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      Oz The Great And Powerful

      Oz The Great And Powerful
      Sam Raimi opts for the story of the Wizard of Oz, showing a captivated audience both young and old how the great but mortal man came to be.

      Opening at the Kansas circus in 1905, Oscar (James Franco, who replaced the original Great and Powerful, Robert “Dreamboat” Downey Jr after he had Iron Man commitments) is a slippery sideshow magician more into womanising than wizarding. But when a twister sucks him into the Technicolor panorama of Oz, the trickster is hailed the saviour of the land destined to kill the Wicked Witch, freeing the Munchkins and claiming the throne (and the mountains of gold) of Oz.

      Thanks to legal copyright prohibiting them from being copied exactly. The flying monkeys, Yellow Brick Road and sequin-spangled slippers have all been given a nice facelift and Raimi has managed to emulate Victor Flemming’s original story of Dorothy without stepping on anyone’s ruby slippers.

      The visuals are a breath of fresh air, Burton’s Alice in Wonderland served as a lesson to CGI overload and Raimi has used simpler wizardry to bring life to Wonderland.

      With such an impressive background the story does get a little bogged down in our leading man’s love life and his fears that he’s not the man for job. Thankfully the story’s not all about him, in fact it’s safe to say the story of the witches is far more intriguing.

      The conniving Evenora is played by Rachel Weisz with a cold regality that puts you in mind of Disney bad gal, Maleficent and her manipulation puts lovable little sister Theodora (Mila Kunis) and the softly spoken Glinda (Michelle Williams) at odds for the fate of The Emerald City.

      Raimi’s horror background gives this a slightly more grown up feel, the giant flying monkey’s are not the little chimps we know and mock and may be the only warning to parents. Other than that caution Raimi’s lavish original tale stands up on it’s own and is most certainly not a retelling of The Wizard of Oz.

      TONI GARDEN ||