April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Wizard of Oz

The un-feminist female characters in ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’

Unfortunately pretty much everything I feared about Oz: The Great and Powerful turned out to be true, at least from a gender perspective. It is indeed about three seemingly powerful women sitting around and waiting for a random man who fell out of the sky to not only attempt to save Oz but, more importantly, shape all three of their respective destinies.
Full-on spoiler warning…
The film also equates beauty with virtue in a rather explicit fashion, with somewhat laughable scenes of Rachel Weisz’s Evanora complaining of jealousy over Michelle Williams ‘pretty face’ seemingly oblivious to the fact that said evil witch is played by *Rachel Weisz* (spoiler: Rachel Weisz is insanely hot). It’s not just that Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams play seemingly strong female characters who constantly yap about needing some prophesied male wizard to swoop down and save their asses. The biggest problem in the film is that it allows its feeble and somewhat selfish male hero to basically define them and their actions.
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Photos from the Moscow premiere of OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Director Sam Raimi, James Franco, Michelle Williams, and Mila Kunis were all in attendance on February 27th at the Oktyabr Multiplex in Moscow.
Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting.
Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.

“Oz The Great and Powerful” is produced by Joe Roth, with screen story by Mitchell Kapner and screenplay by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Grant Curtis, Palak Patel, Josh Donen and Philip Steuer are serving as executive producers.

“Oz The Great and Powerful” opens in U.S. theaters on March 8, 2013.

James Franco updates progress of “Oz, the Great and Powerful”

By Adam Frazier
Hollywoodnews.com: James Franco (“127 Hours”) recently spoke with the press about “Oz” while promoting his new film, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” in Los Angeles.
Franco told Access Hollywood that Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful” currently is filming in Michigan.
“I’ve been in Detroit for almost a month now and we were rehearsing for quite a while and we’ve been shooting for about a week and it’s going very, very well,” he told Access.
The film, which is a prequel to Frank L. Baum’s 1900 novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” stars Franco as the titular character before he becomes the Wizard of Oz.
“The Wizard in the original 1939 film is an older man, so it’s another great opportunity to kind of do a new rendition on a franchise or a tradition, but it’s in a fresh way.”
“There are no real expectations of how the younger version of Oz should be,” he explained. “I do follow a tradition, but I also have a certain amount of freedom to create the character.”
“Oz: The Great And Powerful,” also starring Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams, will hit theaters in 2013.
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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

Sam Raimi’s “Oz, The Great and Powerful” begins production

By Adam Frazier
Hollywoodnews.com: Walt Disney Pictures’ fantastical adventure “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, started filming on Monday, July 25 at Raleigh Studios, the brand-new 200,000 square foot sound stage facility in Pontiac, Michigan.
“Oz: The Great and Powerful” imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz and features an impressive cast that includes Academy Award nominee James Franco (“127 Hours”) as the young wizard.
Joining Franco are Golden Globe nominee Mila Kunis as the witch Theodora (a before-she-was-evil version of the Wicked Witch of the West), Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz as Kunis’ sister Evanora and two-time Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams as Glinda, the Good Witch.
The prequel to Baum’s 1900 book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” goes something like this: Oscar Diggs (Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, where fame and fortune are his for the taking.
The magician crosses paths with three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda, who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Oscar must decide who is truly good in Oz before a terrible evil overcomes the land.
The film will be produced by industry veteran Joe Roth (“Alice in Wonderland”), along with executive producers Grant Curtis (the “Spider-Man” trilogy) and Philip Steuer (“The Chronicles of Narnia” series). The screenplay was written by Mitchell Kapner, (“The Whole Nine Yards”) and David Lindsay-Abaire, who most recently wrote “Rabbit Hole.”
“Oz The Great and Powerful” will be released through Walt Disney Studios on March 8, 2013.
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James Franco Back to General Hospital?

