'ello there you filthy, rotten.. nvm. That was another group. Sorry! xD
Alright, so... a prequel to The Wizard of Oz! Wow, this is something alot of fans have probably desired or asked for. Now, I haven't seen the original Wizard of Oz in a VERY long time ( probably over 5 years ), so keep this in mind while reading my review!
( MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't watched the movie, DON'T read this review!)
Oz - The storyline and plot: 7/10
Overall, the plot on this was actually good! It started out a bit strange, but you weren't sure where it was heading, which is a good thing. No one wants some dingy bird movie where you can predict everything. It had some very nice scenes throughout the movie, but I feel that it was a bit too bright and needed some darker moments.
Storyline and plot subsection: China Girl
Also, I can't help but notice that the first couple of scenes with the witch and Oz went along very fast. It seemed very... rushed. I understand he can charm ladies fast, but would she really fall for this guy that she met mere hours ago? It just doesn't seem real, especially with the very slow pace that the movie started out with ( Even for a fantasy, it just doesn't seem believable enough. ). Also, later in the movie the witch is like "I trusted him... once." as if it were a history they had established a while back, or something that at least lasted a while. But it wasn't but, like... what, two days ago? That just doesn't make sense.
Now, with that in consideration, notice another thing. The scene with Oz and the monkey finding the China girl seemed to be out of place. Yes, she served a major role in the movie, but she still seemed out of place. Perhaps they added the China Girl in later in the scripting, as a way to show Oz's inspiration to actually stay and help them.
"No", you might say, "the China girl also saved the good witch", well, get this. The witch can't be killed unless her wand is broken, correct? Well, the evil witches were blasting her with powers. But that couldn't kill her unless they had the wand! Wouldn't it seem to fit more if she had kept the wand with her, and as the evil witches were about to destroy it and KILL her,, Oz appears? Wouldn't that seem more logical, rather than Oz appearing just in time to stop the witches from blasting her with lightning and fire?
In conclusion to this subsection, I believe that the writers added IN the China Girl later in the scripting, forcing them to shorten the scene with Oz and the red witch. It just seems to obvious if you ask me.
Now, the special affects with this movie were awesome. Great animation! This animation needs to be put to use with a more top notch movie ( I would suggest a better director ( I could go on about Sam Raimi's horrible decision on Spider man 2, but we don't have time for that ), Hans Zimmer, John Williams, or John Powell for the score, and generally a more ensemble of popular cast members, not just one or two ), and just.. wow.. it would be incredible. But just in this movie it's truly amazing.
Now, I am quite a big fan of Danny Elfman. That being said, I am VERY disappointed in the score. NO theme whatsoever to hum afterwards. Toward the beginning it seemed to be alright, and I heard some original Oz references, but throughout the movie it had WAY too much fantasy-chorus and nothing to make the witches scary. It was all "AHHHHHHHHHH"
Overall, the acting was pretty good. James Franco did a great job, except his grinning seemed to annoy me at times. The green witch nagged at me though, when she ordered the baboons to "FLYY!!!". That line was just annoying.
As for the voice actors, some incredible work was done. The monkey was fantastic and the china girl was casted perfectly.
Overall, I feel this movie gets about a 6 out of 10. Not something to watch in theaters if you are A: Picky on score B: Don't get pulled into fantasy | or C: both.
However, it's definitely worth renting and seeing on DvD!