Tag Archives: David E.

‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ – Review By David E.

 

I went into Oz with an open mind and very low expectations for two reasons, the first being that I’ve never really been a big fan of James Franco’s work and secondly this movie is a prequel…to a recognized movie classic no less. Other than X-Men: First Class none of them in recent years have been even decent let alone good.. *cough cough Star Wars, *cough cough Prometheus*. Did we really even need to know how The Wizard of Oz came into power?

The movie focuses on carnival sideshow magician Oscar Diggs (played by Franco). He’s a dishonest, oversexed and underachieving stage performer in Kansas who dreams of doing great things with his life. His heroes are the likes of Houdini and Edison, but the traveling carnival he works in is making him little or no money and his lofty aspirations seem to die a little bit each day.

After one of his shows ends in an embarrassing confrontation with a crippled child’s parents he receives a visit from long time friend Annie played by Michele Williams (who later plays as Glenda The Good). Annie wants to be with Oscar but the life of a simple married farmer holds no appeal to him. Their conversation is interrupted when the carnival strong man attempts to exact punishment on Oscar for romancing his wife forcing Oscar to escape in the carnival’s hot air balloon. Unfortunately for him, a massive tornado has taken shape not far from the carnival and sucks the balloon and him into it then spits them out in the wonderful world of Oz.

First off, the opening credits sequence here makes this a MUST see in 3-D. The use of it through out the movies isn’t as engrossing but is far better than a lot of other CG movies (like for example Alice In Wonderland). There is a scene where its snowing and the falling flakes are done amazingly well.

Franco’s portrayal of the lovable rogue turned hero is uneven in parts but still fun and entertaining. I don’t think the movie gave me enough to justify his sudden change of heart but it’s excusable because it did a lot of other things surprisingly well. One of them is a pair of companions of Oz’s that weren’t shown in the trailer so I won’t spoil them but one of them in particular is just rendered jaw-droppingly well. Seriously, when this character was on screen I just marveled at it.

Another thing that was done well was the performance of the three witches. Michelle Williams already looks angelic to me so throwing a tiara and white dress on her with constant closes up of her near glowing smile as Glenda The Good was fine by me.

Rachel Weisz as Eleanora was the weak link in the three though. She seemed too mechanical and not really into her performance but giving her green force lightning as a witching power certainly made up for that.

Mila Kunis as Theodora however, was the best of the three. In the first part of her performance with Oz she under acts and gets some laughs but in the second half of her performance she over acts and although I didn’t LOL through much of it she made me smile wide and remember the original movie which had not happened once up to that point in this one. In fact Kunis and William’s performances keep the second half of the movie afloat while the story slows down to check off boxes and reminds us all that this is linked to The Wizard of Oz. Munchkins, tinkerers and yellow bricked roads. “He can make scarecrows!!! Check, check, check they’re all here, we got it. *Yawn* Please move on.

Overall, Oz is a pleasant surprise of a prequel and is worth catching in theaters in 3-D. My 8 year old son had no interest in seeing it but I imagine that the pure spectacle of the colorful world that director Sam Raimi created here would hold the attention of most small children.

Which reminds me, the flying monkeys in this movie are eff’ing insane! They aren’t in it a lot, but there is a “battle” scene in which you get to see them in all their scary hideousness and WFT!! I’m guessing that since most small kids are already on a steady diet of COD and Twilight it won’t scare them too bad (if at all) but I found them to be genuinely creepy.

Yeah, you have my blessing to go see this movie and not feel cheated afterward. I certainly didn’t.

Formal Introduction to David E. – New Contributing Writer For Dipped in Cream!

First, off thanks so much to Dipped in Cream for this opportunity! I’ve written here occasionally as a guest movie reviewer and I’m very excited for the chance to write for them (and to you it’s readers) on a regular basis. So what exactly will I be writing about here at Dipped in Cream, you may ask? Well, a little bit of everything and anything that crops up into my usually, (okay, mostly) sober melon. But if you need me to be little more specific here’s a couple of things that I’m pretty sure I’ll be touching on at some point sooner or later in the coming weeks and months as a regular writer on Dipped in Cream.

Dating, Relationships and the Opposite Sex

I’m in my late 30’s and as a divorced (for almost three years) father of two kids steadily closing in on “middle age”, I can easily say that the dating scene today is an effing jungle! My marriage lasted for almost a decade and to say the time I spent as a single person before I got married as compared to being single now is like night and day is a gross understatement and we’ll get into how and why (or maybe how and why not if you feel differently) in future entries.

