VIDEO: Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

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Sofie went off to see Oz the Great and Powerful while crossing her fingers, hoping that just one movie in her favorite genre would deliver. Did it? Check out the review and see.

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  • Keep an eye on the box office for Oz, the Great and Powerful. Apparently, they have expressed some interest in continuing the series and that would include remaking The Wizard of Oz. But, they would have to feel it’s financially worth prying the rights away from MGM.

    • Sofie Liv

      oh, neat!

      Well, I am crossing my fingers for that! honestly Wizard of Oz is a movie old enough that it could stand a re-make.

      If it is as good as this one, I would be a very happy person.

  • As a kid, I always imagined that if the Wizard of Oz was going to be remade; Danny Elfman should do the score… and lo and behold! You can tell that when Sam Raimi puts his heart into a project, it becomes one hell of a film. It was such a great feeling laughing, getting a little frightened and even had it’s genuine heart-warming moments! So far, this is one of the better movies to come out in 2013 (technically, “Silver Linings Playbook” came out in 2012).

    • Sofie Liv

      Glad you also enjoyed the movie, I really throughoutly did.. yikes the Wicked witch, woah. Scary-ass transformations scene :/

      Sam Raimi is an awesome director, Darkman is kind of one of my favourite superhero movies, love the style in that movie. And then of cause there is Evil dead, Spiderman and so ford, the man has style, I love him as a director.

      And this Elfman score is good, I swear I dont remember one single tune from Alice in Wonderland, but I was kind of humming the theme tune from this movie as I walked out, that’s very neat!

  • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

    This and the hobbit you have been lucky in terms prequals it seems

    • Sofie Liv

      or perhaps I am just avoiding the movies I all-ready know I am going to be dissapointed in <_<

      But yeah, i am happy about those movies. The Hobbit aint as good as the lord of the rings, but I didn't expect it to be, and I love it just as it is.

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    I am no expert, but I think, I know where the problem in those „fairy-tale-movies“ lies. I call
    it “the curse of the bat.”

    After watching Batman Begins, one problem has become painful obvious to me.

    Fun is forbidden in our society.
    Not really forbidden by law, but by our “sources of entertainment.”

    The movies, which are having at least funny sequences in it, are shunned by critics, bitched
    and moaned about, how very unlogical they are. Take “Batman and Robin” for example
    or more recently – the Transformers-franchise. You can say about those movies what
    you want – and there is a lot to nag about. BUT those movies are something, in which
    people are allowed to have FUN.

    Cheesy one-liners, over the top action, stuff, that does not make any sense and is by this source of
    amusement, signs, that they are not taking themselves pretty seriously (as can be
    seen in Transformers 1 and in Batman and Robin). But people didn’t like those movies.

    So – in case of B&R, the series went on hiatus and it re-appeared in a more darker, more
    gritty and more adult tone. And you know what? It is not fun.

    Come on, the concept of a man running around dressed up as a bat, fighting crime is SO ridiculous,
    that you can’t help but having fun with it.

    Except, you are telling everyone “No, this is wrong, this is no good movie, because it is not
    realistic.” To hell with realism. In especially in movies like B&R and more especially in fairty tales.

    You don’t do realism in fairy tales, you don’t do storys that are devoid of fun in fairy tales.

    Even in something, that originated as news reports and ended up in fairy-tale books, you should be
    allowed to have at least a BIT of fun.

    Have a look at Grimm – they are having a blast.

    Have a look at “Once upon a time” – I bet Robert Carlisle has a lot of fun, playing “Rumpelstilzkin”.

    Does Kristen Stewart look to you, as if she would have any fun?

    So give us the more “fun” the more “unrealitic” movies.

    But that is of course just a theory. ^^

    So, returning to the topic at hand – your review made me curious about the film and I will either go see it or buy it on DVD. And – erm… no… “Wizard of Oz” was not a thing over here, in Germany, too. I don’t even remember, if they would have aired it in television – I think not.

    However – I am of course familiar with some stuff out of it, because I watched shows, that deal with pop-cultural references in america, such as Stargate in which Daniel Jackson even introduced himself in one episode as “the great Wizard of Oz” to a Goa’uld.

    And in another Episode he introduced himself to another bunch of aliens as “My Name is Olo. Hans Olo.”^^

    But “the wizard of Oz” is a big thing in Stargate. It is referenced a lot, mostly by O’neill and its successor Cam Mitchell – so, as a fan of that show I could not help but getting to know some of the rather intregral parts of the plot. ^^

    by the way, I saw a sheet of music, titled “Jungle Book” there. Could you sing something out of that, when you would be doing a Jungle Book Review or so?
    That would be awesome.