HollywoodNews.com: Is Oscar nominee James Franco really returning to “General Hospital” this fall for an extended stay? That was the word that went out yesterday after TV Guide reported it. But I’m told that Franco was a little surprised by the announcement. He’s in Detroit filming a $100 million movie, “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi and taking up most of his time for the next few months. “Oz” is billed as a prequel to the “Wizard of Oz,” with co-stars Zach Braff, Michelle Williams, and Mila Kunis.
Unless “GH” is coming to Detroit, it’s unlikely that Franco can be too involved in the soap opera beyond a cameo. And that’s not all on his plate. He’s got his Yale PhD program in New Haven, poetry classes in North Carolina, and two art shows in New York scheduled for August–one at PS1 and the other at a small gallery in Soho. Plus, his many indie directed films–like “Sal” and “The Broken Tower” (which Focus Features expressed interest in)–are in various stages of preparation.
Franco told a friend of the “General Hospital” news: “I don’t know what that is about. Maybe down the road.” Maybe he can go back and forth from Detroit to Los Angeles in a hot air balloon, just like Oz the Magnificent!
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Zach Braff added to Sam Raimi’s “Oz” prequel

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: From the “Garden State” of New Jersey to the Emerald City of “Oz.”
It is being reported that Zach Braff, one-time star of NBC’s “Scrubs” and the writer-director of the indie comedy “Garden State,” has joined the cast of Sam Raimi’s “Wizard of Oz” prequel titled “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” Deadline says that Braff will play Frank, the loyal assistant to James Franco’s powerful wizrd. As the story goes, Franco’s character ends up in a hot air balloon during a tornado and lands – like Dorothy – in the magical realm.
Braff has been busy promoting “The High Cost of Living,” which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in the Spring. As for “Oz,” which also stars Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Joey King, it will be in theaters on March 8, 2013.
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Spielberg, Streep and Grant top Zagat survey, which holds interesting stats on 3-D, home video

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: All lists are subjective, and most movie lists are flawed. But if there’s a constant when it comes to compilations, it’s that they always stimulate great debate.
I’m loving the results of a Zagat survey released this morning in support of a new guide titled “The World’s Best Movies.” The guide, according to a release, is based on the input of 20,773 moviegoers who voted on ZAGAT.com and selected the top actors, actresses, directors and their films.
“This new survey puts the ratings and reviews of over 20,000 avid moviegoers at your fingertips so that no matter what your age, sex or preference, there’s an easy way to find the perfect film for every occasion,” said Tim Zagat, CEO and co-founder of Zagat Survey.
So what did we learn?
The top 20 films of all time, based on overall quality, are:
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Casablanca (1942)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Star Wars (1977)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Lady Eve (1941)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Rear Window (1954)
It Happened One Night (1934)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Shawshank Redemption (1994)
All About Eve (1950)
The Pianist (2002)
African Queen (1951)
Third Man (1949)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
See any surprises? I’d say naming Andrew Stanton’s “Finding Nemo” as the only animated film on that list is a bit of a surprise (and I’m deeply in love with that film, but don’t think I’d put it ahead of “Pinocchio,” “Beauty and the Beast” or even “Toy Story”). And how about Polanski’s “The Pianist?” That shocked me.
Zagat went to break it down by director, saying Frank Capra’s best film was “It Happened One Night,” John Ford’s greatest was “Grapes of Wrath,” Alfred Hitchcock’s best is “Rear Window,” Stanley Kubrick’s finest is “Dr. Strangelove,” and Steven Spielberg’s greatest is “Schindler’s List.”
Speaking of Spielberg, he was named the all-time favorite director according to the survey, while favorite actor titles went to Cary Grant and Meryl Streep. Analyzing top films by decade, Zagats came up with the following list.
1920s: The General
1930s: Wizard of Oz
1940s: Casablanca
1950s: Singin’ in the Rain
1960s: Lawrence of Arabia
1970s: The Godfather
1980s: Raiders of the Lost Ark
1990s: Schindler’s List
2000s: The Pianist
And while lists are fun for discussion, there were telling figures buried in the survey that should catch the eye of industry insiders. According to the survey, 37 percent of film fans who watch movies at home say they watch movies on a portable device such [...]

