Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Not a Waltz! Anything but a Waltz!

Hello People of the Interwebs!

Today's review is of a movie that won a screenplay writing competition, and was then produced. The film is 'Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return'.

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

The story follows Dorothy, as she wakes up from the tornado, in a wrecked house. We meet the Appraiser, who, for no reason that's ever clarified, wants to condemn people's houses when they're completely destroyed, as is usual during situations like that. Dorothy tries to fight back, but is shot down. In a surprisingly depressing moment, she sings about how one person can't change the world while walking through the horribly destroyed town. This moment really hits hard since, in the original Wizard of Oz, you don't really see what happens to Dorothy's house or her town after the tornado. It's really quite a powerful scene.

Anyway, Dorothy then gets captured by a rainbow. Kind of a sudden twist. Dorothy gets sucked to Oz, where an evil villain, named the Jester, has begun to take over! Here is yet another villain where their true motives are... non-existent. He has a villain song, but it doesn't actually clarify WHY he wants to take over Oz. All I really know about him is this- 1: His sister was the Wicked Witch of the West. 2: His sister cursed him, so he can't take off his Jester's outfit. 3: He makes his marionette slaves do a Waltz to intimidate people. sigh... He captures Glinda by turning her into a soulless marionette, and eventually captures the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the ex-Cowardly Lion (ex-Cowardly, not ex-Lion), but doesn't turn them into soulless marionettes. Dorothy travels through Oz, trying to make her way to the Emerald City, and then to the Jester's Palace. Along the way, she meets Wiser, a fat owl, Marshal Mellows, a marshmallow guard, and the China Princess.

The writing isn't really bad, and most of the jokes could be funny, but barely any actually land an amusing punchline. Why do I still think the writing's okay then? Well beyond the jokes, they managed to make me get teary eyed for a relationship between a tiny porcelain doll and a giant marshmallow. Anybody who can do that deserves some credit.

Now, the voice acting is what you'd expect. B-Rate actors, doing C-Rate jobs, and- wait, what? There's actual Star Power in this film! Among the stars in this film are such varied A-List actors as: Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Bernadette Peters, Martin Short, and... Patrick Stewart? Ayup, Patrick Stewart is in this film, folks. As a talking tree/talking boat/talking wooden tank. But you know what? If I were Patrick Stewart, I would do a movie like this one once in a while too. Dorothy is played by Lea Michelle, which helps when there's singing involved, I guess. I'm not entirely convinced by her acting though.

All in all, it's not an entirely terrible movie, and I suppose that it has enjoyable moments, but it is not at all worth about 1 and 3/4 hours of your time.

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

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