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Movie Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

On February 14, 2013, Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful came out. The movie was based on L. Frank Baum's "Oz" works. A prequel to The Wizard of Oz, Oz the Great and Powerful tells us the story of how the wizard himself ended up in Oz, and established himself as a wizard. The screenplay was written by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Kapner also wrote the screen story. Directed by Sam Raimi, the movie included Mila Kunis as Theodora, James Franco as Oz, Rachel Weisz as Evanora, Michelle Williams as Glinda, Zach Braff as Finley's voice, Joey King as the China Girl's voice, Bill Cobbs as Master Tinker, and others. The composer for this film was Danny Elfman.

L. Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 - May 6, 1919) was born in Chittenango, New York, into a Methodist family. Coming from a German, Scots-Irish, and English descent, he was the 7th child out of 9. His parents, Cynthia Ann nee Stanton and Benjamin Ward Baum, named their son Lyman after his father's brother. Unfortunately, Baum always disliked this name, and preferred to go by his middle name, "Frank". His mother, Cynthia, was a direct descendant of Thomas Stanton, "one of the four Founders of what is now Stonington, Connecticut". His father, Benjamin, was a businessman who was originally a barrel maker.

David Lindsay-Abaire was born on November 30, 1969. He is an American playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter. His 2007 play Rabbit Hole earned the Pultizer Prize for Drama and several Tony Award nominations.

Sam Raimi was born on October 23, 1959. He is an American film director, producer, actor, and writer. He is most famous for directing Evil Dead seriesDarkman, and the Spider-Man trilogy. Being the 4th child out of 5, Raimi was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, and grew up in Birmingham, Michigan. He was from a family that practiced Conservative Judaism. Raimi was inspired to film movies after his father brought a camera and began to make Super 8 movies with a friend.

Danny Elfman, the composer for Oz, was born on May 29, 1953. Best known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo, Elfman composed The Simpson's main title theme "as well as the 1989 Batman movie theme. He was initially an actor, but later transformed into a composer. Four Academy Awards were nominated for him and he won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture. He also won an Emmy Award for the Desperate Housewives theme.

Mila Kunis (Theodora) was born on August 14, 1983. In 1991, Kunis moved from Ukraine to Los Angeles with her family. She played Jackie Burkhart on the television series That '70s Show. A year later, she was hired as the voice of Meg Griffin on the animated series Family Guy.

James Franco (Oz) was born on April 19, 1978. He is an American actor, filmaker, teacher, and author. His first role was a lead part on Freaks and Geeks. He played in James Dean (which earned him a Golden Globe Award), Pineapple ExpressMilk127 HoursTristan & IsoldeAnnapolisRise of the Planet of the Apes, and Spring Breakers.

Rachel Weisz (Evanora) was born on March 7, 1970. She is an English film and theatre actress. Also, she's a former fashion model. She has appeared in Inspector MorseScarlet and Black, Advocates II, Death Machine, and Chain Reaction. After Chain Reaction, she got a leading role, Evelyn Carnahan-O'Connell, in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. After playing in The Constant Gardener, Weisz earned an Academy Award, a Screen Actors' Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award. She also performs regularly in theatre houses.

Michelle Williams (Glinda) was born on September 9, 1980. She has appeared in Brokeback MountainI'm Not ThereSynecdoche, New York, and Shutter Island. She received a Best Supporting Actress nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.

Zach Braff (Finley's voice) was born on April 6, 1975. He is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, and director. You probably know him from Scrubs, where he played Dr. John Dorian.

Joey King (China Girl's voice) was born on July 30, 1999. She is an American actress, model, singer, and voice actress. She is most famous for her starring role in Ramona and Beezus.

Bill Cobbs (Master Tinker) was born on June 16, 1934. He is an American actor. He worked as an Air Force radar technician for eight years. He has also performed in various theatre houses, and has appeared in over 120 movies and television programs.

Okay, I'm finally done with the descriptions. (Phew!) First of all, the movie was very, very, very long. Too long, I would say. It wasn't really the movie itself that was long but the commercials before it... Anyways, very colorful movie. It was very similar to Dark Shadows and Alice in Wonderland to me. Not enough variety, maybe? The style in which the whole thing was filmed was the standard style of almost all Hollywood movies, nowadays. I'm not sure if they're doing it on purpose, (to stay consistent), or if they're just plainly out of new ideas. I don't know. To my taste, the movie was a little bit too consistent and predictable. Very predictable. Movies should have more mystery in them. Maybe I just like mystery stories, I don't know.


  1. Overall, I think that this is a good movie that does its job of being a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Not perfect, but still fine for what it is. Great review Rubina.


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