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Oz the Great and Powerful

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Overview

A mischievous magician gains the wisdom to become a powerful ruler after being swept away to a land of magic and mystery as director Sam Raimi and screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire Rabbit Hole explore the genesis of author L. Frank Baum's enduring tales of Oz. Shady illusionist Oscar Diggs James Franco enchants curious audiences at a Kansas circus. A self-professed con man, he's a fast-talking performer who aspires to follow in the footsteps of inventors like Thomas Edison. Oscar is being ...
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Overview

A mischievous magician gains the wisdom to become a powerful ruler after being swept away to a land of magic and mystery as director Sam Raimi and screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire Rabbit Hole explore the genesis of author L. Frank Baum's enduring tales of Oz. Shady illusionist Oscar Diggs James Franco enchants curious audiences at a Kansas circus. A self-professed con man, he's a fast-talking performer who aspires to follow in the footsteps of inventors like Thomas Edison. Oscar is being chased across the circus grounds by the rampaging Strongman when a tornado blows in and everyone runs for cover. Seeing a hot-air balloon as his only chance for escape, the illusionist jumps in and cuts himself free. Magically transported to the wondrous world of Oz, he soon encounters Theodora Mila Kunis, a temperamental witch who surmises that he is the wizard named after their land Oscar's nickname is Oz, foretold to fall from the sky, defeat a nasty witch, and ascend to the throne. Theodora takes Oscar to the Emerald City to meet her sister Evanora Rachel Weisz, a powerful witch who reveals that he cannot become the rightful ruler of Oz until he's accomplished his mission. Later, as Oscar and his new flying-monkey companion Finley voice of Zach Braff prepare to face their fearsome enemy, they're joined by the fragile but fearless China Girl voice of Joey King and benevolent witch Glinda the Good Michelle Williams, who help them prepare for the arduous battle ahead. Together with the brave people of Oz, Oscar draws up a plan to rid the land of evil once and for all, and become the great and powerful king who will rule from his throne in the Emerald City.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
In Oz the Great and Powerful, a two-bit traveling circus magician convinces an entire kingdom that he is the wizard prophesized to deliver them from the wicked witch who killed their king and cast a dark spell over the land. Meanwhile, behind the camera, director Sam Raimi uses his own cinematic sleight of hand to try and convince us that what we're watching is something more than a slightly altered take on The Wizard of Oz. The similarities between the two films are so pronounced that Raimi's effort feels as much like a loose remake as it does a belated prequel to Victor Fleming's beloved 1939 classic; while screenwriters David Lindsay-Abaire and Mitchell Kapner slyly incorporate characters from L. Frank Baum's other Oz tales into the film, it's a shame that they didn't do the same with regards to the story line, given that the author created such a rich and immersive mythology throughout the course of his writing. Then again, it's no secret to moviegoers that Hollywood -- and Disney in particular -- is loathe to break from a proven formula, ensuring that some of Baum's most imaginative stories are likely to remain relegated to the printed page. Shady illusionist Oscar Diggs James Franco enchants curious audiences at a Kansas circus. A self-professed con man, he's a fast-talking performer who aspires to follow in the footsteps of inventors like Thomas Edison. Oscar is being chased across the circus grounds by the rampaging Strongman when a tornado blows in and everyone runs for cover. Seeing a hot-air balloon as his only chance for escape, the illusionist jumps in and cuts himself free. Magically transported to the wondrous world of Oz, he soon encounters Theodora Mila Kunis, a temperamental witch who surmises that he is the wizard named after their land Oscar's nickname is