Oz: The Great and Powerful
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz
Release Date: March 8, 2013
Trailer Score: 5/10
Thoughts by TSR: Of all the Super Bowl spots this year, Oz: The Great and Powerful might be the one that achieved the most impressive feat. The trailer score above might not indicate impressiveness, but that right there is what’s notable. This thing is directed by Sam Raimi. It features three ridiculously talented women in Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams. James Franco is there, too. And rather than being as excited as that lineup should make me, I’m almost completely uninterested.
This looks like a mess of gaudy CGI thrown on the screen. It isn’t quite as unappealing as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but if that’s the bar then we’re in loads of trouble. What’s on display here doesn’t even seem all that magical to me. If anything, riding around in bubbles, a barrel of flying monkeys, and getting attacked by man-eating plants feels more like a story James Franco’s Saul would cook up in Pineapple Express. Actually, I wouldn’t mind if this is a secret sequel to that film. “I thought hurricane season was over” could be altered to fit the tornado that takes Franco to Oz, and I know I wouldn’t be the only person applauding if he looks at his flying monkey friend and says, “How the monkey did you get in here?” Sadly, I have a feeling “The Land You Know… The Story You Don’t” will be vastly different from my version. I still like how it echos The Wizard of Oz by starting out in black-and-white, and I can’t give up on Kunis, Weisz, and Williams as witches. This ad says “Oz Will Amaze.” Prove it.