Friday, March 8, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

Digging up a beloved classic is always a questionable idea.  And that's particularly true if that classic is 74 years old and considered by the American Film Institute to be the 10th best film ever made.  Disney did it once already back in 1985 when they made the unexpectedly creepy and oft-forgotten sequel, 'Return to Oz'.  And now, 28 years later, they're doing it again, but this time with a prequel.  Before Dorothy Gale, there was Oz.

Needless to say, I was more than a little concerned going in that this would be harmless entertainment at best and blasphemous at worst.  These are big shoes to fill and James Franco, Zach Braff, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, and Michelle Williams aren't known for having particularly large feet.  Yet my concerns were put to rest even before the end of the opening credits.  Sometimes you can just tell you're about to see a well crafted film, and that was the case here with this film directed by Sam Raimi, with a score by Danny Elfman, and beginning in glorious black and white.  It's entertaining, colorful, well cast, and nicely fills in all the pieces of the puzzle leading up to Dorothy's infamous arrival.  Even the 3D (which generally isn't my thing) enhances the experience for this one.  Take note, fantasy fans: This one slays 'Jack the Giant Slayer'.

Grade: B+ (and maybe even an A-)

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