Sunday, March 17, 2013

Movie Review: The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is a Hollywood musical about a Lion who wants to be king of the forest, and the entire movie is really just a set up and filler for his elaborate 2-hour long "King of the Forest" song that appears in the middle.

To get to that point, the movie starts with Dorothy, who wants to protect her dog from a mean lady who wanted him 'destroyed' and who very likely dies in a tornado that strikes their rural Kansas town during the Great Depression.

Dorothy is transported to the Land of Oz when some stage glass blows out of her bedroom window, missing her by about 2 feet. However, this knocks her unconscious, and she wakes up in Oz, which is populated by singing Munchkins (small people who speak an alien language that is completely indiscernible) and bright flowers ("they're plastic!" said my 3 year-old daughter).

She is told to visit the Wizard of Oz to be returned to Kansas, although, according to a good witch, all she really needed to do was click her heels together 3 times and say 'there's no place like home.' However, this was deemed 'less believable' than traveling with a talking tin man, scarecrow, and lion through a fantasy land in an effort to meet a wizard.

Their journey takes literally 2 minutes and they arrive at Oz after encountering exactly one peril that Glinda or Glenda or whatever steps in and delivers them from almost immediately. While waiting to see the Wizard, we get to the movie's main set piece-the "King of the Forest" song that is so painful that you will have to fast forward it at 120x speed for 15 minutes before you even get to the part where he wears the carpet for a cape. Also, lions are not indigenous to forests, so yeah.

For motivations never revealed, the Wizard sends the group on a quest to get the Wicked Witch's broomstick. Maybe it was a stall tactic? And yet even though he insists he's a 'very good man,' he probably sent some innocent morons to their almost certain death to avoid having to help them.

The best part of the movie is when they're all going to the Witch's castle to try to get the broomstick and they have various tools to help, like a butterfly net and a spray thing labeled 'Witch Remover,' and they've given the Scarecrow an actual gun. It looks like about a .38 or so.

Yada yada yada, the group Lord of the Ringses their way into the castle and defeats the witch via the Signs method. How she survived all that time being up to 65% water is beside the point, which is that all the major plot points of this film involve a minor committing manslaughter.

The Wizard leaves Oz in a balloon and Dorothy goes back home to await trial as the main suspect-certainly the only one with clear motive-in the death of Mrs. Gulch, the end.


Hillary said...

Was the king of the forest song longer than the color dance number in The Wiz? I swear we fast forwarded through that segment for like 30 minutes.

Christian said...

Yes it was.

Kevan said...

I love that song and have it memorized. "My teeth would lash I would show compash for every underling, if I , if I were King." I even use the Lion voice and vibrato.

Heidi said...

All I think of and hear is Kevan when you say King of the Forest. He made the best Cowardly Lion!
Yes, there are certain issues with Dorothy and the whole Wizard ensemble, but come our very small world back then it was absolute magic! (You may be somewhat jaded and a mite more intelligent than we were/are.)

Christian said...

It is a good show, it's just an easy target for my particular brand of sarcasm.