Oz, foretold to fall from the sky, defeat a nasty witch, and ascend to the throne. Theodora takes Oscar to the Emerald City to meet her sister Evanora Rachel Weisz, a powerful witch who reveals that he cannot become the rightful ruler of Oz until he's accomplished his mission. Later, as Oscar and his new flying-monkey companion Finley voice of Zach Braff prepare to face their fearsome enemy, they're joined by the fragile but fearless China Girl voice of Joey King and benevolent witch Glinda the Good Michelle Williams, who helps them prepare for the arduous battle ahead. Together with the brave people of Oz, Oscar draws up a plan to rid the land of evil once and for all, and become the great and powerful king who will rule from his throne in the Emerald City. From the monochromatic opening in a Kansas fair to the color shift that occurs when Oscar's hot-air balloon drifts into Oz, it's glaringly obvious that Raimi and company have chosen to play it safe instead of taking us any deeper into Baum's extensive universe. As a result, we're left with little more than spectacle as the film goes through a familiar set of motions with just a few minor twists. Fortunately for us, spectacle is something that Raimi truly excels at, and by bringing a noted sense of energy to the proceedings, he manages to stave off the sneaking suspicions of redundancy that start to seep in as the plot begins to unfold. Colorful and majestic, Raimi's interpretation of Oz is genuinely awe-inspiring, but while the practical sets go a long way toward making the otherworldly realm believable, the numerous special effects range from surprisingly shoddy note the colorful horses as Oscar and Finley first set down the Yellow Brick Road to positively mesmerizing the cracked China Girl is a sight to behold, and one of the film's most memorable supporting characters. Meanwhile, even when the writers are looking back to Baum's original stories for inspiration, the choices they make at times weigh the movie down rather than bolster it. The decision to incorporate two evil witches into the mix, for example, feels superfluous. Given that the film clocks in at just over two hours, it's precisely these kinds of extraneous details that could have been excised to keep things moving at a satisfying pace. Considering that Oz the Great and Powerful hits a notable lull in the second act, it's surprising this wasn't addressed in the early stages of development. Overcrowding aside, the cast of Oz the Great and Powerful all perform admirably, even if Franco does flash his smarmy smile a few too many times for comfort. Weisz is suitably malevolent, Kunis can cackle with the best of them, and Williams offers a comforting counterbalance to the diabolical duo making a magical power grab. Somewhat surprisingly, however, it's the aforementioned China Girl who makes the biggest impression, not only for her striking design and King's capable voice work, but also because of the tragic backstory that makes her so fragile and endearing. Although it does manage to evoke a warm sense of nostalgia in the early Kansas scenes, composer Danny Elfman's score his first for Raimi since their falling out during Spider-Man 2 is instantly forgettable background filler, a bit of a sad revelation given the rich musical legacy associated with The Wizard of Oz. Fortunately for everyone involved, Raimi has enough gas in his creative tank to keep Kapner and Lindsay-Abaire's script afloat in the run-up to Oscar's showstopping performance in the big finale a genuinely exciting sequence that cleverly sets the stage for his antics in The Wizard of Oz, though even then, an awkward romance between Oscar and Glinda comes off as contrived. Perhaps one day producers will summon the courage to fully explore the expansive world created by Baum and enjoyed by generations of readers. Until then, odds are the glimmering specter of his most popular story will continue to hang over every adaptation to come. While that can make for exciting viewing in the hands of capable filmmakers like Raimi, it's no substitute for originality -- a characteristic that Baum's tales deliver in abundance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/11/2013
  • UPC: 786936834567
  • Original Release: 2013
  • Rating:

