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The Playlist

Review: 'Oz The Great And Powerful' Dresses Up Dull Prequel Story With Special Effects Wizardry

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 1, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 15 Comments
We’re coming up on 75 years since MGM’s Technicolor wonder “The Wizard Of Oz” first enchanted audiences on screen, and at the time it was already the fourth movie based on the works of L. Frank Baum. Of course, it has become not only the best known version, but an American cinema classic and icon, and so the prospect of a prequel is always one that was greeted with some wariness. There’s not only the pressure of living up to a film that has been beloved by generations of filmgoers, but there's also the often undiscussed issue of whether or not adding backstory and additional mythology is simply answering a question no one asked. As studios continue to mine fables, fairy tales and comics for franchises, it’s a query they will continue to grapple with, but as for the results cooked up in Disney and director Sam Raimi’s “Oz The Great And Powerful,” it’s a lot of smoke and light, without much behind it.

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel Returns With 'Movie The Movie 2V' Featuring Jessica Chastain, Jude Law, Oprah Winfrey & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 25, 2013 9:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment
So, the Oscars are over, and you're likely waking up today with a nacho cheese hangover and still wondering why so much of the broadcast was dedicated to "Chicago" and "Dreamgirls." But if you still had any kind of energy left over from the four-hour slog, perhaps you stayed up to watch "Jimmy Kimmel Live." And if not? Well, we have the magic of YouTube.

Watch: Bubbles & Fireballs In 2 New Clips From 'Oz The Great And Powerful'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 21, 2013 4:19 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Are you ready to go back down the yellow brick road? Sam Raimi's prequel "Oz The Great And Powerful" is on the way, but it's a brand-new story from the magical land, with a new cast of characters having some adventures and trying to ensure that everyone has a happy ending. It's an ambitious project, and two more clips have arrived to tease what you'll encounter in merry old Oz.

Listen To Mariah Carey's Theme To 'Oz The Great & Powerful,' Plus Clips, A Featurette And Spoiler-y Images From The Film

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 19, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 2 Comments
After the quietish few months of the year, we're only a few weeks out from the first would-be major blockbuster of the year (if you exclude the underperforming "A Good Day To Die Hard," and the noticeably buzz-free "Jack The Giant Slayer"); Sam Raimi's "Oz The Great & Powerful," the first theatrical film to go back to L. Frank Baum's magical land, featured in the beloved "The Wizard Of Oz," since "Return To Oz" in the 1980s.

Watch: Super Bowl Spot For 'Oz The Great & Powerful' Waves A Magic Wand

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 3, 2013 7:19 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Does anyone know what's going on in the actual Super Bowl? Because we don't. Continuing tonight's logjam of movie marketing, yet another gameday spot has dropped, this time for "Oz The Great And Powerful," Disney's great spring blockbuster hope.

What Did They Do To Mila Kunis? 4 Character Posters For 'Oz The Great And Powerful'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 25, 2013 2:18 PM
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  • 6 Comments
So, in just over a month "Oz The Great And Powerful" will wave a magic wand and drop into theaters, and mostly, Disney is hoping this doesn't "John Carter" on them. But they have a few things that will likely prevent that from happening. First, it's riffing on a beloved movie that everyone has heard of. Next, it features a cast that people know, including James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis. Okay, great. But then why on Earth did they airbrush the hell out of the one cast member who has been named the Sexiest Woman Alive?

Watch: New TV Spot For Sam Raimi's 'Oz The Great & Powerful' With James Franco & Mila Kunis

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 14, 2013 11:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Adapting a beloved TV series to the big screen is always a risky prospect, particularly when you start departing from the source material. Be it giving a post-modern meta spin on classics like "Bewitched" or "Starsky & Hutch," or chucking big-budget effects at lo-fi favorites like 'The A-Team" or "Lost In Space," the results are rarely positive, pleasing neither fans or neophytes. We thought we might be on safer ground when we discovered that Sam Raimi was directing a film called "Oz." Surely the brutal prison drama that preempted the golden age of HBO and shows like "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" would make it to the big-screen unscathed, especially in the hands of the director of "The Evil Dead" and "A Simple Plan."

Oscars: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Isn't The Frontrunner Yet & More Observations After The NYFCC & NBR Awards

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 6, 2012 9:59 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Are you a fan of hearing that people have won things? Then you're in luck, because between now and the end of February, you'll struggle to go 24 hours without some kind of awards news. After the Gothams and the Independent Spirit nominations last week, the first major salvos of the awards season were fired this week, with the New York Film Critics' Circle giving out their prizes on Monday, and the National Board of Review awarding theirs yesterday.

New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Picture & Best Director To Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 3, 2012 3:12 PM
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  • 4 Comments
This morning saw the New York Film Critic's Circle fumble all day with Twitter, but finally announce their awards for 2012's best, marking the first critics' group to bestow their honors. Sometimes bucking against the tide ("The Accidental Tourist" and "Far From Heaven" are among past Best Feature winners), sometimes proving good precursors to the Academy (they matched Best Picture, Director, Actress and Foreign Language feature last year), it's generally deemed to be the first major precursor of awards season.

Watch: Dazzling New Trailer For Sam Raimi's 'Oz The Great And Powerful'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 14, 2012 8:49 AM
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  • 12 Comments
You may have forgotten, but Sam Raimi's "Oz The Great And Powerful" has been a long time coming. It actually started production way back in July 2011, meaning it will be just under two years before it hits theaters next spring. But it looks like that time and attention to detail have certainly paid off because if anything, the 3D- and effects-heavy movie looks pretty damn great. The murky, digitally undercooked world of Tim Burton's "Alice In Wonderland" looks nearly amateur by comparison.

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