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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Digital Copy) (2013)
Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Digital Copy) (2013) Feel the magic of Oz The Great and Powerful surround you as it soars off the screen and lands in your living room in spectacular Blu-ray 3-D - the absolute best you can get at home.

Disney's fantastical adventure, from the director Sam Raimi of the Spider-Man trilogy. Acting as a prequel to the...
Published 9 months ago by Andrew C. Miller

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance? Maybe
I'd like to start by saying this is the first film I've watched on DVD and been annoyed I didn't bother seeing it in 3D at the cinema.
Visually it is stunning and you can see how the 3D aspects were built into the story not just tacked on. Unlike other visual show pieces, like the god-awful Avatar, this does have some charm beyond its looks.
Story wise the film...
Published 11 months ago by Jakeisthecoolest


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Digital Copy) (2013), 30 Sep 2013
This review is from: Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) [Region A & B & C] (Blu-ray)
Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Digital Copy) (2013) Feel the magic of Oz The Great and Powerful surround you as it soars off the screen and lands in your living room in spectacular Blu-ray 3-D - the absolute best you can get at home.

Disney's fantastical adventure, from the director Sam Raimi of the Spider-Man trilogy. Acting as a prequel to the much-loved classic 'The Wizard of Oz' (1939), the film explores how Oscar Diggs [James Franco], a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics in Kansas, is suddenly hurled away to the vibrant Land of Oz and he thinks that he has hit the jackpot, especially seeing his new home as a world of opportunity and firmly believes his luck has changed for the better - until he is introduced to three witches, Theodora [Mila Kunis], Evanora [Rachel Weisz] and Glinda [Michelle Williams], who suggest that he is destined for greatness beyond his imagination. However, before Oscar can realise his true potential, he must journey through Oz and come face-to-face with the problems that haunt the fantastic land by putting his magical arts to good use through illusion, ingenuity - and even some wizardry. However, before Oscar can realise his true potential, he must journey through Oz and come face-to-face with the problems that haunt the fantastic land.

Actors: Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Bruce Campbell, Abigail Spencer, Joey King, Tony Cox, Bill Cobbs, Martin Klebba, Ted Raimi and Mia Serafino

Director: Sam Raimi

Language: English (DTS-HD High Res Audio), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1) and Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Subtitles: English, Italian and Russian

Dubbed: Italian, Russian and Ukrainian

Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English

Audio Description: English

Region: All Regions

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 [start of film 1.33:1 B/W]

Certificate: PG

Year: 2013

Number of discs: 1

Running Time: 130 Minutes

Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Andrew's Review - With The Wizard of Oz (both book and film) being one of the world's most recognizable properties, it's not surprising that many writers have tried many ways to exploit the popular and beloved story and characters. Gregory Maguire's Wicked (and the subsequent Broadway musical written by Winnie Holtzman who adapted the novel for her own happier purposes) offered back story on Oz's witches before Dorothy entered their lives, and now Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful does the same thing only this time with the focus on the Wizard himself. None of these re-imaginings can use outright copyrighted images and ideas from the MGM classic, but it's amazing how beautifully the creators of these subsequent properties have managed to capture somehow the tones and textures of L. Frank Baum's fantasy world while fashioning fresh creative dimensions around their own stories, and the 3-D version of this film ranks among the greatest in its use of the medium of 3-D that we've yet had.

It's Kansas in 1905 and Oscar Diggs nicknamed "Oz" [James Franco] works as a carnival magician but is somewhat resentful that he isn't enjoying greater professional success. As a serial womanizer, he's got his hooks into every attractive face at the third rate carnival, but when the circus strongman [Tim Holmes] comes after him for being involved with his wife, Oz hops in his hot air balloon to make a quick getaway. All of this happens just as a cyclone comes spinning into the area, and Oz is quickly swept up into it, whirled around, and deposited into a strange, wondrous land which just so happens is also named Oz. He meets attractive young witch Theodora [Mila Kunis] who falls for the same snake oil he feeds all of his Kansas cuties, but because she firmly believes he is indeed the wizard who had been foretold to land there, she imagines marrying Oz and ruling the land with him. Theodora's jealous sister, the evil Evanora [Rachel Weisz], sees through the imposter and sends him into the dark forest to retrieve the magic wand of the witch who resides there effectively killing her, but when he meets Glinda [Michelle Williams], her beauty and innocence win him over as he realises that the other witches are the evil ones who have their own plans for taking over Oz and ruling it harshly.

