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Sam Raimi nearly overcomes the unenviable burden of revisiting a classic by delivering dazzling footage, but not so the performances. Dorothy Gale is yet to be born when carnival magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) journeys over the rainbow to assume control of Emerald City. Franco stumbles in this role; his contemporary touches are jarring. Mila Kunis bewitches as Theodora, but is out of her depth when her character transforms into the Wicked Witch of the West. Ten years ago, Rachel Weisz would have owned that role, but she's stuck playing Theodora's older sister Evanora. And if this seems more Tim Burton than Sam Raimi, thank production designer Robert Stromberg (Alice in Wonderland), who melds art deco and art nouveau, and frequent Burton collaborator Danny Elfman, who contributes the incandescent score. Oz the Great and Powerful isn't great, nor is it powerful, but it is competent and entertaining.

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ARTICLES BY JORDAN RIEFE
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  •   REVIEW: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL  |  March 07, 2013
    Sam Raimi nearly overcomes the unenviable burden of revisiting a classic by delivering dazzling footage, but not so the performances.
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    Following the stunning success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev makes his English-language bow with this bleak film noir that values character over tension.
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    On the distant planet Baab, in this animated feature, lives a family of aliens who must learn to cherish one another.
  •   REVIEW: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD  |  February 15, 2013
    A Good Day To Die Hard is a movie for people who like blowin' stuff up, evidently a favorite pastime of director John Moore, whose action scenes make about as much sense as his script, which was likely written on a cocktail napkin.

 See all articles by: JORDAN RIEFE