March 11, 2013


Courtesy Photo - Picaso


The Star of "OZ" is the handsome James Franco. This movie is not just huff and puff stuff - it's great fun to watch. To the contrary - "OZ" is something special. There are three Witches (sisters) flying around the palace, and they know how to strike lightning bolts like you've never seen before. You might think that they are all just Love and Kisses. Nope, they are not. They all want to get rid of Franco, the Magician - in a puff of smoke. 

Well, not every Witch wants to be "Queen" for a day. They want to be Queen forever in the magical world of Oz. And the Witches Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams are the meanest of the Queens of the Poppy Fields just outside of OZ. The Queens fly around to control OZ. Gee, seems just like politicians to me. There are two really evil Witches - the third Witch is kind and gorgeous She will be the Queen. 

The filming is extremely Magical. Colors pop up in front of your 3-D eyes as you focus on magical, wizardly illusions. What we are seeing is some of the greatest screen powers in the world. There are hints of the original "Wizard of Oz"  that starred Judy Garland as she skipped down the Yellow Brick road. In this "OZ" there weren't any dwarfs singing along a Yellow Brick Road -- but there is one cute little monkey with the brightest blue eyes you've every seen. The Monkey follows  Handsome Franco wherever he goes. You will cheer up with a couple of songs - but remember, this is not a musical. The Bad Witches won't allow anyone  to be that happy. 

OZ is a little long - but not boring. It keeps you on the edge of your chair. The 3D effects are excellent. Somewhat like the award winning movie "PI". 

Near the end of "OZ" you see the most spectacular part of the film. It's very exciting and amazing. "Oz" is Terrific, and Hilarious! The all-star cast will dazzle you with tremendous performances! 

RATING: Four Boxes of Popcorn!!!! (HIGHEST RATING) - TRADEMARKED- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he has produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED))) 

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