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Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Today is a very special New Release Tuesday at North/South.

When Chris and I started this site, there was a certain, yet-to-be-released film that sparked a war.
We had nothing but trailers, stills and interviews on which to base our opinions.
Yet somehow each of us had a visceral reaction to the forthcoming release.
They just happened to be completely opposite.
I thought the film could be great and Chris gave it absolutely no chance to even be watchable.
In the end, one of us would be "right" and the other chastised ad infinitum.

Here's how it went down:
I was not shocked when Chris told me OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL would be "awful".
At the time there were really only two options: be excited for Sam Raimi's vision or be weary.
The film had so many questions to answer that it was obvious many people would be skeptical.
Could it live up to the original?
Could James Franco really carry the film?
Would it be dark like Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND?

I played devil's advocate and in this post and brought all of the key questions to the table.
I also used to it take a shot at Chris by exposing that he doesn't really like THE WIZARD OF OZ.
I even brought in our in our mutual hero, Roger Ebert, to further embarrass him.
Chris was forced to defend himself and his positions on both films, which he did, here.
There was no going back from there.
The first blog war had begun.
And once the film was released there was a clear winner (me) and a loser (him).

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL was/is a great movie!
I gave it 4 Stars out of 5 in my full review and I implore you to watch and enjoy this film.
It has good humor, lots of clever nods to the original and is visually stunning.
It is not dark, but it is more real and adult than the original.
In addition to the wonderful direction by Sam Raimi, you get the best out of James Franco.
Franco's Oz was always going to make or break this film and I am glad to say, he was great.

The film was a resounding hit and is definitely one of the best films I have seen this year.
I would not be surprised if it gets some awards attention for the visual effects.
Of course not.
Dorothy and the gang earned their place in history and they will never be forgotten.
However, let it be know that The Wizard has risen again and is truly GREAT AND POWERFUL.

Oh, and don't forget that I was right and Chris was so very, very wrong.

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