Oohs and Oz

When I first heard that The Wizard of Oz was getting the 3D treatment, my mind immediately flashed to the notoriously slapdash 3D done for Clash of the Titans a few years back, and if you have similarly ambivelant feelings about 3D, I don't blame you, but let me put your mind at ease.

This experience is the best of what 3D can offer and made me feel like the proverbial fly on the wall as all of the action occurred in front of my eyes.  Even, the paintings that fill out the landscapes have been transferred to 3-D.  This technology combined with the huge screen and surround sound, made the film seem as present, modern, sleek and brilliant as it's ever been. 

It was as if it was filmed yesterday, but without CGI, and with the tremendous attention to craftsmanship that seems in many ways lost today.  And the lovely thing about the quality is how much detail you are able to see.  You can count Judy Garland's freckles, the wrinkles in her dress, her distorted reflection as she looks into the crystal ball (which has to be seen to be believed) as her Aunt Em transforms into the menacingly wicked Witch of the West.  You can even, in rare moments see Bert Lahr's wig line. 

I was aware for the first time of just how often little Toto was bounding around under the four friends constantly moving feet, and how constant the lion's tail was swinging, as if it had a life of its own.  Plus, because of the 3D, I felt as if I were moving with the camera, and was aware for the first time of all those beautiful crane shots.  It's just a stunning, immersive experience, and one with a saddenly short life span.  The critics all agree it looks wonderful, and I've linked to some reviews if you care to check them out.


USA Today

Entertainment Weekly

Below is a short promotional film which illustrates the restoration and the application of 3D and IMAX technology.  Hopefully it will get you to go, because you only have today and tomorrow and then it will be gone from theatres and heading to (gasp) television.

And finally, for the film buffs, there is a beautiful pictorial book that delves into the sets, lights, costumes, and props called The Wizardry of Oz, which you can get on Amazon.com.