Although Walt Disney never got a chance to see his own version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz stories brought to the screen before his death in 1966, director Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful makes a valiant attempt at recreating Disney’s vision. The big-budget, 3D reimagining of Baum’s collection of stories introduces small-time magician turned prophecy-fulfilling wizard, Oscar Diggs (James Franco) as he’s swept up into the magical world of Oz where must sort out the intentions of three very attractive witches (Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz). Accompanied by a flying monkey and a china doll (voiced by Zach Braff and Joey King respectively), Diggs must discover the goodness within him if he’s to save the people of Oz from the tyranny of the wicked witch.
Now available on Blu-ray, Oz the Great and Powerful is a visually dazzling addition to the Oz films that acts as a prequel to 1939′s The Wizard of Oz. While it comes nowhere near the caliber of that classic tale, this new imagining is a welcome journey back into the Emerald City and the unique lands that surround it. Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.
Michelle Williams and Joel Edgerton are teaming up on a remake of the 2009 Italian film The Double Hour. Deadline reports that the two will topline the psychological thriller, which centers on two lovers “who find themselves victims in the midst of a dangerous and well planned robbery.” Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) is onboard to write and direct, and the project is currently seeking financing at the Cannes Film Festival. The Australian-born Edgerton was most recently seen onscreen as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby and he’s currently filming the production-troubled Western Jane Got a Gun opposite Natalie Portman. As for Williams, she’s currently being eyed for the female lead in director John Wells’ drama Chef starring Bradley Cooper.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer for director Giuseppe Capotondi’s original film.
The Iron Man 2 gang is getting back together for what will hopefully be a better movie than Iron Man 2. Variety is reporting that Scarlett Johansson will reunite with Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau for Favreau’s indie film, Chef. The story centers on a man (Favreau) who loses his chef job and starts up a food truck to reclaim his artistic promise and reclaiming his estranged family. As we previously reported, the film will have a strong supporting cast with Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Bobby Cannavale on board to co-star. I’m happy to see Favreau returning to his indie roots (although in this case “indie” simply means it doesn’t have the gigantic budgets of his recent films), and heading back into a leading role. He’s so money and he knows it.
But the movie is in for a fight over the title as Sony Pictures, which owns John Wells‘ Chef starring Bradley Cooper, has sent a cease and desist letter to coax Fairview Entertainment and Favreau to find another title. Hit the jump for more including possible co-stars for Wells’ Chef.
I realize that it’s a little too March to be discussing my favorite holiday gifts, but I only recently had the opportunity to dive into one of mine and, as a result, I feel the need to share it’s greatness with our readers. The ESPN 30 for 30 Collector’s Set Blu-ray is an outstanding collection of sports documentaries that is rife with social commentary and almost sure to have something for sports and/or documentary fans alike. Before I get accused of paid programming, I’ll disclaim that all thirty of its films aren’t home runs (that’s right, a sports pun). Moreover, I’m fairly sure that all of the series’ entries are available to watch instantly on Netflix right now making the physical collection redundant for some. Regardless of how you partake, I encourage you to sift through the series, find a topic that interests you, and give it a shot.
All recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 features a healthy portion of Iron Man 3 coverage (including the new trailer), Oz the Great and Powerful interviews with Sam Raimi, James Franco, Mila Kunis, and more, the first trailer for The Hangover Part III, a sizable Justice League movie rumor, and the new trailer and poster for Will Smith and Jaden Smith‘s After Earth. As you may be expecting, a brief recap and link for each of the above waits after the jump.
Opening this weekend is Disney and director Sam Raimi’s fantastic prequel to The Wizard of Oz, Oz The Great and Powerful. The film centers on a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics (James Franco) who finds himself transported to Oz and drawn into a battle between the three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). Loaded with incredible visuals, amazing 3D, and a beautiful world created by production designer Robert Stromberg (Alice in Wonderland, Avatar), Oz is the type of movie that definitely should be seen on a movie screen and it’s absolutely worth the extra charge to see it in 3D. Oz The Great and Powerful also stars Zach Braff and Joey King.
Recently, I got to speak with Williams. We talked about what it was like to walk on the yellow brick road for the first time, her reaction to the finished film, 3D, doing so much press, and does she get to visit Disneyland for free after being in a huge Disney movie. Hit the jump to watch.
We can find truth in deception. We find the deeper truth beneath the artifice. Sam Raimi‘s Oz the Great and Powerful makes no secrets of its deception, and shows how deception can be used for good or evil. We just don’t call it deception when it’s used for good. Then it’s an illusion, not a trick.* Oz creates a beautiful illusion that we can get lost in not because of the visual effects wizardry or the size of the canvas, but because of the honesty of the characters and Raimi staying true to his oddball style.
From director Sam Raimi, Oz the Great and Powerful imagines the origins of the wizard that was first brought to life in author L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, in a fantastical adventure that utilizes 3D to enhance what is truly an awe-inspiring movie-going experience. When small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is unexpectedly carried from Kansas to the vibrantly beautiful Land of Oz in a tornado, he soon meets three witches – Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) – who are unsure about whether he truly is the great wizard that they’ve been expecting. In one of the biggest tales of fake it ‘til you make it, Oscar must use his magical skill and a little ingenuity to help good triumph over evil.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz spoke at a press conference about working on such a big CG and effects film, the best part about playing a witch, doing all of the wire work for their big fight scene, making sure they had just the right outfit, how the costumes affected their performances, and their experiences with The Wizard of Oz. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
A new trailer has dropped for Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful. This one minute glimpse into the land of Oz sets the stakes of the battle to come and features plenty of clashes between witches, wizards and more. Watch James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz take to the screen in the special effects spectacular starting March 8th.
