In Oz the Great and Powerful
, a two-bit traveling circus magician convinces an entire kingdom that he is the wizard prophesized to deliver them from the wicked witch who killed their king and cast a dark spell over the land. Meanwhile, behind the camera, director Sam Raimi uses his own cinematic sleight of hand to try and convince us that what we’re watching is something more than a slightly altered take on The Wizard of Oz
. The similarities between the two films are so pronounced that Raimi’s effort feels as much like a loose remake as it does a belated prequel to Victor Fleming’s beloved 1939 classic; while screenwriters David Lindsay-Abaire and Mitch...