In this golden age of prequels, not even timeless classics like "The Wizard of Oz" are safe.
"Oz the Great and Powerful," starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle William and Rachel Weisz, takes us back to a pre-Dorothy world to tell the story of how a simple magician came to rule the Emerald City.
Directed by Sam Raimi, the film stays true to its Hollywood roots, starting out in black-and-white, before transitioning to color when the action moves to Oz. It's awfully pretty to look at, if a little overly whimsical, feeling a bit too much like a Tim Burton production.
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You never can be sure what you're going to get from Franco, and here it looks like it may be the goofball version, but we love the cast, Raimi is a gifted director and we loved co-writer David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole."
Here's the official synopsis:
Disney's fantastical adventure "Oz The Great and Powerful," directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot--fame and fortune are his for the taking--that is until 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.
And if you haven't yet seen it, check out this recent "Entertainment Tonight" piece on the film during which Kunis can't be bothered to lose her giant wad of gum. So weird--we blame Franco.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" opens March 8.