Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)



…only this film is neither great or powerful.  Its pretty awful to be honest.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a film when the dramatic impact of a scene is inherently dependant on the ‘wow’ factor of the 3D or the cgi visuals. Its all flash trickery, all bang-for-you-buck film-making, utterly cold and soulless without any genuine drama. Who are the cold heartless robots that make such perfunctory movies? Is there some vast machine buried in vast chasms under Hollywood that cranks this nonsense out? Why bother with such an A-list cast if you are going to waste them with daft unimaginative dialogue and a vapid, predictable plot? Its one of those movies that must have seemed broken even at script-stage- indeed, what made somebody, reading this simple, predictable and by-the-numbers script, think it would make a smashing movie? That such a script was worth spending some $200 million on it? $200 million. The mind boggles. Maybe its about the toys and the merchandise and the entertainment rides in Theme Parks, as if the film is only incidental. This is Disney after all.

I take it that it was made in 3D. Of course it was made in 3D; aren’t all ‘blockbusters’ 3D? Even watching this in good old 2D the images seem to scream 3D at you at every turn. Maybe its amusing when watching in actual (oh, duck! Gosh look at that!) 3D but in plain old 2D its just irritating. Beyond irritating; its obvious that shots are designed for 3D but in 2D its just, well, pointless. And the visuals actually look more false, only adding to the artifice.

Here’s a thought: maybe they should make a new rule in Hollywood- if a film is made in 3D then don’t convert it to 2D, keep it 3D-exclusive. But of course they won’t do that; it would likely knock out at least 50% of any eventual revenue, particularly once the first-run cinema period is over and the film drops back onto the DVD/Blu-ray/home PPV markets.  But films like this aren’t really crossover pieces- they clearly don’t work as well in 2D as they do in 3D (and that’s even if they ‘work’ in 3D, which I doubt with this film anyway), which makes me wish that the film-makers could decide on making one or the other, rather than just converting a 3D experience to 2D as if its going to be the same thing, which it clearly isn’t, as so much of any ‘success’ depends on the ‘wow’ factor of the 3D.

Oh well. Rant over. Bad movie.



8 thoughts on “Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

  1. gregory moss

    I first saw Pacific Rim in 2D and felt all the big CG battle sequences looked really muddled and confused – then I saw it in 3D – and whoa, what a difference! It really shows that CG-heavy movies really should be seen in 3D to get the proper effect. Nice rant! 🙂

    1. I really enjoyed Pacific Rim in 2D, and just bought my brother the 3D Blu-ray for his birthday as he has a 3D set-up at his house. I shall try to watch it over there with him and give the 3D a look sometime, as I’d heard the fx shots work well in 3D.

  2. Totally justified rant, though you could also bemoan how shitty a director Sam Raimi is now.

    I used to love [and still do] EVIL DEAD and EVIL DEAD 2, but it’s telling that he’s slotted into the Hollywood system perfectly now as a maker of pastiche movies – movies that feel movie-like, but lack the heart and earnestness to actually be movies. When he started out, that was a fairly idiosyncratic trait [it characterises early Coen Brothers films, but they’ve raised their game considerably], but now it’s the norm: the lack of heart and actual engagement makes his films difficult for me to watch. See also Edgar fucking Wright and all the post-Raimi nerd directors who I have less and less time for.

    1. Raimi lost his lustre to me with his Spider-man movies. Which might seem odd, as they were so popular to many, but to me they missed the whole simple joy of what a Spider-man movie should be and the third film was bloody awful. I don’t know what it is with Raimi and so many like him. Maybe its something to do with becoming millionaires with associated agents/PAs, accountants etc. For a director of pedigree such as Raimi, OZ seemed genuinely shocking- formulaic, boring, heartless. Hard to believe it was made by the same guy that brought us Evil Dead. Guess he grew up or something…

      1. Exactly! Spiderman was where he lost me as well.

        Did you ever see the show Jonathan Ross made about Raimi back in 1989? Where one of his colleagues said something along the lines of “Sam’s a great film-maker, one day he’ll make something huge and amazing for the whole family and people will see how great he really is”? At that point, he’d only made Evil Dead 1 & 2 and Crimewave.

        Then he gets the Spiderman gig, and I thought it might be great, really eccentric and interesting, and it turns out to be a compromised, visually dull, TV-movei-looking waste of time. I watched SM2 eventually, and it was a bit more interesting visually, but still just a boring movie. I honestly think he’s lost it. Not even “Send Me To Hell” did anything for me, apart from a few chuckles here and there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s