Oz the Great and Poweful: The 3-D Factor

In Oz, massive hats are mandatory.
In Oz, massive hats are mandatory.

As I mentioned in my review of Oz the Great and Powerful, I only saw a 2-D version of the film. Normally this wouldn’t be a factor in my appreciation of the film (most of the time, 3-D is just a strategy to separate moviegoers from their money), but Oz is such an eminently visual spectacle, it has to be considered. I saw the film again last night and, while not fully satisfied, it was an overall better experience.

Without the gimmick, Oz the Great and Powerful is a rather dull affair. The 3-D element shifts the audience attention to in the cinematography, by far the most successful aspect of the film. Take the old fashioned opening credits, inspired by analog visual trickery: In 2-D the titles look cute; in 3-D they become enticing.

Oz was originally shot in 3-D  (most films are converted to the format in post-production), which explains why it looks better than the average tri-dimensional romp. It’s not Hugo, but at least Sam Raimi has enough imagination to come up with some new thrills. Maybe with a better script or a stronger lead it could have become a worthy companion piece for the original Wizard of Oz.

Author: Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Journalist, film critic, documentary filmmaker, and sometimes nice guy. Member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Like horror flicks, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. Allergic to cats.