Putting the fashion and anachronistic issues aside, writer / director / novelist Stephen Chbosky’s film adaptation of his own book The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Summit) is worth watching for the performances by scene-stealer Ezra Miller and a nuanced Emma Watson. Because they are both so good, it’s possible to overlook some of the movie’s time-challenged flaws.
I have always loved magic. The first TV shows I can remember watching featured magical beings (Samantha, Jeannie). I had a magic kit, and I went to The Magic Box at the local mall any chance I had to see the newest tricks for sale. I got books from the library about making your own magic tricks and read books about the classic magicians, watched all of the David Copperfield specials on TV, and even recently read a book about early 20th century magicians, Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear, that obviously influenced the illusions in the movie The Illusionist.
How do you make a prequel to a movie that is regarded as a classic, and also happens to be 74 years old? Disney and director Sam Raimi have placed themselves under some pretty tough scrutiny with their audacious decision to return to the land of Oz with Oz, the Great and Powerful, said prequel to 1939's The Wizard of Oz, and also based on the works of Oz author L. Frank Baum. And this isn't Disney's first time visiting Oz … anyone remember the cult classic Return to Oz, a sequel which saw Dorothy institutionalized and undergoing shock therapy?! Thankfully, this new Oz movie is not quite that dark.
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