KANSAS CITY, MO -- OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (PG)
SHAWN: Disney has attempted to do the impossible, make a new "Wizard of Oz" story, and has failed miserably. The "Oz the Great and Powerful,' is loosely based on the novels of L. Frank Baum. So loose it's like wearing a size 50 pant when your waist size is 32. Real baggy. And we all know that ain't a good look. Somebody, please get this movie a belt.
SHAWN: "Oz the Great and Powerful" which may be a bit too sophisticated and creepy in spots for young kids, fails from the start with an overly long set-up in black and white. Then plays out like something you would see on the Disney channel. Finally, this movie is long, ends with an unspectacular thud of nothingness. But a huge part of the movie's problems were the lawyers. Because of copyright constraints Disney was not able to reproduce certain iconic imagery from the 'The Wizard of Oz,' which is owned by Warner Brothers. Don't expect to see any catchy show tunes (this is not a musical), ruby red slippers or winged monkeys. What you get is a glum James Franco (who is horrible I this role), fake-looking computer generated baboons and a story so jumbled a knot specialist couldn't un-tie it.
SHAWN: "Oz the Great and Powerful" which is all flash and no substance doesn't work because it just isn't charming or fun. Fans of the beloved 1939 classic can rest easy. People won't be watching this version year after year after year. Maybe not even this year. Hopefully never.
SHAWN: Russ says, "'Oz the Great and Powerful,' doesn`t capture the magic of the original, it`s still a visually spectacular and entertaining attempt. James Franco is miscast as the wannabe wizard, but Michelle Williams is luminous and the whimsical art direction and special effects are truly special.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: "West of Memphis" is a well-constructed, thought provoking and compelling documentary. It's fair, balanced and presented with a serious journalistic edge.
SHAWN: Russ says, "'West of Memphis' effectively points an accusatory finger at incompetent police, ineffective lawyers and the intransigent Arkansas judicial system...as well as the press that only seemed interested in covering the salacious angles of the story."
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags