Oz the Great and Powerful
So did anyone else notice that Oz the Great and Powerful basically has the same plot as Army of Darkness? No? Just me?
Think about it. A man is whisked away by a cyclone/swirling vortex and transported to another time and place. The locals immediately recognize the newcomer as their prophesied Savior. At first, the newcomer is only in it for the chicks and other benefits...but as he gets to know the locals, he decides to fight the evil that is threatening them. The newcomer rallies their defenses and trains the locals using his otherworldly technology. After a fierce fight, the newcomer defeats the evil and saves the day, ending with a kiss...that's BOTH films in a nutshell. Of course, that's an oversimplification of both films, but you see what I'm getting at...I couldn't stop paralleling them right there in the theater as I was watching.
Now for the $64,000 question - did I love the film? To quote every Romantic Comedy ever made, I loved the film, but I'm not IN love with the film. I'm IN LOVE with The Wizard of Oz and there can never be another. That being said, I did enjoy Oz the Great and Powerful, liked it and will probably buy the DVD. It might not be better than Return to Oz, but then again, it might be. Nostalgia fuzzes my mind and I have to remind myself that I'm not IN love with every film I loved as a kid. (Howard the Duck, I'm looking at you.)
I loved almost everything about the film though. I loved starting off the film in black and white like the original, but totally dispensing with the "it was all a dream" nonsense, which has always annoyed me. I liked Raimi's not-so-subtle nods to his past films - "You're all going to die!" and those rather rapey trees...and of course, Bruce himself. I liked the cast. Michelle Williams was underwhelming, but Mila Kunis was good enough to make up for it. Although she's no Natalie Portman, I would totally have a girlcrush on her...if not for her exasperatingly disgusting taste in men. In fact, there was only one thing that sent a colossal bug up my ass...the romance. Denouement driven by romance sends me over the edge into bugshit nuts territory. Unless it's The Princess Bride, I absolutely do NOT want to see a film ending with a...I'll stop before I get carried away and say too much.
I was shocked by the remarkable restraint in marketing tie-ins with the film. I actually only noticed two - World Market sent me a few emails referencing a contest and my absolute favorite make-up - Urban Decay - released Glinda and Theodora themed eye shadow sets. WANT!
Of course my kids loved it, although the five year old had a bit of a problem keeping her 3D glasses on for the whole film. She made it about halfway through. The 3D effects were pretty to look at - especially the paper-cut style opening credits, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks on the TV at home. I'm guessing it will hit cable by the end of the summer? Oh...and they already announced a sequel. Hmmmm...where can they go with this story?