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Non-Review Review: The Wizard of Oz (IMAX, 3D)

“For nearly forty years this story has given faithful service to the Young in Heart,” an introductory title card advises the audience, “and Time has been powerless to put its kindly philosophy out of fashion.” Although the opening of The Wizard of Oz makes reference to the classic series of children’s stories written by Frank L. Baum, the text is just as applicable to the film itself. It has been seventy-five years, but The Wizard of Oz still has the power to warm even the most jaded and cynical of hearts.

Dorothy is modelling our snazzy red slippers. Order now to avoid disappointment...

Dorothy is modelling our snazzy red slippers. Order now to avoid disappointment…

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Non-Review Review: Oz – The Great & Powerful

Oz: The Great & Powerful is a fabulous production. A few minor misgivings aside, it looks and sounds fantastic. Sam Raimi has done the best job bringing Oz to the screen since the original version of The Wizard of Oz all those decades ago. In its best moments, there’s an enthusiasm and a lightness of touch that fits the material perfectly and captures the wonder that we associate with Oz. It’s very clear that a lot of love and care was put into the production design of the film, and that Sam Raimi’s hand moved with the utmost consideration and affection for the original film. It makes it a little disappointing, then, that the script to Oz: The Great & Powerful should feel so undercooked, more like an early draft than a finished screenplay.

Up in the air or down to earth?

Up in the air or down to earth?

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Competition! Win American Pie: The Reunion Goodies!

Next week, the team from the original American Pie will be reuniting for American Pie: The Reunion, which sees the original gang reuniting to reflect on how their lives have changed since that iconic nineties sex comedy. My brother, who is over in Philadelphia for the summer (our American correspondent), has seen it and seemed quite impressed, so I am looking forward to it. The lovely folks at Universal Pictures Ireland have given us a prize pack to give away to one lucky reader. To enter, see below. Their facebook page can be seen here.

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The Great and Powerful Downey…

Remember how I mocked the idea of remaking The Wizard of Oz? I may take it back. The rumour is that Oz The Great and Powerful has entered production, a sort of prologue to the book and movie, based on the cult book Brick. It is basically an origin story for the Wizard himself. And rumour has it that Robert Downey Jnr. may be starring, with Sam Mendes directing. I’m waiting for more to get really excited (as, with Iron Man 2 coming out, this is the silly season for Robert Downey Jnr. related stories – we’ll see him linked to everything over the next two weeks), but this is certainly interesting.

I'd be off to see the wizard...

The Not-So-Merry Old Land of Oz

Not cool. Seriously not cool.

It’s one thing to mess with my childhood by making a Smurfs movie or remaking Flight of the Navigator or Neverending Story, but it’s another thing to screw with my gran’s childhood. Well, at least it’s not a remake – it’s a long-distance sequel. Yes, Dakota Fanning has been cast as the lead in a sequel to The Wizard of Oz. And not only that, she’s going to be hip and cool while Oz itself is going to be darker and edgier – like every good Hollywood property. I’m cringing inside already.

One crossover I don't want to see...

One crossover I don't want to see...

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