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Isnin, 11 Mac 2013

Ulasan Filem: Oz The Great And Powerful


Sinopsis

Disney's fantastical adventure, "Oz The Great and Powerful" directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot with fame and fortune being his for the taking, that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced that he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it's too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity and even a bit of wizardry, Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
Classification: P13
Genre: Adventure / Fantasy
General Release Date: 07 Mar 2013
Running Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff
Director: Sam Raimi


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Watch this if you liked: "Alice In Wonderland"


"Oz The Great And Powerful" feels like watching a magic show, literally. You feel like you are being fooled, but you can't take your eyes away from the trick that is playing out. Sam Raimi has subverted all the "Wizard Of Oz" tropes that you know and loved into an almost original, fun-filled ride that will make you feel like going down the yellow brick road again.

The film acts as a prequel of sorts to L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz". Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is a notorious womanizer and a conman whose knack for parlor tricks leads him to become a small-time magician. However, after an unfortunate run-in with the enraged boyfriend of a lover, Oscar ends up in a hot air balloon that is blown into Oz. There, he meets Theodora (Mila Kunis), who then tells him that he is the prophesized Wizard of Oz, come to save them from the terror of the Wicked Witch. Oscar is more than delighted to help, solely because of the vast treasures that await him.

To reiterate, from the premise itself, it feels like Raimi is laughing at hardcore fans of L. Frank Baum's novel who posit that he would not be able to make a great film, I mean, how much exciting would it be to watch yet another adaptation of Oz after the critically-acclaimed "Wicked" (a retelling of the Wicked Witch's story, before she became so)? Raimi then gives us a coward and a pretentious hero. Flying monkeys are bad? Oscar Diggs' assistant is a flying monkey named Finley. What about Dorothy travelling with three companions to defeat the Wicked Witch? As Franco puts it sarcastically, "Fine, let's all go in a merry parade to defect the Wicked Witch!"

But not all is upended as such. Raimi has kept some the more memorable landmarks of Baum's classic literature, such as the Yellow Brick Road, Emerald City, the Munchkins, the Winkies and the Oz we knew when Dorothy came to him. 'A' must be given for effort, for Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire's screenplay goes beyond being a loose adaptation. There are actually parallels made between Kansas and Oz, as well as genuinely rip-roaring one-liners and running gags. There are no tasteless, slapstick jokes like those present in comedies of late, and more like those in Disney's "Pirates Of The Caribbean".

Franco is in top form here as Oscar Diggs. His role is nothing we have not seen before as Harry Osborn in Raimi's "Spider-Man" or as Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle's "127 Hours", but credit must be given to Franco for utilizing his charms, wit and playfulness to maximum effect. He manages to make us like him in spite of his detestable character, and believe that he IS destined to be the Wizard of Oz, which brings dimension to his character. It is hard to imagine anyone who could have done the sham of a wizard role so fittingly as he did. His performance is equally matched by Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams as Theodora, one of the witches who fall for Oscar's charms that result in tragic circumstances and Glinda, respectively. Yet, while the cast is fantastic, this is very much Oscar's story, he's the one who has to learn valuable life lessons, so the rest are pushed into the background in favor of that.

Which brings us to the flaws: There are more than a few glaring loopholes that may or may not spoil your enjoyment of the film. Firstly, the characterizations feel a little contrived, especially Evanora (Rachel Weisz). Take her role away from the film and events can still unfold the way they did. More screen time needs to be given to "Oz The Great And Powerful" side characters such as Finley the Flying Monkey, since they make for compelling storytelling. Zach Braff did a wonderful job despite being stripped to a CGI character's voice, and his scenes where he plays off James Franco's Oscar Diggs is a delight to watch. We also need to see the people of Oz suffering under the fear of the Wicked Witch. Secondly, while the direction that Raimi takes is novel, such as the initial ambiguity of the Wicked Witch's identity and the visit to China Town, the formula for the narrative is typical of every Disney film. It's a shame because you can see that Raimi just so wants to break out of the mold (there are various scenes that clearly aims to jolt audiences, warranting its P13 rating), but he never follows through.

The special effects for the film are especially astounding though. Just like how Franco felt when he opens his eyes to the Technicolor land of Oz, we are left breathless by the amazing detail that Raimi has thought up for the film, such as the various flowers like deadly Poppies and creatures, the magnificence of Emerald City as well as the various races. No two individuals look the same. Cinematography-wise, it was clever that they adapted the 1939's adaptation of "The Wizard Of Oz" format of storytelling in which the first 10 minutes of the film are depicted in black and white and in standard size instead of widescreen.

