besides the captivating plot, the film's visual art and graphic effects are dazzling.

The film was a true pop of color creation. While the computer-generated imagery seemed a little overdone at times, the artistic direction and vision of Oz was stunning.

Every flower petal seemed to be the brightest shade of red and every magic wand spark seemed to fly off the screen.

The detail put into each pillar in the Emerald City and every ghoul creeping through the dark forest left the audience in awe.

The two-hour film is family-friendly but not child-oriented, as it relayed the message of "good versus evil" through the story line. The PG-rated film was still packed with terrifying flying monkeys and imagery that appealed to adults.

"My seven-year-old loved it, and I was thoroughly entertained as well, which usually doesn't happen with children's movies," Southgate resident Sarah Griffith joked. "It was a great movie, definitely created for everyone."

The film was a success from the visuals to the shocking turn of events.

Creatures of the film answered many of the questions left behind by "The Wizard of Oz," such as who were the witches and why Oz was a behind-the-scenes man.

"Oz the Great and Powerful" was an overall exciting film that is worth its two-hour time. It could be recommended to most film fans, whether or not "Wizard of Oz" made their list of favorites.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


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