Oz the Great and Powerful - movie review

From March 13, 2013

This movie is through and through a 'B' film. That's not a bad thing, it just is. I mean just look at the fact that they have Bruce Campbell (the King of 'B' Films) in a scene, which I loved because he's hilarious and Sam Raimi directed "Oz". 
I really enjoyed the opening credits, although that's a weird thing to point out at the top of a review. They were quirky and seemed to fit the turn of the century. 
I liked that they filmed the opening in B&W as well as in the old screen size of 4:3. You really notice it later when the film turns to color and they open the screen up to 2.35:1.
I also greatly appreciated the color in this movie. It is bright and almost overpowering, but I miss color in films. It's a disturbing trend to me that many recent films are filmed in almost sepia tone, with the color drained out. I'm not sure if they're adding the silver nitrate back into their negatives (which I know is done sometimes) or what but it's very annoying. 
For a good example, look at the Harry Potter films. The first one is bright and sunny and colorful, and each successive film gets more and more drab in terms of colors. I guess the filmmakers think that a drab-looking film is more realistic or more adult, but it just looks dreary to me.
I thought everyone did a good job acting in the film. I really liked James Franco as Oz, and I say this to a lot of people: I would have preferred him as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels over Hayden Christensen, who cannot act to save his life. 
I also liked seeing Zach Braff in this film, as Oz's helper in the beginning and as the voice of his flying monkey servant when in the Land of Oz. 
Rachel Weiz and Michelle Williams also do a good job, although who the wicked witch is (and how many there are) does get a little confusing. 
Mila Kunis takes her "Sexiest Woman 2012" award and turns it on its head by becoming the ugly green Wicked Witch of the West (a phrase that Disney is apparently not allowed to use in this film because much of the original movie rights are still owned by MGM). 
Some Notes:
- The wikipedia article states: "References to characters from the previous film include: the Scarecrow, who is built by the townspeople as a scare tactic; the Tin Man, whose creator is introduced as the Master Tinker; and the Cowardly Lion, who is frightened away by Oscar after attacking Finley. Theodora's tears leave burn marks on her face, foreshadowing her weakness to water. Annie (Michelle Williams) informs Oscar that she has been proposed to a man whose surname is Gale, presumably hinting at Dorothy Gale's parental lineage."
- I thought that the Emerald City looked the way I would imagine Baron Harkonnen's city on Giedi Prime would look like. (Yes, I HAD to throw in a DUNE reference. You're welcome.)
- I thought the animation of the China Girl was very well done.
- The flying monkeys are now flying baboons, which IS scarier, I have to say. Baboons are vicious.

UPDATE: After having read some of the Wizard of Oz books now, I appreciate this film more and would give it a B+