Oz and the cliché formula
I was not looking forward to watching this, in fact I almost tried to not watch it, but what do you do on a cold Sunday afternoon? You go to the movies I suppose… So I just went. I was not looking forward because as you might have seen from my previous posts, lately I have been very annoyed by James Franco. Also, Disney has been having a track record of destroying great movie potentials (reference: the Alice in Wonderland perversion and the John Carter ludicrousness). I think having extremely low expectations worked in favor of this movie and me not rejecting it. The visuals are pretty goddam amazing, especially in the first half of the movie. It literally feels like your brain is on a visual roller-coaster and is going to explode from the colors and 3D tricks. I suppose in a good way. Despite the slight Alice in Wonderland (1951 animation of course) references I believe the artists of the movie have done a splendid job! Furthermore, the first half of the movie shows originality in dialogue and character – Franco’s Oz is all charming, there are a few fun jokes,has an interesting plot setting. But then as it seems to happen most of the time lately, it just kinda loses its charm and magic and feels forced, cliché and just hollow. Rachel Weisz was kind of awkward in my opinion, Mila Kunis’ bad witch make up was just ridiculous and the good witch bad witch twist was just annoying.
This brings me to my more important observation point. The cliché plotline. I am sure there are many analyses written by actual verified experts (not that they necessarily know it all), but I as someone that gets bothered by the lack of originality and the forced populism of sorts in modern Hollywood screenplay writing, I figure it’s nice to mention it. Can we have a movie where the main hero is not tortured yet good, going through a major breakdown, losing everyone, only to regain them stronger later and yet winning in the end storyline? Could we not have movies that dedicate more than half of their length to elaborate setting and character introductions, only to quickly scribble an ending that leaves the viewer feel as if someone took their last piece of candy right out of their hands. Starting off well does not make a movie. Keeping up the interest of the viewer, the tension, keeping up the craftsmanship of telling a good story all the way to the end, hell, having an even better ending than a beginning is of greater importance. I think.
How many movies can you think of that have this storyline arc?
The answer is, more than you would be able to count and definitely more than there should be. As we live in an era where mainstream equals bad. Sadly.
Movie score: 6.5
Jack and his beans
I enjoyed Jack and the Giant Slayer. I know what you are all going to say, but I enjoyed it. I think it’s a personal thing. It pretty much follows the formula I mention above, however in my opinion it does it in a more fresh and entertaining way. Some hybrid between being a sarcastic view on fairytales and somewhat taking itself seriously. Also, for me, very charming Nicholas Hoult, who I generally like and think is quite talented, comical Ewan Mcgregor and Stanley Tucci, fun giant Bill Nighy and a few other cast gems such Ewen Bremner who was so incredibly random, I found extremely entertaining. Bluntly, in my opinion this was the most decent fairytale movie I have seen in a long time. It was fresh, full of jokes, decent visuals, though not over the top and an interesting storyline (except the very last minute of the movie, which made us all go.. ehm why?, but I am willing to let that one go). So if you feel like watching a fun fairytale, go see it, but do not expect too much. That always helps.
Movie score: 6.8