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158. The Wizard of Oz – w/ The Movie Palace – Winter of ’39 (#–)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

This week, a special crossover episode with The Movie Palace Podcast, a film podcast hosted by Carl Sweeney taking a look at the classics of Hollywood’s golden age. Carl suggested a crossover episode taking a look at the list, and particularly some of the classic movies listed on it.

So this week, Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe and King Vidor’s The Wizard of Oz.

After a freak hurricane scoops her home off the ground and deposits her in a vibrant magical land occupied by talking scarecrows and wicked witches, Dorothy Gale must confront a shocking reality: she’s not in Kansas anymore.

At time of recording, it was not ranked on the list of the best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: Judy

Judy is set primarily against the backdrop of Judy Garland’s time performing in London in the late sixties within the six months leading to her death.

As such, it’s no surprise that the film features more than a few sequences of the protagonist taking to the stage and performing to the sold out crowds. In fact, there are very few surprises in Judy at all. The film hits most of its marks and delivers pretty much everything that is expected of it. After all, what would be the point of a Judy Garland biography that didn’t include renditions of old favourites like Somewhere Over the Rainbow or even The Trolley Song? The film’s framing device allows director Rupert Goold to fold these classics in without having to embrace the musical sensibilities of something like Rocketman.

Let’s Judge Judy.

The most revealing and indicative of the performances peppered through the film is not the one where Garland falls to pieces, nor the one where she makes a triumphant return and pours her heart out to the audience. (Naturally, the film hits both of those marks.) The most compelling of these sing-on-stage sequences is the first. Having arrived in London, Garland has refused to rehearse. As opening night approaches, she sits in her bathroom drinking. She is micromanaged and guided to the stage, thrown out in front of the first crowd. She is palpably nervous. The audience is anxious. It could all fall apart.

And it… goes okay. It isn’t the best night ever, nor the worst. Garland’s voice cracks a little even when she finds the right tempo, her movements are slightly robotic rather than spontaneous or energised. However, despite these complaints, everything holds together long enough for Judy to finish the set. The crowd gets what they paid for, and Garland delivers what she promised. It plays almost as a microcosm of Judy as a whole.

A familiar song.

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The X-Files – The Rain King (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

I do not “gaze” at Scully.

Somewhere over the rainbow...

Somewhere over the rainbow…

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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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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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