As revealed at the beginning of the year, Sam Raimi gives a nod to the past by opening the film in old school, windowboxed, square black-and-white before transitioning to color. And what color it is. The big-budget prequel of sorts follows Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs (James Franco), a showman and magician at a traveling circus who flees in a hot air balloon after being caught canoodling with a customer’s wife, only to be swept away in a terrible storm to wake up in the magical land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches (Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz). Michelle Williams plays Glinda the Good Witch, with the young Joey King playing China Girl and Zach Braff rounding things out as Franco’s loyal but underappreciated assistant.
Yes, this looks like a green-screen machine, but we have to say it does look pretty impressive, and frankly like something adults will be able to enjoy as well, unlike Disney's other (yet still $1 billion earning) fairy tale revisionist movie, "Alice In Wonderland." And it looks like some considerable care went into the visual look of the film, which again, looks far more varied, interesting and detailed than Tim Burton's relatively plain and uninspired 'Alice.' That said, James Franco as the lead is the wildcard, as he can be wildly unpredictable (particularly when he's not feeling invested in the part) or fade into the wallpaper. But it looks like he's rising to the occasion here, and he's not lacking in solid support around him.
Thoughts? Let us know below. "Oz The Great And Powerful" opens on March 8, 2013.