I don't want to be a good man. I want to be a great one.
And although this movie wants to be a great one, it winds up being, well, pretty good. Director Sam Raimi, best known for the first three Spider-Man movies, starts things out right with an inspired black and white opening that reveals Oz (James Franco) as a con artist magician.
The color opens up to a wonderful world of awe: lavish colors, spectacular costumes, a clever China Town, a dazzling Emerald City — and then the plot falls magically flat. Which witch is the evil one? Which witch gives the blandest performance of them all? A pre-story to the wizard is a great idea; it just didn’t work out here.
James Franco, my favorite goof, is so modern, self aware and cynical that he actually forces the annoying munchkins to stop singing. If there is any charm or innocence in this movie, the great Oz probably faked it.
Simply put: Not so great or powerful, but mildly entertaining
Award potential: This Oz won’t be off to see any Oscars. The effects and costumes are nice, but I bet 2013 will bring stronger contenders in all the visual categories.
The ten buck review: Not worth ten bucks.