Tagged: Oscar

John Ostrander: Making Apples Into Oranges

Ostrander Art 130505Well, this weekend Iron Man 3 opens here in the States after having conquered the world. (BTW, when did this become the norm? It used to be a film opened here in the US of A and then around the globe. Is the American market now the secondary market?) What started in one medium – comics – has become big in another.

There certainly are lots of reasons behind it, a principle one being less risk. Comics make great fodder for movies because they are relatively a cheap way of testing and ironing out concepts and stories compared to movies. The risk is lessened and if the product (as with John Carter) bombs, at least the executive who approved it can show it was not an unreasonable risk – in theory. Something new? From scratch? Not with our hundred million, buddy! So having a proven commodity in some form makes it a safer, surer, bet. In theory.

There’s lots of different sources – books, games, amusement park rides, television, even the theater. Joss Whedon’s follow up to The Avengers last year? Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Why? Because he’s Joss Goddam Whedon and The Avengers made bazillions of dollars which means that for his next movie he gets to do whatever the hell he wants… at least until the box office receipts on that comes in.

The problem is – not everything translates well. I recently finally saw the movie version of the musical Les Miserables which in itself is an adaptation of the novel by Victor Hugo. I’m a fan of the musical, having seen it several times on stage, so I looked forward to the movie.

I was… whelmed. I enjoyed it and I have a DVD of it (yes, I need to move up to Blu-Ray or whatever else is coming) and I’m sure I’ll watch it again several times. Hugh Jackman was fine in the lead and, in a year that didn’t have Daniel Day Lewis owning the Oscar for his performance in Lincoln (adapted in part from Doris Kearns Goodwin biography, Team of Rivals) would have gotten him the Oscar as Best Actor. Anne Hathaway did score a Supporting Actress Oscar for her work as Fantine. However, there were several miscastings. Javert – the antagonist-  should be intense, driven, formidable and ultimately tragic and Russell Crowe was none of those things. He was doughy. He was there.

Crowe was Oscar material compared to Sacha Baron Cohen who played Thénardier, the innkeeper. The character is a louse, a con man, a parasite but in every production I’ve seen, he (along with his wife, played in the film by Helena Bonham Carter, also badly cast) brings down the house in his songs. The character should be charming, a rogue, and funny and Cohen was none of that.

What really unsold the movie to me was the direction by Tom Hooper. Prosaic, uninspired, functional – it served its purpose, it got the basic job done, but I found no “wow” in it and the theater always gave me “wow.” The stage productions always swept me along; the movie version plodded.

That brings me to my central argument – maybe it couldn’t. Movies are often very literal. Les Mis on stage works because of its theatricality. Stage makes great use of suggestion, illusion, metaphor. It engages the imagination, makes you see what may not be there, makes you a partner in the production whereas movies have to show you and you become an observer. What was magical becomes pedestrian.

I’m not sure that something that begins as a stage musical ever translates well into film. Yes, Chicago was an exception but it found cinema versions to create a heightened reality that mimicked the stage production. It wasn’t a translation; it was a re-invention for the cinema – which Les Mis was not. Musicals that are created for movies fare far better, Wizard of Oz being a superb example.

Comics also work like musicals. The imagination must be engaged to fill in what happens in the gutters, in between the panels. The movies made from comics succeed when they re-invent them for the movies.  I don’t need them to adapt a specific storyline; they are most successful when they are true to the concepts but re-imagine them for the films.

That’s why Iron Man 3 succeeds and Les Mis just lies there. Apples into oranges, my friends.

MONDAY MORNING: Mindy Newell

TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten

 

Look at the Oz Opening Sequence

Look at the Oz Opening Sequence

Going into the weekend, Oz the Great & Powerful has raked in $155,528,133 domestically, and an additional $136,800,000 worldwide, so it’s a certified success, despite the $300 million it took to make and market.

Walt Disney Studios has released the Opening Sequence to the Sam Raimi-helmed film and it’s worth a look if you have yet to see it in the theater.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/wvsQE3FRoLE[/youtube]

Disney’s fantastical adventure Oz The Great & 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.

