New Releases: March 8, 2013

ozgreatandpowerful-thirdposter-full1. Oz the Great and Powerful (Disney, 3,912 Theaters, 130 Monutes, Rated PG): Way back in June of 2010, FilmBuffOnline Head Honcho ran down the nine Wizard of Oz themed films in production. It turns out that this film was second behind Witches of Oz/Dorothy and the Witches of Oz in making it to screen, which had life as a TV miniseries and was recut limited release feature film. Later this year, it will be followed the computer animated Dorothy of Oz. The status of the six remaining projects is still up in the air.

Why all the attention for the Emerald City? Why , because it is the perfect mix of being almost universally known from the yearly television airings of the 1939 The Wizard of Oz and also having the original novel–and the character’s and concepts held within–being in the public domain.No rights to pay for a property everyone on the planet has heard of makes and new adaptation of the story that much safer to make. (Note: Any elements introduced in that 1939 film, ranging from the ruby slippers to the Wicked Witch’s skin color is copyright protected. So, expect some changes from that film to this one).

This story follows Oz (James Franco, following Robert Downey Jr and Johnny Depp as the third actor attached to the role in this film), a magician who is transported to a magical land where he finds an assortment of strange and unusual creatures and a number of quite attractive women, one of who will become quite wicked. The magician becomes a wizard, one so great that they presumably will name the world after him.

Rich has already seen the film, and you can find his review right here.

Dead-Man-Down-Poster12. Dead Man Down (FilmDistrict, 2,188 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated R): In case travelling to the fantasy world of Oz isn’t your thing, here’s a dual-layered revenge flick for you.

Victor (Colin Farrell) has infiltrated the crime empire of Alphonse (Terrence Howard) in order to get his revenge on the gangster. His revenge is complicated when his neighbor Beatrice (Noomi Rapace, reuniting with her The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo director Neils Arden Opley) witnesses him kill a man. She blackmails Victor to get some revenge for her as well. However, it might just turn out that he might be able to get his revenge and hers at the same time.

One fascinating fact about this film is that this film was partly produced by WWE Studios (formerly WWE Films). That’s WWE as in World Wrestling Entertainment. The company used to be nothing more than a means to an end to get some of their wrestlers feature films while still getting some money from the deal. It appears that they are branching out with this film and next week’s The Call, which do have WWE wrestlers in the cast, but in supporting roles and not as the headliners.

I’m also intrigued by Terrence Howard using the promotional tour for this film as a way to snipe about his experience with Marvel over the Iron Man franchise. I guess it’s only natural considering Iron Man 3 will be out in two months, although Howard really has no need to complain because this film will be out of theaters way before then.

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About William Gatevackes 1934 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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