You can also check out these recently-added clips and behind-the-scenes footage, along with interviews from Steve’s set visit: 30 things to know about the film plus a video blog, and his interviews with Sam Raimi, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, and Joey King. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.
Two new clips and 13 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage have been released from Sam Raimi‘s Oz the Great and Powerful. The film centers on a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics (James Franco) who finds himself transported to Oz and drawn into a battle between the three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). We previously saw a clip showcasing the conflict between Theodora and Evanora, as well as Oz and his cohorts “traveling by bubble”, which should be impressive on the big screen in 3D. The new clips showcase the film’s attempt at comedy by showing Oz’s frustration with his traveling companions, Finley (voiced by Zach Braff) and China Girl (voiced by Joey King).
Hit the jump to check out the previously released clips and the new ones as well as the behind-the-scenes footage. Also, click on the respective links for Steve’s set visit: 30 things to know about the film plus a video blog, and his interviews with Sam Raimi, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, and Joey King. Oz the Great and Powerful opens March 8th.
Walt Disney Pictures has released a new clip from director Sam Raimi’s upcoming Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful. The film centers on a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics (James Franco) who finds himself transported to Oz and drawn into a battle between the three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). This clip features Franco and Williams’ characters traveling by bubble through the film’s colorful scenery, and while it’s a nifty look at the world that Raimi has created, it really does seem like it would best be enjoyed on a giant screen in bright 3D.
Hit the jump to watch the clip, and if you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage, check out 30 things to know about the film plus a video blog, and his interviews with Sam Raimi, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, and Joey King. Oz the Great and Powerful opens in 3D on March 8th.
Disney has released the first featurette for director Sam Raimi’s Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful. It’s actually a fairly in-depth look behind the scenes of the film, as we’re treated to interviews with Raimi and many of the cast members including James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Zach Braff. The focus is on how Raimi brought the world of Oz to life with the help of production designer Robert Stromberg and costume designer Gary Jones, and it’s clear that this was an absolutely massive production. Jones and Raimi also provide insight into designing the iconic Wicked Witch, with Raimi noting that he wanted “a big, scary green witch,” instead of taking a more subtle approach to the character.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette. If you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage, check out 30 things to know about the film plus a video blog, and his interviews with Sam Raimi, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, and Joey King. Oz the Great and Powerful opens in 3D on March 8th.
Prior to last Sunday, Zero Dark Thirty was my favorite pic of 2012 by a considerable margin. However, after my matinee viewing of Silver Linings Playbook, that margin has been replaced with a draw. Whereas Zero provided me with a tension that left me on the verge of breathless at moments, Playbook‘s spectacular performances and head-on portrayal of mental illness and our ability to help each other cope/prevail proved not only hugely entertaining but also quite cathartic.
My 2012 movie scorecard aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our set visit coverage of Oz the Great and Powerful, Duncan Jones being tapped to helm the World of Warcraft movie, more visit coverage from the set of Jack the Giant Slayer, a slew of news from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and a Sundance 2013 wrap-up. A brief recap and link to each of the above is promised after the jump.
While we’ve all seen the good witch Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, but on the set of Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great and Powerful, Michelle Williams explained the major difference between her Glinda and the one from the 1939 film:
“When you meet Glinda in the original Wizard of Oz, she is omniscient, she has a kind of calm. But that’s where she wound up and this is kind of more where she began.”
During a group interview Williams talked about acting in a fairytale, the costumes, working with Raimi, her reaction to walking on the yellow brick road for the first time, filming in 3D, what it’s been like working on such a large production, and so much more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
The original Daily Show wasn’t very good, but it had a joke I’ll never forget: “The Super Bowl is two hours of commercials occasionally interrupted by football.” Even people who don’t care about football tune in to see the commercials, and the cost of airtime grows every year. Plenty of studios will be paying to get TV spots in front of the year’s biggest audience. We know that Fast & Furious 6 will be premiering its first trailer during the Super Bowl, and now Disney has released a sneak peek at what they have in store for Oz the Great and Powerful. Hopefully, it’s better than what Disney did last year with John Carter where they just stuffed the movie inside the film’s title. That’s how you throw away $2 million on a TV spot.
Hit the jump to check out the teaser, and come back Thursday when we’ll be posting Steve’s visit to the set along with interviews with director Sam Raimi and the cast. The film stars James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, and Rachel Weisz. Oz the Great and Powerful opens in 3D on March 8th.
A couple of new featurettes have landed online, one for an upcoming movie and one for a 2012 film that’s vying for Oscar gold:
- Oz the Great and Powerful – A new featurette for director Sam Raimi’s prequel to The Wizard of Oz shows quite a bit of new footage and does a nice job of introducing us to the cast of characters (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams). I find it curious that they’re trying to keep the audience guessing as to which witches are good and which are bad, since the names are the same as the ones in the source material. The film opens in 3D on March 7th.
- Moonrise Kingdom – Hot off a Best Original Screenplay nomination for writers Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, this new featurette focuses on the genesis of the project and the writing of the incredible script. The film is currently available on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD.
Hit the jump to watch the featurettes.