Friday, March 15, 2013

I don't want to be a good man... I want to be a great one


I just got back from watching Oz: the Great and Powerful (aka much needed Franco time, aka much needed diversion, aka much needed reassurance of the legitimacy of 3D in film).

Time seriously whizzes by; I remember when there only existed a frail IMBD page of this movie, and now it's out! Next thing you know the movie adaptation of Child of God (seriously two of my favorite people smushed in one; Franco + McCarthy) will be out! Next thing you know I'll be 50! Lord.

Anyway, first off: THE SOUNDTRACK IS MARVELOUS! At times it resonates with the Star Wars theme, and even (strange: this could be just me) One Day More, but all in all it is extremely Elfman-ish (listen to the Charlotte's Web score and you'll understand) and he did a beautiful job incorporating circus-like/spooky/new-world elements into the score.

Music is fantastically used in this movie; Oz begins with his lame music box that 'his grandmother gave to him' and then we delve deeper into Oz, where the lilly pads resemble piano keys and the vines are wind chimes.

THE MAIN IDEA: Nothing is what it seems to be
Then entire world of Oz is proof enough of this theory - it is implied that Franco Oz winds up there after yelling at the heavens to give him a chance (which was a line, I must say, Franco could have put more effort into delivering). And it just so happens to be named after him, just so happens to offer the opportunities he did not have in 'real life' (fabulous parallels between Annie & Glenda, wooing May (!!!!!!!) and Theodora, not being able to help the little girl walk yet curing the China Girl...).

So nothing is what it seems to be! Glenda seems like the witch of death until she takes off her dreaded cloak (but to be honest, I always thought there was something sketchy about green-sequin-clad Rachel Weisz/Evanora). The China girl seems teeny weeny until she single-handedly delivers the magic wand to Glenda. Oz seems like all he desires is gold until he pulls his greatest act. And... what is the land of Oz? Just a figment of Oz's imagination to seize the girl of his dreams and become the great (or as Glenda later puts it, good) man he always wanted to be? Side note: the battle over greatness/goodness is a discussion for a later time; I think I touched on it enough in my East of Eden review.

Then again...

It is what it is if you believe it to be.

And this is the entire point of Oz sustaining his wizard status, and his purpose for remaining in Oz.

Overall, this movie was wonderful! Yes, this is a biased James Franco fan speaking. Still, the 3D was incredible at times (HONESTLY), the entire cinematic scope (the bubbles, the colors, the magical land of Oz) was beautiful, and the story was extremely well-rounded. It had all the necessary ups/downs/plot exploits.  Fantastic use of special effects (the opening credits especially)! Mila Kunis, may I add, was a fabulous screecher. 

There are many reasons to watch this movie - Franco  to admire the special effects used is definitely the top of the list!