Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking. That all changes, however, when he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.Written by
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Although the film is cited as heavily "borrowing" details from the famous The Wizard of Oz (1939) film, there are not as many copyright issues as one might assume. Characters in Kansas and Oz being played by the same actors was first done in the 1925 version of The Wizard of Oz (1925). Kansas appearing in black-and-white and Oz in color was first done in the 1933 cartoon The Wizard of Oz (1933). The Munchkins have a celebration party, including singing and dancing, in chapter 3 of the original book. Therefore these elements are not original to the 1939 film. See more »
When Oscar is talking to Annie about leaving, the pendant of her necklace is under the bust line of her dress. When she stands up a few moments later, the pendant is visible. See more »
Front Gate Barker:
Hurry, hurry, step this way. Get your tickets now. Don't be shut out, friend. Step this way. See the most wondrous sights imaginable. pulled from the four corners of the Earth. Acts to delight, to thrill and to mystify! Walk through these gates and into the world of wonder.
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The opening credits are seen in a 1930s nickelodeon, with certain credits having their own qualities:
if You didn't Know that this Movie was Directed by Sam Raimi, You wouldn't Know that it was Directed by Sam Raimi. All of the Style is in the CGI. It has a Certain Eye Candy Appeal that also Lacks Warmth, Depth, and Anything Resembling a Soul.
But here it is. A Mega-Million Dollar Spewing of the Plasticized, Industrial Art that has become the Standard for This Type of Thing. The Other Worldliness of the Superhero and other Fantasies. It can Work Very Well in Limited Quantities but when that's All there is, that's All there is.
James Franco is a Movie Star (and some may question why) and Not an Actor, so He can by No Stretch of the Imagination Pull off the Charm Needed for the Wizard. He Grins and Smirks and All the Women On Screen, and in the Audience, are Supposed to be Charmed Out of Their Pants. Right.
The Prequel has its Moments of Appeal, but Hardly Awe Inspiring. The Witches are Interchangeable Bores. The Flying Monkey is OK and the China Doll is the Most Memorable. There are a lot of Explosions and Fireballs to Pump the Sub-Woofers and Danny Elfman's Recognizable Style is Noticeable from the First Few Notes (did someone say repetition).
Overall, the Movie can be Recommended in a Gaudy kind of Display with Enough Color to Capture the Eye, but the Movie is Not that Captivating. It is such a Mediocre Movie that Slightly Betrays the Source Material and is Another Expensive Extravaganza that is by Most Accounts Disappointing and Adequate at Best. That's not much for Disney and the Pile of Gold it put out for this Thing.
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