Great acting (save for Rachel Weisz) and striking visuals abound in "Oz The Great And Powerful" that makes it stand out from the sea of hammy fairy tale adaptations such as "Red Riding Hood", "Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters" and "Jack The Giant Slayer". The film is by no means one of the best films of the month, but it will go down in history for its ingenuity, much like how Raimi's "Spider-Man" is remembered. It is also the reason why you SHOULD watch it.


 ULASANKU

Bagi aku filem ni memang ala-ala Alice And Wonderland tu. Menarik dan tertarik kau memang the boom! Terutama taknik CGI dia memang nampak gempak. Walaupun ini cerita animasi dan fantasi semata-mata, tapi grafik dan visualnya memang nampak macam reallah. Walaupun konsep kartoon tu masih jelas kelihatan. Masa Oz (watak utama) tu tengok pari-pari sungai, pergerakan anak matanya nampak tidak sekata dengan visual pari-pari sungai tu, kekemasan CGI bagi objek lain serta merta menutup kelemahan yang sedikit itu.

Awal babak, memang ditayangkan video versi lama yang mana saiz skrinnya pun turut kecil standard dengan solusi saiz skrin panggung dulu-dulu yang belum nak lebar. Bila Oz mula masuk ke sebuah alam yang diberi nama Oz sempena nama singkatannya, barulah skrin bertukar kepada solusi saiz sebenar dan kembali berwarna dan jelas dan menarik.

Oz ni memang pandai buat silap mata tapi tak pandai langsung buat magic. Aku tak tahu macam mana nak istilahkan dalam bahasa melayu Magic yang ada dua maksud di dalam filem ini. Apa yang pasti melalui filem ini, istilah silap mata dan magis adalah dua perkara yang berbeza. Silap mata adalah, trik atau helah untuk menyilapkan setiap mata yang memandang. Magis pula satu kuasa luar biasa yang melibatkan medium ketiga. Kalau kat Malaysia ni, kira sihirlah. Minta bantuan syaitan untuk menguatkan kuasa.

Aku takkan ulas jalan cerita untuk cerita ni sebab ulasan versi Inggeris di atas sudah mengulasnya dengan terperinci. Aku akan ulas tetang apa yang menarik yang ada di dalam filem fantasi untuk kanak-kanak ni. Apa yang boleh aku katakan, memang best dan sangat menarik CGI dia walaupun cerita ni tak adalah thrill sangat macm Jack and the Giant apa benda dah tu... Tapi, menonton filem ini memang tak rasa rugi langsung. Dua jam lima belas minit lebih kuranglah yang berlalu terasa sekejap dek keindahan alam fantasi yang digambarkan pengarah melalui jalan cerita ini. Kalaulah ada dunia Oz ni di dunia nyata, memang ramai yang teringin nak ke sana.

Walaupun indah bagai di syurga, tetap ada kekhuatiran bila mana dua kerajaan berperang untuk merebut satu takhta. Kenyataan yang sering berlaku dari dahulu sehinggalah kini. Termasuk di negara ini. Seperti klise cerita-cerita yang ada sebelum ini, sudah pasti yang jahat kalah dan yang baik menang walaupun sekadar menang tipis atau sebaliknya. Samalah halnya seperti filem ini, bila mana yang baik hampir kalah di tengah cerita dan sudah pasti hujungnya yang baik menang dan bahagia aman sentosa. Happy ending. Itulah kehendak ramai penonton yang menginginkan sesebuha cerita itu happy ending. Kalau sesebuah cerita tu ending dia menyakitkan hati, pasti akan ramai yang mengutuk dari memuji.

Sesuai untuk ditonton oleh semua lapisan masyarakat terutama kanak-kanak. Cumanya, kalau nak bawak anak-anak masuk panggung tu pastikan anak anda tu boleh dikawal dan tak terjerit-jerit macam budak kena sampuk jin. Suara jeritan dan bebelan anak-anak anda mungkin akan menganggu kosentrasi penonton lain yang ingin fokus menonton filem animasi yang hebat ini. So, kalau anda rasa anda nak tengok, teruskan niat anda. Ada dua versi. Versi 3D dan Versi 2D.

Mana yang selalu pening kepala guna cermin mata 3D tu, aku nasihatkan anda tengok yang versi 2D ajelah. Lebih fokus dan lebih menghayati. Selain tu dapat berjimat sebab harga tiket adalah berbeza. Mana yang tak ada masalah untuk menonton yang versi 3D sama ada dari segi pening kepala dan kewangan, boleh tengok versi yang 3D.

Dari 5 bintang, aku kasi 4 bintang untuk filem animasi yang sangat menarik ini. Sekian, terima kasih.



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