    • Cristiona

      Oh, I loves me some fun (just watched Yor, Hunter From the Future this morning), but Batman & Robin was a staight up bad movie with no real redeeming qualities.

      • Sofie Liv

        yeah.. Batman and Robin kind of wanted to be both fun and serious.. which just didn’t mash well in this case. On top of that, it was badly timed, a bad time to make a “fun.” Batman movie, it was not what people wanted at that time.

        Now other action movies from that time that was fun and good, Commando! that’s how you bloody do it.

        But seriously, no one really got suphero movies right, not completely any-way, before Marvel started their little project with certain tie-in movies, they finally hit the core of what comic book movies should be, and that’s very nice.

        That’s not to say there hadn’t been good comic book movies before it, there has been, but I don’t feel like any of them hit the soft spot the same way Marvel studios did.

    • Sofie Liv

      Erhh.. that are still movies that are competent fun and non-competent fun, and the critics are actually quite often pretty fair towards it.

      Transformers was a bad movie, it was a very bad movie, I didn’t have fun at all watching it, it was a snooze fest to me the first time around, I asked myself. “why am I even watching this?” had no fun at all, had no idea what was going on, and forgot all about it afterwards as I am lucky enough to not having grown up with Transformers, thus doesn’t really care about the franchise, so the movie itself is a blur to.

      Avengers how-ever, is a GOOD fun action movie, and it also recieved overly positive critism.

      As well did Iron man, Thor and Captain america actually recieve mostly positive reviews, and those were movies having fun.

      Transformers, battle-ship, Batman and Robin were bad movies, it’s just as difficult to make a “fun.” movie good, as it is making a “Serious.” movie good, if not even more difficult.

      But yeah, current cinema fare is suffering heavily from the Nolan phenomena, that every-body wants to be Nolan and that sucks.

      How-ever, fairytales movies suffers from some-thing even worse… they want to be Twilight.. and god dammit Twilight are boring movies, with few colours, few themes, slow pacing, wanting to be. “Serious stories.” without being actually, you know.. worth taking seriously.

      I assure you this movie explore three times as many themes as Twilight ever did, and goes for it without avoiding it, also does it have a hundred percent more consequences for the characters in the movie. Oscar screws up, so he pays, it goes there.

      Also.. Tim Burton more than any-thing just suffers from Tim Burton syndrom around now, he is not going to step out of his comfort zone ever again..

      And I highly enjoyed this movie in spite of not being attached to Wizard of Oz at all, for me it felt like the first time I was genuinely intriqued by this world… except for in “Wicked.” that’s such a good story..

      .. honeslty I feel like these two very different prequels are superior stories to the actual wizard of Oz.. heh..

      heh.. well the sheet music behind me is for piano solos, so it’s not for singing, and it’s not “The jungle book.” I am practising in that book, it’s the sheet on the other page of the book, it’s the main theme to “Howls moving castle.” which is a brilliant theme I like a lot.

      I’ve all-ready uploaded other videos on my blip channel where I actually play the piano and sing, I am probably going to upload more over time some day, as I get out there and perform again, we shall see.

  • I lived in Germany for three years: no one there knew what movies were playing in 1939. Moreover, it’s not like The Wizard of Oz was a major hit back in the day. It did all right, but it was much more successful years later once it could be shown on television.

    I wouldn’t expect it to get over to Europe. Good job of even finding at all. I doubt it has much favor even in Canada.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well you know, in this age of DVD’s you can find every-thing pretty easily.

      And fortunately this movie does work as a stand-alone movie without being tied up to Wizard of Oz, any-one can easily watch it without having to know a thing about Wizard of Oz, so it doesn’t rely on the movie as much as paying homage to it. Which is really nice.

    • $36060516

      “I lived in Germany for three years: no one there knew what movies were playing in 1939.”

      You must have kept quite busy during those three years surveying the population of Germany to find out what films they have and haven’t seen.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        Maybe She or He lived with a guest family in those three years or he or she just KNOWS couple of German people?

        I couldn’t name a movie of the top of my hat, that was played in 1939 in the cinema – but then, that might have something to do with the fact, that I wasn’t born then.
        But thinking, what time 1939 was…

        • Sofie Liv

          Gone with the wind

  • fullofquestions1

    I may or may not eventually see this movie; like you, I’m not overly attached to the original. The version I grew up with was the Russian knockoff!

    • Sofie Liv

      Well I recommend it highly, it was a nice breather finally delivering, and well even without being attached to Wizard of Oz as in.. at all.. I have such a hard time caring about that movie. This movie I highly enjoyed, and I felt like it improved on Wizard of Oz, a lot.

