The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Friday, March 8, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful





The wonderful land of Oz has been in the American movie psyche since the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz. It's played yearly on TV adding more kids who will have nightmares over those flying monkeys. And the song “Over the Rainbow” sung by Judy Garland remains a favorite of young and old everywhere. Director Sam Raimi explores the story before Dorothy lands her house on the wicked witch of the east. Based of the Oz series by L. Frank Baum, screenwriters David Lindsay-Abaire and Mitchell Kapner tells the story of how the wizard comes to Oz. The opening sequence is presented in black and white small screen that widens and becomes in full color when he lands in Oz.

It's Kansas 1905 when Oscar “Oz” Diggs (James Franco) works as a cheesy carnival magician who is also a womanizer and con-man. He gives each of his conquests a music box that he sincerely claims that his mother gave to him as a cheat to seduce the women. His player ways gets him trouble when he has to run away from a jealous strong man husband. He jumps in a hot air balloon which gets sucked into a tornado which seems to be the gate way to the alternative universe of Oz. He awakens in a fantastical colorful landscape where he meets Theodora (Mila Kunis), the Witch of the West. She tells him his arrival has been foretold. He is destined to be the king and ruler of the land which has his name, Oz, but he has to fulfil one task. He must steal the wand from the Witch of the North and break it, thereby destroying her power. The land of Oz has been under the terrible power of the evil witch. His arrival means that their land will be saved and he will be their hero. Oz plays up his powers and seduces the beautiful Theodora who fancies being his queen. She takes him to meet her sister, Evanora, the Witch of the East (Rachel Weisz) who rules Emerald City after the King died. Oz he saves the life Flying Monkey/Frank (Zach Braff who also plays Oz's unappreciated right hand man in Kansas) who proclaims he will be his faithful servant and companion for life. Oz confesses to Frank that he's not really a wizard. But when he is shown the golden treasury that will be his if he finishes the task, so he decides to take the job. They meet China Girl (Joey King) whose town was destroyed by the wicked witch's flying baboons. In helping her, he begins to see the people of this world really look to him to save them. His companions follow him to meet Glinda the Good Witch (Michelle Williams) who tells him the real reason why he is there.

Setting up the basic elements of what we know from the original movie, the screenwriters had to stay away from the trademarked facets that are owned by Warner Brothers. The Yellowbrick Road, scarecrows, munchkins, the “Oh-eee-oh's” from the witch's soldiers, sound familiar and reassuring, but slightly off in tone. The CGI heavy and in 3D adventure is bright and flashy eye candy. Franco plays the wizard has the same kind of hammy slacker overkill that recalls his hosting of the Academy Awards. His quandary to fake being a wizard to find the real evil witches energizes the last half of the movie where he utilizes the technology from electric early century. Michelle Williams is radiant as the Good Witch, but really doesn't have much to do but look glowing. Rachel Weisz fares the best with her smarmy evil bitchiness and Mila Kunis looks great but definitely has a temper.

Kids will love this film. It's a nice curiosity for adults, but the whole weak story is painted in broad strokes for the youngsters who will beg to see the movie. There are some life lessons to take away about the perils of selfishness and greed. Hopefully the kids won't go home and have bad dreams over the flying baboons with their sharp scary teeth. Oz is nice to look at, but wouldn't want to live there.
(Review by reesa)



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