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Blog Posts from March 2013

Movie Review by Phil Speary

Posted: 2:07pm 3/13/2013
Movie Review by Phil Speary

Oz: the pretty good and not so powerful -

 I love the classic 1939 THE WIZARD OF OZ as much as any Kansan film fan so the experience of the new super deluxe prequel OZ: THE GREAT & POWERFUL in 3D IMAX prompted a very mixed response because of very high expectations.  Coming from the same producers as the delirious and entertaining ALICE IN WONDERLAND with Johnny Depp and director Sam Raimi of SPIDERMAN and EVIL DEAD fame, I expected an eye-popping wildly creative adventure with a wicked sense of humor.  Eye-popping this world of Oz is but not so wildly creative, adventurous or all that much fun. 

 Actually the best part of the movie is while we’re still in black & white Kansas where all the trouble for “Oz” Diggs, the run-of-the mill sideshow magician (charmingly played by James Franco) begins. Once he is literally dropped into the color soaked magicial land by a spectacular CGI tornado, his story unfolds in fits and starts which sometimes wow us but too often make us wish the story would go ahead and get on to its obvious conclusion.  The three talented screen beauties Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams play the sister witches who are made to argue their way through much more complex psychological struggles than the story needs.  The only surprising highlight of the film is a genuinely funny flying monkey sidekick voiced by Zach Braff. 

 If you love Oz stories and want to see the many clever clues that set up the characters and plot points we all know, this film has much to offer.  Certainly if you love gorgeous fantasy worlds in 3D you will have plenty to enjoy.  If, however, you want a fresh and thoroughly entertaining new take on this beloved timeworn tale, then this version is only a COULD SEE.

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