March 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm #94559
Don’t think I missed a thread already open on this movie opening tomorrow. Seems like a likely contender for technical categories like Production Design, Costume Design, Visual Effects, and Makeup.
Stars James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, and Joey King
Here’s my review:
http://onthegointo.com/?p=7832March 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm #94561
This is a prequel that no one asked for, to be honest.
I guess I’ll go watch for Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, but it seems like a 3D fluff.March 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm #94562
I’ll go watch for Williams and Weisz.March 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm #94563
The reviews are awful – 44 on Metacritic at the moment.
This is the film that was supposed to jump-start business after a weak 2013. The projections have been at $80 million or better. With the $200 million budget, if this doesn’t do at least $50 million Disney is going to lose all the profit they made on Lincoln and Wreck It Ralph.March 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm #94564
Haven’t seen it obviously, but the reviews are pretty much routinely describing Franco as completely miscast or, in the harsher ones, even painful to watch.
Surprised a bit (Raimi’s a good director), but I’m also noticing a slant towards feminism in quite a few of these reviews – saying the witches are one dimensional, uninteresting females. Don’t know if there were the same complaints in 1939 since I don’t see those witches as being all that complex.March 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm #94565
I don’t understand why Kunis is (supposedly) the Wicked Witch of the West in this film when it could have just as easily been Rachel Weisz (the only reason I will see it). Weisz in green makeup not only looks like a younger version of the Witch we came to know and love/hate in the original film but also has the acting versatility necessary for the role that many people adore. And of the three ladies cast, she is the most talented and is the most in need of the exposure and popularity boost.
And yes, James Franco is definitely miscast.March 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm #94566
Literally every review that I have read so far has said that Franco is miscast, and 80% of those reviews said it would’ve been much better had Robert Downey Jr. not dropped out and played Oz instead. I wonder if knowing that this was going to be RDJ’s role slants their perspectives a bit? Probably, but if you’re bad or miscast it is what it is. Acting wise, Weisz is getting the best reviews, then Williams. Kunis is being said to be the weakest of the three witches, which is unfortunate as she’s a very charismatic and talented young actress. It’s not easy to act in a film were you’re primarily acting with green screens and CGI characters, but none-the-less it’s doable. I’m still going to watch it this weekend.March 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm #94567
Weisz and Williams are the only ones getting good notices, Franco has been crushed.March 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm #94568
Yeah, like I said, in my review. That’s bang-on. I love Franco, but he just looks really uncomfortable here. I didn’t know about the Downey Jr. casting when I was watching the film. I read about that after the fact, but yes, I can totally see how RDJ would have worked better here.
Weisz and Williams are one-dimensional characters but are totally engaging. It’s fun to see them playing larger-than-life characters in a big blockbuster. I don’t think they are capable of a bad performance.
Mila Kunis has been on a roll on the big screen, but she stumbles here. She goes way over-the-top in her early scenes like she’s aware little kids are watching her performance so she has to play everything to the rafters. And once she transforms, she completely disappears under the makeup and barely registers. Weisz still steals those later scenes with the two of them.March 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm #94569
I wonder how much Franco fatigue has to do with the terrible reviews he’s been getting. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe he will pull off this role, but some critics are particularly nasty, and not just film-critic-nasty, I mean, nasty-nasty.March 8, 2013 at 7:15 am #94570
What a disappointment. Why didn’t they really work at making this a special film? Why did they go the lazy route, and hire unnecessary sex symbol Kunis to play a role that obviously is supposed to be more frightening and subtle. I just don’t get it- they would have pulled in audiences just the same with a stronger cast and less need for dumb CGI effects- because the story itself is already popular. I don’t get why they went this route.
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FYC: Derbyite of the Year, 2017March 8, 2013 at 11:42 am #94571
Yeah, they should have given Weisz the Kunis role, and then cast someone else in Weisz’s role. Rachel would have done a great job at adding layers to the role of Theodora. Even though she has the more iconic role, Kunis struggles to even compete with Weisz in their scenes.March 8, 2013 at 11:47 am #94572
I think VFX is a good bet. But only so-so on Costumes and Makeup. Don’t see much hope in anything else.March 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm #94573
Production Design? If Alice won…March 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm #94574
I very much liked this and thought Sam Raimi did an excellent job of bringing the world of Oz to life. Like other prequels, we know what the ending will be; the hook is how we get to that ending. And I was spellbound throughout. The 3D, for once, was not gratuitous and didn’t give me a headache like it usually does. As has been noted previously, the production design, costumes, visual effects etc. are top-notch and should be Oscar contenders after the success of Alice in Wonderland. As for the actors, I didn’t think James Franco was miscast and thought he did a fine job as Oz. Mila Kunis was OK as Theodora, but the standouts were Rachel Weisz, who vamped it up marvelously as Evanora, and especially Michelle Williams, who managed to give Glinda real gravity and unforced decency, as well as a touch of subtle wit. The side characters, especially the flying monkey and china doll girl, were very well-rendered and portrayed. If there were any major flaws, they would include some fuzzy character motivations and a longer running time than was necessary. Otherwise, I give this high marks.
MVP’s: Weisz and Williams