Friday, March 8, 2013

Oz is Amazing!!!

Oz The Great and Powerful has been the talk of the Metro-Detroit area for well over a year now. Since Becca and I are loosely involved with the film community through our day jobs, we've been hearing about casting calls, the studios, the premiers, the local actors and everything else that went along with this movie since it was first announced that it was going to be filmed in Michigan. We've been following it closely through the entire production process and were eagerly awaiting the release.

Just to fill some of you in that may have been in the dark about Oz, the movie was directed by Sam Raimi and stars James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunas, Zach Braff and Rachel Weisz. It tells the story of how the Wizard made his way to Oz and how he became the Great and Powerful Wizard. The film was entirely shot in Michigan, primarily at Raleigh Studios, now named Michigan Motion Picture Studios. Oz was shot during 2011 and the film is finally officially being released on March 8th. 

Now that you're up to speed, I'll give you my opinion on this movie. GO SEE IT NOW! And make sure you see it in 3-D. I'm usually not a big fan of 3-D, but the opening credits alone make it worth the extra few bucks. The imagery throughout this entire movie is incredible. I imagine it would be good in 2-D as well, but I loved the 3-D. Now, my friends didn't think the 3-D was that great. I think it was because I was closer to the middle of the room and center of the screen, but that probably isn't accurate at all. I mean it was no Muppets 3-D at MGM Studios, but impressive none the less.

The acting for the most part was on par. A couple of the extras lines were kind off iffy, but other extras were great and the leads were pretty excellent. I was curious how James Franco would be in a film like this, especially since my favorite roles of his are in Pineapple Express and on General Hospital, but the approach they took with his character made him perfect for the role. Thank god Disney did not cast Johnny Depp for the part! My biggest complaint with the actors is that one wicked witch has an accent while the other doesn't, yet they are sisters... I don't get it. But, Mila Kunis' ass in leather leggings will make up for it. I don't even like girls, but holy shit now I see why guys think she's so hot!
Overall this movie was great. Definitely exceeded my expectations. I'm thrilled that Oz is a product of Michigan and that so many Michigan people were involved. On that note, make sure you keep an eye out for two of our favorite people in this movie, Channing Pierce and Christophe Zajac-Denek. In addition to the great Michiganders involved with this film, I'm equally as thrilled that so many talented people from around the world had a chance to visit our area and see what we have to offer. From the few out-of-towners I met that were working on this movie, they seemed to really be enjoying their stay here. I bumped into a set-designer and art director from the film at Gusoline Alley one night during the production of the film and they were trying to see as much of Detroit and Michigan as they could while they were here working. These guys had worked on film sets all over the world, and they were really impressed with Detroit and Raleigh Studios. (As a side note, said set designer also worked on Star Wars: Episode 1. That really makes me wonder if he was involved in the design of Emerald City...)

Long story short, go see this movie! Worth the $12. I'm not sure how much kids will enjoy it, at least not little ones. But, hey, I don't really know much about kids, so what do I know! I do know adults will like it though and I do know that Star John R. has made some pretty nice upgrades including recliners for everyone, which will make it hard for me to go to other theaters. Thumbs up, lots of stars and A-Ok seal of approval. Good job to everyone that had anything to do with this movie. I'm hoping for a sequel with James Franco, filmed in Michigan again. And if that happens, I am finding him. You, sir, can give me a music box any day. (Just watch the movie and then you'll get it.)


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