Disney ran a TV spot on Sunday night's SAG awards for Sam Raimi's big-budget revisit of L. Frank Baum's wonderful world of Oz (March 8), entitled "Oz The Great and Powerful." Produced by Hollywood vet Joe Roth, the movie stars Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as a trio of witches, wicked and otherwise, and James Franco as a hapless Kansas circus magician who somehow becomes a wizard. I have no problem with reentering this wonderful world–brought to the screen in the classic "Wizard of Oz" musical starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger et al. The wizard in that film, caught behind the curtain, was played by Frank Morgan.
But even without the fab MGM production values and musical interludes, the 1939 "Wizard of Oz" had a strong story, characters and throughline culminating in the clicking ruby slippers and "there's no place like home." While it was an expensive noble failure at the time, the classic has endured through the decades. (Aljean Harmetz's "The Making of the Wizard of Oz" is a must-read.)
Is it just me? The trailer on the SAG Awards looked over-pixelated. It looked digital, fake, and overwrought, like it was trying too hard to wow us with big-scale visuals. Anyone else? The teaser for the upcoming Super Bowl spot is below.