      • $36060516

        Did it have one song in it as classic as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow?” I sincerely doubt it.

        • Sofie Liv

          it only had sort of half a song.. which was more of a joke than a song really.

          Which kind of is a bit of a shame as it feels like this story honestly could have worked really well as a childrens musical.

          But I guess no one makes those any-more, at all.

          Oh well, can’t have it all I suppose.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            I know the “somewhere over the rainbow”-line originally from one Pink Panther Movie, which was a pretty awesome scene, in which Clouseau managed to destroy all the efforts, that the psychiatrists made nursing his boss – Chief Inspector Dreyfuss – back to health, in a matter of seconds.

            On the other hand, that scene is as creepy as it gets – I mean, they had Dreyfuss in a mental hospital for months, if not even years, and he was to be released couple of hours later that day. Closeau shows up, being his natural bumbling, “just want to help, but being completely incompetent” self, and manages to screw his boss back up for good, just by being there and causing some troubles.

          • Sofie Liv

            Erh since “The Pink Panther strikes again.” which is the movie you are refering to came out in 1976 and the “the wizard of Oz.” came out in 1939… I sincerely doubt that.

            How-ever that scene is freaking hillarious! The best thing about the pink panther is just the insanity of it, and Dreyfuss just makes the movies when he is at its best, particularly in “The Pink strikes back.” where we see his sanity just go further and further down into decay.

            Until he rents a big gothic castle on top of a mountain, walks around in a black cape and plays the big organ, and builds a fucking doomsday machine threatening to destroy the world if they don’t hand over Clousou, and that’s ALL he wants, he just wants clousou dead, that’s it! that’s the only thing. All of that shit, only to see Clousou die.

            That is so genius that I am lost for words.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            ^^ Didn’t say that the line ORIGINATED from the Pink Panther movie, I just said that I know the line originally from there, before I even noticed, that there was that song, which I heard the first time in “Face/OFF”, and didn’t even knew that it was part of Wizard of Oz. ^^

          • Sofie Liv

            Oh.. well that makese sense. Neither did I know that song came from there before I saw the movie, I had used the song in many other connections before it.

  • drumstick00m

    Yeah, Wizard of Oz really is a very American thing now that you mention it…

    • Sofie Liv

      It truly is.. there’s no attachment to that story at all over here, no-body cares.

      We are attached to “Snow-white” and all of the disney movies, but not Wizard of Oz, and I know that’s a shocking revelation to a lot of Americans.

      • drumstick00m

        My only guess is it must be the whole Kansas thing…

      • TheCrazyFish

        What a lot of people forget is that the Wizard of Oz was written in America, by an American. A lot of people assume for some reason that because it’s a fairy tale it MUST be from Europe.

        • Sofie Liv

          well.. most fairy-tales are from europe.

          But good on you America, good on you, that’s at least one thing I can say, that thing is yours and all yours. Good on you.

        • I agree. It earns it right as a classic American fairy tale.

    • $36060516
      • Guest

        Mind blow…sort of…the other Oz books are apparently very different.

  • TheCrazyFish

    On the topic of “realistic” versus “fantastic,” I firmly believe that it is completely possible to have both, and I personally feel that this movie is proof of that. Let me explain.

    On the one hand, Oz is quite clearly a fantastical place, and I loved the movie for it. There are evil witches with crazy demon baboons, people made out of fine china… Oh, and don’t even get me started on the logistical nightmare that is the Emerald City. An entire city built out of emerald – a weak and fragile mineral – and gold – one of the weakest metals in the world. Whoever designed the place is both an idiot for having that idea in the first place as well as a genius for somehow making it work.

    At the same time, in a strange way, I buy Oz as being actually quite realistic. Oh, sure, you might say “but it has witches, and in our world real magical witches don’t exist!” See, that argument – I believe – is based on a logical fallacy: an arrogant and egocentric belief that our world and the physical laws that govern it are the only ones that could ever possibly exist. The physical laws that govern the land of Oz are different than those which govern our own world, yes, but they’re also consistent and seem to be well-considered. Therefore, I am willing to believe them as being “real” for that world.

    The point I’m making here is that (in my opinion) realism in a movie isn’t about whether or not magic exists, it’s about whether or not people behave like people. Personally, I felt that this movie passed that test with flying colors. (Sadly, I think it failed the Bechdel Test. :p ) The characters in the movie are not stupid (Glenda the Good, for example, realized almost immediately that Oscar was not actually a wizard) and there wasn’t a single event in the movie where I couldn’t easily imagine an average person in that situation making the same decision.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well, one thing that is for certain is that even fantastic stories need to have some sort of logic within itself. There must be logic within the fantastic, and most of all there must be logic within the characters and how they react.

