Since studios are always trawling for the next great public domain property they can spin into a easily lucrative franchise, it was a matter of time before a gargantuan CGI budget was thrown at L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. It was also perhaps preordained that the resulting film would be pretty and pretty unremarkable.
My review of Oz the Great and Powerful is over at Film Racket; here’s part of it:
Sam Raimi’s big and splashy but tin-eared prequel Oz the Great and Powerful turns the spirit of the 1937 The Wizard of Oz inside out. Oz is no longer the place where misguided Earth youths like Dorothy can discover how special home really is. This time, Oz — with its expensively imagined rainbow- and candy-colored vistas of cold, computer-generated wonderment — is all things to its titular human interloper. For Oz the man, he would never think to say there’s no place like home, since dreary old black-and-white Kansas offers no home for him. They never appreciated his act back there anyway. The land of Oz, on the other hand, provides the greatest audience he’s ever seen…
Oz opened a few weeks back but is still playing pretty much everywhere. You can watch the trailer here: