A frustrated circus magician from Kansas is transported to a magical land called Oz, where he will have to fulfill a prophecy to become the king, and release the land from the Wicked Witches using his great (but fake) powers.
Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking. That all changes, however, when he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.Written by
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
This is the second Oz-related movie to be produced by the Disney company. Their first film was Return to Oz (1985). See more »
The balloon is not a hot air balloon, but a hydrogen balloon. Such balloons were the only practical balloons of this period, before compact propane fuels were available. They are recognisable by being smaller and spherical, without the lower opening of a hot air balloon. And of course, they don't need a burner. See more »
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The opening credits are seen in a 1930s nickelodeon, with certain credits having their own qualities:
Beautiful yet vapid prequel to "The Wizard Of Oz" that is plague by not only by the numbers script but the questionable judgment of the people behind the scenes of the making of the film. The CGI effects are good and the characters created by those effects are cute but they are not strong enough to hide the films real problems. The script is so by the numbers that you can envision the twist and the ending five minutes into the film. Prequels are generally predicable because it set before the events of a prior movie but this film just did not have any originality to it and was just lazy in its set up. The script is not the only problem here; some of the casting is also off by a large margin as well. James Franco was not the first actor to be considered to play the character of Oscar Diggs but you can see a hundred better actors who could have done the role justice before you can ever think of Franco in the role and he does not disappoint in proving how miscast he is. Franco is terrible, so terrible that he is distracting to the film. He definitely does not care about his performance and it shows. Franco just swaggers in as if he is above the material and the actors around him while in reality, his performance is worse that the script of this film. Making his character so unlikable that you really do not want to watch or care about him. While Franco is in his own little world, Mila Kunis just looks lost in her performance. She is not believable as the wicked witch of the west and just comes across as lightweight compare to her sisters played by Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams who are both much better actors than this film deserved. Weisz in particular gives the film's best performance because she at least makes an effort with the lazy script she has to work with and just has fun with it. Her character is the typical Disney villain but in Weisz's capable hands, she becomes more and that does translate on screen. You as an audience member are swept off your feet by Weisz's enthusiasm for her role and the movie becomes better off because of it. Williams does the same, making her sweet tooth character a joy to watch as well and brings a real sincerity to the role which is a god sent because of how insincere Franco is in his.
It is a beautiful movie and the CGI does not give you a headache but other those things and the efforts of Weisz and Williams, The movie has too many strikes against it thanks to the script and the miscasting of Franco and Kunis.
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