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16 People Who Were Unimpressed With Oz The Great And Powerful

16 People Who Were Unimpressed With Oz The Great And Powerful

By Lauren Passell

We here at SparkLife are a lot of things—math class-day dream interpreters/underwater basket weavers, Cool Whip-lickers, under-our-desk nappers—but movie reviewers we are not. So we've relied on the experts to answer the question WAS OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL ANY GOOD? Though the quotes below will give you the nitty gritty, the resounding answer is... Somewhere Over The Rain-HECK NO. Which means we're headed back underneath our desks with our cool whip, baskets, and dreams. Here are some of the reviews we read.

"The biggest, and inevitable, problem with 'Oz the Great and Powerful' is that there was already this other 'Oz' movie that was pretty good." —AZ Central

"The tornado that carries Oscar up, up and away in his beautiful balloon is impressive. And his zero-gravity moment in the twister is a thing of momentary beauty, but it still doesn't trump the wonder of the one Dorothy awoke in." —The Denver Post

"Oz the Great and Powerful is entirely serviceable family entertainment. Problem is, serviceable doesn't quite cut it when you're talking about the magical land of Oz, one of our most cherished childhood destinations. And because of our affection for the L. Frank Baum books and the 1939 screen musical, we demand a lot from a return visit. Not only do we expect to have our childlike sense of wonderment restored, but we want to see the proper reverence paid to what has come before." —Mercury News

"Prancing about a Disneyfied magical kingdom with a wincing grin perpetually on the verge of a smirk, Franco has difficulty making even a self-professed con man seem whole. You get the feeling he either doesn’t know what movie he’s in or doesn’t particularly care." —Dallas News

"This is a really Blunder-full Blizzard of Blahs. The flying baboons are a poor substitute for the nasty flying monkeys of the first film, and the eventual bombastic fireworks and holographic-projection display at the film’s end seem less about 'magic' than proof the special-effects designers saw too many Pink Floyd concerts." —The Globe and Mail

"'What would you do with a brain if you had one?' Dorothy Gale, late of Kansas, asks the Scarecrow, one of her woebegone traveling companions in The Wizard of Oz. Well, I think they left part of Scarecrow's response out of that little 1939 release - only among the most-seen, most-loved movies of all time. If I'm not mistaken, the Scarecrow's full answer included the warning, 'Why, if I had a brain, I would never, ever make a prequel to The Wizard of Oz that costs $325 million and starred that dude from 127 Hours who is enrolled in all those doctoral programs, and who directs designer jeans videos and shills for Gucci Homme.'" —Philadelphia Inquirer

"James Franco just comes off as smarmy. He mugs and flaps his gums, but he's not funny, and his commitment-phobia plays like ugly egotism. (Really? You have women who look like Williams and Kunis in love with you and you'd rather keep playing the field? Really?) But in the end, like the Wizard, that's all this movie has—a lot of flashy expensive tricks. And neither the brain to use them wisely, nor the courage to dare to try something real." —Newark Star-Ledger

"No brain, no heart, no courage." —Slate

"If you go see 'Oz the Great and Powerful,' you’ll most likely be handed 3-D glasses, the better to appreciate an expensive, lavishly produced special effects extravaganza and plop a few more dollars into Disney’s coffers. But you’ll need to supply your own air quotes. A healthy sense of irony is needed not only to stomach the title—the shifty, wispy protagonist of this 'Wizard of Oz' prequel is neither great nor powerful—but also for most of the production, which constantly falls short of the inflated expectations it has set up for itself." —Washington Post

"You know how in most children's fare, boys get to have adventures, and girls just get to get rescued? Well, I hate to think what it says about progress on that front when, unlike the 1939 Wizard of Oz, in which everybody turned to Dorothy to fix things, in Oz the Great and Powerful, three strong women—witches with magical powers, no less—get overcome by this entirely unimpressive guy. Maybe what it says is that chivalry (or perhaps feminism) of the sort that Judy Garland could count on is not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead." —NPR

"There's no Judy Garland songs, no Scarecrow, no Tin Man, no Cowardly Lion. There's also no simplicity, no magic, no truth." —Rolling Stone

"'Oz the Great and Powerful,' like so many products of movie studios that have lost their way, is a Tin Man of epic proportions—bright and shiny, with no heart." —Wall Street Journal

"I was charmed at some moments, profoundly bored by others and almost never felt genuinely excited or emotionally engaged. A lumbering, bloated spectacle with a weak script and a flat, awkward central performance by James Franco, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' feels like a hybrid of 'Avatar' and 'John Carter,' meaning that it’s increasingly unclear what the point of the movie is, except to look great and make money. I’m not a Franco-basher, in general; I think he’s a fine actor in the right context, however overexposed he is as a hipster-flavored celebrity and Renaissance man. I can tell he made all sorts of acting-school decisions about this character, but I don’t think we needed his introspective, discount-Brando act when it came to playing the Wizard of freakin’ Oz." —Salon

"If it only had a brain. Or a heart. Or nerve." —NY Daily News

"With all the advances in effects technology, the tornado here can’t match the one that spirited Garland’s Dorothy to Oz. And though a vista that suggests Monument Valley with snow has startling splendor, other landscapes seem borrowed from Avatar, and a waterfall plunge suggests only the prototype for a Disney World thrill ride, without the thrills. The 3-D effects are plentiful—hats, lions and baboons jump off the screen and into your lap—but the characters rarely lodge in the moviegoer’s heart." —Time

"You can be a good witch or a bad witch or even a little of both, but a bland witch? Then we'll have to talk." —Roger Ebert

Did anyone else see Oz? Will you now, after reading these STINGS of reviews?

Topics: Life
Tags: movies, the wizard of oz, movie reviews, roundups, oz the great and powerful

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