Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Following The Yellow Brick Road. Preview To Oz The Great And Powerful

We have finally left the slow time of films and now we move into the spring season of films. Granted, it started with Jack the Giant Slayer last week, but it seemed that the film only had limited success. However,  this week is a much different story. This week is the latest from Disney, but it is not just that, it is a film that deals with the world over the rainbow. From director Sam Raimi comes the land of Oz, except instead of following Dorthy, audiences will be joining a more distinct character. We have seen the Dorthy story, we have even seen the tale of the witches, but someone who has always remained in the background the great and powerful Oz. This Friday marks the highly anticipated back story of the classic tale known as Oz The Great and Powerful. The movie has been garnering attention for months now with its heavy cast and the imaginative world that is Oz. So what can you expect going down the yellow brick road?  Well perhaps this little trip will help.

Back To Basics: Black and White
As soon as the trailer opened, what I found so fascinating was the opening. The film will open in black and white, and like the 1939 classic, it change formats to a more colorful film. The fact that Raimi and the other filmmakers decided to go with the black and white format is nothing but nostalgic. The black and white format not only plays to the established fans, but there is a chance to make the contrast between the two world refreshing. I will get into that later, but for the moment, know that if there is anything to take away from the film, it would be the fact that Kansas looks great in black and white.

The Prequel Card:
The term prequel can be a dangerous thing in the movie world. Nevertheless, Oz The Great and Powerful is still a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. So it is only natural to assume that there may references to the likes of Dorthy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Lion. In fact one of the TV spot proves that you will at least see the lion. The question remains, in what way will this movie play as a prequel. Will it in some way try to throw references from The Wizard of Oz, or does it goes in another direction? Personally, I would like to see Oz be its own film. Sure, I fully expect references (in fact I am counting on it). However, I think the film has a chance to stand on its own feet.

The Wizard:
For years, this character has always been the great and powerful Oz; but now we get see him in a different light. First off, Oz is of course younger and played by James Franco.  Just by seeing the trailer, you can tell that the Wizard is full  of delusions of grander  This trait come to no surprise, but perhaps it is not the way the character is written but more in the performance. I think the only way the character may work is if Franco can bring a sense of charisma to the character. It is only can this new rendition be refreshing.

The Witches:
In the Land of Oz, it is no surprise that you are going to have some witches. The new film features some familiar characters while giving others a refreshing take. We know that Glinda, played by Michelle Williams, is going to be the good witch. However, the two to look for are Theodora, played Mila Kunis, and Evanora, played by Rachel Weisz. Among the two witches is the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. The film has tried to  keep the identity of the Wicked Witch a secret, though it can be easily decipher thanks to the great and powerful internet (and looking at the poster really hard). So it is not a matter of who but a matter of how. This film could lead to some terrific development for the witches as we might have a chance to see what turn one witch wicked.

The 3D:
Now here is something I didn't expect to talk about, but there is a chance that Oz could find success through 3D. As I mentioned earlier  the film can still capture the technical aspect of The Wizard of Oz, just in a different way. A good concept to look at is from Tron:Legacy. The film would have the real world in 2D, while the The Grid was shot in 3D. This was indeed a terrific feature to film, and Oz The Great and Powerful could benefit from this as well. If you really want to play with the two film style format, I  can think of no better way to it. Yeah, I know it is blasphemy coming from me, but this is a film that could benefit from 3D. 

So what can we expect going into Oz The Great and Powerful? Well the film has potential as it could be an adventure of magic and a prequel that could explore iconic characters like never before. However, it is best to proceed with caution. There It is possible for whole film may not live to expectations. The thing that many moviegoers are going to have to understand is that is not going to rise to the status of The Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz is not only a classic, it revolutionized the film industry.  To believe that this prequel could ascend to such heights would only lead to disappointment. Then again, you never know.

Well I am looking forward to Oz The Great and Powerful. I am not sure where it will end up this year in the case for best films, but the movie could still be an exciting time in the land of Oz. 

Oz The Great And Powerful hits theaters Friday.