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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Review: Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). Directed by Sam Raimi and based on the novels by L Frank Baum. The story centres around the rather useless magician and con artist Oscar Diggs (James Franco) who works at a circus. After the Strong Man finds out that Oscar has been trying it on with his wife a chase ensues, and the latter escapes by hot air balloon. Almost immediately the balloon is pulled into a tornado and Oscar finds himself transported to a land called Oz. Unfortunately Oz the Great and Powerful is a bit of a mess. I haven't read the Baum books so can't profess to know the quality of the source, but they certainly haven't translated well to the screen. The story is an odd mix of adult and child topics, and never really seems to know which audience it is trying to appeal to. There's lots of in your face 3D, which will fall flat with 2D viewers, no pun intended. There's lots of good CG, none of which is really a substitute for the lacking story. The film is also overly long, particularly for kids, at 127 minutes. It would have benefited from leaving a lot more on the cutting room floor to up the pace a little if nothing else. There's a handful of OK bits: James Franco is reasonable as Oscar, although his overblown performance does get a little tiring towards the end. There are some other good, but not great performances e.g. Mila Kunis. The story does have the odd moment of charm, but never gets close to the original. It does have Bruce Campbell in it briefly, for what it's worth. It's hard to know who to recommend it to, but perhaps fantasy fans who've got bugger all else to watch. 2/5 (Poor)