Director: Sam Raimi. Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zachary Braff. 130 min. Rated PG.
A Wizard of Oz prequel. It's prohibitive to compare a stage play to cinema, but if I hadn't already seen the far more sophisticated and socio-politically amusing Oz prequel story, the Broadway show Wicked, I might have enjoyed this more. Still, in lieu of the creative use of the 1939 movie story elements (the yellow brick road, the deadly poppy field, the Wizard's looming fog-like projection), the CGI effects here are too cartoonish and distracting. And how many times do I have to say I don't like James Franco? Nobody seems to listen.
Trivia: Bruce Campbell has played a role in almost every Sam Raimi feature film. Here, he's an Emerald City gatekeeper.