When small-time magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) pulls one flimflam too many, he finds himself hurled into the fantastical Land of Oz where he must somehow transform himself into the great wizard—and just maybe into a better man as well.

Beautiful Creatures comes to DVD in May

Beautiful CreaturesBeautiful Creatures, based on the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, has been a bit of a disappointment for Warner Bros, which has seen a modest domestic box office of $19,205,917. Around the world, the film has also been a so-so performer, which probably means there won’t be a sequel.

Despite positive reviews, the movie was liked better by the audience than the critics according to Rotten Tomatoes, but we suspect it will perform better on home video. Here’s the release details on the DVD, coming in May.

Burbank, CA, March 19, 2013 – An electrifying love story unfolds as Beautiful Creatures arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download on May 21, 2013 from Warner Home Entertainment Group. Directed by Oscar® nominee Richard LaGravenese (“The Fisher King,” “P.S. I Love You”), Beautiful Creatures takes you on a supernatural journey as two high school students pursue a tantalizing forbidden romance that leads them into a tangled web of spells and peril from which there may be no escape.

Beautiful Creatures stars Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann and Emma Thompson. Rounding out the cast are Eileen Atkins, Margo Martindale, Zoey Deutch, Tiffany Boone, Rachel Brosnahan, Kyle Gallner, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Sam Gilroy.

Beautiful Creatures will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and on single disc DVD for $28.98.  The Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray, and the theatrical version in standard definition on DVD.  Both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the single disc DVD include UltraViolet which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.*

SYNOPSIS

A supernatural love story set in the South, Beautiful Creatures tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

Beautiful Creatures Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

•        Book to Screen

•        The Casters

•        Between Two Worlds

•        Forbidden Romance

•        Alternate Worlds

•        Beautiful Creatures: Designing the Costumes

•        ICONS by Margaret Stohl (Book Trailer)

•        Deleted Scenes

•        Theatrical Trailers

Beautiful Creatures Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

•        ICONS by Margaret Stohl (Book Trailer)

•        Deleted Scenes

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

On May 21, 2013, Beautiful Creatures will be available for download from online retailers including iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon, Vudu and CinemaNow.

The film will also available digitally in High Definition (HD) VOD and Standard Definition (SD) VOD from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

ULTRAVIOLET

*UltraViolet allows you to collect, watch and share movies and TV shows in a whole new way. Available with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs, DVDs and Digital Downloads, UltraViolet lets you create a digital collection of movies and TV shows.  Services such as Flixster and VUDU allow you to instantly stream and download UltraViolet content across a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.  Restrictions and limitations apply.  Go to ultraviolet.flixster.com/info for details.  For more information on compatible devices go to wb.com/ultravioletdevices.

BASICS

PRODUCT                                                                            SRP

Blu-ray Combo Pack                                                               $35.99

Single disc Amaray (WS)                                                       $28.98

Standard Street Date: May 21, 2013

DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French

BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French

DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

BD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

Running Time: 124 minutes

Rating: PG-13 for violence, scary images and some sexual material

DLBY/SURR   DLBY/DGTL   [CC]

Dennis O’Neil: It’s Like A Kind Of Torture

The Cookie Monster finished duct taping Kermit to the chair, stepped back, removed a cattle prod from somewhere within his fur and growled, “Where cookie?”

“I don’t know where your cookie is,” Kermit whined.

The Monster brandished the cattle prod.  “Last chance.  Where cookie?”

Then he jammed the cattle prod into the part of Kermit’s anatomy that would have sported genitals, if puppets had genitals, and pressed a stud.

Fzzzzzzzzt!

“Ow!” Kermit complained.

“One last time,” The Cookie Monster said.  “Where friggin’ cookie?”

(more…)

Mike Gold, In Praise Of Bad Taste

Gold Art 130306Solidly castigated for being in bad taste, Seth MacFarlane announced he was not interested in hosting the Oscars again. Watching his reception in horror, Tina Fey said “Hell, no.” So producers announced next year’s host will be Gilbert Gottfried.

