"Oz: The Great and Powerful" is the prequel to one of America's greatest classic movies: "The Wizard of Oz" and tells the tale of how the great wizard came to be. Turns out he started out as a carnival con man in Kansas, got swept up in a tornado and found himself in on the outskirts of the Emerald City.
James Franco plays the crafty wizard (Oscar, but people call me Oz) and his eccentricities make him an interesting choice for the title character. Was it the right one? I'm still not quite convinced. Once he lands in Oz he meets a trio of witches who fall along the spectrum of good evil.
Angel-faced Michelle Williams perfectly portrays Glinda the Good Witch and Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis play the more wicked of the three. Kunis was my favorite portrayal only because while seemingly good, her eyes always make it seem like she's up to no good.
Another good character is Finley the flying monkey played by Zach Braff. Just adorable enough not to be annoying unlike some of the other characters (China Doll and Knuck).
The movie starts out a bit slow and drags some at parts, but once it gets into color, it's very visually stunning and makes the audience feel part of the fantasy world. When Oz, Glinda and her kingdom decide how they are going to battle the evil witches and their monkey army, things start getting good.
The movie ended on a high note, but it left me feeling a bit nostalgic for Dorothy and her friends. It pulled in $80 million at the box office over the weekend. And the first attempt to see it on Friday, there was a line already for the showing after ours! Just goes to show everyone loves a classic.
Final words: Worth it to see, but not twice.