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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 5 September 2013
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2014
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 September 2013
What can I say, I wish I saw this film in the cinema, in 3D. Watching all the bright colours and special effects, the Technicolor paradise if there ever was one, at home I was feeling I missed out big time.

"Oz the Great and Powerful" is a film that was greatly enjoyed by two mid-twenties girls and one 8-year old boy - a film for the family, definitely. It has loads of obviously funny sequences that will appeal to a younger audience, as well as more cleverly hidden, almost sarcastic gems that will be enjoyed by the adults. The director, Sam Raimi, did a good job. Not once throughout the film I would compare what I was seeing on screen to the loved works of Tim Burton (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (2 Disc Deluxe Edition) [DVD] [2005], anyone?! I guess it's the hat) or even Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD].

I was not sure about James Franco (generally), but he proved me wrong! He appeared to be very suitable for the role of Oz, a rogue magician turned a person with a good heart, I loved his humour. Unlike a lot of films today, "Oz the Great and Powerful" is funny enough to charm adults without damaging the earnestness of its emotions. A lot of special effects are admirable. My favourite one was the china doll.

And Michelle Williams is finally playing somebody who is not on the verge of tears. I think she even breaks into a smile a few times!

Treat your under 12s - they will love this film!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2013
This is a worthy prequel to the "Wizard of Oz." As of now there has yet to have been a film worthy to its sequel or prequel. The production starts out in black and white as the original film and switches to color. Aspects of Kansas are carried over into Oz so pay attention. The film has some early twists, which you may already know if you read any review, but it is nothing complicated.

James Franco stars in the title role. He reminded me of Edward Norton in "The Illusionist." Oz is a phoney and a bit of a womanizer. His magic consists of flash powder, glue, and determination.

The best was Mila Kunis. She owned Theodora. Clearly a People's Choice Award. Her performance alone was worth the price of admission. The movie meshes neatly into the film we all know and love. Rachel Weisz shined in her performance as well. The on screen chemistry between Franco and Michelle Williams could improve.

The flying baboons are far more fierce and scary than the flying monkeys in the original. Indeed, if your child has trouble with nightmares from horror films, you might think twice of taking them, but go yourself. Better than the "Snow White and the Huntsman."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2013
I can remember watching the original "Wizard of Oz" movie as a child and just being mesmerized by it. When I heard they were making a prequel? I must say I wasn't too sure what to expect, would it be any good or not? I'd heard quite a few good things about it from family and friends so figured I should give it a go! Once I learnt this story was explaining how it all began, it became all the more enjoyable. The original movie now makes perfect sense, all the characters. This isn't a remake, don't get the wrong idea. This is how it all started.

This movie looks absolutely gorgeous on Blu Ray as well, the colours and the animation at times in it, wow! There's so much to look at all the time, I'm more then convinced I miss something everytime I watch it. James Franco is absolutely perfect as Oz too. Personally one of his best performances to date and a fantastic performance from Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams, as the Wicked Witch of the East and the Good witch of the West! Disney have done a fine, fine job with a very classic story, don't miss out, give it a go!
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2013
There is a lot to be said for rebooting and re-imaging of classic films. When Oz, The Great and Powerful was announced, along with it's stellar cast of James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Wesiz and Zach Braff it was a case of who could not be interested !

The film doesn't disappoint, whether in 3D as I have brought, or standard 2D, from the opening homage to the original The Wizard of Oz with the sepia toned 4:3 opening, to the vivid and outlandish Oz, it is simply a visual treat. James Franco is thrust into the role of the Wizard, a reluctant hero.

This is a great family film, however the younger audience may find some scenes a bit scary, more the flying apes scenes than anything else.
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