To be fair, when it comes to MacFarlane I’m not necessarily your go-to guy. I thought Ted was good fun, but I have a hard time watching an entire episode of Family Guy. If I surf past it ten minutes in, I’m fine. If I watch it from the beginning but the phone rings and I actually decide to take the call, I don’t hit the TiVo button. American Dad doesn’t work for me, but it’s better than The Cleveland Show. Robot Chicken might be the finest show in the history of the medium. I loved him on Star Trek: Enterprise.

But I really enjoy MacFarlane when he’s on a talk show like Craig Ferguson or Jimmy Kimmel. Humor is in the eye of the beholder and I never, ever use the phrase “that’s not funny” without the tag “to me.” I think he’s funny, I think he’s clever, I think he might be the closest thing we’ve got in America to Ricky Gervais – except, of course, for Ricky Gervais. Who I also like. Who also was chastised for bad taste humor while hosting an awards show.

But here’s the thing. If you don’t want some bad taste on your teevee plate, don’t hire Seth MacFarlane. He’s not going to bow before the great Oscar god. That’s not what he does. He’s not Bob Hope, he’s not Johnny Carson. He’s not Billy Crystal either, although his Oscar ratings last month were 10% higher than Crystal’s the year before.

I don’t always watch the Oscars. I enjoy watching the show with my daughter because she does a fashion commentary that would make MacFarlane sound like Loretta Young. Come to think of it, that’s true of every woman with whom I’ve watched the show. Adriane wasn’t around this year, but I watched it because I like MacFarlane and, mostly, because I was hoping Ben Affleck would knock it out of the park. I might have wandered away had Christoph Waltz not copped the first award and, no, don’t blame MacFarlane or the show’s producers for Waltz’s nomination in the supporting actor category. They didn’t have anything to do with it. Grow up.

Hmmm. “Grow up.” Isn’t that Joan Rivers’ catch-phrase? Maybe she can be Gottfried’s co-host next year.

Hell, I’d watch that.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

 

Mindy Newell: Take A Lesson

Newell Art 130304Are you sick and tired of all the crap that’s going on down in D.C?  As in Washington, D.C., not DC Comics.

Believe it or not, me, too. Here is a breakdown of the last 4½ years of political discourse between our political leaders:

“You did it.”

“No, you did it.”

“I’m telling.”

“No, I’m telling.”

“That’s my ball.”

“No, it’s not, it’s my ball.”

“You cheated.”

“So did you.”

“I dare you.”

“I double-dare you.”

For Christ’s sake, grow the fuck up, children!!!!! Or take a lesson from The Avengers – beat the shit out of each other a la Iron Man and Thor, then realize you made a mistake and come together as a team to fight the real bad guy!

I missed the Oscars this year because I watched Tootsie and Kramer Vs. Kramer on Turner Classic Movies, part of their “31 Days of Oscar” routine. I did read and hear about them, though, especially McFarlane’s performance as host, and watched YouTube to form my own opinion. McFarlane’s comments about Jews really offended me. In fact, most of his spiel offended me. Although I do think he’s very smart, and I tend to agree with him when he’s on Bill Maher…to tell you the truth, I’d rather he’d stick to political commentary – I just don’t find him funny.

Reading Lawrence Wright’s latest book, which is about Scientology (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & The Prison Of Belief). Picked it up because I was so impressed with Wright’s The Looming Tower, which is about the radicalization of Bin Laden, the birth and growth of Al Quada, and 9/11. The later is highly recommended to understand what happened and to help put today’s politics in context – I believe we are still politically paying for the attack on the World Trade Center, and in that way, Bin Laden – may he roast in hellfire for eternity – was successful. The former book, however, is not as eye opening for me; I’ve always known that Scientology is nothing but a big scam set up by a hack science fiction writer who wanted to “get rich quick.”

Scientology is L. Ron Hubbard’s definition of “there’s a sucker born every minute.”  Scientology is a Seduction Of The Innocents and its victims need a good lawyer. Matt Murdock, where are you? Take these Kingpins on. Challenge the organization’s “church” status in court and get their tax-exempt status revoked. That would help a lot of the poor schnooks who have been taken in by the scam.

The Who have it right. Hope I die before I get old.

