The Monocle – “Oz the Great and Powerful”

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Mitchell Kapner, David Lindsay-Abaire, L. Frank Baum
Released: March 8, 2013
Theatre watched at: Ultraluxe Anaheim Cinemas


If you just spent the last few seconds mumbling “There’s no place like the monocle, there’s no place like the monocle…” then today is your lucky day! The monocle review is here and this time we are critiquing Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful. Yes Sam Raimi, the same man who directed the Spiderman series, and thank the HEAVENS that breaking into song and dance actually make sense in the world of Oz, unlike oh I don’t know, a superhero action flick.

Enough of that though, lets get back on this yellow brick road path to our review. If you go into this film thinking its going to be a horrible remake of the Wizard of Oz, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. Oz the Great and Powerful, is the prequel to young Dorothy’s adventure and is focused on how the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (James Franco) came to be. The story structure of the film is a lot like its classic counterpart. In black and white and 4:3 format we are introduced to our main character, Oscar, along with his acquaintances in the Circus world of Kansas. Oscar, who goes by the name of Oz, is then whisked away via hot-air balloon into a giant tornado that takes him to a new colorful and magical land. As soon as he arrives he is greeted by a witch named Theodora, played by the hot Mila Kunis and sporting the tightest pants I have ever seen a witch wear (seriously where can I get a pair??). What follows is a very familiar fight between sisters, except these sisters have the power of magic: lying, cheating, scheming, fighting over boys, borrowing outfits without permission…ok maybe not that last one but you never know, it probably did happen at some point. Again, like the Wizard of Oz, many of the characters resemble those from Kansas. Oscar’s right hand man in Kansas, Frank (Zach Braff), is replicated as his monkey sidekick in Oz, Finely. A helpless girl in a wheel chair in Kansas is personified as a little girl completely of China in Oz.

This film definitely deserves it’s PG rating, if not I would even say PG-13. While there are definitely some jokes that are for the kids and others that are for the adults, I would be hesitant to bring a young nephew or son to this film only to have to give them “the talk” about why exactly the Wizard has so many “girls” and what that funny feeling is that he gets when he see’s Theodora rip her top off, and again, Mila Kunis’s pants. However, this is a great film to take your family to if your kids are in their tweens. Zach Braff can make anyone laugh as he plays Finley, the flying sidekick monkey in a bellhop suit. If you plan on ever watching this film, I would highly recommend for you to go now while its still in theaters in 3D. I honestly couldn’t imagine experiencing this film in any other way, I may not be a fan of 3D in general but this is definitely on of those films that simply cannot be experienced in any other way. The last critique has to do with that of the wicked witch. While Mila Kunis didn’t look half bad as the Wicked Witch of the West, I gotta say her storming around screaming and yelling just reminded me of an angry Meg from Family Guy. I think after her transformation a little sound design could’ve helped.

Overall I found Oz to be an entertaining movie. It may not be making any groundbreaking cinematic achievements but it is a film that is great to enjoy with friends.

Oz the Great and Powerful was also my first movie going experience with our lovely friends at the Ultraluxe Anaheim Cinemas. Let me tell you that my co-deer Edricdale Silla did not lie, this place is AMAZING. The seats are comfortable and allow you to lean back, which is important if you are a shorty like myself. The food is not your typical movie snacks as well, we were snacking on cake and ice cream before our movie started. Looking for a place to hang before the theater? They have an amazing lounge area with the perfect view to watch the fireworks at Disneyland. Also booze, they have beer you can order and drink at the special 21+ theaters. If 3D still isn’t cutting it for you and you want a closer experience with the film, they also have special box seating that include motion seats to go with the film! Personally, I think this would make me nauseous after eating all that cake and ice-cream but that’s more of a personal problem… If you’re in the area check out the Ultraluxe Anaheim Cinemas, a theater that raises the bar for watching movies.

Bow Tie Score - 3.5