What’s it about?
A tornado hurls a small-time huckster magician, Oscar (James Franco), into a Wonderland-esque land overseen by three witchy sisters (Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz). And where there be witches, there be wickedness. Which witch is which? (Spoiler: green face, hooked schnoz, much cackling.) Oscar, mistaken for a powerful wizard and rightful ruler, befriends a few locals and tries to keep the joint safe. Just in case a scarecrow, tin man, lion and Judy Garland turn up, in a far superior film, made 70 years beforehand.
What did we think?
Ben says: Well, we’re off to see the wizardry, the wonderful visual-effects wizardry of Oz. And we get it – in a Skittles explosion of rainbow-hued CG. We also get a gorgeous, crippled china doll who steals the film and cured this reviewer of his lifelong detestation for porcelain dolls. But Oz’s other fantastical curiosities pale next to the 1939 original: winged monkeys are replaced with winged baboons; Munchkins are now the ethnically inclusive Midget Union of North America; and instead of an engaging, rogueish wizard, we get James Franco, as James Franco. In top hat.