Wolverine is lucky to have an adamantium skeleton and regenerative powers…my dad had another seizure/stroke a month ago. He’s not coming back from this one. Not really. My mother is physically and emotionally a wreck, on the verge of stroking out herself. The delivery of health care in this country is a disgrace. It’s in the control of the banksters and the insurance companies and price gougers, who get rich off of the sick while reimbursements from Medicare are being cut down to nothing, and since staffing is the biggest expense that medical organizations face, hospitals and nursing homes are forced to use the axe, the result being that patient care is dangerously compromised.

I can’t think of a super-hero from whom we can take a lesson on this one, who can fight this.

Can you?

TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis

 

Mad Max Trilogy Finally Comes to Blu-ray in June

Mad MaxThere are very few genre classics that have yet to come out on Blu-ray but this year, one of those voids is being filled by Warner Home Video, just ahead of the fourth installment in the series. Here are the official details:

Burbank, Calif. February 25, 2013 – Mad Max, the sci-fi franchise that introduced Mel Gibson to the world, will come together for the first time as a Blu-ray collection when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) debuts the Mad Max Trilogy on June 4th.

The three films – Mad Max (1979), Mad Max Road Warrior (1982) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – are all set in the near-future in Australia. From the very first film, Oscar® winner George Miller (Happy Feet, 2006) proved a master at creating the gritty, bleak dystopian world and staging the incredible car stunts and crashes in the era when stuntmen, not computers, achieved the effects. All three movies starred Mel Gibson, virtually unknown until after the second film, as Max Rockatansky, a highway cop traveling through the Outback in a society descending into chaos. The films started Gibson on his road to international superstardom, led to his signature Lethal Weapon series, and later two Academy Awards® for his roles as producer and director of Braveheart (1995).

This must-own collection for action fans is available in limited premium tin packaging and makes a perfect gift for Father’s Day. The collection will sell for $49.99 SRP on Blu-ray Disc™. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which is making its Blu-ray debut, will also be available as a single along with Mad Max Road Warrior. Order due date for all is April 30th.

About The Films

Mad Max (1979)

George Miller’s first entry in the trilogy, Mad Max packs brutal action and insane stunts as it follows the inevitable downfall of relentless cop Max Rockatansky (Gibson) in a world gone mad. Living on the edge of an apocalypse, Max is ready to run far away from it all with his family. But when he experiences an unfortunate encounter with a motorcycle gang and its menacing leader, the Toecutter, his retreat from the madness of the world is now a race to save his family’s life.

Mad Max Road Warrior (1982)

The sequel to Mad Max, Mad Max Road Warrior provides action-packed, “automotive” entertainment, telling the story of a selfish-turned-selfless hero and his efforts to protect a small camp of desert survivors and defend an oil refinery under siege from a ferocious marauding horde that plunders the land for gasoline.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mel Gibson returns for his third go-round as the title hero who takes on the barbarians of the post-nuclear future – and this time becomes the savior of a tribe of lost children. Music superstar Tina Turner co-stars as Aunty Entity, a power-mad dominatrix determined to use Max to tighten her stranglehold on Bartertown, where fresh water, clean food and gasoline are worth more than gold.

 

THE MAD MAX TRILOGY

ON BLU-RAY

 

Street Date: June 4, 2013

Order Due Date: April 30, 2013

Catalog/UPC #: 1000334058 / 883929266661

Pricing: $49.99 SRP

Mad Max Run Time: 94 minutes; Rated R

The Road Warrior Run Time: 91 minutes; Rated R

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Run Time: 107 minutes; Rated PG-13

John Ostrander: That Shiny Nude Dude With The Sword!

Ostrander Art 130224Sometime tonight, in about the second hour of what will seem like a three day Oscar broadcast, my butt will go numb and I will ask myself, “Why am I watching this?” It happens every year and then the following year, I do it again. Am I a masochist? Do I just forget? Why do I care who wins what? I haven’t seen most of the films or performances nominated.

I’m not alone in this. Umpty-bum millions of people will tune in to the broadcast worldwide. It’s not the only movie awards show on anymore, either. You have the Director’s Guild, the Screen Actor’s Guild, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globes and more all handing out awards. That’s not even mentioning the Tony Awards or all of the different music awards or the People’s Choice Awards, The Emmy Awards or what have you. I’m surprised they don’t yet have the Awards Channel on cable; all awards, all the time. And the Red Carpet shows that precede them.

