Done Right

Sam Raimi‘s Oz The Great and Powerful will apparently begin as a black-and-white film with a 1.37 to 1 aspect ratio — a nice homage to Victor Fleming‘s The Wizard of Oz (’39), which began that way also. (Technically Fleming’s film began with sepia-toned b & w but let’s not quibble.) The Raimi trailer was shown earlier today at Comic-Con.

29 thoughts on “Done Right

  1. Rashad on said:

    It certainly looks pretty

  2. D.Z. Says:

    Since the SciFi Original miniseries “Tin Man” premiered to low ratings in 2007, Disney is taking a huge risk here. It is only because the release date year follows a leap year that this Oz will maybe break even after DVD sales. The Amazing Spiderman proves all of this. It serves them right.

  3. Why do people keep making Oz movies when there is no fanbase for that series outside of the books? Even the most famous adaptation was a bomb when it first came out. Anyway, it looks like they’ve really improved the place. Last time I passed by, it was a maximum security prison.

  4. “Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great and Powerful will apparently begin as a black-and-white film with a 1.37 to 1 aspect ratio…”

    Until the eventual BluRay release, when it’ll be reformatted at 1.85 for flat-screen TVs.

  5. Good God, this looks awful.

    And as lovely as Mila is, she always sounds whiny and exasperated. It makes it hard to like her, even in good films.

  6. I’d love to be sitting behind Jeff when he sees this in the theatre, because when it switches to 1.85:1 he’ll be shaking his fist in the air and yelling “Damn you, Furmanek!!”

  7. Looks like a Jackson King Kong-level argument against Progress. Maybe they should have imitated the original’s lack of garish sub-Burtonness while they were at it.

  8. The gag was that Ted Turner wanted to colorize the first part of THE WIZARD OF OZ. i prefer that part (directed by King Vidor), which is more subtly fantastic than the garish color parts.

  9. On the plus side: Nice opening, Michelle Williams looks gorgeous. On the minus side: everything else. Looks like a CG nightmare.

  10. The fact they give away the switch from 1.33:1 B&W to 2.35:1 color in the trailer tells you everything about the state of movies today. No surprises, everything spoon-fed to you at sub-moron-level and drenched in unimaginative CG. The mall-dwellers will lap it all up and make it a trilogy I guess.

  11. It looks interesting. Something which movies in it’s genre rarely do these days. And with Raimi at the helm I’m sure it will be a spunkier affair that your average modern day family adventure flick. Even James Franco, who I’m not the biggest fan of, looks like a good fit here with his stoner vibe.

  12. It is what it is. A lot of people don’t know that Disney has owned the rights to every Oz book EXCEPT Wonderful Wizard of, pretty much since publication. This may look like another Alice-level CGI-fest, but it has to be better than Return to Oz, starring Fairuza Balk as Dorothy. I mean, shock therapy?!?

    Raimi claims he had to be talked into this movie because MGM’s Oz is his favorite film. The flying monkeys and the green claw at the end make me hopeful that this is a little bit darker than the trailer is letting on.

  13. This has the all-important magic word Oz in it’s title whereas the poorly named Tin Man didn’t. And visually you cannot even compare the two.

  14. Return to Oz = awesome. You don’t see those anymore… dark children’s movies with legitimately disturbing imagery (The Dark Crystal, The Neverending Story, etc.) Everything now is bright colors and silly talking animals and cartoony CGI.

  15. JLC: Return to Oz is fantastic. I have a good number of friends who revere the movie. And Walter Murch was no slouch in the director’s chair.

    What’s your hang-up about the shock therapy? The scene is truly disturbing and shows the viewer the film is not going to be the sterilized danger of the original.

  16. I have nothing, as such, against Return to Oz. The production design was interesting and Balk was good.

    But just think about it. Walt Disney Studios announces a sequel to THE most beloved family musical ever made, which is exactly the kind of candy-colored fantasia Disney excels in. Then the first scene is Dorothy being carted off to an asylum and subjected to shock therapy to burn Oz out of her brain. Check out the video box cover on IMDB and tell me which movie it’s selling, because it sure ain’t Return to Oz. It may have been a daring movie, but it was one of the run that nearly sent Disney into bankruptcy before Eisner arrived.

    This movie, on the other hand, looks like what most people are expecting: a CGI homage/reboot/update of the movie they’re familiar with. I’m encouraged because that last green claw scene tells me Raimi may be up to something sinister. But if he is, it’s going to be closer to the dark parts of the MGM classic, and not Disney’s mid-80s reimagining.

  17. A lot of people don’t know that Disney has owned the rights to every Oz book EXCEPT Wonderful Wizard of, pretty much since publication.

    Disney bought the rights to 11 of Baum’s Oz sequels in 1954 (and a 12th sequel a few years later). They did some Oz-related storybook LPs in the 1960s, but by the time Return to Oz came out, the copyrights had expired. Jim Hill Media did a long piece about the Disney/Oz connection here. The issue now is trademarks, with Warner Bros. effectively asserting that any reference to Oz-related elements (characters, settings, etc.) are actually references to their movie and that the books are irrelevant.

  18. Zach – I think that Babe 2: Pig in the City was pretty dark for a kid film. Also slightly disturbed. But you’re right, not many dark things for kids anymore. I’d say in recent memory, the beginning of UP qualifies…and that’s about it.

  19. This has the all-important magic word Oz in it’s title whereas the poorly named Tin Man didn’t. And visually you cannot even compare the two.

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