‘Oz the Great and Powerful'
Traversing the Yellow Brick Road is a tricky balancing act that director Sam Raimi mostly pulls off in captivating style with “Oz the Great and Powerful.”
Enchantingly spun off 1939's “The Wizard of Oz,” one of the most beloved movies in cinema history, and the L. Frank Baum books that inspired it, the “Spider-Man” helmer's origin story stars his frequent collaborator James Franco as Oscar “Oz” Diggs, a philandering illusionist for a two-bit traveling circus.
When his hot-air balloon is sucked into a fierce tornado, the flimflamming magician is magically transported to the truly magical, Technicolor-bright land of Oz. The first denizen he meets is the naive spell-caster Theodora (Mila Kunis), who believes Oz has come to fulfill a prophecy about a great wizard with the same name as the land who is destined to reign as king, once he frees the realm from the oppressive rule of a wicked witch.
Theodora immediately falls in love with Oz, who follows her to the Emerald City in the hopes of making his great and powerful dreams come true. But Theodora's older sister, the skeptical royal adviser Evanora (Rachel Weisz), suspects Oz is a fraud and quickly sends him to overthrow the tyrannical witch.
Along the way, Oz manages to rescue a jesting winged monkey (voice of Zach Braff) and a resilient little China Girl (voice of Joey King). And he encounters the supposedly sinister witch, Glinda (Michelle Williams).
Bonus material: The Blu-ray comes with six making-of featurettes, a blooper reel and Disney's often engaging Second Screen Experience.
— Brandy McDonnell