Director Sam Raimi keeps our discoveries in this new Oz continually fresh and fun. A new China Doll character (voiced by Joey King who plays a crippled child in the Kansas sequence) is a delightful addition to the Land of Oz, and Oscar gets his own personal flying monkey Finley (voiced by Zach Braff who plays his offstage assistant in Kansas) who becomes a welcome partner and traveling companion. Raimi protracts the Wicked Witch of the West's fiery entrance by a few beats too many (obviously trying to outdo her original entrance in the 1939 film), but the action set pieces once the battle begins all work wonderfully and aren't prolonged to the point of exhaustion.

The film opens window-boxed in 1.33:1 and black and white and spreads into 2.40:1 and colour once the balloon crash lands in Oz, all delivered in brilliant 1080p. The monochrome scenes, while not quite possessing the sepia tint as in the original 1939 film, are excellently sharp and detailed. The Oz scenes, of course, feature breathtakingly rich and super-saturated colour (sometimes fluorescent but not to the point of blooming) and pleasing sharpness throughout. Black levels are superb, and entering the Dark Forest is something of a relief from the almost oppressive colour of what has gone before. When the characters emerge, the colour seems vivid but a little less overwhelming while still remaining a great feast for the eyes.

Filming the feature in native 3-D yields one of the most impressive, awe-inspiring uses of the medium that the movies have yet experienced. From the opening credits which find myriad ways to place numerous objects in varied planes to please the eye, the 3-D invention simply doesn't stop. The vast expanses of both Kansas and Oz are increased with the additional depth that 3-D can provide, and lovers of forward projections will simply delight in the fascinating ways the director finds to shoot things from beyond the frame. From fire that flies outward beyond the window-boxing in the introduction to the Kansas carnival to birds, hats, snow (particularly impressive as Oscar lands in Oz), water droplets and water spit at the camera, broken mirror glass, and spears, the pop-outs are numerous but not to the point of overuse. And you'll be hard pressed not to flinch several times as various visages come thrusting out to greet and scare you.

Video: The fantasy aspects of 'Oz The Great and Powerful' make it a natural for 3-D experience. The 3-D elements do lend the picture a greater sense of depth, but they aren't very artfully employed. Rather than enhancing the visuals and complementing the story, the 3-D is reminiscent of what you'd find at theme parks, randomly inserted for shock value. Yet Raimi's horror movie roots surface during the film's main Oz portion, as the director favours sudden projectile jolts over a seamless, elegant 3-D environment, which lends his movie a choppy, coarse feel, almost like those pop-up children's books of yore. A shower of coins, flying fairies, soaring spears, and a thrusting green hand are just a few of the memorable 3-D images in the film.

The black-and-white opening sequences, presented in the smaller 1.33:1 aspect ratio, also possess a nice look, with solid grey scale variance helping the image achieve a good degree of depth. Though I wish sepia tones had been employed as a nod to the original 'Wizard of Oz,' and some grain had been added to accentuate the period feel and more clearly differentiate drab Kansas from sumptuous Oz, what Raimi has done works well enough. The gradual transition from black-and-white to colour, as well as the widening of the aspect ratio, is subtly and effectively done, though nothing can match the wow factor that sweeps over viewers when Dorothy opens the door to Oz in the classic original.

Audio: The disc defaults to a Dolby 2.0 Surround track', but the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix is a remarkable achievement with continual delights for the ear. When the balloon is thrust up inside the cyclone, the surrounding sound is as enveloping as anything ever presented in a surround track. The hideous screeches of the winged monkeys will tax even the most sophisticated sound systems, and the mixture of continual sound effects which pan through and around the soundstage frequently, music (engaging score by Danny Elfman), and beautifully recorded dialogue (bound to the centre channel) are melded in perfect harmony.

Finally, Oz the Great and Powerful is a brilliant entertaining fantasy adventure featuring some of the most well-known characters from literature and films in a newly inspired creation with some sparks of genuine imagination and whimsy. While the 3-D edition includes no 2-D version nor any of the bonus features which can be found on that release, those with 3-D capabilities are encouraged to find a way to view this exquisitely conceived 3-D production in that process. Despite a lot of reviews that have been very negative towards this 3-D release. I personally think they must of viewed a different 3-D Blu-ray disc, where as I think this is a totally brilliant winner and I am so glad I have now have this in my Blu-ray Collection. Enjoy.

Andrew C. Miller - Your No.1 Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We're off to see how the Wizard came to be, 2 July 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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A few decades back now, Disney tried a new Oz movie, in the shape of Return To Oz [DVD] [1985]. Now they've brought in Director Sam Raimi to have a go at a prequel.

