Oz: The Great and Powerful Directed by: Sam Raimi Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: March 8, 2013
TRAILER SCORE: 7/10
Thoughts by TSR: Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful is starting at a bit of a disadvantage for me simply on account of its premise. While I love The Wizard of Oz, I’m not sure I care one bit how he actually became the wizard. This footage doesn’t really quell any of those particular concerns, but it does present a big, potentially entertaining film with plenty of style. It will be a problem if style is all there is when it hits theaters next year. With eight months until its release, however, consider me cautiously intrigued.
My biggest fear with this is that it will end up like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (just with a few more terrifying flying monkeys thrown in). I’m sure Disney would be thrilled if Oz ends up being as financially successful as that mess of a film. Let’s just hope this one excels significantly more on a creative level. The glossy, CG-heavy environments – not to mention a hat toss that is straight out of the Mad Hatter’s playbook – bring back horrible memories of Burton’s film, so hopefully Raimi’s direction and the performances of James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams will be able to shine through.
My favorite part of this trailer is how it begins in black-and-white with Academy ratio before the screen fills with vibrant color upon Franco’s arrival in this new land. The issue there is that it’s mostly nostalgia for The Wizard of Oz. Whether it will be able to set itself apart is anybody’s guess. But with Sam Raimi being the man in the director’s chair, I’m hopeful it will.