Oz the Great and Powerful – Blu-Ray Review by Mr. DAPs
Oz The Great and Powerful is a prequel to the classic Wizard of Oz and delves into the origins of the Wizard of Oz himself. This movie has James Franco has Oz who is joined by Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Spencer, Joey King, and Zach Braff. The movie begins in Kansas and just like the original Wizard of Oz is in black and white. It also is boxed into a 1.33:1 screen presentation until the movie moves to Oz and expands to a colorful 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
Picture and Sound:
The overall visual and audio effects for Oz the Great and Powerful really are beautiful. The colors are vibrant (once there is color). I do have a complaint however. Some of the digital effects felt like they didn’t receive all the attention that they deserved. Main characters looked fantastic…some of the secondary…not so much. It seemed that there was a definite decision about level of importance. The sounds and sound effects utilize the surround sound in the home theater with clarity and detail that is immersive. It should be noted that when reviewing this blu-ray I had to change the audio settings from 2.0 audio, which appeared to be the default setting. The menu to do this was a little bit frustrating but that is a minor complaint.
The bonus features included the return of the Second Screen option. This is something I personally really enjoy as I like to be learning details about the movie I’m watching as watching. It saves me from googling IMDB during the movie. Here’s a look at the bonus features:
- The Magic of Oz the Great and Powerful – Second Screen offering. This syncs with the movie and offers details about the movie as it plays.
- Walt Disney and the Road to Oz – A look at the history of the connection between the Wizard of Oz and Walt Disney himself. Although not overly long, this has some interesting tidbits.
- My Journey in Oz, by James Franco – A behind the scenes look at Oz the Great and Powerful through the eyes of James Franco.
- China Girl and the Suspension of Disbelief – A look at what went into making the China Girl come to life. This included real life marionettes on set, the vocal talents of Joey King, and some digital wizardy.
- Before Your Very Eyes: From Kansas to Oz – A look at how Oz was created and developed.
- Metamorphosis – A look at how Sam Raimi and crew took a beautiful actress and turned her into a hideous witch.
- Mr. Elfman’s Musical Concoctions – A look at Danny Elfman and how he created the musical score for Oz the Great and Powerful (which coincidentally sounded at times like O Canada!).
- Bloopers – Exactly what it sounds like.
There were some high points and low points with the bonus features. They are worth checking out though.
Oz the Great and Powerful is a movie that I’m conflicted about. I really liked the story. I really liked the script. I really liked the various characters big and small (especially Zach Braff’s). I even really liked the concept. I didn’t like the acting. I didn’t like many of the camera moves. Also, I had a problem with, to quote Fozzy Bear, the “cheap 3D tricks” that were littered throughout the movie. All of that to say, it was a flawed movie that I liked and disliked at the same time. I think I’m leaning towards liking more than disliking it and would definitely see it again to analyze more. I’m not going to give it a full hat tip as I just am not blown away by it (sorry… was a Fozzy joke). Check it out if you haven’t seen it. If you have seen it and liked it, definitely get it because they did do a nice job with what they had.