"I don't want to die ... I haven't accomplished anything yet!"
Oscar Diggs is a carnival magician with a smooth tongue and plenty of tricks up his sleeve. He does not want to be a good man --- he wants to be a great one, and he's willing to swindle, charm, and use people and break ladies' hearts to get there.
After one not-so-successful performance, he (in essence) steals a hot air balloon to get away from some other displeased performers, and gets more than he bargained for when a tornado sweeps his hot air balloon off to never never land.
Overall, it was very well done. As far as prequels go, it didn't flop. It did its job, and did it very well --- providing backstory for the characters from The Wizard of Oz. The cinematography was excellent. In my opinion this movie totally redefines the world of Oz and completely changes your view of the original Oz movie. In a good way. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was laughing way more than I thought I would.
What really made this movie as enjoyable as it was was the characters. They each had their own history and you can't help but get drawn in. Other movies focus on the action or plot, but this film focused mostly on the characters, and I think that's what made it successful as a prequel. They "cast a spell" over you, making you become emotionally attached to them. Mostly the three witches, Glinda, Evanora, and Theodora. (Gotta love the names.) The acting for these three was excellent, especially for Theodora --- she had more depth than the others, I think. I can feel character inspiration coming on now :-)
Oscar Diggs being who he is (a flirt) there was more romance, and more broken hearts, than I expected in this film. It fit in okay as far as his character goes, but it's still there and ... well, it doesn't make you like Oz very much. \It can be kind of funny at times, however.
The language in this movie was relatively clean, only two uses of d**n, and awkwardly placed in the same scene. I saw no real problems with this movie --- after all, it was targeted towards families. I do think, though, that kids younger than 8 shouldn't see it. It was intense at times, but not extreme enough for it to get a PG-13 rating.
I really enjoyed it. It's not on the same scale as ... The Avengers, perhaps, but it definitely is a wonderful adventure that I enjoyed watching, and I can't wait till it comes out on DVD so I can experience it again. :) It's full of suspense, humor, and an element that, well, kept me from being bored and keeps me from thinking about anything else!
Out of 5 stars, I would give it a 4. I recommend this to any fantasy or Oz loving geeks, or anyone else for that matter. It snatches and captures the attention of all ages. In short: I loved it.