      An author whom is particularly aware of this and uses it fully to his own advantage is Terry Pratchett, whom bends the logic around at will to screw around with his readers, but yet he will always make a lot of sense within the logic he has established.

      Terry Pratchets disc world is a world flat as a pancake on top of a giant turtle swimming through space.

      So within his logic it’s only natural that human scientists would try and examine the turtle, so he writes it in.


      Wait I got it! in the end climax when Glinda has her battle with the wicked witch of the east, they are talking about how the wicked witch poisoned Glindas father and took over the kingdom! THE MOVIE PASSED THE TEST!

      and in any case having four different female characters, all with strong unique personalities and a specific purpose in the story, other than just being there, is WAY better than most movies in this genre!

      His world is highly unrealistic, but makes sense within the parameters he establishes, and then he never really breaks it.

      Fairytale logic, is another kind of logic than regular logic… but it still has a logic, and you need to follow at least one sense of logic to make it work.

      It’s logic that the strong witch uses her magic to manipulate the people, and it becomes logic that Oscar uses sciense in the place of magic. There is logic within the fantastic, but it’s still a fantastic tale that uses broader metaphors than regular “realistic stories.” and also without a trouble have a living china doll because.. this place is magical, does a village of living china dolls are possible! yet within that logic we know that china is fraquile, so the china dolls themselves must be kind of fraquile.

      I think China doll and Glinda had a conversation that was not about a man… damn.. Okay I am not going to use the Bechdel test again as an argument.

      But you gotta admit, it’s a damn good test, and that so few movies passes it really sends out a signal.

      • TheCrazyFish

        “Wait I got it! in the end climax when Glinda has her battle with the
        wicked witch of the east, they are talking about how the wicked witch
        poisoned Glindas father and took over the kingdom! THE MOVIE PASSED THE

        Wait, if they’re discussing how she poisoned the king, aren’t they still talking about a man? Hehehe, well, fair enough anyway.

        • Sofie Liv

          They were talking about politics and murdering people, that’s different, I am pretty sure when they say. “Talking about a man.” they do mean in romantic terms.

          And I have to admit, when the two sisters talked together, even though they shared a good deal of scenes together… they were mostly talking in romantic terms about Oscar, so erh.. well in this case it was not filler but pretty essential to the plot. It was a plot point. They do have a few lines together how-ever that has less to do with Oscar, such as talking about Glinda, and reveal one of them are wicked and the prophesy or so on, their conversations just sort of allways either end or start with Oscar.

  • Egil Hellá

    I am not shocked I am 24 years old and I have not seen the original Wizard Of Oz yet

    • Sofie Liv

      You are probably not from America then… or are you?

      It’s just the American people never shuts up about that bloody movie, at least not on the enternet, havn’t you noticed?

  • I know right? I was also expecting something different from Sam Riami, you know the slasher parody would’ve been amazing, hell I would’ve settled for something like the Spiderman movies!

    And yeah, totally feel the same about prequels, they can’t live to their expectations most of the time.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well as it turns out, Sam Raimi does blend very well with this sort of story telling.
      He always did have that sort of childish excited side to him that is not afraid of just going there.

      This how-ever is a good prequel, and it feels like it enriches the story more than it cheapens it, and well with the Wizard all-ready being de-mystefied as that was sort of the entire point of Wizard of Oz, it would be hard to dysmystetie any further.

      Actually come to think of it, it feels very much like Dory is plummeting right down into the middle of an ongoing story where we only see a fraction of it.
      “You killed the wicked witch.” “Who?”
      “That’s the wicked witch of the west, she’s evil.” “why is she evil? why does she have tons of flying monkeys, how does this entire witches deal even work?”

      “The wizard is just an ordinary man, also from Kansas.” “well how does that work? you HAVE magic, how did he fool all of you? why would he fool all of you? did you threaten him or some-thing?”

      All we know is what Dorothy sees, nothing more.

      There’s a lot of questions worth answering to her, and both this movie as well as “Wicked.” does so in two very interesting ways.

      Wicked how-ever plays a bit more topsy turvey with the idea, with the wicked witch not actually being evil at all, but fighting against the wizard whom is opressing the people of Oz with fear, and Glinda is more of a good-hearted but not always that bright glutz, whom has to learn how to be the ruler Oz needs. It likes to take the original story and turn it on its head, which is nice, while Oz great and powerful just straight out tells a story that makes the puzzle pieces fit a bit nicer.

