7 March 2013 5:00 AM, PST | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

In the movies' version of March Madness, Sam Raimi turns out to be a much better Tim Burton than Bryan Singer. Unlike "Jack the Giant Slayer" Singer, Sam's got a sense of humor. 

Taking on a prequel to the fairytale that frightened generations, Sam does scary. And does it well.

"Oz the Great and Powerful" is a winning back-engineering of the Oz fantasy, a "How the Wizard got to be wonderful" romp that is a stunning update "The Wizard of Oz's" effects, and the most gorgeous use of 3-D since "Alice in Wonderland."

Screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire manage just enough whimsy to make the movie's two hours pass without irritation. Raimi, having cut his teeth on horror and brought "Spider-Man" to life, was the right guy to make this emerald-tinted world pop off the 3-D screen.

But the cast, plainly packed with second or third choices, lets it down. »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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