Oz in the News 3.6.13

IMG_5307-550x377How Sam Raimi Used Live Puppetry and Performance Conferencing To Create ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’  The CG of China Girl is some of the best I’ve seen in cinema. It really feels like a real china doll come to life, if that were actually possible. So real and yet full of life. And if you ask me, the reason it worked so well was because Raimi and team gave the visual effects artists so many practical references to work off of and match against (video of the actress’ performance, a look at what a real china girl would look like on set…etc).

‘Oz the Great And Powerful’ Review: A Sam Raimi Movie Wrapped Inside a Disney Movie  The best bits of the film are when Sam Raimi is playing with his $200 million budget like he’s making another Evil Dead movie. There are first person sequences, crazy vines jumping out at the viewer, impossible digital camera moves sweeping across vast lands. These things will bring a huge smile to the face not only of Raimi fans, but most movie fans. Then the film will dodge into some long exposition, a crazy song, or a character introduction that feels slightly out of place and the momentum Raimi was building slows down. Over and over, the highs and the lows come. Thankfully the lows are never that low and the highs are pretty fantastic. It all builds up to both an exciting and surprising climax that beautifully balances the history of the franchise while also adding to it.

Wizards and witches: Sam Raimi, James Franco and Zach Braff pull back the curtain on ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’  I wasn’t intentionally going for an Evil Dead feel, but I’m the same guy who made Evil Dead and I guess stuff just comes out of me that way. And you’re right, I was influenced by Song of the South. In fact, I really wanted to make this the ultimate Disney-style Disney picture. I wanted Walt Disney to be proud of this picture if he were still alive. And I went back and looked at some of the Disney pictures from the ’30s and ’40s and ’50s and I know Robert Stromberg, my production designer, went deeply into the animated pictures like Snow White to see how they were painting their backgrounds, to see how the towns and the woods that the artists painted looked in those pictures.

If I Only Had a Wizard: This Oz is neither great nor powerful  It’s a bad omen when, early on in Oz the Great and Powerful, we learn that the full given name of its wizard is Oscar, also the ceremony that star James Franco once presided over as calamitously as he does this sagging Disney tentpole, a gargantuan attempt to turn L. Frank Baum’s children’s novels and one of the most beloved of all Hollywood movies into a wellspring of fresh product tie-ins and theme-park rides.

‘Return to Oz’: 7 Truly WTF Moments from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ Sequel  Though The Tin Man does make a cameo toward the end of the film, Tik-Tok is the character who really serves in that capacity in Return to Oz. That clockwork military man is distinctive for his gruff demeanor, metal moustache, and waddling gait. As you might guess by looking at him, there is an actor inside the Tik-Tok suit. What might be slightly less clear is that the actor is in fact a gymnast who is standing on his hands, backwards, and with his legs bent inside the suit. Knowing that little tidbit, it’s hard to watch Tik-Tok walk without thinking of Cirque du Soleil…which just makes everything that much more frightening.

Wizard of Oz social game hits a million players on Facebook  In The Wizard of Oz game, players have chopped more than 3.4 million trees in the land of Oz. They have visited their neighbors more than 4.7 million times. And Munchkinland minigames have been played more than 7 million times. Players have defended their Munchkinlands from more than 750,000 Wicked Witch attacks, and more than 110  million bricks have been created to help Dorothy on her way home.

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