“Wizard of Oz” turns 71, earns serious Internet love

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: You might find yourself following the Yellow Brick Road as you trip through cyberspace this morning.
The reason for these “Oz” online happenings? Victor Fleming’s beloved musical masterpiece turns 71, prompting several popular sites to dedicate valuable space to “Oz.”
Google, for instance, has a “Wizard of Oz” graphic adorning its search-engine home page. The Guardian has collected 71 facts you might not have known about “Oz.” (For instance, were you aware that the actors playing Munchkins earned $50 a week, while the dog playing Toto took home $125 a week?!) And MTV’s “Wake-Up” video this morning is an Oz-inspired video for De La Soul’s “Oooh.” You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the Wicked Witch of the West melted after being sprayed by a bottle of Cristal.
“The Wizard of Oz” came out in 1939. It won two Oscars (for music and song), but lost Best Picture to Fleming’s other picture, “Gone With the Wind.”
Celebrate “Oz” this morning somehow. Click the links. Pop the movie into your nearest player and journey once again with Dorothy to a whimsical place over the rainbow. And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
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Drew Barrymore confirmed for “Oz” sequel “Surrender Dorothy”

Hollywoodnews.com: Drew Barrymore was rumored to be attached to a “Wizard of Oz” project for weeks now. Today, the story has been confirmed.
Barrymore will direct “Surrender Dorothy,” a sequel to “Oz,” as her directoral follow-up to last year’s “Whip It!” Zach Helm, who penned Will Ferrell’s “Stranger Than Fiction,” will write the story, which follows Dorothy’s great-great-granddaughter on a similar adventure, according to Empire Online.
At one point, it was rumored Barrymore would star in the film. Robert Downey Jr. also has been linked to an “Oz” project, though it might not be Barrymore’s version. Of course, there’s also an adaptation of the beloved musical “Wicked” in development at Universal, though news on that front has not emerged since 2008.
Which Wicked Witch will make it to theaters first? Our money is on Barrymore, providing she can get the right cast in place. Stay tuned for more details as they bubble up.

“Star Wars,” Indiana Jones and Marilyn Monroe part of massive Hollywood auction

Hollywoodnews.com: We place a lot of emphasis on modern Hollywood. Which Jonas brother is cutest? Who is Paris Hilton dating? What did Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and the “Twilight” cast eat for lunch yesterday. But it’s important that we remember Hollywood’s past every now and again.
With that in mind, Profile’s In History will be conducting a massive online auction of vintage Hollywood memorabilia, and one of the items on the block is Marilyn Monroe’s iconic pink satin gown from the “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” sequence in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” The auction will be held June 10-12.
The gown was worn by the late bombshell in her role of Lorelei Lee. It was later used (or, a replica, at least) by Madonna in her “Material Girl” video. The dress is estimated to sell for between $150,000 and $250,000.
That’s not the only item of note in the auction, however. Several “Wizard of Oz” items will be auctioned off, including Margaret Hamilton’s infamous, black “Wicked Witch of the West” hat, which is estimated to sell between $100,000 and 150,000.
Also included is an extensive collection of Elvis Presley clothing, jewelry and personal effects, including his stage used guitar he gave to Norman Taurog (who directed Elvis in numerous films); a collection of stop-motion puppets and props from Tim Burton’s “A Nightmare Before Christmas;” “Star Wars” items from Academy Award-nominated producer Gary Kurtz’s collection, including Darth Vader’s light saber ($60,000 to $80,000), Princess Leia’s blaster ($20,000 to $30,000) and Yoda’s hero cane ($12,000 to $15,000), all three from “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.”
Additional highlights from this massive summer auction include:
Johnny Depp’s signature scissorhand gloves from Edward Scissorhands $15,000-20,000 and a “Jack Sparrow” jacket from Pirates of the Caribbean $8,000-12,000;
Julie Andrews’ signature “Mary Poppins” carpet bag from Mary Poppins $10,000-12,000;
Fess Parker’s iconic coon skin cap from Daniel Boone $10,000-12,000;
Clayton Moore’s trademark “Lone Ranger” mask with gloves from The Lone Ranger $12,000-15,000;
Marilyn Monroe test footprints and signature set in cement from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre $30,000-50,000;
An original screen-used “Jeannie” bottle from I Dream of Jeannie $15,000-20,000;
Michael Jackson’s handwritten signed lyrics to “Beat It,” $4,000-6,000;
Steve McQueen rifle from The Magnificent Seven $12,000-15,000;
Bruce Lee’s signature “Kato” hat from The Green Hornet $12,000-15,000;
An H.R. Giger hero screen-used Alien creature head from Alien $40,000-50,000;
A screen-used animatronic Predator mask and costume from [...]

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