Liza Minnelli

Journey Back to Oz

This summer marked the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, and it was a big enough occasion that Warner Bros. not only retrofitted the classic fantasy film for a one-week IMAX 3D re-release but also spent $25m on marketing its brief return to theaters. Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no fanfare at all for the movie’s sequel, which also has a special birthday this year. No, I’m not referring to Return to Oz (which likely also won’t get much notice for its 30th anniversary next summer). There is another “Oz” movie that was more directly intended to be an official follow-up to the 1939 version, an animated feature titled Journey Back to Oz, which hit theaters on this day back in 1974. Aside from taking place soon after The Wizard of Oz and being mostly yet loosely adapted from L. Frank Baum’s second Oz book, “The Marvelous Land of Oz,” the major significance and link to MGM’s beloved musical is in the casting. Margaret Hamilton is the only member of the earlier movie’s ensemble to return, which is interesting because her character in Wizard, the Wicked Witch of the West, had been killed. So, she voiced the part of Aunt Em. Clara Blandick, who played Em in Wizard, died the year this movie began production, which explains her not reprising the role herself, but then again 1939 cast members Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Billie Burke and even Judy Garland were alive during the vocal recordings, which had actually begun way back in 1962. Garland’s replacement as Dorothy, […]

read more...

Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

After cutting his puppetry teeth on short films and episodes of Sesame Street in the late 60s and early 70s, legendary puppeteer Jim Henson finally got a chance to give his felt faced creations a spotlight show of their own in the mid 70s. That show was The Muppet Show, and it was awesome. So awesome that it eventually spawned a series of feature films. While there’s always room for conflicting opinions, some consensuses (consensii?) about these movies have popped up over the years. It seems that all Muppets are not created equal. Generally everyone agrees that the original film, The Muppet Movie, was the best. And it’s also largely agreed that the first three movies, the ones that still had Jim Henson involvement, are better than the ones that came after. While there’s some general truthiness to these beliefs, I can’t say that I think those divisions hold up as absolute truths. Thank God, this column would have been a wreck otherwise.

read more...

Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City was never intended for my demographic, but I refuse to fault it for that, for in critiquing those media objects not intended for us, we must be careful not to confuse preferences of taste with quality.

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3