<i>Oz the Great and Powerful</i>: Because of the Wonderful Things He Does

There were many reasons to dislike Tim Burton's 3D-enhanced (but 1D-executed) version of Alice in Wonderland, but chief among them was the fact that it felt like a Tim Burton movie in name only. The production design and costumes had the familiar Burton touch, but the film itself was practically anonymous -- the personality bled out by the director and his backers at Walt Disney Studios to better ensure mass market appeal. (Of course, considering how poorly the more traditionally Burton-esque Dark Shadows turned out, maybe that wasn't such a terrible thing after all.) So whatever its problems, Disney's newest family blockbuster Oz the Great and Powerful trumps Alice in that it's recognizably a Sam Raimi picture. Granted, it's not exactly the same Raimi who made The Evil Dead back in the day, but his interests and particular set of skills still manage to stand out amidst the big-budget spectacle instead of getting swallowed up by it.

The Bourne Legacy: Standing in the Shadows of Damon

by Ethan Alter August 10, 2012 6:01 am
<i>The Bourne Legacy</i>: Standing in the Shadows of Damon

The Bourne Legacy belongs to that class of franchise installments that's a combination of a sequel and a reboot. Other examples of this peculiar subgenre -- which is still in need of a name, by the way; requels, maybe? Seqboots? Let's get our top linguists on it -- include those post-Peter Sellers Pink Panther comedies, the Van Damme free Kickboxer movies and the immortal The Rage: Carrie 2. Although all these films are technically sequels in that they take place in the same world and chronologically occur after the events of their predecessors, the fact that they follow all-new characters and storylines provides the sense that they're starting the series over from scratch. It's an awkward, tricky act to pull off and none of these movies have done it successfully... including, I'm sorry to say, The Bourne Legacy.

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