About Patricia

A tiger doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of a sheep.

Something Missing in the Magic


While trying to trigger nostalgia in an older audience (who grew up with the original “The Wizard of Oz“) and simultaneously aiming to enchant younger viewers, Disney did not accomplish either.

In this version, director Sam Raimi portrays the story of Oz, from the point of view of the Wizard himself. In previous productions, such as “Wicked” and “The Wiz”, the story is told from the point of view of more commonly explored characters; such as the Wicked Witch and Dorothy.

All together the film bears some inconsistencies. Oscar “Oz” Diggs, played by James Franco, seems too childlike for the role; his development into “The Great and Powerful Oz,” never quite happens in a notable way. When his character does transform into the honorable and inspiring leader he was bound to become, it doesn’t feel convincing.

Like in the 1905 version, Oscar Diggs gets thrown into the Land of Oz by a mysterious twister storm. The establishing shot of a sepia-toned Kansas is transformed into a vibrantly colored city. Not only that, but the aspect ratio of the screen changes too. While in Kansas, the screen is small and square-like. After landing in Oz, the screen ratio becomes widescreen.

Like Dorothy, he walks along the yellow brick road accompanied by friends who resemble people from his old life in Kansas: a comedic and loyal, flying monkey and a sarcastically sweet and resourceful china doll.

Also like Dorothy, Oz must face a witch. But which witch could I be referring to? You see, in Raimi’s rendition there are three. While in Emerald City, he finds himself in the middle of a battle between siblings, Glinda the Good-Witch and the Wicked Witches of the East and West.  Even now I’m not certain which witch was wickedest.

Out of high hopes, I really wanted “Oz the Great and Powerful” to be a prestigious and noble man. Unfortunately, we realize he is a deceitful, greedy, womanizer. Specific themes that are addressed during character developmental scenes don’t seem suitable for the child viewers. Some characters were downright terrifying (Wicked Witch’s Baboon minions). Also the story line doesn’t seem attention grabbing for a younger audience.

The film was overall entertaining. If you are watching with expectations of the 1905 film in mind, you will be highly disappointed. For what it lacked in acting and plot development, the movie made up for in beautiful costumes and set design.

One final note I have to get off my chest about Mila Kunis’s character, Theodora. While portraying the Wicked Theodora, her cackling induced flashbacks of her family guy character, Meg.

Every Playbook Has a Silver Lining

the Silver Linings Playbook

This awkwardly charming movie is based on a novel called “Playbook.” If you’re not a huge football fan, you might be asking yourself, “what’s a playbook?” Nevertheless, if you are not a fan of the sport, do not be discouraged to watch. The movie presents football in an all too funny perspective for football and non-football fans alike.

The movie begins with protagonist Patrick, played by Bradley Cooper, being released from a mental hospital after experiencing a downward spiral that resulted from his violent assault of his wife’s lover. Pat is a former teacher with bipolar disorder, who must move back home with his parents. Pat’s father, Robert DeNiro, is concerned for his son’s health, but could do with some help himself for his gambling addiction and his Obsessive-compulsive disorder. His father’s illness and fear of “juju” create the backbone to this peculiar story.

While working towards getting his life back, Pat is introduced to the equally troubled Tiffany. Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a young widow who deals with depression by sleeping with everyone in town. This odd pair creates a bond though trading insults, comparing medications, and a bet that ends up bailing his father out of a loan shark dilemma.

The combination of characters in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is what makes this film feel extraordinary.  These characters possess mental illnesses but manage to be quirky and sad and funny and charming all at once. Director David O. Russell takes some serious themes and delicately treats them with humor.

Russell’s script, packed with originality and unpredictability, sets the film apart from a typical standard. Silver Linings Playbook, is wrapped in a bittersweet exterior. The characters and their lines never stop feeling recognizably real.

The film explores themes of family bonds, second chances, and what is thought to be “normal” in this world. Through humor  (often dark humor) we experience an upbeat, feel-good story that feels genuine. The film stays with you long after you’ve left the cinema, and leaves a smile on your face.

Patricia’s Rating: