Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Only James Franco can save the dames in second trailer for Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful.

Pretty much the same as the first teaser.  This thing looks pretty spectacular, and I can see where the $200 million went.  But the dialogue is painfully on-the-nose, the acting feels oddly stilted, and the narrative seems to center around a bunch of magical women who are helpless against the tyranny of a wicked witch until a random man arrives to save their ass.  One presumes that at least Rachel Weisz is revealed to be villainous and one hopes that the story ends on a somewhat somber note, as befitting Oz's somewhat crooked role in the classic Wizard of Oz story.  Still, what's being sold is a Mad Libs 'random white man must save us' story that made John Carter and Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake so dull, complete with the likes of Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams (plus possibly Abigail Spencer) treating Franco's clearly hapless visitor as the greatest thing since sliced bread.  The film may be more complicated than that, and I'd argue the talent involved implies that it may well work out.  But the film that Disney is selling is painfully derivative, arguably far more of a rip-off of Burton's Alice In Wonderland (which was of course a 'random white woman must save us, without the pre-adolescent fantasy present here) than any of the would-be copycats that we've seen over the last 2.5 years.  Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful opens March 8th, 2013.  As always, we'll see...

Scott Mendelson        

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