So I had the delightful opportunity to see Oz this past weekend. The good: a nice origin story to Wizard and Witches of Oz, really fun characters and fantastic character interactions. The effects were great, as was the scenery. It was strange watching the Kansas side of the story in the beginning because of the way they chose to differentiate it visually from Oz, but not bad. The climax was stupendous, and the nods of continuity toward The Wizard of Oz are perfectly placed and don't at all feel shoehorned in. On a side note, two of the big three Sam Raimi tropes show up, though the third might be in there somewhere, I would have to go back and pay closer attention to things in the background most likely. I'll let the readers figure out which tropes when they go to watch the film. Now to the bad. I honestly feel James Franco is miscast here. Not in the sense that he can't play a would-be playboy and con-man, but he lacks a certain sense of panache that I feel is necessary for the Wizard, and honestly I just end up seeing Franco and not the character. The same for Mila Kunis, I feel more like I'm seeing Kunis in a costume and not the character, though that has less to do with her acting abilities and more to do with I hear her voice or see her all the time on television thanks to Family Guy and That 70s Show, which works against her a bit when I try to see the characters she's portraying on the big screen. But the acting was superb, especially from the supporting cast, which I feel might be an unintentional Raimi trope since the Spider-Man Trilogy, but I won't say it is for certain without seeing a few more films from him.
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