I understand why it’s a big deal to those nominated for the Awards (whichever Award it is) or to the Industry (whichever Industry it is) but why should it matter to anyone else? Why does it matter to me? Why do I watch? Why do any of us?

Let’s face it, fellow nerds – we aren’t represented. The films we mostly watched aren’t up for awards. Where’s the Oscar for the best actor in a superhero movie? Nominees would have to include Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, probably Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man, and then there’s The Avengers which could be a category all by itself. Who do you not include? Certainly Robert Downey Jr.’s turn as Tony Stark/Iron Man is amazing but how could you not include Mark Ruffalo who made a Bruce Banner/Hulk really work on celluloid for the first time ever.

And the support actors! Again, in The Avengers – Samuel L. Jackson (who should get an Oscar just for being Samuel L. Jackson) or Tom Hiddleston as Loki who almost steals the movie. Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson who provides the heart and the reason to call the group The Avengers – where’s his nomination?

You can make the same argument for The Dark Knight Rises with Michael Caine’s Alfred who is heart wrenching, or Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon who is really the moral center of all three Batman movies. Daniel Day Lewis was amazing in Lincoln but he only had a beard to cope with. Let’s see him put on Bane’s mask and do any where near as good as Tom Hardy did. C’mon – let’s handicap these races for degree of difficulty!

Anne Hathaway got a nomination (and will probably get the Oscar) for her role in Les Miserables but did you see that, my fellow nerds, or did you see her as Catwoman? Sally Field was great as Mrs. Lincoln but why isn’t she recognized as Aunt May?

And best director? Okay, okay – Ang Lee did a knockout job (or so I’m told; I haven’ seen it) of getting a boy and a tiger on a lifeboat in Life of Pi. Stephen Spielberg did an outstanding job in Lincoln, not only creating the characters of the Civil War but the setting, making you feel like You Were There. And there’s all kinds of talk about how The Academy snubbed Ben (Daredevil) Affleck on Argo.

I got two words for you. Joss Whedon. The third act of The Avengers with the attack on Manhattan by the alien hordes, balancing and making all the superheroes – the lead characters in their own movies – work well together. ‘Nuff said.

Why don’t these movies get Academy Award consideration? They made money. Gobs and gobs of it. So far as Hollywood is concerned, that’s their award except maybe for the grudging technical awards. Maybe it is. The folks doing those may have longer careers than those who get an Oscar tonight – because if there’s one thing Hollywood respects more than Awards, it’s cash.

So, yeah, I’ll watch the Academy Awards tonight. Force of habit, maybe. Maybe we’ll have to have an alternative award for folks like us – the Nerdies.

As a great man once said – Excelsior!

MONDAY MORNING: Mindy Newell

TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten

 

A New Clip from Oz the Great and Powerful

A New Clip from Oz the Great and Powerful

We’re less than a month away from the release of Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful, coming from Disney on March 8. Can James Franco make us forget Frank Morgan’s indelible performance as the Wizard in 1939’s classic MGM musical version of L. Frank Baum’s immortal novel? No one is sure yet but the trailers look cool and here’s a just-released clip for you to sample.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/c1u5r1CXcLE [/youtube]

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.

Disney Teases Two Films

EVANORA_DARK_GENERICWalt Disney announced today that the hotly rumored 1952 project is officially titled Tomorrowland. Written by Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird from a concept by Lindelof and Jeff Jensen. Lindelof (Star Trek, LostPrometheus) will produce and Bird (The IncrediblesMission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) will produce and direct. Jensen, a longtime contirbutor to Entertainment Weekly and one-time Teen Titans writer, is making the jump to the big leagues with this one. George Clooney is signed to star in the film which is scheduled for released December 19, 2014.

Coming out far sooner is Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful. The studio released this teaser for the Super Bowl ad set to air on Sunday. Apparently, once the spot airs, the Disney website will be taken over by one of the witches. Willit be a good witch or a bad witch remains to be seen.

DARK_GLINDA_GENERICDisney’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.