Next year will see the 75th anniversary of one of the all-time great films, The Wizard of Oz. Few films have had the impact or importance. When Dorothy opened up her Kansas farmhouse door to the world of Oz, she might have well have opened up the world of cinema to color films in a big way. The Wizard of Oz also told a fantasy story, even a children’s story, in a darker and much more intricate way than almost any film prior.
There have been several follow-ups or spin-offs to L. Frank Baum’s world, most notably Sidney Lumet’s musical The Wiz and the incredibly dark unofficial sequel, Disney’s Return to Oz. No film yet has had quite the spectacle, cast, or pedigree behind a Wizard of Oz follow-up as Oz: The Great and Powerful has. Not only is Disney basically banking on this being their next Alice in Wonderland, but the film is by Evil Dead and Spider-Man franchise director Sam Raimi, and features a huge cast that includes Mila Kunis, Zach Braff, and former Oscar nominees James Franco, Michelle Williams and former winner Rachel Weisz.
After a rough few years for Disney, with both animation projects and live-action films not going as planned, Disney has quite a lot riding on Oz: The Great and Powerful, their first live-action film since John Carter bombed. Before checking out Disney’s latest attempt at live-action greatness, and the prequel to one of cinema’s most famous stories, maybe check out some of these under-ranked films from the stars of Oz: The Great and Powerful.
Chris Cooper has signed on to portray Norman Osborn in director Marc Webb‘s sequel to 2012‘s The Amazing Spider-Man. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for 2002‘s Adaptation., Cooper joins a star-studded cast that already features Paul Giamatti and Jamie Foxx as villains Rhino and Electro, respectively. The film will also feature the return of Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Emma Stone as his love interest, Gwen Stacy.
Cooper’s casting as Osborn is significant, of course, because the character originally featured in the first film of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, in which he ultimately became the villainous Green Goblin. As The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already set to feature two villains, it’s unclear whether Cooper’s Osborn will undergo his evil transformation in this film, or in a future sequel. In the comics, Osborn originally serves as a mentor character to Parker, so this could conceivably be a setup for the third film in a trilogy.
The script for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been written by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (Star Trek) and Jeff Pinkner (TV’s Fringe), based on an original draft by James Vanderbilt, who worked on the screenplay for the first film.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for release on May 2, 2014.
While I’m sure there were other people looking forward to it, I was the only person I knew who actually wanted to see The Amazing Spider-Man. People I know, forums I frequent, and podcasts I listen to all shared feelings that ranged from disdain to apathy for the reboot. It’s hard to blame them. It feels like just yesterday that we were all severely let down by Spider-Man 3. Add in the sheer volume of superhero movies we’ve received every year since, and it’s not surprising that the movie-going public could be experiencing some backlash towards the genre. Since people were actually wanting to see The Avengers, and seemingly can’t wait for Dark Knight Rises, their vitriol has to stem from something. That something happened to be a reboot no one was clamoring for.
In Flickchart terms, “Marvel vs. DC” is the ultimate match-up, made very clear by the fact that the Big Two occupied the two largest booths at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo this year. Marvel’s booth was dominated by a stage with a backdrop of The Avengers release poster, in front of which guests were invited to be photographed with props of Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir.
Across the floor, DC Comics was surprisingly light on movie content; The Dark Knight Rises was represented almost entirely by a single, modest placard with the current poster and a TV loop of promo clips and ads that included the movie’s trailer. Where Marvel wants to emphasize the synergy between the printed page and the screen, DC is clearly trying to reassert itself as a comic book publisher and not an idea farm for Hollywood. It was with this dichotomy in mind that I set about exploring the relationship between the comic book industry and film. Read the rest of this entry »
Re-live the #1 movies from February 9th 2003 and 2009, respectively. How do you think they hold up and is anybody else surprised that a movie as forgettable as He’s Just Not That into You has such a respectable standing on Flickchart?