Matthew Lickona noon, April 23
Oz The Great and Powerful
Insert sinking balloon joke here. James Franco mugs his way through director Sam Raimi’s candy-colored CGI wonderland as a carnival magician who finds himself called upon to rally the oppressed people of Oz to believe in him. Or at least, to believe in the power of their dreams? Anyway, belief is important. But the actor proves as insincere as his character, and it’s up to Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch to keep things interesting as you follow the well-worn turns in the yellow brick road. (That she manages to do so without letting her sweetness turn saccharine is the real great and powerful thing here.) She gets dubious help from Zach Braff doing schtick as a flying monkey, and from Joey King as a spunky china girl who reminds the ersatz wizard not to be a cad. Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz play Glinda’s dark-haired sisters. 2013.
— Matthew Lickona
- "Oz the Great and Powerful's cheap carnival magic" • March 6, 2013
- "Something's rotten in the Emerald City" • March 4, 2013