AS ubiquitous childhood experiences go, marvelling and wondering at what exactly constitutes the Wizard of Oz himself has to be right up there with whether ET will survive and how exactly the Von Trapps will escape the Nazis successfully.
Now director Sam Raimi gives us his vision of the mystical chancer magician, in this prequel to The Wizard Of Oz, Disney’s Oz: The Great And Powerful (out in both 2D and 3D).
Starring James Franco as the eccentric wizard, Oscar Diggs, alongside the three witches: the Queen Witch Evanora (Rachel Weisz), the White Witch Glinda (Michelle Williams) and the Goodish Witch Theodora (Mila Kunis), Oz: The Great And Powerful explores the maelstrom which occurs when the wizard enters this fantasy land ruled by Evanora, who is trying to save the Emerald City from the clutches of the Wicked Witch of the West. Battles and chaos ensue.
Featuring a flying monkey voiced by Zach Braff, and the Little China Girl played by Joey King, it will be interesting to see what the man behind the Evil Dead trilogy has brought to the Disney fold and with Danny Elfman at the musical helm, there are sure to be notes of Tim Burton and The Simpsons. Kim Newman of Empire magazine said: “Sam Raimi can settle securely behind the curtain as a mature master of illusion”. So Oz: The Great And Powerful promises to be an arresting story full of twists and tangles before we even get to Dorothy and her band of stragglers. Anyone wishing to find some surrealism, escapism and pure melodrama would be well advised to catch this at the Regal Picturehouse in Henley from today (Friday).
Film: Oz: The Great And Powerful
Released: March 8
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, James Franco