The story of this movie takes place before the Wizard of Oz. It's all about the Wizard himself. And how he came to be there.

Therefore fans of the Frank L. Baum books will not find much they'd recognise from those in here, aside from the setting and certain characters, since this is an all new story that tries it's best to fit the style of the world Frank L. Baum created. If you're a literary purist then whether or not this succeeds at doing that will be a matter of individual opinion.

The Wizard is actually Oscar Diggs [James Franco]. When we meet him it's in America in 1905, and he's a small time carnival magician, with somewhat dubious ethics and dreams of making it big.

Like the original Wizard of Oz movie, this has all the scenes in our world filmed in black and white. It also adopts a few of the technical tricks and styles of much older cinema in these moments. Which is a very nice touch.

James Franco does manage to carry the film very well and makes for a decent lead right from the off.

Fate conspires to bring him to Oz. Which is where it goes into colour and more modern cinema styles. Making the acquaintance of two witches [Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz] and a flying monkey, he finds that everyone is expecting the arrival of a great wizard. And that Oz is a land with problems.

Setting out to deal with these, he picks up another travelling companion along the way. But who can he trust? And he can take this opportunity to be the great man he's always dreamed of becoming?

The story of this is obvious from the start. A few movies have done the story of a would be great man who gets into a situation where they can become one, boasts, lets people down, and then comes back and saves the day. But this doesn't follow all the story beats from that style, so that does give it points for originality.

The supporting cast are all pretty good. Some of the cgi creations work extremely well. And there are enough twists and turns in the plot and character development to keep it all moving along very nicely, all in time for a decent finale.

It's definitely worth it for the visuals, though. Which make Oz every bit the colourful and eye catching land that it should be. There's always something new coming along on screen to capture your attention.

Certain things and characters can't appear in this due to copyright reasons [the fact that a studio other than Disney holds the rights to the Wizard of Oz movie] but you might get into this enough to not miss them too much.

Any great fantasy should keep you spellbound all the way through and leave you appreciative by the end. When I saw this in a rather crowded cinema, most of the audience burst into - genuine - applause at the end. So this would certainly seem to do that job. There may be one or two moments that very young viewers might find scary, but not too many. This is a very good effort at creating a magical and fantastical cinema experience. Which makes it worth 4/5.

Older viewers who are familiar with the Director's work might wonder if a few of the actors whom he usually uses crop up in here. Just keep your eyes peeled and listen carefully....

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English, Russian, Ukranian.

Subtitles: English, Estonian, Greek, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, Ukranian.

The disc begins with quite a few trailers. These can be skipped by pressing the next button on the dvd remote control. You can see all of them in the sneak peeks section of the dvd main menu anyhow.

There are just two extras:

A four minute long reel of outtakes. The sound quality on some of these isn't great. But a few are quite funny.

Walt Disney and the Road to Oz. A nine minute long feature about Disney's original attempt to make an Oz movie back in the 1950's. This is absolutely fascinating hitherto generally unknown movie history. If you're into that, it's well worth a watch.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance? Maybe, 31 July 2013
I'd like to start by saying this is the first film I've watched on DVD and been annoyed I didn't bother seeing it in 3D at the cinema.
Visually it is stunning and you can see how the 3D aspects were built into the story not just tacked on. Unlike other visual show pieces, like the god-awful Avatar, this does have some charm beyond its looks.
Story wise the film is in a difficult place as it tries to find a place in the vast landscape of the Oz cannon, from Frank Baum's original novels to the 1939 film classic, from the recent Gregory McGuire books to the stage musical of said books. The problem is that we have too many per-conceived ideas of what should happen in the story, and while it does well to tie all the threads together satisfactorily, it means it fails to spread its own monkey wings and fly.
Still a great film but maybe not the classic it could of been.
Decent extras.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OZ has never looked so good in 3D!, 5 Sep 2013
By 
Mr. L. Moreland (Winnersh,Berks, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) [Region A & B & C] (Blu-ray)
Having missed this at the cinema I was looking forward to getting the 3D DVD. After weeks of waiting for the price to drop I finally made my purchase, and was glad I did!

The film, a prequel to 'The wizard of Oz', tells of the magician (played magnificently by James Franco) and his journey to Oz and how he came to be the wizard. It is a great tale and fun for everyone, although as a PG may be too scary for the little ones. The effects and top notch as is the acting and the 3D if terrific!

