Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oz: The Great and Powerful, a fantastic movie for families

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Oz: The Great and Powerful is a fantastic movie for families

I love films that take popular movies and brings the audience to the front story, or the pre-quel, if you will. This is exactly what Oz: The Great and Powerful is all about. It has a great lineup of talent:

Mila Kunis (Theodora)
Mila Kunis
Michelle Williams (Glinda the Good Witch)
Michelle Williams
Glinda the Good Witch
Rachel Weisz (Evanora)
Rachel Weisz

Mila Kunis has the toughest role playing a good witch with a black heart who is drawn into evil by her sister, Evanora, played by Rachel Weisz. Michelle Williams plays Glinda, the Good Witch and James Franco plays the Wizard of Oz, a magician and con man who finds his place in the world.

It has a fascinating parallel to the original Wizard of Oz. Like Dorothy, Franco is wisked up in a hot air balloon during a tornado and thrown into Oz where he first meets with with Theodora and later Evanora and then Glinda.

The people of Oz are being terrorized but it's not clear who the real evil is. That's where the Wizard of Oz finds his place in goodness.

It has many "call-backs" from the original film, including when the Wizard gives his friends what they have always wanted, commonsense gestures that can make important impressions on life.

I love this film. It was perfect for my son, who is 12. The 3D version was phenomenal with all the flying monkeys -- whoa re far more frightening than the original movie. And there is a new crop of "little people" who play the singing Munchins.

Ignore the professional movie critics who waste a lot of our time on things that don't matter, and are heavily lobbied and often bought-off by the movie industry that gives them the screeners, free movie passes and more.

This is a great film.

-- Ray Hanania

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