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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
Movie review by David Blackwell
130 minutes, rated PG
STUDIO:  Walt Disney Pictures/ Roth Films/ Curtis-Donen Productions
Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  3-8-2013
STARRING James Franco, Michelle Williams, Milla Kunis, Rachel Weisz
DIRECTED by Sam Raimi

Oscar "Oz" Diggs (James Franco) is a con man magician.  He is smooth and romances all of the women and travels with a circus in Kansas in 1905. A tornado travels as he escapes in a balloon from a strong man performer who wants to hurt him.  The tornado takes him to the alien land of Oz where he meets a witch named Theodora (Mila Kunis) and learns of a prophecy made by Theodora’s father made before he died about a wizard with the name of the land that would come to save Oz from the Wicked Witch.   Oscar takes advantage of that and he travels with Theodora and Finley the Flying Monkey to the Emerald City where he meets Evanora (Rachel Weisz) who doesn’t trust Oscar for her own reasons.  She sends him on his quest to kill the Wicked Witch and soon he finds out Glinda (Michelle Williams) aka the Good Witch of the North has been a victim of the real Wicked Witch’s plan to rule and control Oz.


OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is a beautiful visual film with a paper thin plot and flat performances from every main actor involved.  I enjoyed the movie, but it doesn’t stand out to me even though I will probably go see the sequel.  It does lay the groundwork for the origin stories of the many characters you will eventually see in THE WIZARD OF OZ and this prequel takes place 20 years before Dorothy comes to visit Oz.  


It is a safe dark film for all ages, but it doesn’t have the emotional heart like THE WIZARD OF OZ (even though I hate the musical pieces in that movie).   Director Sam Raimi once had considered Robert Downey Jr. for the role of Oscar Diggs, but sadly that didn’t come to pass.  I admire James Franco wanting to do a million things like write, direct, and act, but I have a feeling that Robert Downey Jr. would have brought a whole different level of energy to Oscar Diggs that was missing from every single character in this movie.   OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL cost over $200 million to make (including marketing costs) and it will probably at least break even after making lots of money.  You can go see it now or wait for the DVD and blu-ray release.   Either way doesn’t make a difference since it isn’t the fantastic charm that ALICE IN WONDERLAND was as a movie.


This movie review is (c)3-12-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com