      • Well now you got me digging into Wicked, that’s the musical right? And oh maaan does it sound really interesting! I wish I could see it now.

        • Sofie Liv

          It’s worth it, the soundtrack is amazing and the musical is just fantastic.

          I swear, in this the wicked, the wicked withc (here called Elphaba.) is one of the most tragic, yet greatest female main characters ever.

          Here’s her bio… she was born green! so she was teased all of her life and shunned by society, sucks. She is specially gifted with great magical powers, and studies on a school to become a great witch so she can work with the great wizard of Oz, and she hopes she’ll one day become some-one people can look up to, and maybe the wizard would help her to be.. not being green and stuff.

          Then at the day where she is invited to the emerald City to actually become the wizards right hand man, she of cause finds out that he is a fake, all she dreamed and believed shattered, and he even tricks her and uses her powers against her will.

          Elphaba ends up fleeing as she refuses to work for a fake. Because of that, and to protect his own secret, the wizard makes her number one enemy of Oz, and every-body just believes him, cause he is the wizard and stuff.

          Then the love of Elphabas life also dies in a attempt to rescue her, she turns a man into tin to safe his life after his heart got stolen, and Tin-man just assumes she cursed him so he hunts her down as the leader of the withc-hunters, and to top it off, a fucking house drops out of the sky and KILLS her one and only sister, meaning her only remaining family, where-after a snotty brat just straight out takes the shoes that was her sisters most priced possesion. So Elphaba at last just snaps.

          And the most amazing thing, every single plot point fits so well with the actual Wizard of Oz story…..

  • Sofie, I’m from Kansas. It’s practically law that every girl from Kansas must see The Wizard of Oz many, many times. I never really liked it. I first saw it when I was 3 years old and the Flying Monkeys creeped me out. Plus, everywhere I go now, I’m called Dorothy.

    I kind of wish The Wizard of Oz wasn’t so big in my culture!

    Great review. Looking forward to seeing this one now!


    • MephLord

      Everyone has seen Wizard of Oz, and yet the flying monkeys are never referred to by their proper name, Tengu (A Japanese name). I found the original movie to be really good, but so very long and boring. If you have a short attention span it’s going to be a chore to watch for sure.

      • Sofie Liv

        I just… I don’t really enjoy the movie that much, I find it to be sort of overated.

        How-ever the songs are catchy! “Some-where over the rainbow.” and “If I only had a brain.” they are never going to leave me.. ever…

        I actually think I like. “If I only had a brain.” the best.

  • MephLord

    Wizard of Oz is one movie that has aged surprisingly well given how old it is. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it might be the most well known fantasy movie of all time, and the practical effects (especially the Tengu) were really well done. Judy Garland especially really made the 1939 version work as it’s a fantasy musical, and how many of those do we really have that at all?

  • Ah, The Wizard of Oz…I…never cared for that movie, and I’ve grown up in America…I thought I would dislike Wicked because I don’t care for Wizard of Oz. Boy, was I wrong. I mean, The Wizard of Oz has some good music and all, but overall it’s just not very fun, at least for me.
    Based on your recommendation, I’ll see this movie. I wasn’t really planning on it, but hey. Worth a shot. Nice to have a straight-up fairy tale once in a while. :)

  • Mike

    First off, loved the review Sofie and I’m glad you loved the movie.

    Well I wasn’t shocked by you admitting to not seeing the 1939 MGM version, my mind was blow by your anti-prequel rant. Will the term is fairly recent, the concept of backstories or stories involve event before the previous work go as far back as ancient Greece

    Surely they can be done well, even if like most sequel they usually aren’t. Though I honestly wouldn’t consider this movie an exact prequel since it doesn’t tie up with everything we see in the 1939 film.

    It’s funny, there have been more than twenty adaptation of the Oz stories in film and television alone, but unlike other fantasy stories that have been done to repeatedly (A Christmas Carol, The Tempest) most people in this country only seem to remember that one adaption. Probably just because it proved so influential in terms of how fantasy films are made in this country. There don’t seem to have been many European adaptations. Many that’s because the original story is so closely tied to the turn of the century American farm workers movement, I don’t know. I did see as a child a rather good Japanese anime version which I’m not looking forward to seeing again online. In fact, this movies inspired me to go seek out several of those lessor known versions and see how they compare. Off to track the Wizard!

  • I just found out that Mila Kunis plays the Wicked Witch of the West in this movie. This sounds like over the top hilarity to me and I might have to watch it just for that.