Title: Oz the Great and Powerful
Release date: 02/24/2013
Actors: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams
Disney’s fantastical adventure "Oz The Great and Powerful," directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.
Mommy Bear's Parent Review of Oz - The Great and Powerful
There are several scary and startling moments involving witches and flying monkeys that might frighten small children. A witches' duel involves a few punches. Several times blasts from magic wands send individuals soaring into hard objects.
A man and a woman dance and share a kiss. A woman mentions dancing with a man and enjoying feeling his body close to hers.
Two or three very mild profanities (“h-ll” and “d-mn”) but no other language.
In this prequel to The Wizard of Oz, a self-absorbed carnival con man is given a chance at redemption after a tornado lands him in the mystical land of Oz. There he's embraced as a hero prophesied to save the people from a wicked witch. Through his encounters with three women, a kindly flying monkey, and a spunky china doll, the titular charlatan learns selflessness and begins to grow into his role as a deliverer.
Pros and Cons
The production design (sets, wardrobe, visual effects) is an incredible blend of the familiar and the new. The characters are engaging, especially Glinda the Good, a talking china doll, and a dryly-funny monkey. Fans of the The Wizard of Oz will enjoy this version of how the wizard and witches came to be, and there’s plenty of clever foreshadowing here. While some may complain about the broadly-written characters, simple story, and over-reaching performances by some of the actors, these elements actually help the film to match up to the style of the 1939 original.
The arrogant will eventually be humbled. The pursuit of riches and glory lead to emptiness, but the pursuit of goodness leads to happiness. No matter who you are or what you've done, it's never too late to be a better person and do the right thing. Kindness and compassion help us to be our best selves.Written by Jonathan Decker