Top positive review
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An enjoyable viewing experience
on April 5, 2017
James Franco is decidedly not my favorite actor: Too often his performances seem wooden to me.
That said, I thought he did well in "Oz the Great and Powerful" as a shady, second-rate carnival magician who suddenly finds himself in a fantastical situation. A little over-the-top when the situation calls for it, he also shows surprising depth in some scenes.
The movie itself was a curious blend of animation, CGI, and live-action performances. I'm a little conflicted about how that worked because some of the scenes seemed a little overwrought to me. Not terrible, you understand; it just seemed that the production team was trying too hard to "make a classic" in the Disney tradition instead of just telling the story.
The actors - Franco included - were first rate.in this film. There are some critics who have been less than delighted with the job Mila Kunis did after she transforms from a beautiful - if naive - young witch into the wicked sister but I thought she did very well in a challenging role.
Likewise, some people have criticized the screenplay because they have - wrongfully, in my opinion - tried to compare this story with the 1939 "Wizard of Oz." L. Frank Baum wrote an entire series of books about the wonderful land of Oz and they each tell a different - if related - story. Because of that, I believe it's unfair to compare one with the other.
In summary: A very nice film with some very good performances by the cast and - if a trifle long - an enjoyable viewing experience.