Parenting in Public

When I see parents doing stupid things with and to there children IN PUBLIC but then act like nothing’s wrong when people notice it like say taking your small children to a blood and gore infested R-rated movie like I saw last year while watching Immortals (which I reviewed for Dipped in Cream), you deserve to be talked about. Or like the dad who was screaming at his 4 or 5 year old kid to run like he was trying out for the Olympics at a 5k race I attended two months ago… YOU deserved to get talked about.

But don’t worry, I will also relate the good things I see parents do in public as well, because as a parent I can easily speak for all of us and say we need as much support and encouragement as we can get.

Movies

I will continue to post reviews for any mainstream film I’m looking for to seeing like Lawless or Skyfall, the latest installment in the Daniel Craig Bond series. But if I happen to come across a little gem that’s maybe not so well-known like Attack The Block, or Another Earth was released last year, I’ll post a review for you on those as well.

I would love to branch out into TV as well, but I really don’t have any shows that I feel strongly about enough to write on them other than Game of Thrones, and with the next season not coming out until March of next year (BOOOOOO!) it can just sit on the back burner till then.

That one current event EVERYONE else is talking about.

I REALLY wish I’d could have had this gig while the Penn State scandal broke. Everybody from my Facebook friends to talk radio had a decisive opinion on it, and I would have loved to jump in head first and tell you about mine. But no worries, whatever the next big thing is that everyone is going to be talking about I’ll probably weigh in on it too.

So, there you have it. I look forward to being a positive addition to Dipped in Cream and hearing from you!

Today’s Guest Reviewer, David E. Discusses – ‘The Immortals’

 

Review by: David E.

Before I dive into my review of this movie I have to say that as a parent of 2 small children (6 and 2) I was DISGUSTED with the number of underage children (about 7 yeas of age) who were in the theater watching this movie.  And I don’t mean teenagers; I mean preteens years (between 9 and 12 I’d guess), but little kids presumably there with parents/guardians.   WTF!  I don’t care if you can’t get a sitter!  And I don’t care if  junior does sit around and pop caps into fools at close range on Call of Duty all day when he’s not setting things on fire and getting D’s in math so it’s “okay” if he tags along.  No responsible adult parent or otherwise should be bringing young children to this movie!  And with that off my chest, here’s why:

 

 

King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity and the Gods.  Amassing a bloodthirsty army, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power.  With this bow Hyperion can unleash the Titans, God like figures who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartarus since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge after being sent there by Zeus.  In the Hyperion’s hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and with the Titans released he could destroy the Gods that allowed his family so suffer and die.  As a show of Zeus’s faith in mankind to make right decisions the Gods are forbidden to intervene in human affairs and are thus powerless to stop Hyperion…until a peasant secretly chosen by Zeus named Theseus (Henry Cavill) joins the fight against King Hyperion.

 

So, let me ask you this: do you like fake CGI blood?  Well if you do you’re in luck because this movie is drenched in it.  Seriously, anything that can be cut, sliced, stabbed, gouged, ripped, chopped, stomped, burned, or crushed (and by crushed I mean as in some dudes junk with a mallet the size of Rhode Island) is and no editing is done to spare you the graphic nature of it all.  Mickey Rourke does a great job as the villain and when he’s on screen you just know that someone is going to get hurt and hurt badly.  Henry Cavill certainly looks the part of the hero here and his acting is decent but doesn’t match Rourke’s.

However, here’s where this movie disappoints me.  What about the Gods?  While mankind teeters on the brink of all-out war a debate takes place on Mount Olympus in just one scene between the Gods as why they should or should not intervene.  Just one scene??   I wanted more of that debate brought out.  Luke Evans explains to us as Zeus that he believes in free will so it means not saving our asses when we screw up.  But what about people who are innocent victims of violence and didn’t deserve to die?  King Hyperion brings up this question, Theseus brings up this question, but we as an audience never get an answer from the Gods on the matter.  The story would have benefited from taking out a few beheadings and instead giving more time to the free will vs. divine guidance debate.  That being said, the Gods as fighters are effing AWESOME.  The movie makes you wait till the end for it but I’d say watching them do battle with the Titans is worth the wait especially since I saw this in 3D.

Overall I can say that if you liked 300 then you’ll like Immortals although it’s not nearly as good.  Immortals gives you tons of special effects, fights, and gore– (oh and throw in a few seconds of Freida Pinto’s breasts and ass yippeee!) one or two clichéd rah rah speeches but little or no depth in terms of its story or the worthy themes it touches on.

Guest Reviewer, David E.