Oz The Great and Powerful

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**

James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams star in Sam Raimi’s prequel to the much loved 1939 classic film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ which starred Judy Garland.

There are one of two ways you can view this film, 1. As a Date Movie or 2. As a serious prequel to the original film. And, I expect that many audiences will be disappointed at the lack of originality in this film, the opening sequence for example is a carbon copy of the original.

It is also hard to like James Franco, who, frankly looks tired, and is trying too hard to be flamboyant, camp and a ‘showman’. Perhaps best known for his role in the serious ‘Spiderman’ trilogy, coincidentally, directed by Raimi. He simply doesn’t have the range to pull off such a complex character as Oscar Diggs.

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However, Zach Braff of ‘Scrubs’ who portrayed Finley, the flying monkey was the character who had the most heart, and the best jokes. Michelle Williams gives a good turn as Glinda the Good and Mila Kunis tries, but fails to do anything new with Theadora the Good, whereas Rachel Weisz seems to be going through the motions.

In a film which could be so much more than simply filler before the much loved original ‘Wizard of Oz’, Raimi misses the point and is instead more intent on big action sequences, and animated sequences, which are well done, but are almost to no avail.

What was once so good about ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the clunky props, the so-so animation, the brilliant direction was what made the audience work for the magic, for their own belief in Oz.

Naomi Jeffreys, Film Editor

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Review: Friends with Benefits

Words by Greg Bailey

So another film about a girl and guy just in it for the sex called No Strings With Benefits…or is it Friends Attached? It’s something along those lines. No it’s not a sequel haemorrhaging from Hollywood’s creatively retarded studios, just plain old unoriginality. Cue the good looking safe star leads, Timberlake as a GQ Editor and Kunis as a Head-hunter. Two very talented and capable individuals who’s recent titles include The Social Network, and The Black Swan. Throw in the Director of Easy A and this sounds like it could be good…right? Wrong. Though at the beginning there are a few laughs from a semi decent script and spot on comical timings the second half is a train wreck of clichés and stereotypes with a predicable finale that would make a bag of kittens puke. One saving grace is the hugely funny Woody Harrelson as Timberlake’s GQ college. Though the Leads try their best with what they had to work with their charm alone doesn’t carry this film. This is No Strings Attached 2, if you have seen the first one you have definitely seen this one.

 

Actor Focus

Words by Frances Rimmer

Who knew Mila Kunis before 2010? This fresh face in Hollywood moved to America from the Ukrainian SSR at the age of seven, unable to speak a word of English. Her acting career began just two years later with a part in a Barbie commercial. She played a variety of small roles in both film and television, finding her first step on the path to stardom in 1998, when she was cast as Jackie in the popular sitcom, “That 70’s Show”. From then, she progressed as an actress, becoming the voice of Meg in “Family Guy” and gaining more significant roles, such as her supporting role alongside Jason Segel in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. Kunis received frequent positive reviews on her performances from then on, for her roles in “Extracts”, with Ben Affleck and Jason Bateman, “The Book Of Eli” and “Date Night”. The world came to know her name in 2010 with her role in “Black Swan”, starring opposite Natalie Portman as carefree Lily, and since then she has gained widespread fame. With “Friends With Benefits”, in which she co-stars with Justin Timberlake, making $6.8 million on its opening day, Mila Kunis is clearly on the rise, and a face to look out for.