  • Source: WALT DISNEY VIDEO
  • Region Code: ABC
  • Presentation: 3D BD with Digital Copy
  • Time: 2:10:00
  • Format: Blu-ray 3D
  • Sales rank: 5,654

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Franco Oscar Diggs/Oz
Mila Kunis Theodora/Wicked Witch of the West
Rachel Weisz Evanora
Michelle Williams Annie/Glinda
Zach Braff Voice Only
Bill Cobbs Master Tinker
Joey King Voice Only
Bruce Campbell , Winkie Gate Keeper
Tony Cox Knuck
Stephen R. Hart Winkie General
Abigail Leigh Spencer May
Ted Raimi Skeptic in Audience.
Tim Holmes Strongman, The Strongman
Toni Wynne Strongman's Wife
Rob Crites Firebreather
William Dick Front Gate Barker
Gene Jones Wild West Barker
John Lord Booth III Oz's Tent Barker
Suzanne Keilly Concessioner
Shannon Murray Girl in Wheelchair's Mother
Ralph Lister Girl in Wheelchair's Father
John Michael Manfredi Disgruntled Kansas Man
Robert Stromberg Disgruntled Kansas Man
Channing Pierce Coochie Girl
Brian Searle Clown
Russell Bobbitt Mr. Baum
Julie Gershenson Quadling Greeter
Daniel Nelson Quadling Man with Flowers
T.J. Jagodowski Quadling Mayor
John Paxton Elder Tinker
Melissa Exelberth Quadling Woman with Broom
Steve Forbes Quadling Farmer
Arnold Agee Quadling Blacksmith
Deborah Puette Quadling Baker
Julius Kline Quadling Scarecrow Maker
Theresa Tilly Quadling Seamstress
Betsy Baker Quadling Woman
Ellen Sandweiss Quadling Woman
Isabella Shepard Quadling Child
Sasha Reynolds Quadling Child
Ja'vonne Cousin Quadling Child
Victoria Lurz Quadling Child
Dashiell Raimi Quadling Bugle Boy
Oliver Raimi Quadling Drummer Boy
Brandon Hamilton Singing/Dancing Munchkin
Stevie "Puppet" Lee Munchkin Carriage Driver
Martin Klebba Munchkin Rebel
Danielle Ragland Female Munchkin Rebel
Bart McCarthy Emerald City Man
Timothy Patrick Quill Emerald City Man
Nicholas Lindsay-Abaire Emerald City Boy
Bill E. Rogers Emerald City Citizen
Mia Serafino Emerald City Citizen
Mikayla Bouchard Emerald City Citizen
Emma Raimi Emerald City Citizen
Jay Schwalm Emerald City Citizen
Jim Bird Emerald City Citizen
Chester Guilmet Emerald City Citizen
Jim Moll Emerald City Citizen
Danny Hicks Emerald City Citizen
Lanika Wise Emerald City Citizen
Nellie Ann Pristine-Lowery Emerald City Citizen
Jayne Violassi Emerald City Citizen
Wendy Cutler Emerald City Citizen
Kenneth D. Ciszewski Emerald City Citizen
Bob Buck Emerald City Citizen
Technical Credits
Sam Raimi Director
Georgia Allen Makeup
Howard Berger Makeup Special Effects
John Lord Booth III Art Director
Grant Curtis Executive Producer
Adriana Dardas Set Decoration/Design
Peter Deming Cinematographer
Erick Donaldson Set Decoration/Design
Joshua Donen Executive Producer
KNB EFX Makeup Special Effects
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Jason Fittipaldi Animator
Chad S. Frey Set Decoration/Design
Peter Hliddal Sound Mixer
K.C. Hodenfield Asst. Director, Co-producer
Sony Pictures Imageworks Animator
Andrew R. Jones Art Director
Gary Jones Costumes/Costume Designer
Tetsuo "Tex" Kadonaga Set Decoration/Design
Mitchell Kapner Original Story, Screenwriter
Tamara Watts Kent Co-producer
Bria Kinter Set Decoration/Design
Michael Kutsche Costumes/Costume Designer
Julia Levine Set Decoration/Design
David Lindsay-Abaire Screenwriter
Kim Marks Camera Operator
Jeff Markwith Set Decoration/Design
Ian McFadyen Art Director
W. Mark McNair Co-producer
Bob Murawski Editor
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
John Papsidera Casting
Palak Patel Executive Producer
Andrew Reeder Set Decoration/Design
Meghan C. Rogers Art Director
Marcos Romero Animator
Joe Roth Producer
Patrick Rousseau Camera Operator
Jim Schwalm Special Effects Supervisor
Bree Shea Makeup
Domenic Silvestri Art Director
Eaton Smith Set Decoration/Design
Philip Steuer Executive Producer
Robert Stromberg Production Designer
Elaine Wu Animator
Jane Wuu Set Decoration/Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    This is an absolutely awesome film!! I especially loved the Tink

    This is an absolutely awesome film!! I especially loved the Tinker characters, China Girl, and Finley!! A True Classic!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2013

    This really is a fine movie for family viewing. It is very well

    This really is a fine movie for family viewing. It is very well done and worth having in your library. It is visually superb and the actors do fine with their roles even if James Franco wasn't exactly the perfect casting for the wizard/magician. Sure parts are corny, but still worth having for family enjoyment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Great new classic to always see before the old classic. This one helps you appreciate the older one better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This movie was a major disappointment. The special effects are i

    This movie was a major disappointment. The special effects are impressive, but the story is not. Some of the characters and aspects of the orignal movies that I expected to be represented or touched upon were absent. None of the characters were particularly likable. I think an opportunity to really please long term fans was sadly missed. I am not surprised that this movie was not successful in theatres. What a shame.

    Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel "To Be Chosen"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews