Title: Oz the Great and Powerful
Director: Sam Raimi
My Rating: 3.9/5
I watched this film on my thirteen-hour-long plane ride from New York to Beijing. The overall impression is that it's a great means of in-flight entertainment, however it wouldn't be as indulgent if I had first seen it in the movie theater.
What I mean is that the special effects are spectacular, truly displaying a beautiful fairytale land for the audience, achieving what older version of the Oz story couldn't. The scene where Oscar first "landed" in the wonderland is breathtaking; a whole new realm is created in the film, one that is dreamy, delicate, mysterious, and magical all at once. Also, the computer-generated characters are really well made too, especially the little china girl. Her fragile presence adds the element of empathy to the story, evoking a tenderness from the audience. One more thing that I liked is the ending, when Oscar made genius use of his magic tricks to defeat the wicked witch. "Setting the stars on fire" is truly the ultimate innovative, poetic, and romantic way of describing fireworks.
What I didn't like so much: the character-building of the wicked witch and the good witch. I'm not sure if it's the makeup application, or the costume, or something, these two characters just appear kind of tacky to me, like they belong to Barbie world or something, not in a movie where everything else looks pretty legit. That's about my only complaint, I guess, besides the fact that the plot is super duper predictable, but oh well, it's a well-known fairytale, so that's on the acceptable side.
Again, I enjoyed the movie, but I wouldn't watch it a second time, nor would I have been awed if I saw paid to see it in a movie theater.