We’ll review this movie – and our little dogs, too!
Out March 8, Rated PG
“It may be because I’m a dog and easily distracted by big, shiny, colorful objects (that thing about dogs only seeing in black and white is a myth, y’all), but I loved the hell out of this movie. It’s funny, adventurous and, while generally aimed more at kids than adults, isn’t something that’ll be an ordeal for parents to sit through (normal parents, at least - I have 72 children, literally anything more taxing than just going to bed is an ordeal). Anyway, I watched it in IMAX 3D and it actually felt like one of the first times I’ve seen a film in that format and found it to be worth it – I mean, wouldn’t you want to repeatedly be attacked in your seat by an army of flying baboons?”
“I have to say, I wasn’t terribly excited for this movie, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw it. It’s an all-out, fun, escapist adventure of the kind that, had I seen it as a pup, would have absolutely blown my mind. Sam Raimi seems to have finally found the perfect balance between being Sam Raimi and being a blockbuster movie director. Unlike the often anonymous direction of his Spider-Man films, Oz has his fingerprints all over it - lurching camera moves, a likeable asshole of a hero, several good, old fashioned Sam Raimi jump-scares – while still telling a solid, blockbuster fantasy tale. There’s no misguided attempt to make it gritty or real, like Tim Burton’s excruciatingly dreary Alice In Wonderland – everything here is bright, glaring Technicolor, deliberately unreal and all the more exciting for it.
“The plot – a prequel to The Wizard Of Oz that gives the back stories of the titular wizard and several of the witches – all ties up pretty neatly. It’s not exactly an earth-shatteringly original story, but the cast goes to town on it: The three lead witches – Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and Mila Kunis – all seem like they’re having a whale of a time, while James Franco’s pompous, greedy wizard is a lot of fun, especially his relationship with Zach Braff’s flying monkey (Franco’s second CGI monkey partner in as many years, weirdly enough – are we 12 short months away from a remake of Every Which Way But Loose?)
“Now, I’m a dog, and it’s my nature to chew on things until they fall apart, so naturally I have one criticism. Fortunately, it’s a small one, and it’s this: Bruce Campbell’s inevitable cameo is tiny! From what he told Maxim a little while back, I really expected something bigger. Ah, well. There are still tributes aplenty to previous Raimi flicks, including a preparing-for-battle montage that echoes Army Of Darkness, and a scene in the hot air balloon that will remind more than a few people of Campbell evading normally inanimate objects in Evil Dead II. And if I’m the only one who thought the Wicked Witch looked an awful lot like Raimi’s smoke-trailing Green Goblin, I’ll eat my own tail. If I can ever catch the thing, that is.”
“I, TOO, ONCE GOT CAUGHT IN A TORNADO AND ENDED UP IN A MAGICAL WONDERLAND OF BRIGHT COLORS AND STRANGE, INHUMAN CREATURES. ACTUALLY, IT WASN’T A 'TORNADO' SO MUCH AS 'THE BACK OF A DUTCH PICK UP TRUCK ON ITS WAY TO AMSTERDAM.' BUT FUCK ME, THOSE FLYING MONKEYS LOOKED PRETTY REAL AT THE TIME.”