There are tons of special features and also comes with standard Bluray disc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great scenery, great film!, 3 Sep 2013
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Philip Ion - See all my reviews
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I really enjoyed this film. As a general rule, prequels can be quite tricky to make, with the outcome effectively already being known from the previous work, but this ties in quite well with it. The way the Wizard appears in a cloud of smoke towards the end is just how he appeared to Dorothy and her friends in the old film, while him presenting gifts to his friends at the end also provides an excellent cross-reference to the items he gave to Dorothy's companions.

If I have one criticism of The Wizard of Oz, it's that the scenery looks very artificial due to it having been filmed indoors with physical sets, given the limited technology of the time. However, thanks to modern advances and CGI, the landscape in this film is much more convincing whilst still looking like a fantasy world. (Return To Oz looked more realistic, but probably a bit too so in that it didn't look much like a make-believe land). The Emerald City in particular looks much more like a proper city than in the old film and the effects really are amazing!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent prequel, 31 Mar 2014
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Mr. Stephen Redman (York England) - See all my reviews
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An excellent prequel that sets up the Wizard of Oz. A genuine story in its own right, this plot is good and well acted. I cannot imagine why you wouldn't enjoy watching this, especially if you like the original. This isn't a musical though(!)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oz the pretty good actually, 24 Jun 2013
By 
PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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First mention must go to the soundtrack on this blu ray. If you have surround sound then select the 7.1 option and sit back as it fills your room and uses the entire sound field. This disc is destined to be one of those reference discs that people use to show off their system.
I was a little disappointed that it was presented in the letterbox format but this is a film worth getting in 3D if you have that capability and I watched it in 2D! All the way through the film my wife kept saying 'This would look great in 3D'. Needless to say its on my 3D wish list.
The story is by now well known to all potential viewers, the tale of how the Wizard of Oz came to be. Oz never looked so good and the designers have been true to the original in their portrayal of its unconventional inhabitants with one exception, the flying monkeys are way scarier than the original ones. Put that down to our loss of innocence perhaps.
James Franco sleazes well as the magical conman who comes good in the end and the ladies who play the three witches are all excellent. Michelle Williams as Glenda the Good Witch being so sweet that she demonstrates why so many men prefer a little touch of badness as amply displayed by Rachel Weisz.
Overall a very good film but quite a long one at 2hrs 16 minutes, set aside a whole evening for this one.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oz-some!, 10 April 2013
I unapologetically loved this film! I've never been a friend of Dorothy, however the sheer spectacle, joyous performances, and sense of fun that exude from Sam Raimi's latest offering must surely be appreciated by all but the most cynical viewer. James Franco's leering con artist is transformed into an honest man through his bizarre experiences in the magical Land of Oz, after being whisked there by a freak tornado. Mila Kunis has to be the sexiest witch ever committed to celluloid - for the first part of the film anyhow, and Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams are both perfectly cast as her fellow enchantresses. Add in Zach Braff's lachrymose flying monkey, a sentient china doll, and a host of nefarious Emerald City guardians, and you have a movie that warms the heart through and through, whilst also having plenty of tongue-in-cheek humour to lessen the inherent cheesiness of the script; great stuff!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 9 July 2013
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This review is from: Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) [Region A & B & C] (Blu-ray)
Fantastic in 3D totally love it and its such a well thought out film. Totally watch it again. Such a great family film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a return to form, 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) [Region A & B & C] (Blu-ray)
I`ve always been too old to appreciate the sweetness of 'The Wizard Of Oz',so I just watched this because there was nothing else on.And was pleasantly surprised.This is not only a film aimed at children,but also at imaginative older Sam Raimi types.The silliness and pantomime elements are restricted to a short musical scene and the cackling of the Wicked Witch,who seems out of place in this modern take on the story.The cast is well chosen,the scenery beautiful and the witty dialogue is occasionally a little too elaborate for many children to understand.
I`ve never been impressed with James Franco until this film-Not only is he the lead but he`s playing a character whose moral compass is often trying to point in several directions at the same time.Mila Kunis is also very impressive,even though her character could be less silly-It`s my one real gripe-I suppose it has to pay homage to the original-but she nearly makes it work.The monkey and china girl are the best but they do get the best lines.
The Wizard is a trickster and those expecting big fight scenes,or a film like the Judy Garland original are likely to be disappointed,but this film is about brains and not brawn,and an attempt to recreate the original would only appeal to the biggest fans.With all those preconceptions and expectations maybe this film was never going to be a runaway success,but this is Raimis best film since Evil Dead 2.And that was 30 years ago.
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Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) [Region A & B & C]
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