NOT COMICS :: An Impassioned Review of OZ: The Great and Powerful

March 14, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Reviews

ALL HAIL (a FILM without) DOROTHY

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,  and those opinions are valid, but let me be crystal clear here… in the case of OZ, the Great and Powerful, those great and powerful movie critics are (for the most part) wrong, wrong, wrong.  This is a film that delivers pure movie magic and provides some much needed myth-remaking for the next generation of film aficionados.

Now there is not a snowballs chance in the Impassable Desert that anyone over a certain age can watch the film without comparing it to the 1939 classic musical, The Wizard of Oz.  Instead of creating a pastiche or homage to that Technicolor treasure, director Sam Raimi and his writers take Victor Fleming’s vision of L. Frank Baum’s magical world and infuse it with a new vitality.  Apparently, there are many viewers out there who believe strongly that there are some things that should never be tampered with.

And here is where I disagree.  I grew up watching the WoO and loving it, but the older I got, the weirder the experience became.  The Munchkins made me extremely uncomfortable. The poppies/snow business was always more than a bit strange.  Dorothy was not a little girl no matter how hard MGM tried to corset the great Judy Garland down to size.  What gave Dorothy the right to the ruby slippers?  Did the Wicked witch of the East die intestate?  And Glinda—what was her deal—and the helium she used to float her bubble really affected her speaking voice.  A classic is a classic, but times change.  To younger eyes the MGM Oz looks old fashioned and really fake.  My daughter feigned any interest in the original and today, whenever I catch the film,  I see the tragic fate of Judy Garland unfold in front of our eyes.

I can’t help thinking that most critics did not give the new movie a fair shake for the following reasons… (more…)

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