Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Wizard of Oz, from then to now.

Oh boy, The wizard of Oz. every American's dear childhood memory.
I am saying American, cause it's not my childhood memory... neither is it anyone's I know personally. as It happens this is really an American thing.

Congratulation guys, aint it something like that you have been searching for over there? some kind of fairy tale you can truly say is yours?
Well, this would kind of be it.

Though, as soon as I discovered the franchise, boy is there many interpretation of this sucker, we are talking weird rock musical, the Muppets, a urban musical, steam punk television show, goth show. dear lord, talking a tale which have been interpreted the living crap out of it, and yet... non of these interpretations are particularly well known.

Anywho, the movie I think every... American person, Remembers is the 1939 MGM musical films, there were interpretations before this, but no one remembers them, and I haven't seen them.
As I don't have nostalgia childhood feelings towards this movie, I got to be honest. I just find it to be okay, it's not bad at all, I just don't find it to be so good either, it's very cutesy and stuff, and bright of cause. the songs are pretty cute and catchy.
People are going to slaughter me for this, I never really liked "Somewhere over the rainbow" I just don't think the song that great, and of cause Judy garlands alto voice is a "one only", I just don't like her singing that particular song, I don't find it pretty nor uplifting... I find it more like kind of annoying. "If I only had a brain" is really cute and nice, but after being repeated for the third time... yeah, not my kind of movie. am sorry, but a critic need to be honest.
All though, gotta low it for making "the flying monkeys" the cliché they are today, I like flying monkeys.

"The Wiz" from 1978
Michael Freaking Jackson as the Scarecrow... the hell?
And its just as odd watching as it sounds... its just weird. putting Michael Jackson aside (seriously, the hell???) It's an urban musical, meaning its and all black cast, and all the music is that sort of black music you would expect from such a cast, each one of the numbers are pretty good... for the first minute we see them, and each and every single song out stays its own welcome by far and gets repetitive and boring. this is a very bland and boring movie, with wooden acting and no time for story as they crawls around in the same melodies over and over, that to quickly gets very repetitive and boring. colours and dancing are nice, and there are few really creative moments, but a few is still a few. its just not a good movie, though still... got Michael Jackson as the scarecrow in it....the hell?

"Return to Oz" from 1974 is more my kind of movie however.
Well, its not perfect, and it tends to trip over itself. but its so imaginative and entertaining that I can forgive it.Its kind of like a darker version of "The Wizard of Oz" and is kind of a sequel to the original book, not the MGM movie, the book. the style isn't even remotely as bright nor cheerful as the MGM musical and it borrows little from it. It's not a movie I would watch over and over, but I am glad I saw it, and it was fun while it lasted.

"Wicked" the stage musical from 2003.
God dammit is it weird I keep giving the stage musicals the best reviews, I should really stop doing that! but this show is just so awesome!
What its basically is, is Wizard of Oz on its head. but not by trying and giving it a dark setting, nope, the entire story is on its head as we see everything from the point of view of The wicked witch of the west, who is in this show called Elphaba, and is now a pure tragic hero, its an amazing watch, especially when I already was familiar with the MGM musical, this really seemed like the other side of the classic film, and everything fits perfect together like a puzzle, especially the last act of the musical where we do actually experiences scenes from the classic movie, but from somebody else's point of view is god damn clever. The music is huge and grant but also speaks the story perfectly, and in a opposite to "the Wiz", things are going on in this, songs are there to illustrates situations and emotions, and most importantly, its never boring nor repetitive, bit can even become quite disturbing on purpose some times. differently worth a watch for anyone who knows and love the old MGM movie.

Then there is the 2006 "The Muppets wizard of Oz"
darn it, this film is hurting me, but probably not for the reason you think.
I really love the muppets, I love the original show, and I personally believe "muppets Christmas Carol" and "Muppets Treasure island" is the high point of all of the Muppets existence, does are really among my favorite movies, for a while the muppets were on a break after doing does two movies, before after replacing deceased puppeteers they returned with a short lifed show called "The Muppets tonight show" which was okay, and then did some movies which all sucked, first two original written movies, and then with this they tried to return to the highlight of the two former mentioned films.
I do think it kind of tries, dear lord there's even a Quinto Tarantino Cameo in there oO; but it fails, it lacks the charm of the other muppet films, and there for everything falls shorts in this, it tires to be modern and cool which is why it fails, come on, its the muppets they were never cool to begin with, stop trying! you just trip over yourself, which is what this move does, its just a bad bad movie. I wont implore muppets fan to watch it, and I want implore Wizard of Oz fans to watch it.

in 2007, a three part mini series called "The Tin Man" which is sort of a dark steam punk version of Oz came out.
This is a really odd thing to review, And I want to do a more in depth thing later, its odd because I really do want to love it, I love the design, I love many of the ideas and its very imaginative, the performances a top notch, many of the character stories good in depth and tragic. but... this is just not a very good mini series, I really want to love it, it really tries and have the heart in the right place. But the story telling keeps tripping over itself, every time a really good and tragic story element pops up a downright campy and stupid element will also pop up a moment later, it annoys the hell out of me how they replaced many of the names at the most obvious way, Well, to call the scarecrow "Glitch" and the Tin Man "Cane" is all fine with me to give them real names, in fact that's a great idea when giving it a more dark realistic punk twist, but keeping on calling the main girl "D-G" which obviously stands for "Dorothy Gale" keeps referring to the evil ruler as "The sorcerer" when its obvious the wicked witch of the west and goes on a mission trying to find "The Mystic Man" who is this version the freaking Wizard!!! annoys the living daylight out of me. I know its only a minor things, and if the rest was good I would be willing to overlook it, but it isn't, and these name callings are constantly presence and annoys me.

These are all the movies and interpretations that I have actually seen, though there are much more out there, I have also seen a couple of related children's cartoons while watching up, but decided not to go and try and find them again.
For once most of my reviews were pretty bad, but a reviewer gotta be honest, and The wizard of Oz is far from dead. there are actually even two major things related in the horizons.

One is Andrew Lloyd Webber's next musical, which will be another version of that exact tale.
Jesus christ Lloyd Webber, you did figure how to use mainstream and known tales to get more money didn't you? I for one is not exited by that, at all. despite kind of liking the tale of Wizard and Oz, and also liking Webber musicals, I am not pleased by this at all.

The other thing on the horizon is that Sam Raimi, maker of the evil dead trilogy, is in the development of a project called "Oz, Great and Powerful" which is set to release in 2013....
Sam Raimi doing an Oz movie? FUCK YEAH!

I am thinking Brain eating scarecrow who terrorises the people, I am thinking fucking terminator tin man with a fucking shut gun attached to him, I am thinking monster lion with teeth's the seize of my arm, I am thinking Dorothy with a chainsaw attached to her arm fighting her through the legion of zombies the scarecrow created when he bit them and Glinda the fucking good creating clouds filled with raining acid to help Dorothy in her fight against the demon witch!

"cough" I'm sorry. I guess I was carried a bit away there.... see you at my next blog, buy!

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