My favorite way to watch a movie is to know nothing about it beforehand. All I knew about Oz the Great and Powerful was that it had something to do with the Wizard of Oz. And for some reason I thought it starred Johnny Depp (who, by the way, would have made a great Wizard). Instead, James Franco plays the cheesy, misogynistic con-man, Oscar Diggs, aka Oz, in a visually stunning production that provides the back story to the classic tale of the Wizard of Oz.
Also starring Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams as the three witches, this mixture of animation and cinematography takes you on a phantasmagorical journey from a Kansas circus to the Emerald City. In this exciting adventure, Oz gets caught in the midst of a power struggle between three witches, one good, one inherently evil, and one who loses her heart to transform into the Wicked Witch of the West. Along the way you'll meet Munchkins, hideous flying baboons, a dainty china doll, and an emotional winged monkey dressed like a bell hop.
Like the original classic, this movie begins in black and white, transitioning to full color when Oz arrives in Oz. Unlike the original, this is not a musical. Sam Raimi provides his usual touch of mastery and excellence with his direction, including his trademark dizzying point-of-view shots (also a trademark of the Coen brothers who worked with Raimi early in their careers).
Oz the Great and Powerful is a fun-filled visual treat that is sure to distract you from a dreary, yucky day. I found it to be a nice surprise.
Any film that stars Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake can't be anything but good. Couple the cast with a script that centers around the game of baseball, and you've guaranteed it to be great in my book! But you don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy it.
Eastwood plays an aging baseball scout who is losing his sight. He is a stubborn curmudgeon, refusing to accept gracefully the changes in his body and in his career. Adams, his workaholic daughter, is caught between her aspirations to become a partner at her law firm, and becoming more and more responsible for her father's well-being. (I can soooo relate to some of the dynamics in this father-daughter relationship!) Justin Timberlake plays a former baseball player whose presence bolsters the pair as they come to terms with their life transitions.
There are some lessons in this movie that are truly applicable to what we, with chronic illness, experience in our life transitions, and more specifically, the struggles we face as life throws us curves: in relationships as lives start to shift, our dashed aspirations when life doesn't go as planned, and how, through facing trouble and disappointment head on, we triumph in discovering our Joyful Work.
Trouble With the Curve is gentle and soulful in its greatness; a true feel-good film that will stick with you for a long time. Enjoy!