L. Frank Baum

OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

After years of development, Disney managed to travel back over the rainbow with Oz the Great and Powerful. While it wasn’t the box office juggernaut that Alice in Wonderland was, it did bring a new version of L. Frank Baum’s classic books to the big screen. The colorful fantasy world that Sam Raimi shows in Oz the Great and Powerful is appealing to children of all ages, but more importantly, it looks crazy when you’ve been drinking. If you’re taking a trip back to Oz, have a few drinks of a different color and enjoy the ride.

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wizardofoz_commentary1

With the release of Sam Raimi’s CGI-heavy fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful coming this weekend, it seems appropriate to look back in time more than 70 years to the release of one of the most influential films of all time: The Wizard of Oz. Based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the story had been made into a film previously (once as a silent film in 1925 and again as a short film in 1933). However, it was Victor Fleming’s musical rendition of the story that left the brightest mark on the cinema landscape. This commentary was included on the 2005 DVD release, which is also included on the 70th anniversary 2009 DVD and Blu-ray discs. The late Sidney Pollack serves as emcee for the commentary, introducing archival interviews with cast, as well as family members of deceased cast and crew.

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Right around the time that the 67th poster of two stars leaning back to back hits theater lobbies is when the pessimism about modern one sheet design starts to creep in. Fortunately, there’s always a handful of excellent posters dotting the year to keep hope alive. Thank you, Oz the Great and Powerful poster, for keeping hope alive:

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Why Watch? In 1910, (possibly) Otis Turner directed a silent, black and white film (the only kind they had back then) that brought L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel to life for the first time in moving pictures. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz capitalized on the author’s popularity and launched a filmic fascination with the works which, of course, led to the benchmark 1939 version. This is an artifact to be certain, but it features charming images and a fantastical spirit that can’t be tampered by the antique feel. What will it cost? Only 14 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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If you’re like me, then you’re a Wizard of Oz fan. A big one. The kind that buys symphony tickets to see an orchestra perform the music live while the film plays on the big screen. That whole world is so utterly fantastical and fascinating, so the prospect of so many new Oz-related projects (that have nothing to do with prison) is pretty incredible. Sam Raimi’s own little corner in the county and the land of Oz, titled Oz The Great and Powerful, just got a little bit more interesting as Mila Kunis signed on to play the Wicked Witch of the West. That piece of the puzzle also finally secured James Franco in the leading role. Sorry to disappoint anyone who read the headline and though, “She-Hulk! Finally!” According to Vulture, there’s an intriguing back story to all of it, specifically related to Kunis turning down a leading role in Akira in order to do this one (and Warners offering the iconic role of Kaneda to, seriously, of all people, Brad Pitt). How can they go wrong here? They have two great actors (one of whom we just learned was a great actor), and with any luck, Raimi’s take on the story of the land before Dorthy will be just as colorful as Baum’s novels. Kunis was such a raw, malevolent force in Black Swan, so it’ll be pretty cool to see her transform into the character delivered with such salt by Margaret Hamilton back in 1939. Bring out […]

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What Sam Mendes might be doing when he should be directing Preacher.

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yellow-brick-road

A new show from the ‘Friday Night Lights’ team will bring ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to modern day Manhattan.

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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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