Oz the Great and Powerful was released in the UK on the 8th of March
Who’s in it? James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff
What’s it about? About as far removed from Victor Fleming’s timeless classic as Judy Garland’s Dorothy from Kansas, Oz the Great and Powerful takes us back to the land of Oz through the imaginative lens of Evil Dead and SpiderMan director Sam Raimi. This origins tale tells the untold story of the wizard himself, immortalised by the inimitable Frank L. Baum in the original and played here by James Franco.
Memorable Moments? Everyone’s favourite childhood musical always struck me as more of a Technicolor nightmare. The wicked witch appearing in Munchkinland in a puff of red smoke had a lasting influence on my pre-school notion of good and evil. To this day I have a pathological aversion to green face paint. Expect CGI wizardry aplenty and the odd 3D flying monkey diving at your popcorn. We’re not in Technicolor anymore Toto!
Quotable Quote: “This is a very straight-forward family picture. I would say it’s a great, classically Disney type of movie. It really is all about these characters and their interactions with each other, the friendships they make, how some of them are sinners, how they hurt others and how those sins can grow. It’s about finally recognizing that the things you do in this world have consequences, and how to be the best person you can be.” – Sam Raimi, About.com
Trivia Pursuit: The Wizard of Oz was infamously paired with Pink Floyd’s 1973 concept album Dark Side of the Moon when it was discovered that the two shared an eerie synchronicity. The band insisted it was a fluke but it could be argued that Oz the Great and Powerful is the result of that union, a marriage made in Munchkinland! Welcome to the dark side of the rainbow.
This article first appeared in The Belfast Telegraph on Friday 8th March